Only Yuri is there to help her. He knows that people can't travel through time. He and Jenny struggle with their grief over Big Ed's death. He is there to help her step back from her madness, and he finds himself falling in love. Sitting with her as they watch the fire, to help bring them peace.
It is also the tale of Anna Evans who has to choose between the man she loves and saving her America from the ravages of war. Anna fights the growing sickness of her body, as her world begins to fall apart.
Both have waited a long time for love to come to them. Both must leave it behind. One for the sake of her sanity, and the other for the sake of her country.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.46(d)|
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The Bellman WaveA TALE OF LOVE, MADNESS AND TIME TRAVEL.
By PEARL COZORT
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2012 Pearl Cozort
All right reserved.
Chapter One18 December 2005
Big Ed Dombroski was dead. He laid down on the couch to take a nap, while his wife went out Christmas shopping, and he just never got up. She came home to find him gone without a struggle. From one moment to the next: this plane to the next, peacefully asleep to irreparably dead.
Now all the ceremony of the end of Big Ed's life was over. The last big feast in his honor was all done. The snow covered cemetery disturbed. It was time to get on with the practical matters. Like what to do with the couch? Would you smile sweetly as the Good Will guys loaded it on to the truck, or would you keep it out of love, and creep out your friends when they had to sit on it? This was not Jenny's problem.
Jenny's problem was that Big Ed was a slob. She and Ellen, Big Ed's widow started to clean his office at the university. They packed all his pictures and important papers into a box. Then put all the mementos that students had given him over the years on top. Ellen was weakening with each bauble. This was too soon, thought Jenny, as she eased Ellen toward the door with the box.
"No," Ellen protested, "I can't leave you alone with this mess." Jenny took the box and began helping her on with her coat.
"Don't worry about it. Now that we've sorted the wheat from the chaff, the rest is just slash and burn."
"Thank you" said Ellen, as they hugged "I don't know what I would have done without you"
"You're very welcome. Are you going to be OK getting to the car?" Jenny asked as she gave her back the box. They stepped into the hall.
"I'll be fine," said Ellen, "It's you I worry about." She pointed toward the office with her chin. "Take what you want and toss the rest I don't want any of it"
They said their goodbyes as the elevator came, and when she was gone. Jenny walked back to Big Ed's office; she sighed, it always looked like a paper avalanche in progress. Big Ed used to say his office was a black hole from which no paper could escape. He had been the gravity that held it all in place, but with him gone, it was all escaping in big black plastic bags.
Jenny packed, pushed, and piled it into one bag after another. Each tied up neatly, dragged out, and lined up in the hall. She found a table, a couch, four chairs, six footballs, a bust of Thomas Jefferson, a three-foot wooden giraffe, and seven rubrics cubes of every size, but the best thing she found was an antique book bag. It was a chestnut brown saddlebag with a shoulder strap. What a nice purse this would make, Jenny thought. She opened it and it looked like Big Ed had used it as a tool bag. It was full of wire and plugs and tools. Jenny decided to keep the bag and hung it with her coat, and went back to work. There was just so much to do, and it seemed a daunting task. It's all you can do for Big Ed now, she kept telling herself.
Jenny was stuffing the last of it into one of the many bulging bags, when she heard a man say, in a heavy Russian accent.
"I never knew what color the carpet was in here." Jenny looked up to see Professor Yuri Chasekin one of Big Ed's friends, and the chairman of the science department. "It will make someone a very nice office," he said.
"It will make me a very fine office, you mean," Jenny said. "You don't think that I risked my life to clean it up for someone else?" Yuri smiled, that wicked smile to let her know he was going to say something nasty.
"I thought they had you clean it because you are the woman. Beside," he said dryly, "You don't want to be the chair, Professor Spencer. Too much crap, too little reward"
He gets away with talking like this because of Jenny's last book was about feminism and the Second World War. It was one of the few non-physic books that Yuri ever read. Yuri got a lot of mileage out of teasing her.
"Yeah, yeah, I don't see you resigning" She taunted back.
"With all modesty, the university would fall to rubble if that were to happen." He said very seriously. "Would you like to go for some coffee?"
Jenny looked out the window at the darkening landscape, as she tied the last bag.
"It's too late for coffee," she said as she turned back toward the Russian.
"It's never too late for vodka," he said as his smile returned.
"And wings, I'm starved," she said as she put on her coat, picked up her bags, put on her hat, and headed for the door.
It was warm for December and they had both walked to the campus since they both lived nearby and parking was one of the universities competitive sports. They walked down from old main, across the quad, between the science building and Bellman square. Pass the dining hall and the old dorms to Main Street. They chatted about the chance of snow, as the snow was melting all around them. And how empty and quiet everything seem, with the students gone for Christmas break. They walked up Main to the four corners and the Blake Inn.
The Blake was a large white colonial house and the oldest in Knightsville. It was built as a tavern two hundred years ago when Main Street was the salt road. Back then it was the only place in the county where you could get a drink, a meal, and a bed. And, if old rumors are true, the tavern keepers "daughters" were very friendly. Today it is a respectable townie bar and restaurant. The upstairs is rented out as bachelor quarters for the single professors. Yuri Chasekin was one of them.
They sat down at the table in the bar, he ordered an elaborate set of vodka, and she ordered a Genny lite and some hot wings.
In the summer this place is dark when you step in. The dark old wood is under lit with dark green walls. This time of year however, the place has a rosy glow. A fire in the fireplace, holiday garland strung, a candle lit on every table. Christmas lights twinkling around the bar, it cheered the place up immensely.
The drinks came. Dr. Chasekin's was a bowl of ice with many small round bottom glasses pushed into it; hers was a pilsner in a mug. Yuri held up a glass,
"To absent comrades," he said.
"To absent friends," she echoed. They drank quietly letting the warm soak into them. Knowing that in that moment, Big Ed's ghost had come to haunt them as they sat there. The last time they had seen Big Ed was at an end of the term party, at this very spot. Realizing that she would never hear his boisterous laugh again brought a cold ache to her heart and she wanted to cry. Yuri saw her struggle and said,
"I miss him too."
Jenny rallied with a deep breath. The moment passed and the wings came.
Professor Chasekin drank as he watched Professor Spencer wolf down the wings. Not the sauce-less mummified bland things, pizza chains sell for mass consumption, but real Buffalo wings. The kind you need a bib, ten napkins, and a shower for. Finishing her beer she went to wash up.
When Jenny came back she had a fresh beer and Yuri had a new bowl of vodka. He took a drink. Then he told her how Big Ed's neighbors caught someone breaking into the house on the day of the funeral. Ellen was very upset and had called Yuri about what security firm to hire. Man, Jenny thought, you hear about this sort of thing happening in the big city. You just don't think that it happens here in a small town.
"Did they arrest him?" Jenny asks.
"Nyet," said Yuri "He got away." They sat in silence for a few minutes.
"Big Ed thought a great deal of you. He asked me to give you this." He held out a plain white envelope and placed it in her hand.
"Don't open it now, read it when you are alone so you can cry. Meet me here for lunch tomorrow so we can talk," he stopped to take a drink. She put the envelope in her bag, then she also took a drink.
"What time?" Jenny asked, her voice seemed loud.
"About eleven o'clock, Here is my cell phone number in case I oversleep. I have been sleeping in since the end of the term."
"I thought that you were working on that string theory thing," she said.
"Da" he said sadly, as he picked up another glass. "I am taking a break till after the New Year, and then I will go back at it from another direction." Yuri slammed down another vodka. He look at her, and said something in Russian. This was a sign that the evening was over. It was a good thing his apartment was over the bar, she thought.
"Yuri my comrade it is time for you to go home."
"And for you to go too," he said.
"Yes, I should go before the ner'do wells come out."
"I should walk you home," his words were slurred
"Oh no you don't, you stay here and pay the bill. I'll be fine; I just live down the street. I'm not helpless you know."
Yuri started to smile that wicked smile again but the vodka held his tongue. She stood up and put on her hat and coat. Pulled her purse and the saddlebag over her shoulder. Yuri reaches out for, and caught her hand.
"It was my pleasure to watch you suck the sauce off those wings." He said with a drunken grin.
"Pig!" she said in Russian, smiled and slipped her hand away.
"Dosvadonya, Professor Chasekin." She said as she walk to the door opened it and stepped out into the winter's night.
Professor Spencer's house was a block away on the corner of Elm and Maple Streets. It was a huge old Victorian with a carriage house. It was painted in a dull blue with gray and burgundy trim. Jenny unlocked her door, she was glad to be home. She hung her coat in the closet and hung the book bag on a peg way in the back. I'll have lots of time to clean it up later and it had been a long day, she thought, as she started a fire in the fireplace. They all seemed like long days since Big Ed's death. She went to the fridge and got another beer, after all beer is food, she thought with a smile. Jenny sat down in front of the fire, and took the envelope from her purse and opened it. It said.
If you are reading this then I am dead. Both Yuri and I agreed you would be the one to take my place as a member of F.A.M.E. Please do this as a favor for me. I know you will think this is silly now, but you cannot yet imagine the possibilities. Remember me only with joy. Big Ed
By the time she got to his name, she was smiling to herself. Jenny wadded it up and threw it into the fire. She watched the fire as it burned, and she finished her beer. It had been a long day. Jenny got and turned off the lights went back to the couch in the fire light and laid down. She watched the flames until sleep over took her.
Yuri stumbled up the stairs to his apartment. Once inside he went over to the refrigerator. He took a fresh bottle of vodka from the freezer. He poured himself a drink. Yuri made it over to his carved sleigh bed. It was made of cherry, and over a hundred years old. He took off his clothes, and fell into the bed. He turn on the TV so he wouldn't be alone. He tried to remember if he had eaten today. His mind was swimming from the vodka. He thought that he remembered Jon giving him a tuna sandwich. CNN droned on, as Yuri finished off his drink. He spun into oblivion, and passed out.
15 August 1941
It's a small yellow house with green trim on North Elm street. The back yard is full of flowers. August has been very hot and humid. Anna is out early to do her gardening, while it's still cool. She has picked a basket of gladiolas for Lily Edwards. Lily and her husband Clark are giving a faculty tea, to welcome everyone for the new term. Lily wants her to meet Dr. Philip Bellman. He's has been the talk of the school. He is said to be on the cutting edge of science. Someday he may be as famous as Einstein.
Anna cut the glads and put them in two vases of standing water. They are beautiful, she thought as she step back to admire the flowers. Now she just had to get them to Lily's.
Anna tied the vases to the passenger seat in her Ford coupe and drove over to River Street, Lily came out to meet her.
"Oh, they're just gorgeous," she said as she called to her hired girl to come, and take them to the back yard.
"Looks like your going to get lucky with the weather," Anna said.
"Yes," Lily said. "And the humidity has broken. It's going to be a nice day."
"Is there anything else that I can do to help?" Anna asked.
"Just don't forget to come. We've told Dr. Bellman all about you."
"All the more reason to stay at home."
"He seems very nice," Lily said with a smile.
"Did you tell him it was a set up?" Anna asked. Lily scowled,
"If you don't come I'll never forgive you," Lily threatened.
"Why can't I just be single?"
"Everyone needs someone to take care of, and to take care of them." Lily said as she directed the set up of the coffee urn. She turned back toward Anna.
"You will be here at two o'clock, and you will be as pretty as you can be. And please wear something nice." Anna snapped to attention, and saluted.
"Yes ma'am," she said. Lily pointed to her car and said,
"Go!" Anna spun around laughing, and marched to the car.
Anna drove up the hill to a farm, not far from Knightsville that sold it's produce by the side of the road. She brought four dozen ears of corn, and two bushels of tomatoes. She was planning to put up corn and tomatoes tomorrow. Winter will be here before you know it, her Aunt Skip use to say.
Anna stood about five foot four, with pale skin and auburn hair. Her eyes were a deep shade of green and she had dimple in her left cheek when she smiled. She dressed in a gray skirt and white blouse, with a gray tie. She wore no jewelry, and no makeup. Her hair was in a tight bun on the back of her head. It was the way she always dressed. Anna put on a pair of white gloves, and a plain gray velvet hat. She always thought of herself as pleasant looking
When Lily saw her, she dragged Anna into the house. Lily took off Anna's tie and unbuttoned the two top buttons of her blouse. Then she took down her hair, and put some lipstick on her. Lily combed out her hair, then put her hat back on. Anna protested, but Lily put blush on her pale cheeks, then took off her glasses.
"I need those to read,"
"There's nothing to read here," Lily said, and she smiled at the vast improvement she had made. She took Anna out back, and set her at a table. Anna felt like a cheat. Well at least Lily was happy, she thought. Anna sat at her table and tried to look pretty.
It wasn't long before Lily brought over Philip Bellman and introduced them. Lily sat Dr. Bellman across from Dr. Evans. Both seemed very uncomfortable.
"How do you like Knightsville?" she asked looking away.
"I like it very much," he said. "I just closed on a house on Elm Street."
"Really, I live on North Elm. So you plan on staying?"
"Yes, I'm hoping that my work takes off, and Knolls will give me the opportunity to pursue it and teach."
"What kind of work are you doing?"
"I'm working with different kinds of waves. Trying to line up the spaces in atoms and enable them to pass through solid objects," he said not sure that she would understand.
"Is that possible?"
"I believe so," he said.
"Is that what you were working on at Princeton?" Anna asked.
"No, I was trying to harness gravitational energy with Dr. Einstein," he shifted uncomfortably in his chair. He was tall, she thought close to six foot. He had dark hair and dark eyes. He was wearing an old blue suit with a dark red tie. People kept coming over to introduce themselves. He would fumble to get up and shake hands. Anna could see that he was shy and socially awkward.
"Is there something wrong?" she asked
"I just don't do well at these sort of affairs. He shifted again in his chair. I'm afraid I'm not very social. I'm sorry."
"Don't be, I know just how you feel. Why not come with me, and we'll escape," she smiled devilishly at him.
"I don't think ... Won't we get into trouble with the Dean?"
"I'll take the blame. I have broad shoulders," Anna got up and led him out the back gate, down a dirt path to a foot bridge. They walked a couple of blocks into Knightsville to a place called the Riverside Diner. Philip order a cup of coffee and she got an iced tea. Anna told him about herself. They realized that they were at Cornell at the same time. She was two years behind him. He was from Ithaca. She had been raised on herAunt and Uncle's farm just a few miles west of Buttermilk Falls. It turned out that they went to the same high school, knew the same places, and had made it through the same blizzards. They had a very nice afternoon. They walked back to Dean Edward's house about five o'clock. They talked about the war in Europe, and whether America could stay out of it. They talked about Big Red's chances against Brown.
They had walked and talked all afternoon. Anna walked him back to his car, and said goodbye. He took her hand and thanked her for a very nice afternoon. He told her that they would have to do it again soon. Anna agreed.
"How about dinner next Friday?" he suggested, and they both blushed.
"I would like that very much," she said. He rubbed her small delicate hand between his two strong ones, and said goodbye again.
"Is six o'clock OK?"
"Yes" she smiled back at him. Then he got in his car and drove away. As Anna waved, Lily watched, smiling from her living room window.
20 December 2005
Knolls University is located in the rolling hills of upstate New York between the Appalachian and the Adirondack Mountains. It was in the Snow Belt, south of two of the great lakes where it was common to get 130 inches of snow in a season.
Excerpted from The Bellman Wave by PEARL COZORT Copyright © 2012 by Pearl Cozort. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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