Cugan Comes Back–College Memoirs: Life At Roanoke–April 1995, Part 4

A poster at school advertised SEEK, a temporary employment agency.  I asked Catherine about it; she said it was a good company, where she worked herself a few summers before.

(I had no idea that she’d worked as a temp at the same company where I got my first post-college job.  I got it as a temp-to-permanent position through SEEK.)

I didn’t know much about temping, so when I was accepted by SEEK, I thought my job situation was secure and I would have all the money I needed to support myself in S–.  I didn’t know that job assignments could be sporadic.

On Monday the 24th at 9:30 a.m., Catherine drove me to the tiny SEEK office in a white house in S– to take tests on typing (I think I got about 70 words per minute) and other skills, such as proofreading.

Afterwards, the branch manager/office specialist interviewed me.  She assigned jobs to the temporary workers.  She said I did remarkably well on the tests.

The proofreading test had, I believe, maybe one or two things wrong, if anything, and most people didn’t do so well as that.  She noted that I was quiet and would probably prefer a job in which I could sit quietly behind a computer and work.

It took me a lot longer to take the tests than Catherine expected, however, so we got back to Roanoke late.  (I guess I’m just slow and careful to avoid mistakes.  It could very well be an NVLD thing.)

I hurried to the library and explained to librarian Flora why I was so late.  She didn’t care.

They were very laid-back about such things, but I think the facts that I told her and it was because of a job application made her even more lenient.  After all, work-study bosses aren’t like real-world bosses.  They don’t care if you’re out looking for a job to replace your present one when the school year ends.

Also on that day, before going to the library, Catherine took me to her house for lunch.  She let me try some of the dill pickle potato chips she always ate in her sack lunches.

While I worked in the library and had nothing else to do, I showed her my list of complaints.  She told me which ones seemed fair and which ones didn’t.

On Mondays, I had no classes and worked until 4 p.m., so it was either late afternoon or early evening when I called Cugan as he had asked me to.

When he said hello, I said, “Hi, Cugan,” just as I usually did when I called him.  He got very quiet for a moment.

I had no idea he thought how good it was to hear my voice.  I thought he didn’t really want to talk to me.

I asked him to come over so we could talk.  He said, “I guess I owe you that.”  Wow, Peter and Phil had not been so fair or reasonable.  The conversation was short, and we soon hung up.

Maybe an hour or so later, he arrived as promised.  I turned on Pearl’s Brent Bourgeois CD to calm my nerves.  Songs such as “Blessed be the Name” had comforted me in the past when dealing with a breakup, and comforted me now.

We sat on the couch and talked.  I read some of the complaints on my list.  I won’t repeat everything, just say the outcome was better than either of us expected: We got back together.  We made a date to go to an English country dance practice in a nearby SCA shire on Wednesday night.

Over the next few days or weeks, he explained that our time apart showed him what I meant to him, what he really felt for me.

He also got sick from the same flu I had over Easter.  He brooded and felt miserable all that weekend.  Once or twice over the next few years, I teased him that he got sick as a punishment for breaking up with me.

He also went to an event with Donato, and spent long periods in the car with him.  So the breakup came up in conversation.  To my surprise, Donato told Cugan the very same thing I wrote in my diary at 1:31 a.m. on the 21st: that if it comes back, it’s yours, and if not, then it never was.

I was shocked to hear that someone said that to the dumper for once and not just the dumpee.  I mean, after all, the dumper is the one who would go back to the dumpee, not the other way around.

I called my parents and told them what happened.  Mom said, “I didn’t think this one would get away,” or “I didn’t think we’d lose this one.”

Things were still rocky the first several months we were together, but they gradually got better.  Phil had made me defensive, and Cugan wasn’t used to a girlfriend.  He didn’t always realize that certain things I did were normal for a woman.

It was weird to hear Sharon talk about her relationship with Krafter, as well, because our relationships seemed to parallel.  We seemed to be living the same relationship, and this lasted at least until Christmas.  Sometimes she had complaints about Krafter that Cugan had about me, or that I had about Cugan.

At first, Cugan was afraid to tell his parents we were back together, at least until after he found a job.  He wasn’t sure when or how to tell them.

When I was in his apartment, even in, I think, May or June, I wouldn’t answer the phone for fear it would be them calling.  But when they did find out, they weren’t mad after all, and didn’t seem surprised.  All our worrying was for nothing.

Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound
January 1992:Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD
February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995: