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June 24th, 2019

Bethany Square

Beaverton, OR

“I’m actually sorry we couldn’t get the young lady you saved for comment, that would have managed to swing things a little more in your favor. But she wouldn’t come to the phone and her mother read me the riot act when I asked for ‘her’, she insisted I call them, or they, by their preferred pronoun.”

The woman sitting in front of him rolled her eyes as though this was the most inane thing she’d ever heard. Tate couldn’t disagree, but right at this moment he still couldn’t comprehend just how quickly the local news teams worked and how many had desired to get his side of the story. Apparently the teenager he’d saved, whose name was Susie it would seem, didn’t want to talk about the matter at this point.

“It’s probably better that you didn’t,” he said calmly, “Those folks,” he nodded to the group of protesters that had somehow found about this interview, “likely would have taken it that I was wanting another crack at they, or them, or their.”

“Confusing isn’t it?” she asked.

“Yeah it is,” he admitted, “But it’s worse to be accused of rape after never having touched someone.”

The tape recorder in the woman’s hand was the only piece of equipment she’d brought, but the fact that he recognized her from a local news channel was enough to know that she was one of those that was interested in fair reporting at least. Otherwise he might have gotten up and gone home by now.

She nodded as she went on, “So what happened when you finally got home? I understand that the madness didn’t stop at the courthouse.”

He sighed, “Nope, it didn’t. This time they did show up with the crowd and started trying to camp outside our home, all the while shouting and protesting and carrying on. The funny thing is they thought it was still a public space.”

“Well the street is,” she said, “It’s a public street after all.”

“Yeah, but my lawn isn’t. I did what I could and called the police first but when one and then another one of them decided to come on our property and keep pushing their luck things got out of hand quickly.”

“So what happened?”

Inhaling through his nose he started out, “Well….”

(to be continued)

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