Chapter 3: A Difficult Assignment

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Safiya didn't go home for winter break. She didn't feel like introducing her family—mostly her parents to their new family member. She didn't know how her very religious parents would take Ameera and the fact that her child's father was a married man. Her friends were gone but she was not alone—not for the entire duration. Nick came over once he came back from Illinois.

"Owen said you wanted to see me." Safiya stood in the doorway of Jack's office; which was a painted brick wall space only big enough to fit two chairs and a writing desk.

"Yeah," Jack muttered without pulling his eyes away from the laptop screen gesturing to the aluminum chair in front of his desk.

Safiya pulled her straightened hair over her right shoulder and slowly sat. She gave the new picture hanging behind Jack a nod of approval as she waited for him to speak.

She and Jack didn't agree on many things but they both wanted to do the type of reporting that Woodward and Bernstein did

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She and Jack didn't agree on many things but they both wanted to do the type of reporting that Woodward and Bernstein did.

"Jack!" She called the guy that was a year ahead of her and he darted his eyes over the computer screen, "I have a busy day...can we get to it."

Jack blinked his eyes as he lowered the laptop lid without closing it, "April assignments..." He hunched over searching his desk with quick hands, looking under disheveled papers and opened books, "I know its ahead of schedule...." He flicked his hand dismissively. He pulled out his glasses under a Chick-fil-a bag then slid them onto his face. "But my contact at the courthouse informed me that the rapist...allegedly Jacob Richards' hearing is set."

"And." Safiya crossed her workout legging covered legs. She remembered the story, the story that almost lost her a friend.

"And..." Jack fixed the collar of his wrinkled polo. "I want you to write a companion piece."

"A companion piece." She echoed his words then groaned. She knew how hard Alyssa was working to get her life make in order and she didn't want to disrupt that. Safiya shook her head unbeknownst to her.

"I want you to interview Jacob like you interviewed the alleged victim."

Safiya's eyebrows drew together, "Alleged victim."

"Poor choice of words...but you failed to report the whole story last year and now we the readers have holes." Jack proclaimed resting his hands on his lap. "So, this year...for March you will do the reporting that I know you can do. You will speak with both parties and then the campus will have a fully painted picture." He dropped his back against his chair. "That's if you want to be a Katie Couric or a Nancy O'Dell."

"I got it." Safiya snarked sticking her hand in the pocket of her black hoodie and producing her beeping phone. She used to put her phone on vibrate but now she had an almost two-month old to worry about and she needed to always be reachable.

Safiya ran her eyes over the text.

Carter

It's time.

Safiya rose from the chair, "I'll have a story for you, Jack."

"Make sure it's the story I want and if not you're back to writing about sports..." He lifted the laptop lid back up. "And football season is over."

Safiya rushed to her desk boggled down with a new weight, to do the story or not.


Should Safiya do the story or not?

What do you think Carter wants?


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