Owen’s grey four-door Renault Dauphine was parked outside Rickner’s. We drove to the Holiday Inn to pick up my belongings. Owen stopped by the checkout counter and talked to the clerk. I didn’t ask him what it was about.
Owen’s room in the dorm was standard university stock: two beds along the walls facing each other, tables with portable lamps and small bookcases for each student. An OU banner and a calendar showing sports events hung on Owen’s side of the wall. He even had an OU coffee mug on his desk.
After we dumped my stuff in Owen’s room he took me for a ride around town. It was three p.m. when we came back to his room.
The phone was ringing as we walked in. Owen answered. He was talking for about five minutes. I heard him mention my name, so I guessed he was talking with Cody. At one point he squinted his eyes as if to concentrate.
“Shit.” He said after he hung up, almost slamming the phone in the base.
“What’s up? Is everything okay? Was that Cody?”
“Yes. He has changed his plan. He’s coming back next Tuesday. Three days from today.” He looked worried.
“That’s okay. I can move back to the hotel, if it comes to that.”
“No. I get pissed off when people change their plans.”
“That’s okay.” I said, but I was a bit worried too. It meant I had to get out in two days and then was at the mercy of the dean and then who knows what. Maybe there was a church which will allow me to stay free for a few days.
Owen left me in his room and said he was going to run an errand. He slammed the door as he left. I collapsed on Cody’s bed. When I woke up it had become dark outside. Owen had not returned. I turned on the radio, which was set to a country music station. I wasn’t much of a fan of that kind of music but I didn’t want to do anything to disturb my host. A few minutes later the weatherman reported that there was a chance of snow flurries at night but the next day would be sunny. After an hour or so Owen showed up. He looked more composed and calm.
“You hungry?” he asked.
“Yes. What do you have in mind?”
“Fine with me.”
“The Pizza Hut on Lindsay is running a special. A dollar nineteen for all-you-can-eat pizza with iced tea.” he said.
“Sounds like a good deal,” I said.
While we were having dinner at Pizza Hut Owen mentioned that he had planned to visit his folks in Pauls Valley the next day, to attend his younger sister Dana’s sweet sixteen birthday party.
“You’re welcome to come with me, unless you have something to do here.”
“Thanks. But, I’d rather not.”
“I think I should spend time looking for a room.”
“How’re you going to do that? Walking around town?”
“That would be one way.”
“Are you crazy? You’ll freeze your socks off walking in this weather. Besides you don’t know the town.”
“Look. Come with me and I’ll take you in my car to search for a room when we return.”