Alan finally managed to negotiate the front door open just as the phone rang. Mildly cursing at the inconvience he placed the heavy grocery bags onto the sofa and caught the phone just before the last ring.
"Eppes residence," he stated, assuming it was either a telemarketer(they had been making an increased amount of calls to thehouse)or one of Charlie's many aquaintences.
"Hello, does Charles Eppes still live here?" the female voice on the other line replied.
"Yes," Alan replied, "May I ask whose calling?"
"I'm a friend of Charles'," the voice replied confirming Alan's theory, "Could I speak to him?"
"I'm afraid Charlie's not here right now," Alan answered, "But you could probably find him at his office, do you need the number?"
"No, that's okay," the voice replied hurriedly, "Thank you though. Um, do you happen to be Charlie's father?"
Alan stopped, taken aback by the question. Normally mostCharlie's aquaintences just asked where Charlie was and then hung up.
"Yes," he answered, curious, "Is there any special reason you need to know?"
"Oh, no," the voice replied, a hint of humor seeping through, "Thanks, Mr. Eppes."
With that the other line disconected.
'No problem,' Alan thought to himself. Hanging up the phone, he just shook his head slightly. It wasn't the strangest phone call he had ever had. No, the strangest one was when the boys were younger and Don and a few of his friends had gotten into trouble in the chemistry lab, but that was a long time ago. Alan picked up the grocery bags intent on asking Charlie about the incident later.
Charlie leaned against his desk, staring at the equation in front of him.
"It's not that the equation is wrong per say, Charles," his friend Larry said, pacing between the desk and board, "It's just, I'm not sure it's correct for the application..."
A sudden knock interrupted the physicist's rant. Both men turned to look at the door. Slowly the head of a young woman, with short chesnut hair and emerald green eyes, poked in. Spotting Charlie, her face lit up, but as she spotted Larry her cheeks blushed crimson.
"Oh, sorry," she muttered nervously, "I didn't know you were busy. I can come back later."
Hurrying to close the door, she barely missed slamming Charlie's fingers with it as he tried to stop her.
Pulling back he uttered a cry of suprise he called, "Wait, miss."
The young woman stopped and looked at him sheepishly.
For a second a wavering memory touched the outer surface of Charlie's brain. It flitted away to soon for him to process it, however.
"Is there something I can do for you?" he asked, his eagerness to help and his curiousity getting the better of him.
"Yeah," the young woman replied, scratching her head nervously, "I was wondering if you could help me with problem 31b?"
Instantly the flickering memory returned. Charlie's eyes grew wide with recognition and in an awed breath he said, "Kat!"