Enough to Miss Christmas (Chapter Seven, page 1 of 14)

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It was still dark when Karen awoke, extricated herself and bounded into the bathroom. In her absence, I pulled my aching body into the bathrobe and crawled over to my bed. The clock radio showed six-thirty. As I turned on the light, I glimpsed at the book Karen was reading the night before. I was startled to see it wasn't in English. I recognized the bust of Cicero and the Latin text. Twenty minutes passed, most with the shower running, before Karen emerged, fully dressed in a different outfit.

"Good, morning," I said. "You're an early riser." She nodded an acknowledgment, returned to her bed and picked up Cicero. "That's pretty heavy reading for your age. Are all your books so advanced?"

"I'm at the head of my class," she said, without looking up. While I didn't doubt her intelligence and reading level, I thought the comment strange. Paul told me she was individually tutored at home. "I have a book list," she added. "I'm working on Greek too."

"Do you ever read for fun?"

She looked at me as if not understanding the question. "Just the books on the list Sister Rose made. Some are more fun than others."

While I wanted to pursue this strange conversation, my need to pee forced to me to make for the bathroom. After a quick shower I dressed, in old clothes, reminiscent of my lost luggage incident in Boston. At least I had clean panties. When I returned, Karen was reaching for the hotel phone.

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