“No,” she says, barely paying attention, “I don’t teach vocabulary because I don’t know the meaning of failure.”

    Being the fearless intergalactic warrior he is, Rug dashes straight into danger by quipping, “I knew there was a reason the students loved your tests.”

    To this Cat says nothing.  Doug waits for her response, but still nothing.  Finally, she turns to him and hands him the solved puzzle.  “Here.  What were you saying?”

    Before Doug can applaud his witty wife for her genius display of mental might, they are interrupted by Jo Meyers who caught the end of this amazing talent show.  “I’m impressed, girl.  Doug, you really need to work on giving her harder problems to solve, ha ha.”

    Laughing, the man says, “Hey Jo, it was your suggestion, not mine.  I take no responsibility for any problems I can create in the next week.”

    Hugging her husband again, Cat gives a playfully defensive look.  “Watch it you two.  I don’t need my friends ganging up on me, especially with today being so busy.  In fact, I’m extremely hungry.  Jo, tell the class we’re leaving in an hour later so I can eat.”  She then starts listing off restaurants to Doug.

    Jo giggles and facepalms as she tries to reason with Lady Rug.  “I’m not doing such a thing.  We’re leaving with or without you, girlfriend.”

    “Oh, yeah?” Cat brings this boast into questions.  “And where are we going today?”

    Licking her lips in annoyance, Jo coldly reminds Cat, “You never tell me the schedules for trips until the last minute.  How would I know?”

    Pleased with this, Duplica pretends to check her nails through her black gloves and replies, “Then maybe you should just trust me.”  Then, kissing Mr. Rug, Cat walks away.  “You know what?  I think we’ll eat while we’re on the trip.  Yep, we’ll have a real feast.  Yum!”

    “Uh-oh,” the two left behind echo to one another.  It’s clear now that something fishy is cooking, and it’s got Duplica boiling with excitement.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see what’s on the menu.

    Soon, the time of today’s field trip finds only about half an hour preventing its arrival, and with this short span separating the class from their favorite pastime of portal-hopping, I believe it’s a good idea to check on our pupils after a full year.  Of course, we see Elf, Gigi, Faye, Kammy, Owan and Paul standing in a small circle, talking about the last few days of school and such, but as this student goes to the vending machine and that student asks a teacher a question, the arrangement of the circle changes a bit.  As Faye goes to feed her candy addictions, three of the other pals gravitate to a table while Kammy Crystal and a newly armored Paul stay where they are.  What particularly stands out is how Kamron Meyers sways back and forth with her hands behind her, staring at Paul as he talks about who-knows-what.

    “So, Cat,” Jo says, watching her granddaughter admire the young man, “do you feel betrayed?  I mean that both me and Mercy turned on you, you know.”

    Duplica is equally amused with the young couple.  “Jo, I don’t feel betrayed to hear Kammy and Paul are now dating.  First, you’re her grandmother, so I applaud you for not intervening in your son’s raising of Kammy.  Props to you for not meddling.  Second, Jo Mo, not letting teens date until they’re eighteen is a personal standard for Doug and myself.  That doesn’t mean we think other parents are sinning for having a different idea about things.  We have practical reasons for why we disagree, but no biblical reason to stress over.  We only had to make such a big fuss over it because of Faye harassing Elfie when they were younger, but that stopped long ago.  In fact, I think she’s the best candidate for my son I could ask for…after he’s eighteen.  It’s just that everyone else jumped on the band wagon about waiting because all the other kids were too busy being weird or geeky to think about dating.  So, since Kam and Paul have shown themselves to be responsible, God-fearing kids, we’ll enjoy watching them grow over the next few years.  If they start holding hands or kissing, then that’s when they need a grumpy grandma.”

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