This is the twenty-third part of a fiction serial, in 728 words.
The next morning, there was lots to do. Delia contacted the headmaster at home, and told him that her and Roger had to move away to look after a relative in Scotland. She would send him a forwarding address in due course, but both would be leaving without notice. Stephen Hoare was not best pleased, and Roger could hear his raised voice even though Delia was holding the phone close to her face.
“Well, I have never heard the like of it. Gale will be leaving his class in the lurch, and I will have to get a supply teacher to start immediately. He can say goodbye to a decent reference, I can tell you that. As for you, Delia, I am sorry to hear you have to move away to look after someone. There will always be a job here for you if you ever come back. Joan can take over your role until we can find someone of your standard, she know the ropes well enough”.
Next, Delia made a call to a local estate agent. He seemed keen to talk, on the usually quiet first day of opening after Christmas. She asked him to come and look at her house at his earliest convenience, with a view to finding respectable tenants for a long-term rental. It would be rented fully furnished, with every necessary item left in place. The young man agreed to come and give an appraisal at three that afternoon, assuring her he had a list of very suitable potential renters. Then she rang a local removal company, and arranged for them to come and pack her clothes and personal items the next day, with a view to moving them north to Scotland very soon.
As for Roger, he would pay his rent up until the end of the month, and send a letter to the landlord giving notice. His personal items would be packed up and sent into storage, using the same removal company as Delia. She would arrange to pay the storgage fees through her bank account, using money supplied by Emily bringing back precious stones and gold. His main concern was his massive collection of books, but Emily had assured him that once he had the implant, he could read anything that had ever been published, in any language. All he would have to do was to close his eyes and think of the title.
When the young man had been and offered a surprsingly large monthly rental, less a fifteen percent management fee, Delia sat down and talked at length about how she expected Roger to come back from the future and visit her. It was much the same thing, repeated in a roundabout fashion.
“I will expect you back for my birthday of course, and Christmas. I am sure you will soon work out how to arrange a short visit, even if only overnight. You will be able to tell me lots of fascinating stories about all the things you have seen, and in due course you may tire of that, and decide to stay with us in Scotland”. She continued saying much the same thing for well over an hour, and it only stopped when she decided to cook an early dinner.
On the twenty-ninth, Roger returned home to supervise the removal men as they packed his things. He sent the letter to his landlord, and chose what to wear the next day, the day he would have the implant fitted. He had promised Delia that she could come to the lakeside house with him, as he would have to stay overnight to recover from the procedure. Clutching at straws, Delia phoned him at home that evening.
“My darling, it’s not too late to back out. I’m sure you must be nervous, even afraid of what might await you in Emily’s world. We can contact the headmaster and tell him we don’t need to go to Scotland after all. You can leave your things in storage and move in with me, and we can both go back to work after the new year as if nothing had happened”. Her tone was upbeat, but inside she feared the worst. When he said he had to go ahead with the plans, those fears were realised.
“Well at least I will be there with you to wish you Bon Voyage”.