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In the previous episode… Vera met her assignment loanee Austin Byron, who shared his most embarrassing high school story of when he failed a health class test on sex and the teacher laughed at him.
Austin Byron took a deep breath. Vera could tell he was not too eager to reveal the most embarrassing anecdote from his high school career.
“I failed my health test on sex. I had no idea where any of the female anatomy was and the teacher Mr. Sussman said, ‘There goes your Prom Night.’ It was humiliating.”
“I can’t believe a teacher would say that,” Vera sighed, even if it was a witty comeback. Still not appropriate.
“But the worst part is that Milwaukee Joe would never let anyone forget it. He called me Vulva for all of high school. That story took place during my freshman year!”
Vera pitied Austin. Despite his wealth of success, he still held this big grudge from more than a decade ago. People like Vera just erased their memory of high school, but it seemed Austin couldn’t.
“Well, we’ll show him tonight,” Vera said, her words curling her lips into a smile.
“Is there anything you want me to do in particular? Do I have a desired occupation?”
“Nope. You just have to show up and be lovely.” His eyes quickly met hers, before darting back down to the table.
Maybe he wasn’t that far removed from high school after all, she thought.
Vera waited in her car outside of Manchester High in a blonde wig and sunglasses, watching as former teenagers now approaching middle age entered their old stomping grounds. Some of them joked and seemed to have the same enthusiasm as their youth, while others looked nervous, stiffly holding the hands of their significant others like they were attending a funeral. Vera thought about where she would have landed on this scale and soon remembered she never attended her reunions.
Austin should have been texting her any minute. They had made plans to meet up outside and walk in together. She continued to wonder why someone so successful, with an Ivy League degree, would need to hire someone else to make himself feel better at his high school reunion. Wasn’t him showing up the way he already was enough? Surely, “Milwaukee Joe” hadn’t experienced such achievement.
This made Vera think about her own situation. Would she want her classmates to see herself now? Was she proud of her super-secret career? Or would she be more happy to show up as someone who works in the e-book industry (even if it meant destroying books)?
Before she could answer this, Vera spotted a familiar figure walk by her car. It was Greg Goodman! And he looked more attractive than ever, in jeans and a crisp shirt with a necktie.
Her very own boyfriend was attending his reunion, and he hadn’t even invited her. Or had he tried and she was just too preoccupied with Loan Some? Vera suddenly felt a pang of guilt hit her heart like a sharpened pencil into the crevices of a wooden desk.
Vera looked more closely at him. Greg was checking his phone outside of the school. Was he waiting for someone?