Lynn had heard Jefferson was getting a new student counselor, but it wasn’t until Monday morning she learned his name. One of her students, Angela, had been acting out for weeks. The old counselor had been unsuccessful at getting to the issue, so Lynn hoped that the new one would have better luck. She dropped by the office before classes to introduce herself and make him aware of her problem. The door had no name on it, so she would have to ask. She knocked and was welcomed in. She was so surprised to see Kenneth Randolph standing before her that she lost all her senses; she was stammering, stuttering, and stumbling at what she had come to talk to him about. Kenneth very kindly said with an enchanting smile, “Why don’t we try this again. Hello Lynn. I’m so glad to see you again. How may I help you?” Again in control of her emotions Lynn responded with a smile, “Forgive me; I didn’t know you were the new counselor. I have a student. Angela Browning is her name. The old counselor met with her and couldn’t get her to confide in what was troubling her. I was hoping to bring her by today and see if you can help her. Something has her very upset I’ve tried to get her to open up to me but nothing works. I’m concerned that something very serious is going on. She has been acting out for quite some time.” “Well, I’ll do my best. I’m no miracle worker but I’ve been told that I have a way with the kids.” Kenneth said half joking, trying to lighten the situation. “On the lighter side of things, what are you doing for lunch Miss. Fields?” Her mind went reeling; how did he know her last name, lunch, what would Lora think, who cares, I care about this man, does he like me, oh, when he says my proper name my knees go weak, how can I be this fortunate? “Miss Fields, did you hear my request for a lunch date?” Kenneth reiterated. Oh my gosh he said it again, thought Lynn. Shaking her head to clear her mind Lynn answered blushing slightly, “I’m so sorry. Yes of course we can have lunch together. I’m curious how you learned my last name?” Kenneth answered, “Oh that was easy. I like getting an early start on my first day at a job so I’ve been here since 5:30 am to get my office together and I was sitting in the office as everyone clocked in and either introduced myself or asked the secretary their name. You fell in the latter category.” “Why didn’t you introduce yourself?” said Lynn coyly. “It’s not like we haven’t met.” “No, I didn’t see you until you were leaving the office. The secretary recognized you from behind. I never put you and the name together. Where’s a private place to have lunch I would like to talk to you without interruption?” questioned Kenneth. “Well, on campus the only place that I can think of is the boiler room but that isn’t very pleasant.” Lynn softly laughed, and then continued, “However, off campus there is a park nearby with a lake and benches around the lake. If you didn’t bring lunch there are some sandwich shops and fast food restaurants nearby.” informed Lynn. Kenneth responded, “I brought my lunch, not knowing what was available in the area.” He beamed, raising his eyebrows, and his eyes shining mischievously as he said, “If you brought your lunch I would opt for the lake.” Lynn wondered with that look in his eyes what she was getting herself into, but there was something about him that made her trust him. She thought why not have some fun? Lynn informed Kenneth that she had brought her lunch, it was agreed Kenneth would drive as Lynn navigated to the lake. “By the way,” Kenneth said, “have Angela come and see me during class.” Lynn responded, “I will, thank you so much.”
Diane, Lora and Lynn had been unable to get their schedules to work for a “Sisters Three” lunch in two weeks. Lynn really wanted to tell them face to face who the new counselor turned out to be.
Lora had been making excuses, yes work had been busy but in reality she was holding her breath and waiting for Kenneth’s call. He intrigued her.
Ken and Lynn’s first lunch went swimmingly. Lunches at the lake became a daily occurrence. By the second week Ken was talking about going out to dinner and dancing on Saturday night. “Ken I’m concerned about what Lora will think about you and me going out. She’s given permission in the past but I haven’t asked. Lunch was so on the spur of the moment and during school hours that, although I hoped it was going somewhere, I told myself don’t this is just a friendship thing. As our conversations progressed I realized that we were going beyond friendship and now the very thing that I deluded myself of, I can no longer. I hope that you can understand that I have to talk to Lora first about this. It’s not that I don’t want to go out with you, I do!” voiced Lynn. “Do you really think it will be such a problem? All we did was one night of flirting together. Nothing happened besides the flirting. Do you think she will put a claim on me because of that?” Ken responded. “That’s what I’m afraid of,” said Lynn “that she will think she has a claim on you and I’m stealing you from under her nose.” “That’s ridiculous!” shouted Ken. “It may seem ridiculous to you, but there is an unwritten code for women and the dealings of men. I’ve broken that rule since I didn’t get permission first.” Lynn said calmly. “I’ve grown to care for you and our lunches and I’d like to see where this could go, but I must face the very real fact that by doing that I may be jeopardizing a lifelong friendship, something I mustn’t take lightly.” Ken responded, “I have grown extremely fond of you Lynn. Something tells me given a little more time that fondness will not be the right word. I knew while I took Lora home that I wanted to see you. You have qualities that drew me to you that first night. How I wish I hadn’t gotten hung up on the flirting. Your sweet, caring spirit was evident that night. So for me there has never been anyone but you, not anyone of true value and real interest. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when you walked through my door that Monday morning. I knew immediately that I wasn’t going to waste any time like I had with Lora I was going to take the bull by the horns. I knew what I wanted was you. Does this information help you in making your decision?” Thrilled at his words, with angst Lynn replied, “I realize now that if I was going to take Lora’s feelings into consideration I should have done that with the first lunch. I was attracted to you the moment I saw you at the bar, your smile, the way your eyes danced at a joke, your beautiful hair, something that I could see deep in your eyes and the way you dressed, a complete package, but I’m not one to make the first move so Lora was the first to catch your eye. So you see at that first lunch I wanted to get to know you and make up for lost time. Had I stopped and thought I was already possibly getting into deep waters with Lora. It would have been better if I was up front and asked her if she would mind.” Ken commented, “Sounds like we’ve gone past the point of asking for permission.” Lynn agreed, “I know that. I’m not sure what I would do if she said no at this point anyway. I care for you too much to just go to a colleague relationship.” There was a tear in Lynn’s eye. Ken with his thumb and his hand cupping her face he wiped the tear from her eye and then took her hand and said, “Me too. I can’t go to a colleague relationship with you. It would hurt too much to see you every day and not to have our special talks or our lunches here in the park, they have become the highlight of my day.” Lynn continued, “All the same I have to at least somehow try to get Lora’s permission.”
Lynn asked, “Do you think telling Lora is something I should do on my own or should we go to her together? I’m not trying to wimp out. I just value your opinion on this Mr. Counselor.” giggled Lynn. Ken replied, “If it were just the beginning of our lunches I would have said this is between you and Lora.” Ken paused. “The more I think about it the more I still think it should be between you and Lora. If I were there she might feel ganged up on. Yes, we have grown very close and it is our relationship involved but it is your friendship at issue here. Know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers as you talk to her.” Lynn said, “Thank you for your wise counsel. Just one of many things I cherish about you. Thank you for the prayers also. I have a feeling I’m going to need them.