Chapter 7

A National Guardsman climbed the bleachers towards Jennifer, Roxy, and the people left in their quarter of the Stadium.

“ Jennifer Harrington Jones and Roxy Rosenberg?”

“We’re here,” shouted Roxy.

“Yeah!” yelled Jennifer.

“You have a friend in processing. Come with me, please.”

Roxy looked at Jennifer. They gathered themselves up, following the guardsman to the clerk. At the gate more tables were set up for paying bail. She saw Jillian’s head in the crowd. A huge breath of relief left Jennifer’s chest. Holding hands, Roxy and Jennifer came to the table together.

“Jillian, thank you so much! I owe you,” blurted Jennifer, smiling so hard she thought her cheeks would break.

“Hi, I’m here to pay the bail of those two jailbirds,” announced Jillian, pointing at them.

Jillian looked at Roxy, the clerk, and Jennifer, “I looked in your desk drawer and found your checkbook.”

“Then give it to me,” entreated Jennifer.

“But I didn’t deposit my rent yet!”

“Jeez, just give me the checkbook! I know what my balance is!”

“You do?” quizzed Roxy.

Jennifer made one out to the Geneseo County Sheriff’s Department for $1000.00 for herself and $1000.00 for Roxy. She showed her receipt for the backpack. The deputy sullenly gave it to Jennifer. Now, she was left with only a two hundred and twelve dollar balance at the credit union. But she had her backpack and the secret pocket contained a fifty-dollar bill.

Jillian drove the women to Jennifer’s car behind the truck stop. The two protesters were hungry. Thanking Jillian profusely, Roxy and Jennifer retrieved the Ghia. The two women went into the truck stop diner and ordered beers, burgers, and fries.

“Don’t worry Roxy, you can pay me later.” Jennifer mumbled, before sipping her beer.

“Thanks, but I still can’t believe you’re an artist and you balance your checkbook.”

Jennifer smirked at her.

They drove straight to Roxy’s house, driving the fifty-five miles on 17 J, Roxy chattering on about her trips to New York City with Chris, how they made appointments with New York City dealers and gallery owners, where they danced and where the best cheap dives were. 

A dark haired woman, dressed in a burgundy skirt, and pleated velvet brown blouse, with tall brown leather boots greeted them at the lavender door of Roxy’s Victorian rental. 

“Jen, I don’t know how to thank you. You definitely made it onto my dinner party list,” bubbled Roxy.

Inside Jennifer cringed. An invite from Roxy could be a two-edged sword.

“ Would you like to stay for a drink?” asked the dark haired woman coyly.

“Nope,“ said Jennifer, “I need sleep.”

Driving home she thought, Jeez, I’m so practical now. What happened to the wild, dance crazed, no rules woman I used to be?

As she turned onto Main Street towards home, the full impact of what she’d done hit her like a wave, unsettling her stomach… all the work on the banners, the planning, the letters and phone calls… and keeping a secret.

Hearing the Ghia pull into the driveway, both of her roommates ran out on the porch to celebrate her.  Anne hugged her, Jillian held out a cup of hot chocolate as they escorted her into the house. A welcoming fire in the fireplace warmed the living room. Jennifer sunk into a large upholstered chair while her housemates claimed the couch.

Anne spoke first, “Jennifer you were brilliant. I saw your signs on the T.V. in the student union!” They were even readable on the screen!”

“I was so happy the deputies returned your backpack!” enthused Jillian, “What did happen to the signs?”

“They’ll probably use it as evidence in the trial. But I didn’t sign them, so they can’t be linked to me unless Margie in the textile department guesses that’s where the fabric paint ended up. And I paid cash for the fabric. But the guy at the hardware store  knew I was hanging large pieces of heavy fabric. Oh boy howdy, I’m tired. I need to go to bed. I’ll think about this tomorrow.”

“Oh, and Peter called,“ said Anne, “he wanted to know if you were back.”

Jennifer’s eyebrows shot up and a worried look passed over her face.

Jillian and Anne looked askance at one another from across the couch. Both doubted she would stop thinking about the demonstration or Peter, even while she was sleeping.

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