Take Your Daughter To Work Day - Version Bravo
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It is one thing to know something happened. It is another to be able to prove it. An excellent example of that is the phenomenon called the UFO. There are hundreds - maybe thousands - of people who know they exist. There are zero cases that have been proven ... at least proven enough that the world has accepted the evidence as fact.
And, at the end of the day ... or in this case the end of the early morning ... Sister Francine knew some things that would have rocked the boat in pretty much the same way UFO sightings rock the boat. True, all the girls had insisted that all they did was make out and do a little petting. But Francine had been a teenager once, and female all her life. She was sure more had gone on than that.
But she had no proof.
Additionally, while the girls might have caved, in terms of admitting that they had ... experimented ... with sex, they did not identify who they had experimented with.
Bob got dragged into it, of course, initially because he was supposed to have been watching out for the girls' welfare, and then because the conclusion was inescapable that if he didn't watch all of them, then he must have been distracted from that by one of them. Sister may be forgiven for jumping to the same conclusion most of the rest of us would have, had we not the information that we have ... and Sister Francine did not.
She even guessed which girl had distracted Bob, but then that wasn't hard because when Bob was brought into the room to be interrogated in front of the girls (an intentional act designed to put pressure on him and peak his guilt) Tiffany was the only girl who couldn't look at him.
Tiffany! Dear, sweet, pure Tiffany!
Then Francine remembered what she'd been doing all night, and suddenly the inquisitor in her flamed out and died.
She slumped, looked around the room, and sighed. "What am I to tell Mother Superior?"
She was referring to her own decision to leave the convent, based on her own carnal desires, the fact that she was helplessly in love with Brady, and, of course, the fact that she had spent very little time chaperoning the girls, choosing instead to soak herself in the ecstasy Brady provided as he lunged between her welcoming thighs.
The girls, of course, thought that comment referred to them.
"There was no harm done," said Monica, her voice tight. If she'd been sent to St. Clementine's for having sex just once, who knew what institution of torture they'd send her to if they found out she'd let a man breed her all night long?
"Other than to our immortal souls," sighed Francine, theatrically.
"Our?" Janice perked up. "Our souls, Sister?"
"You know what I meant," said Francine.
"I know that when you went to take a nap yesterday, that Brady man went with you instead of going to watch movies of the game. I know that, because I followed you. You both went in that room, and he didn't come out. And you both left the banquet together last night too. You've slept in his room two nights ... but is sleeping all you did in that room, Sister?"
Most of us would have looked at a brazen teen like that and snapped that what we did was none of her fucking business. Which, by the way, is why teenagers tend to ignore our advice, and discount our wisdom, because they see us as hypocrites. We say one thing and do another. Our mantra, whether we know it or not, is, "Do as I say, not as I do."
And, in Sister Francine's case, it was even worse. I'm sure I don't need to go into detail about that. While the hierarchy of the church may be prone to forgiving priests for abusing little boys, and believing that they have been cured, and sending them to some other post where they still have access to children ... the rest of us think of them as colossal hypocrites.
Which is why, when Francine broke down in tears and confessed her sins, not to a priest, but to the girls she had been shepherding for two years, the reaction had effects that reached far beyond her own need for forgiveness.
Catholic school girls and the nuns who supervise them are just naturally at odds with each other on a general basis. It isn't that the girls don't believe in church doctrine. That's common enough in all denominations. Rather, it has more to do with the way kids rebel against their parents, when they set boundaries. It's just normal for humans to push against restrictions placed on their freedom by others. The first thing God gave man, after all, was free will.
And nuns, in that situation, have a lot closer contact with their charges than parents do. Parents have other concerns that take their time and energy away from watching the kids like a hawk. Like jobs, for instance. For nuns, at least nuns working in a place like St. Clementine's, watching the kids like a hawk is their job.
So you would have thought that, when Francine broke down sobbing and confessed that she was a slut, and had fallen off the wagon, the reaction of the girls was not at all what Francine expected.
Of course there was more to it than the rather glib description I have provided above. In fact, the girls (and Bob) got the whole sordid story, clear back to what happened on the wrestling mats at Lassiter Point High School during that dance.
Why, you say, would she spill her guts like that?
Well, for one thing, confession really is good for the soul. But it probably had more to do with the fact that Janice, who had watched and learned during her stay at St. Clementine's, might have made a pretty good nun herself, other than the fact that she was a total slut and intended to stay one. But she'd seen the nuns manipulating confessions out of girls, had in fact just been through that herself, so she put those lessons to work. Granted, her intent was to embarrass Sister as much as possible, so as to mitigate her own sense of guilt about what she'd done. She didn't mind being a slut, but being a slut while enrolled at St. Clementine's bothered her for some reason.
In any case, because the whole story came out, and the girls were treated to what amounted to the most romantic rags to riches kind of story they had ever heard, there wasn't a dry eye in the room by the time she slumped and said "I'm not fit to be your teacher. I'll resign as soon as we get back."
Of course they disagreed with her vociforously.
Teens respect and love nobody more than the adult who screws up monumentally, and then comes clean about it and is honestly repentant.
The rest of the day was a bit of a rollercoaster ride. Randy Nakimura, who had been assigned to find out the location of the St. Clementine's van and what its status was, came to the suite to make his report. Francine determined who Kendi had spent the night with during that report, but all she did was file that information away. It was obvious the two of them were head over heels for each other.
"We can drop you all off on the way back to Albuquerque," said Bob. His world hadn't settled down yet. Francine was doing fine, having regained her confidence. That's something else confession can do for you, at least when you receive forgiveness for your misdeeds from those who are important to you. That the girls forgave her had been very important to her psyche.
"It's not on the way to Albuquerque," said Francine, confused.
"It is if I say it is," he said, smiling tiredly.
"I thought you were flying back," she said.
"We don't fly all the equipment unless it's more than a thousand miles," he said. "If it's less than that, we charter a truck or bus. In this case it was a bus."
"That's awfully kind of you," she said, thinking about how she had completely turned his world upside down. They hadn't talked about which girl his world had been turned upside down with, but she was pretty sure it had impacted him in ways he probably didn't need after winning the Super Bowl.
"Forget it," he said. "It's the least I can do after..." He didn't finish. What he was thinking about was that he had let himself get distracted by Judith and Tiffany. He didn't feel guilty about what he'd done with them. Their exuberance in jumping into that maelstrom made it clear both of them were quite happy about things, and that made it difficult for him to feel bad about it. But the other girls had also gone off into the night, where it was obvious the same kind of thing had happened. That could have turned out very badly if they had hooked up with the wrong man. And he hadn't paid any attention to them at all. At the very least, he should have known who each girl was with. And even that stance didn't make him feel any better, because there was no way on Earth he could rationalize letting them go off with anybody at all!
Francine, though, misinterpreted his angst, believing he felt guilty for seducing poor, innocent Tiffany.
"Bob," she said with her serious voice. "I understand the temptation you experienced. Believe me. You heard what happened to me." She blushed and looked at the floor, but forced herself to go on. "I know what the pull of the flesh is like, and I know she wanted to explore. I don't see any evidence of trauma. She probably even feels like she's in love with you. It is very powerful to a young woman when a distinguished, handsome, successful man chooses to give her that kind of attention. And I know you're aware it wasn't the best choice to make. The important thing is that she not get hurt because of the situation. She may want to continue to have a relationship with you, even if it no longer contains a sexual component."
Bob, of course, thought she had somehow found out about Judith. But parts of her diatribe didn't make sense. Like understanding the temptation he experienced. Who understood the temptations of incest?! Why would his daughter see him as a distinguished, handsome, successful man ... rather than as just her father? And of course she was going to keep being his daughter. Having sex had nothing to do with that. Not in the sense it sounded like Francine was talking about.
"Maybe I should talk to her," he said, vaguely.
"Don't be surprised if she has a crush on you and agrees to anything, as long as you don't pull away from her."
Bob grimaced. He had enough problems without having to stand there and listen to a woman ten years younger than him, with no children of her own, giving him parental and sexual advice.
So he changed the subject.
"So ... are you going to marry Brady?"
"What?" she was taken aback by the shift in focus.
"It's obvious the two of you are in love," said Bob. "Get married. That's what people do when they're in love."
Francine blinked, her mouth opening several times as she tried to think of something to say. Bob was reminded of a goldfish.
"I'm a basket case right now," she said. "I couldn't even chaperone five girls successfully. I have no business entering into a complicated relationship like that right now. I have to resign. That goes without saying. Then I need to find another job and all that goes with that. I don't even know what I'm going to be doing to survive next week."
"If you get married, you'll know what you're doing to survive next week," said Bob. "I pay Brady pretty well. And he already has a house."
"Brady hasn't asked me to marry him," said Francine, feeling her loins tingle at the idea of Brady's house becoming her house too. She felt despair as she realized if Brady was there at the moment, she'd ask him to marry her! And then she'd drag him to one of the beds!
"Hold that thought," said Bob. "Be right back."
He went to his bedroom and picked up his phone. He punched Brady's number as he walked back, and put the phone to his ear.
"Brady?" he asked, when he heard the sleepy voice answer. "What the hell did you do to Sister Francine last night?"
He waited while Brady's voice came out of the phone loud enough for them both to hear him say "Nothing! What are you talking about?" Bob put the phone back up to his head.
"Okay. I just had to ask. I'm getting ready to put her and the girls on a shuttle to take them back to their van so they can go home, and she got all weepy when I asked if there was anything in your room she needed to get to take with her. She said something about not being able to face you and I thought maybe you'd done something stupid, like making a move on her or something. You didn't make a move on a nun, did you, Brady?"
Now the words that came from the phone were louder. "Don't let her go anywhere! I'll be right there!" Again, Bob waited until the phone went silent and put it back to his head.
"I don't think that's a good idea, Brady. She's pretty broken up about all this. I think it would be better if we just sent her on her way and she never saw you again. I just wanted to hear from you that you didn't force your attentions on her. Go back to sleep. She'll be gone when you get up."
He punched the disconnect button and looked at Francine.
"You're a very devious man," she said.
"I hate to see people make mistakes," he said. "While we wait, I'm going to send Judith down to the luggage shop to get something to take all that loot you bought them back home in."
"Do you really think he'll come?" she asked.
Bob just laughed.
Judith, with Tiffany in tow, of course, had only been gone sixty seconds or so when there was a thundering knock on Bob's door. He opened it and Brady rushed in, eyes wild, dressed in what was obviously the first clothes he could lay his hands on. That consisted of his suit pants and the white dress shirt he'd worn to the banquet. The shirt wasn't buttoned, and his feet were bare.
Bob put his hand on Brady's shoulder.
"If you want my advice ... marry the girl," he said. "It's none of my business, I know, but that's my advice."
Then he turned and walked to his bedroom, leaving the two of them alone.
The two reunited lovers faced each other.
"Yes!" said Brady, suddenly.
"Yes, what?" asked Francine.
"I think we should get married!"
"Why didn't you say something before this?" she asked.
"Didn't I say we belonged together?"
"Yes, but that's not the same as asking me to marry you. If you wanted me to marry you, why didn't you ask me then?"
"I don't know," he said, frowning. "I guess because we spent most of our time together ... already acting married."
"Your last marriage didn't work out very well," pointed out Francine.
"My last marriage was to a dyke," he said. "Are you a dyke, Francine?"
"That was unkind," she scolded him. "And you know I'm not."
"Then marry me!" he said, his voice intense.
"You are both unkind and not very romantic," she said, archly.
"Look," he said, "I lost you once. I didn't like the world without you in it. What happened to us this weekend wasn't just a two night stand. It was fate, bringing us back together again. I think the only reason I didn't already beg you to marry me was because I sort of assumed that was already on our list of plans for the future. I know that's not romantic. And I know I shouldn't make assumptions about how you feel. But I want to spend the rest of my life with you. And I think you feel the same way. If I'm wrong, then tell me and I'll go back to my room and you can go back to being a teacher."
He stood up straighter, but then frowned.
"Wait. I don't mean you can't be a teacher if we get married. Of course you can do whatever you want if we get married. I just meant if being a nun is preferable to marrying me I get it."
His face twisted.
"Wait. I don't mean I get why you'd rather be a nun than marry me. What I meant was that I understand that you have to choose what you think is best for you, even if it kills me."
He dropped his face into one hand.
"I'm not trying to make you feel guilty," he groaned. "Don't worry about me. I'm a big boy and I lost you once. I'll get through it if I have to lose you again."
"Please be quiet now," she said, almost sweetly. "Watching you do this to yourself is going to make me laugh, and it's nothing to laugh about."
"Why would you laugh?" he asked, anger clouding his face. "I love you!"
"I know that, Brady," she said, approaching him and putting her hands inside his open shirt, onto the bare skin of his waist. "I already knew I was going to resign when I get back to St. Clementine's, and withdraw from the convent. They frown on novices getting pregnant. And whether you marry me or not, I have a feeling I'm going to be pregnant soon, because I won't be able to stay away from you. I left because I couldn't have you. But now I can. So I'm not leaving again. You're stuck with me."
"So you will marry me?" He relaxed, and reached for her waist as well.
"Of course I will," she said. "I don't sleep around, Brady."
Her face went blank for a few seconds.
"Well, I used to sleep around with you, but that ended when I left. And I supposed one might think I was sleeping around with you this weekend."
She stopped again.
"I only sleep around with you!" she said, desperately.
"Please be quiet now," he said. "Watching you do this to yourself is going to make me laugh, and it's nothing to laugh about."
A look of mock anger came over her face as she realized he was teasing her by using her own words.
Instead of being mad, she just kissed him.
Monica backed up from the door, where she'd been eavesdropping on Brady and Francine. She hadn't been able to hear everything, but she'd heard enough to know that things were going well between them. When Francine kissed him, she turned to her friends.
"She's kissing him!"
She hadn't intended for that announcement to produce any particular action, and wasn't prepared when Kendi and Janice rushed past her to "catch" Sister Francine kissing a man.
"Get a room, you two!" crowed Janice.
Francine pulled her lips away from Brady's and turned a frosty look on the girls.
"Brady and I are going to be married. Kissing him is an acceptable part of courtship. I'll thank you ladies to recover your decorum and behave like young ladies instead of hooligans."
Kendi giggled. Seeing a woman she had only known as a nun before this, in the arms of a man whose shirt was hanging open, was just too delicious.
The giggle caused storm clouds to form on "the nun's" face.
"But then, I suppose you all are hooligans, spending the night in rooms with men, complete strangers, engaged in who knows what lurid and unsavory behaviors. I will see to it that Father Michael hears each and every one of your confessions when we get back, and I will also make sure that he knows exactly what kind of things to be prepared to hear!"
There were three groans. Father Michael was famous for the lectures he gave during confession. Each of the girls had experienced such with him in the past. And you couldn't just say "Bless me, Father, but I haven't sinned since my last confession," because he knew better. He pulled every little detail out of you and made you think about what you'd done wrong. Contemplating having to go to confession with Father Michael put a serious downer on all of them.
The room door opened and Judith and Tiffany came in, each with a new suitcase in hand. They stopped when they saw Sister Francine in the arms of a man whose shirt was open, leaving his chest bare.
"Um hi," said Judith, staring.
"They're getting married," called out Janice. "But right now they're just courting."
Francine looked up at the ceiling. Then she looked left and right, making eye contact with each girl.
"Pack those bags, girls. You're going home today."
There was a general rush as the girls went to obey.
"Daddy?" said Judith, looking into his bedroom. He was packing and glanced over at her. "What time is the bus leaving?"
"I told them to have it loaded by three," he said.
"So there's nothing to do until then?" She looked at her watch. It was nine-thirty.
"We can't do what I think you're thinking about, sweetheart," he said. "There could be people coming to talk to me. Including Sister Francine."
She smiled. "That's not what I was thinking," she said. Then she frowned. "When will I see you again?"
He stopped what he was doing and came to embrace her.
"I think I'll be seeing you more often than I did in the past."
"Good," she sighed into his chest.
"I feel terrible about that," he said.
"Because I don't want you to think the only reason I'm spending more time with you is because..."
"Because you want to fuck me?" she whispered, looking up.
"That's not a word that fits well in your mouth, young lady," he said.
Her face sobered. "I know. I'm sorry. At first I thought that's what we were doing. But now I think I really understand what they mean when they call it making love. I never felt so loved before this weekend."
"Yes," he said, kissing her forehead. "And I don't think I can go back to the way it used to be."
"I don't want you to," she said. "I wish I could live with you and go to public school."
"Your mother would have a heart attack at the very thought," he said.
"She can't control me when I turn eighteen," said the girl.
"We have a great university in New Mexico," he said, hopefully.
"And I could live with you while I go to school?"
"Of course," he said.
"And ... sleep with you too?"
"Don't do this to me, Judith. I already told you anybody could come looking for me at any minute."
She pushed her loins against his, feeling the result of her last question growing in his pants. She laughed, happily, knowing the man she wanted also wanted her.
"What if Tiffany wanted to be my roommate in college too?" she asked, grinning.
He pushed her away, trying to look stern.
"I have work to do. Go away. I'll see you at lunch."
"Okay," she said, happily. "And tell people you're taking a nap after lunch and not to bother you."
She laughed again as she skipped out of the room.
Then she went and told her friends that they didn't have anywhere to be until three P.M.
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