Run, Girl (If You Can) Chapter 244 – A Break From Reality

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Run, Girl (If You Can) is a Webnovel created by Mcllorycat.
This lightnovel is currently Ongoing.

Keeley had a lot to think about on the bus ride down to Maryland. She brought a book to read but kept putting it down and picking it back up. She couldn’t concentrate. Her mind kept going back to Aaron’s offer.

At minimum, it would cost him several hundred thousand dollars to convince a lab to take her on and continue her research where she left it off. She was about to finish her last trial during the first couple weeks of the semester. All that would be left after that is about 100 pages of writing it up.

It was viable research—the gene therapy had been effective in the mice—but was it really worth it to do all of that for her?

She knew this was largely guilt-motivated. Aaron wanted her to be happy and live her dreams because she hadn’t been able to do it before. She knew his other motivation as well; he wanted to keep her by his side.

It was too huge of a gift. How could she possibly accept it? It would more than make up for everything that happened between them before and would leave her feeling indebted to him forever. She didn’t want that.

Keeley cared about Aaron. She wanted him to be happy.

The past month and a half was the happiest she had ever consistently seen him. He wasn’t trying to hide his emotions anymore so she could plainly see how much having her around meant to him.

She was having fun but it was like a break from reality. This wasn’t how her life worked. She was a normal person getting a normal degree and trying to make her way in the world.

If he just up and funded her research to get her to stay it would be cheating! Keeley had worked hard to get where she was but so had a bunch of other people. Bypa.s.sing the system because of money wouldn’t be fair.

Although…she had to admit she was wavering. She was concerned it was selfish using his money like that but what about all the people living with cystic fibrosis? Her research might really help them. If she could get started on it five to ten years sooner it could make a difference for a lot more people.

Her brain went around and around in circles. She didn’t know what to think anymore. Jeffrey and Keisha would hopefully help her get her mind off of things for a while.

At least this time she knew for a fact she wouldn’t be asked to be a bridesmaid. She’d had more than enough of that for a lifetime.

When she finally arrived at their house, she was greeted at the door by Keisha and her two excited dogs. She had a bright smile on her face as she reached out to hug Keeley.

“So good to see you! Come on in, Jeff’s making dinner.”

She grinned as she hugged her back. “You sure it’s going to be edible?”

A call of “I heard that!” came from the kitchen, making both of them laugh.

“In all seriousness though, he’s actually pretty decent in the kitchen. He spent about a month jobless after graduation and during that time he made all the food because I was at work. Now we usually switch off.”

They walked into the kitchen and Keeley went for a hug. “Tell me all about what post grad school life is like! I want to know what to be prepared for,” she said dramatically.

Jeffrey shook his head and bopped her on the shoulder softly with his fist. “Work is exhausting but there’s the perk of no homework.”

“That’s not entirely true! I’ve seen you read over paperwork at home before,” Keisha said sternly.

“Because it was important and my boss was on my case! Oh, never mind. My point is, you have more free time than as a student because once you’re done for the day you’re done. But I’m telling you…job hunting sucks.”

Keeley had already heard about his problems with that. He started looking for a job back in February and didn’t find one until the middle of July. She needed to start job hunting ASAP or she would be in the same boat.

Oh wait. No she wouldn’t. She had Aaron’s offer to fall back on. Ugh, it was still too much to think about!

“Yeah, I’m wondering what to do about that myself,” she admitted.

They chatted about work vs school until all of the dinner preparations were complete. Jeffrey had made eggplant parmesan and it was surprisingly good. Keisha was right; he was decent in the kitchen.

She wondered if Lydia knew. The two of them used to tease Jeffrey about things all the time. How was she these days, anyway? Keeley should be better about texting her.

Being an adult and managing friends.h.i.+ps is hard. She was lucky she was able to get away this weekend to spend time with these two. The last time she saw them was at Lydia’s wedding in April.

Four hours doesn’t seem like that big of a distance until you actually have to drive it. She could count the number of times she had seen Jeffrey since he went to law school on one hand.

They sat around laughing and talking for a few hours until Keeley brought up the potential itinerary. “I don’t know anything about Baltimore; what are the best things to see?”

“Um…Fort McHenry, the National Aquarium, and the historic s.h.i.+ps in the Inner Harbor,” Keisha said. She was the one that grew up here and knew best. “We should have time to hit all of that tomorrow. Or we could split it up; your call.”

“Let’s play it by ear,” she suggested. “The aquarium sounds fun. One of the guys in Dr. Kim’s lab was researching seahorse genetics so there was a tank in there my first year of grad school. I got kind of attached to those little guys. It was sad when they took the tank away.”

Jeffrey laughed. “Why am I not surprised. Did you cry when your mice died too?”

“I’ll have you know that only one of them died and yes, yes I did,” she sniffed.

Out of the blue, one of the mice from her fifth trial batch died. It skewed her research slightly but didn’t change the fact that most of the mice did see improvement. There was still statistical significance to her findings.

Keisha smiled and made a calming gesture between the two of them. “The aquarium sounds fun. We’ll see what we’re up for after that. Sound good?”

They both nodded a bit mutinously, like small children caught by their mother in an argument. This weekend was going to be fun.

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