“Abby, I’ve been trying to call you. Why didn’t you answer your phone?”
“I was studying in the library and didn’t want to be bothered so I turned it off. What’s up.”
“I just found out about this, otherwise I’d have let you know sooner, okay?”
“Found out about what?”
Before Neil can respond, the professor enters with a well-dressed, distinguished looking man with dark hair that’s streaked with silver. It takes Abigail a moment to recall where she’s seen him. She turns to Neil.
“Is that your father?”
“Yeah, it is,” he replies.
“He’s the special guest?”
“There was supposed to be some other guy from a hospital group to talk about careers in medicine, but he canceled at the last minute. Professor Grant knows Dad and he was available so here he is. That’s why I was trying to reach you.”
Before they can discuss it further, the professor calls class to order.
As class gets underway, Abigail keeps her eyes glued on Daniel. In every way, he presents the image of the dashing neurosurgeon she’s always heard him portrayed as. His talk is engaging and with enough enthusiasm to keep the class interested. At one point, he glances at Abigail and gives her a nod, but no acknowledgement he knows who she is.
After the formal lecture, there’s a question and answer session led by Professor Grant. Abigail raises her hand. Daniel runs his finger along the seating chart as he says, “Yes, Ms. —” Seeing her name, he looks up at her and she gives him a wide smile. Slightly subdued, he continues, “What’s your question, Ms. Worthy?”
“I’m curious where you see the field of genetics in the future of medicine.”
Daniel considers the question. “It has many intriguing possibilities for the future of preventative and therapeutic care. Though I venture to say, it’s not likely to put any surgeons out of business.”
“So you’d say decoding the human genome was a good thing?” Abigail says.
“Absolutely. Anything that increases our knowledge of how the body works offers hope for many future benefits.”
The discussion goes on for several more minutes, and afterward, Abigail lines up to greet Daniel with Neil just in front of her. Once he greets his father and moves ahead, Abigail takes Daniel’s hand, leans toward him and says, “Mom says hi.”
“Surely you don’t think this is the appropriate place to have this discussion.”
“You’re probably right,” she says.
Daniel leans toward Professor Grant and says something in confidence. Professor Grant nods and says, “Certainly, Dan. I have class next period, so you can have the office to yourself. I’ll give my receptionist a call to let her know.”
Daniel turns back toward Abigail. “Let’s meet in Professor Grant’s office in ten minutes.”
“Looking forward to it,” Abigail says.
She and Neil exit.
“What are you going to talk about?” Neil says.
“I have no idea.”