I haven’t told Vasi of my discovery – news travels like wildfire on campus and although I trust Vasi completely, I need to be very careful. In the past, my research has had its fair share of negative press, which brings all sorts of unsavoury characters out of the woodwork.
Anyway, back to my story…
Conrad and I became very close extremely quickly – bonding over the trials and tribulations (there were, without doubt, more of the former). I had only been working with he and Stephen in the lab for only a few weeks before we had our first spectacular disaster. We ran a full power test of the latest machine and blew pretty much every circuit it contained – an enormous amount of costly damage. At that point, Stephen went into one of his ‘spirals’ (as his mother Jane used to call them) and spent his days staring at the river or wandering aimlessly around the garden.
Conrad, meanwhile, tirelessly picked up the pieces – a pattern that had often been repeated over the years. He and I stripped the machine back to its basic components, saved what we could and made an inventory of what replacements we would need. At this point, the boys had absolutely no money, so purchasing parts was out of the question. I agreed to talk to Dr. S_______ about the possibility of borrowing some of the university’s equipment and Conrad attempted to contact potential private investors.
He and I would often spend our evenings playing whist at the local pub and, before long, I realised that I could easily fall in love with him.