Summers 10E

“Look, here’s what I’m trying to say.” Gary leaned forward, his voice lowering to a whisper even though he and Jane were the only people in the CAD room. “I’m sorry you’re going through this difficult time, but what I’ve been thinking lately is that this could be a good thing for you, Jane.”

“A good thing.” Jane repeated his words without feeling.

Gary blinked, shook his head. “Maybe forgetting how to use a computer — it’s like starting all over again.” He pointed a finger at her. “And maybe instead of all this time, working with Arjie to re-learn what you don’t remember — you could be studying for your PE.”

Jane threw herself back into a chair, letting out a gust of disgust. Gary had been on her for years, like her father had before, to get her professional certification in civil engineering. She had never outright refused either of them — she had actually completed all the required coursework, still had the exam application somewhere in her apartment — but had never taken the next step.

She ran a hand from the front through the back of her scalp, her long dirty blonde hair waving past her shoulders. “Can we not have this argument again?”

He held his palm up to her, as if commanding her to stop. “From what you’ve told me, all the engineering work in the world you remember is exactly like it is here. How roads are built, bridge design — even drainage calculations. Jane, you don’t need to re-learn any of that.”

She shook her head. “But I don’t — ”

“Jane, this is our world.” Gary was pointing down with both hands, fingers jabbing up and down as if he were playing an invisible piano. “I know you think you woke up one morning and thought everything was different before that point, but that was almost two weeks ago. It doesn’t matter how much you believe the world should be something other than it is — right now it’s what it is. And I think it’s time you adjusted to that reality.”

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