Connections Jan 2015 - Page 32

She beamed at Neal as if he were her own son. “You were just as right as you could be. I’m so proud of you!” Neal forced a smile. They were amazed that he actually had the brains and reliability of a ten year old. What do you expect? he wanted to say. I’m not a moron—I can read English. Old man Snell placed a warm hand on Neal’s shoulder. “That’s good work, son.” He winked at Grammy, clearly pleased that his latest U of G hire had proved to be so remarkable. Neal began to load up the van with his morning deliveries, only vaguely aware of the meaningless chatter of Grammy and Mildred and the other Snells while he worked. He had to get another job, a real job, as soon as possible. He not only needed to make some decent money, he needed to be around some halfway intelligent people. And as soon as he found a better position and accumulated a little cash, he would start knocking off some night classes and finish his chemistry degree. Maybe he could still swing medical school, if he could stabilize life with Annie and the baby. But as he drove to his first delivery, his optimism faded. He was still troubled by what had happened with Natasha that morning. I love you, he thought. He remembered the long, heated battles he and Annie had over what to do a