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"Wait here," Evelyn said, walking to an office door. She knocked on the door, and after giving one last stare, disappeared inside. Charlie wondered if she should stay or run. Maybe Evelyn was in there right now, calling the police. Charlie took one retreating step backward but stopped herself short. No, she wouldn't run. Evelyn knew of her father. She could tell her where he was. Steeling herself with resolve, Charlie decided to wait.

Evelyn tapped her foot impatiently on the worn carpet of the Administrator's office, waiting for the occupant to get off the phone. Seeing that Evelyn was not going to leave until she said what she came in there to say, Jerome gave in to her importunance.

"Yes?" said Jerome, hanging up the phone.

"There's a young woman outside asking for Chuck," informed Evelyn in a low voice.

"Why in the world are you whispering, Evelyn?" asked Jerome, purposefully raising his voice. As he got up from his chair behind the desk, Evelyn placed her hands on her hips.

"No one will ever accuse you of being tactful, Jerome. That's certain!" In a state of great agitation, Evelyn promptly left his office, feeling quite sorry for the girl outside. Truth be told, no one ever had called Jerome tactful-- and it seemed quite probable that no one ever would.

As Jerome exited his office, he saw a teenage girl, sitting on her suitcase, watching the nursing assistants as they worked. For a moment, Jerome stood there, staring at her.

"So, this is Chuck's daughter," thought Jerome. "The last time I saw her, she was a tiny baby. Look at her now," he mused. As Jerome walked over to Charlie, she stood up. "We've been expecting you," said Jerome, giving no explanation of who he was. Charlie looked pale. This grim man had been expecting HER? Jerome put on the jacket he was holding and walked over to the main door, waiting for her to follow. "You want to see your father, don't you?" asked Jerome, seeing that Charlie was not coming.

"Do you know him?" asked Charlie, taking a step forward.

"I should say I do. He's my brother," replied Jerome, matter-of-factly. Delighted at this new revelation, Charlie dropped her suitcase and ran to Jerome, throwing her arms around him.

"Oh, Uncle Jerome!" she exclaimed happily. "I shall love you forever! I'll always remember that you were the one who took me to Daddy!" She gave him another hug and kissed him on the cheek. Excitedly, she ran back to pick up her suitcase. Stunned, Jerome stood frozen to the floor. Charlie ran back and looked at him expectantly.

"See you later, Jerome," said a voice from behind. Jerome turned around to find Evelyn. There was an amused look plastered on her tired face. "If she can hug and kiss you like that, maybe its a sign that you aren't a hopeless case, after all," Evelyn observed hopefully, returning to her rounds.

"What did she mean by that?" asked Charlie.

"Never mind," dismissed Jerome. This was the second time in approximately ten minutes that his dignity had been threatened. Not caring for this average, Jerome motioned Charlie to the door.

A blast of chilly evening air greeted them as they began their walk to Jerome's house. Jerome puzzled over how complicated his life was becoming. Not long ago, it used to be himself, his father, (who, since coming to Mullen Overholt, he hardly ever had to converse with), and his mother, (who he tried to see as little as possible). To Jerome, attachment meant pain, and pain was something he couldn't handle.

"Is Daddy all right?" asked Charlie, her suitcase beginning to feel like a lead weight tied to her tired arms. Charlie stopped for a minute to switch the suitcase to her other hand. Jerome kept walking, so Charlie had to run a little ways to catch up. Breathing heavily, Charlie repeated her question.
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