Episode 30 From Hubbard, Wisconsin. “Subani Returns?”

The summer of 2007 has been long and lonely for Marcus Harnack. Frank Kedzic, the metallurgist at Hubbard Foundry (and perhaps Marcus’ biggest fan), made sure that Marcus got in a lot of overtime at the foundry with a nice raise in pay. The summer job proved to be Marcus’ saving grace, not only because it generated enough income to pay for another year at Hubbard State University, but also because it temporarily diverted his mind from thinking about his love, Subani, who has been spending the summer with her family in Sri Lanka.

To Marcus it seems like an eternity since he embraced and kissed Subani at O’Hare airport last May. Prior to her trip back home she hadn’t told her parents about Marcus and he has been desperately worried about the many educated and handsome men that her parents might introduce to her over the summer as potential suitors. She is, after all, the most beautiful woman he has ever laid eyes on. Men are attracted to beauty such as hers and Marcus has suffered from the thought of losing Subani to a handsome Sri Lankan medical doctor or Ph.D. He is also mildly disturbed because Subani has not used “instant messenger” all summer, preferring instead to email him from a new hotmail account that she created right after her arrival in Colombo. While instant messenger is much more personal and intimate than email, Subani has explained that its use might easily be detected by her parents, the house servants, or other family members. A newly created hotmail account is more easily concealed. Subani’s emails indicate that she has not yet told her parents about him and that she does not intend to bring up the subject at all this year. She feels that the time is not right and that the disclosure of their dating would just infuriate her father.

While Subani’s emails have expressed her continual devotion and love for Marcus, Sri Lanka is a long way from Hubbard, Wisconsin. Marcus has been dogged by repeated thoughts that Subani may actually be in the arms of another man. There are no facts to warrant such feelings, but there are also no facts to the contrary. Having the wisdom not to reveal his jealousy to Subani, for fear of doubting her love for him, Marcus has been tortured by the nearly four-month separation from a woman that he knows he cannot live without. At night he dreams of making love to her upon when she returns, yet his next thought harbors the fear that she may not return at all for her Junior year at Hubbard State University.

Over the summer Marcus got up to Minneapolis to spend a couple of long weekends with his old high school buddy Frank Rogers, who was recently promoted to a senior manager position at Price Waterhouse Coopers in Minneapolis. Frank is living the life. Single, with a nice income, Frank’s weekends are spent partying with some of the finest chicks in Minneapolis. Frank’s friends, all in their late twenties and early thirties, represent the new elite of college grads, rapidly advancing in their careers as business analysts or mid level managers with leading corporations. They drive fancy cars, own expensive condos, dine at the twin cities’ fanciest restaurants, drink only imported beer, and sample the finest wines from Europe and California. Marcus enjoys the fellowship and a couple of nice-looking blondes have shown interest in him, but it has been easy for the handsome Marcus to resist their overtures. As long as the body and soul of Subani exists on this planet, she is the only woman for him; she and no other! To Marcus, the pale complexion of Uptown blondes pales in comparison to Subani’s lovely brown skin! In the mind of Marcus Harnack the caress of Subani’s smooth, chocolate shoulders has no earthly comparison. He can’t wait for her return!

So it is, on an incredibly sunny August afternoon while Marcus selects his textbooks for the upcoming fall semester, that his cell phone alerts him to an incoming text message. It reads: “Leaving La Guardia, 1:30 p.m. Arriving O’Hare, AA flight 307, 2:55 p.m. Friday, August 31. Can you meet me?”

He texts her back in a flash: “Nothing will keep me away from O’Hare that day! I love you so much!”

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