“I think perhaps the best thing at this point is for you to return to your dorm, gather up a few things, and we’ll house you in our rooms right here,” Dr. Lasker said. “Yes, I think that would be best.”
“Hold on Professor! I never discussed moving out of my dorm into this…” Shelly paused, she almost said prison. The tall building with its windowless façade did remind her of a prison. “What I meant to say was, is this really necessary?” She thought the good doctor had a kind of lecherous expression on his face. Perhaps he wasn’t quite as ‘uninterested’ as he pretended to be? He certainly seemed so sure of himself he might be thinking of other means of persuading her to bend to his desires, perhaps more than just being part of his department?
Maybe Allen is right about him, she mused, but I can take care of myself.
“For the work we do here I’m afraid it is essential that you remain close.” Dr. Lasker was wondering how much he could tell her. He did not want to frighten her off, not until she was well on the hook.
“What about me,” Allen said. “You don’t want me in your room at the girl’s dorm…even if that would be quite delightful for me…sorry about that, but I haven’t seen a girl in a very long time, except of course for you. Very nice too.”
“Behave yourself,” Shelly said, a warning look on her face.
The professor nodded. “You’re talking to Allen I hope?”
Shelly nodded. “Sorry. He has this thing about moving into the girl’s dormitory with me.
It’s his dream and my nightmare!”
Dr. Lasker smiled, his first genuine smile of the evening. “I can see why you would not want that,” he remarked.
“Tell the old goat to mind his own business,” Allen said. “I don’t go around spoiling his
“You’re a letch,” Shelly barked. “Not you,” she said to Dr. Lasker who looked shocked at the accusation even if he had harbored some such thoughts about this cute intruder. “You keep getting me into trouble,” she barked at Allen who was having a good chuckle at her expense.
Dr. Lasker was almost disappointed she found him so non –threatening. “Thank you,” he said, wishing he was ten years younger, but of course even then he probably would not have been her type. She probably likes the athletic, clean-shaven beach boys or the dark and forboding gangster types, not a college professor with a beard, brown with gray as befits the station. No, he was not her type, more like a father figure, he mused. But what about this Allen character? From her side of the conversation it sounded like she had her hands full.
Shelly was still arguing with Allen. “I told you, you can’t, cannot, will not, stay in my room! Period! End of discussion!”
“He’s giving you quite a fight I see,” Dr. Lasker said, wishing he could hear both sides of the argument.
Shelly sighed. “He’s very lonely. It’s tough being the only one he can talk to.”
“Perhaps we may be able to do something about that later on,” Dr. Lasker said, wondering if any of the other researchers might be sensitive enough to hear this Allen…Dodd might have been sensitive enough, he thought with regret.
“Later on doesn’t cut it,” Allen roared. “And I wish you wouldn’t give him all my personal information.”
“You don’t have any personal information. Remember? You have amnesia?
Supposedly?” Shelly argued back.
“What do you mean ‘supposedly’? Do you think I like not knowing who I am?” “No. I guess not.”
“Do you realize I don’t even know whether I was married? I mean what if I have kids somewhere? What if you’re my kid or something?”
“God forbid,” Shelly said unable to stop herself.
“Thank you very much. I think you’d be lucky to have a father like me. I saved you…” “I know three times! And that’s only in the two days since I met you!” She felt exhausted
again. “I have an idea. Dr. Lasker, could Allen stay here?”
Dr. Lasker barely heard her. He had been busily thinking about all he could accomplish if this ghost was for real. “I have an idea,” he suddenly said with a smile. “Perhaps, I can help resolve your little housing problem? Why doesn’t Allen stay here too? We have wonderful rooms downstairs.”
“Oh no,” Allen shouted. “I’m going with you or right back to the park where I can wait and rescue some other cute damsel in distress! This guy reminds me of Dr. Frankenstein! Just look at this place. It looks like a torture chamber with all these gurneys and equipment. I can guess what that Dodo guy was going to do with you once he knocked you out with his sleeping gas. Just look at these hooks and chains. Hey, is that a strait jacket? What a place! You need me with you. That’s final.”
“You’re not going with me,” Shelly said firmly. “Why don’t you be a good boy…ur ghost… stay here tonight and give it a try? I’ll come back first thing tomorrow morning and we’ll decide where we go from here.”
“I don’t like it here,” Allen said.
“I don’t like any of this,” Shelly said, “but we have to make due for now.”
“My place is with you,” Allen persisted. “What if that Dodd character shows up again?”
Shelly wondered why she shivered at Dodd’s name. “You had to remind me? You’re a real pain!”
“I’m just worried about you.” Allen said, wondering how a ghost could have caring feelings about someone still alive. What was he feeling for her? It was strange how whatever it was he was feeling seemed to be getting stronger each time he saw her. “I’m not kidding now. I really am worried about you. Please let me take care of you? I think that’s why I’m here.” He knew that even if that was true, it was only a part of why he was still here.
Dr. Lasker yawned. He looked at his watch. “I didn’t realize it is so late,” he muttered. “So what is it to be?”
“Allen?” Shelly aimed her eyes at where she thought he might be. “Please? I need a good night’s sleep. Please stay here. I promise I’ll be back early tomorrow morning and we’ll sort this whole thing out.”
“I tell you what. If you stay here, I’ll stay,” Allen said. “It’s too late for you to be out on your own anyway. That crazy Dodd could be out there waiting for you.”
“I don’t even have a change of clothes,” Shelly said.
Dr. Lasker smiled. “I will be happy to lend you a fresh lab coat if that helps?” “I think you look very sexy in a lab coat,” Allen said.
Shelly shot him a dirty look. “Okay, I know when I’m beat. Just one night. I’ll stay here one night, and only if you give my ‘friend’ his own room.”
“Only if it’s next door,” Allen said.
“You’re pushing your luck,” Shelly replied. “He wants a room next door to me,” she informed the professor.
“Very well,” Dr. Lasker said, “but may I ask, how will you know he isn’t in your room if you can’t see him?”
“Because if I even think he’s violating the rules I will cut him off faster than you can say parapsychology,” Shelly said, aiming her fiery eyes at Allen.
“Everyone wants to spoil my fun,” Allen moaned. Mine’s just beginning, Lasker thought.