Feb. 20th, 2008

mycursedface: ([Sam] together with the Devil)
It should be said that Sam Linnfer’s divergence from his schedule – five days at Oxford, rest of the month not even rumour knows where – only made the talk about him worse. He came back after a few months (oddly enough, no one could agree how many), explained it all with ‘family trouble’, and settled back in doing who knows what as if nothing had happened. Meg swore black and blue that he had white in his hair, and Charlie agreed, but the next month Sam came even those two were forced to agree that it seemed to have vanished.

There was, however, a rather intriguing difference to before.

Everyone was used to Sam attending lectures, dropping in and sitting there as if he were a student himself and occasionally staying back to discuss, and indeed he kept on doing so. But every so often, seemingly without pattern or rhythm, he had someone with him; a very, very pretty Middle Eastern woman, headscarf around her hair and wire-framed glasses. Whereas Sam wore scruffy black, all ill-fitting with undone buttons and mismatching patches, his companion was colourful and elegant. Pleated skirts and fitted blouses, her headscarf always matched something, be it her skirt or embroidery, and walk close enough to her and she jingled like a gypsy (the result of a coin anklet around one of her slim boots, Claire discovered in a lecture on the Phoenician settlements in Northern Africa).

When asked, she said that her name was Baseema Abdullah; Tariq-from-Egypt said that she and Sam spoke together in Moroccan Arabic. Which he couldn’t understand, thank you very much, because Moroccan Arabic is fast and guttural and with French and Spanish whenever they pleased and eavesdropping is impolite, anyway.

She had a ring on the wedding finger of her left hand, and was just as devious as Sam as to regards to her background. Somehow, no one could quite bring themselves to ask what her relationship was with Sam – it’d spoil the fun. The one time anyone had come close was when Baseema had asked for directions to the library and, startled, Jonathan had blurted out, “Oh, bugger, you’re the mad wife in the attic!”

She had raised her eyebrows.

Later, everyone agreed that she was just a little too chic to live in an attic.

(For their part, Sam and Medusa just laughed, and laughed, and laughed.)

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