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Date Posted: Wednesday, February 01, 12:59:45pm
Author: sk
Subject: misc challenge

I'm so behind that I thought I'd combine a couple of different challenge topics. So here is "a sports event, before the series begins" (11/6), "help from an unexpected source" (11/18), "indulgence" (11/25), and maybe a little "regret" (11/11).

"Hey! Watch it!" Michel stooped to pick up the books and papers that the errant soccer ball had knocked out of his hands, while the half-hearted apology from the players sailed over his head. His things were spread across the walkway and into the next lawn, so that he either had to lumber along in a squat to reach them, or bob up and down in a slow motion bounce, following the same path as the ball that caused all the trouble. He was already late for his next class -- it was a review session for the exam next week, and even though he was more than ready for the test he didn't like to miss a class. He was so focused on his frustration that he didn't notice the other man plucking his notebook and index cards out of the grass until he almost ran into him. "Here -- I think that's all." Shaggy blond hair falling into his face and a worn leather jacket, he looked like one of the radicals who spent their time heckling the conservatives in his economics lecture, with their slim attache bags and smug expressions. Both of them looked sideways at students like Michel, who did all the reading for class and handed his essays in on time, but when this one smiled at him, he wasn't sneering. "You're already late for class -- come have a coffee and enjoy the rest of the afternoon." An afternoon at a café wasn't much of an indulgence for most people, but Michel usually split his free time between the library and his job in the chemistry building, setting up materials for lab classes. He didn't have much time for anything else, but as he was stuffing his notes back in his bag and planning to say 'thanks but no thanks' to the invitation he heard himself say "I'd like that," "Good," said the shaggy head, reaching out to shake Michel's hand and start him walking down the path to the street. "I'm Rene, what's your name?"

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