The Experimental Professor

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She looked up to the man who had said that. She had never seen him before. He was propped up on the door. “Anyone who stands up to that guy not only deserves a chance but a raise as well.”

“I wasn’t working for money.” Jasmine said.

“Oh really? A college student who doesn’t need money? That is a interesting new concept.” He said as he half smiled. “If not money what were you working for?”

“Time.” She replied and the other professor she was supposed to work for began to stutter things out that made no sense.

“Enough Tighe.” He said as he leveled a stare at the man. His piercing gaze looked right through the other man. “Time for what?”

“I need to have access to the lab.” She said with a sigh. “Professor Tighe is in charge of allowing non-graduate students get access.”

“I see.” He said as he looked her over. “And that was all you were looking for?”

“I just need to prove one thing.” She said. “Then everything else will just work.”

“Excuse me?” He asked.

“I have a theory. One of the things I need to do is prove this one factor to the reaction which hasn’t been done before. If it works the way I think it will it could change the way we actually do things in life.” Jasmine said. “Though it is just an idea at the moment every person I have talked too said in theory it would work. It is that in theory part I need to either prove or disprove.”

“And if you do this and it doesn’t work then what?” he asked.

“Then I can stop trying to get it to work in my head.” Jasmine said.

“I see.” He said as he looked like he was thinking about what she said. “Chemical or biological?”

“Chemical and environmental.” She replied and he looked at her this time a grin forming on his face.

“I have access to a non-university lab. Would that allow you to do what need?” He asked, “I can get the supplies for you for the chemical reactions part when they are needed.”

Professor Tighe interjected, “Not from the university.”

“Of course not from here. You could never stand up for yourself and be a man Tighe.” The stranger said as his laser focused gaze went to the man he was talking too. He turned back to Jasmine and asked, “Would this work?”

“What would I have to do for you?” Jasmine asked as she met his eyes.

“A bit of light paperwork. Maybe help set things up for the next class. Some light washing as well.” He said as he just held her gaze. “For as long as you need in the lab. However for my helping get you the supplies when you do either prove or disprove this theory of yours I get a byline in the study paper.”

“That sounds fair.” Jasmine said as she looked at him. She was making deals which again was not like her. She just knew somehow it all came down to this moment.

He put out his hand for her to shake and she placed her hand in his. It dwarfed hers as he shook her hand. He then let go and turned, “You start now.” He then walked out and she grabbed her notebook and followed him. She had no idea of who he was. “What is your name?”

“Jasmine.” She said “Jasmine Martin.”

“Well Jasmine Martin, I honestly have no idea where anything is in this place. I have never seen a departmental building so disorganized or run so shoddy.” He said and then he stopped and turned, “Your brother, the dean, is a horrible leader.”

“My parents bought this for him.” Jasmine said.

“So you’re one of those Martin’s?” he asked.

“I was one of them. However my mother said I was nothing but the failure of the family.” She said as she hung her head low.

“I don’t see how you could be considered a failure. You haven’t even begun your life yet.” He chuckled. “Tell me that when you are thirty or forty not twenty.”

“They all say it though.” She said.

“Well, kid, I am not wrong in this. Someone who got fired and then rehired even more quickly isn’t a failure.” He said as he grinned again.

“You only hired me because you don’t like Gavin.” She said.

“No I don’t like an idiot like him pushing people around. However listening to you and seeing that you are passionate about this I see it could be a thing. If nothing more than another paper with my name on it to pad my already huge ego.” He laughed.

“You asked for my name but you haven’t told me yours?” Jasmine asked.

“Josh.” He said, “Josh Tillman.”

“Alright professor Tillman where do we start?” Jasmine asked.

“Let’s go to the office and discuss this side project of ours.” He said as he walked to one of the side offices that was further down from every other.

Jasmine knew he was the type of person who just didn’t like people like her brother. Though it wasn’t a personality trait she could disagree with she really didn’t know anything about this person. She hoped that he wasn’t like some of the professors who would be difficult with things or one of those who had office hours and after office hours with the student body they were attracted too.

In her few years at the school she had come across both types of professors and not many in between. She observed the way he was walking in the hallway. Though not in a suit he was in working casual clothes. He had no ring on his finger and it looked like there never had been one there. He was tall and slender but she could see the outline of where the muscles that were there were pulling on his sleeves when he moved. He was graceful when he walked as well. Much like a lion walking around the pride.

“Welcome to the office.” He said as he motioned for her to go in, “I may need some help clearing this out a bit as well.”

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