Economics 101, a Novel, ch_37 -- Legal Nightmares

(The story starts here:

[JMR201606241519: Backup of this chapter is here: Had to really work hard on it for some reason.]

The previous chapter starts here:

Okay, you know what's happening here, right?

Karel and Bobbie sat on opposite sides of the airplane, studiously avoiding looking at each other. Their parents sat between them, happy to have finally found their children. There were others around them, students and faculty who had volunteered to help in the search, their friends Dan and Kristie, newspaper reporters, the district presidency. Everyone in the airplane seemed to be excited except for them.

They had been a little worried about what the district president might think of their plans to get married, but he had only suggested they talk it over with each other and with their bishops when they got back to the states, and not worry about it now.

Surprisingly, their parents had concurred with the district president.

Their parents had intervened with the press, and, for now, the reporters were satisfying themselves by interviewing everyone else. But they knew they'd eventually have to deal with the reporters. Karel wanted to discuss what they would tell the reporters with Bobbie, but Bobbie didn't seem to be inclined to do so.

Bobbie, for her part, was thinking the same thing, trying to figure out a way to talk with Karel, and wondering why he was letting everything come between them.

It was a long and painful flight, and neither Bobbie nor Karel could understand why their parents seemed not to consider that they would be anything but happy to be going home.

By the time the plane touched down on the tarmac, both Bobbie and Karel were feeling strong seeds of doubt about their feelings toward each other.

There were police to meet them at the airport and escort them to the police station, where all their belongings were confiscated, their journals were examined with a fine-toothed comb, and they both endured endless hours of questioning.

The police wanted to charge Karel with kidnap, marriage fraud, and rape. But when Bobbie refused to accuse him of improper conduct, they tried to get Karel to press charges of kidnapping and marriage fraud. (At least they refrained from suggesting he accuse her of rape.)

Finally, their parents brought in lawyers, who, by demanding writs of habeas corpus, got them freed. But their belongings, including their journals, were not returned.

And they were placed under court order not to see or communicate with each other.

After that, the school standards office called them in one at a time and gave them the third degree. Apparently, the standards officers had been allowed their own examination of the confiscated journals.

Why had they not, the moment they had realized they would be alone on the island overnight, immediately retired to opposite sides of the island and stayed there praying until the rescue planes came?

What flimsy sort of excuse was this buddy system?

Who were they thinking of fooling with the fake marriage license?

Why had they not gone immediately in search of the island they had seen from the ridge?

And why were there, in their possession, bottles of wine?

No answer was accepted. Both of them were directed to withdraw from school and never return.

Visits with their bishops were pretty much the same. When neither was willing to recant their feelings toward the other, excommunication was recommended to the stake high council.

When Bobbie returned home from visiting with her bishop, she shut herself in her room, refusing all contact with anyone at all besides her parents and their lawyers, hardly eating or drinking, only reading her scriptures and praying.

Karel also refused to talk with anyone but his parents and their lawyers.

Fortunately, the court order did not extend to their parents, so their parents kept in communication. But the court order did forbid Bobbie and Karel sending messages to each other through anyone else, including their parents.

There were many attempts from the press to contact both of them, and numerous book offers, firmly refused.

When the Social Services Department found out that Bobbie was hardly eating anything, they got a court order requiring her to see a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist seemed to think his duty was to convince Bobbie she was lying to herself about Karel's behavior. Bobbie refused hypnosis sessions and pleaded with her parents to stay with her during the psychiatric evaluations, but the court ordered them out.

Then the court ordered Karel to undergo hypnosis, and, under hypnosis, he confessed to repeatedly assaulting Bobbie -- the nature and timing of the assaults being unspecified.

Charges were brought again, and court convened, and the Red Queen sat in the judges box.

No, I'm not even going to grace this bad dream with its own chapter.

Karel's eyes sprang open. The stars were shining brightly, and the salt breeze filled his nostrils, helping clear the cobwebs from his brain.

For all that his stomach was still queasy in the extreme, he started laughing uncontrollably, the echoes rolling around the island.

That woke Bobbie up, and, as soon as she got her bearings, she hurried around the tent.

"Are you okay?"

"The Red Queen did it."


Karel calmed down and recited as much of the dream as he could remember.

Bobbie was not amused. "We haven't been praying enough about our plans to get married."

At this thought, Karel sobered up.

"Well, I'm sure that this dream was not from God. Parts of it might be from my subconscious thought processes, but the bulk of it, I am sure, is from lying spirits. The Red Queen was a flag from my own mind."


"Something my subconscious inserted in the dream, to let myself know that the whole thing was bogus."

"But what does it mean?"

"It means nothing. I'm sorry I laughed and woke you up. Let's go back to sleep."

"Are you sure?"

"Okay, let's have a prayer and go back to sleep."

"Should we try to find that island?"

"It's not very close. Let's talk about it in the morning."

"How close is it?"

"We both have the math skills to estimate the distance. Can we work it out in the morning? I want some more sleep."



Bobbie was still looking doubtful.

Karel reached for her hand, but she backed off.

"Can we pray about it?"
"I think we should. Do you want to go first?"

"I think you should."

So Karel got on his knees. And sat there, looking at the ground.

Bobbie waited a minute or two, and then she also go on her knees. After a minute more, she reached out and took Karel's hand.

Karel looked up and they looked in each other's eyes.

[JMR201606241432: My first try at this was in the middle of the night and it didn't work, so I'm making a backup and doing this clean:

"Karel, I have to ask. Do you really want to marry me?"
 She paused. "If Wycliffe hadn't kidnapped us, would we be dating now back at school?"

Karel looked at the sand.
 "I think so. I mean, it's hypothesis contrary to fact, so we can't be sure, but I've known I really liked you for an awfully long time."

He wasn't sure why he hesitated to talk about just how long, but it took courage.

Bobbie was silent, feeling similarly hesitant to talk about just when she had realized she liked him.

"Do you remember, ...," but Bobbie was not helping him figure out what to say. "We met once about eight months before our first class together."

Bobbie looked at him with a strange expression in her eyes. She felt a silly, but painful, hidden rift in her heart begin to heal.

"January, ..."

Karel wouldn't let her finish by herself, and they said, practically in unison, "in the department office."

"I was too tired to ask your name. If Dan had been able to take his turn at the wheel on the road in, and I hadn't been so tired, I'm sure I'd have asked you for a date on the spot. I probably would have offended you."

Bobbie didn't answer in words, just smiled a crinkly, shy smile and teared up like a little girl getting a present she had been waiting a long time for.
 "I've had a lot of heart-to-heart discussions with God about you since then, some of them downright rancorous, because I couldn't figure out how to court you."
 "I have, too. I was always glad you were such a gentleman, but I wanted you to ask me out. I didn't know how to let you know that without coming on to you."

"I'm not the saint you think I am."

"Yes you are."


"Either you are every bit the saint I think you are or I'm not the saint you think I am."

Karel still didn't know what to say.

"Even saints need help every now and then."

Finally, Karel said the obvious. "So I am not just taking the easy road. I really want to marry you."

"And I really want to marry you."

"So this really is a choice we are both making freely."

"It is."

Karel looked away and then returned his gaze to look in Bobbie's eyes. "Wycliffe said that someone else would come to tell us what we could do if we decided to get married."

"That's right, he did. We haven't exactly been asking God for that someone else to come, have we?"

"I think we've done our part, up to this point. We've been praying every day about getting married. But, no, we haven't specifically asked for that someone else to come."

"Well, let's do it."

Karel looked at the sky. "Father. ... Father in Heaven, I had a very strange dream. Whether it was of my own invention or from the influence of lying spirits, I am not sure, but I am sure it was not from thee." He paused. "But it reminded us that we probably need to be sure about whether we should try to go to the island we thought we saw from the ridge. And now we remember that we have not been asking specifically for further instruction from thee to tell us what we can do so that we can be married."

Bobbie spoke up here. "Father, I doubted about Wycliffe at one point, but we now both trust that you sent him to us. He told us there would be others who could tell us what we could do now. The best we have been able to come up with on our own, for getting married, was to make our own laws and issue our own marriage license and certificate, but that probably is not enough. We need more instruction."

Karel continued. "When we wake back up in a few hours, we will see whether we can safely go looking for that island. Please guide us so we can come to the right conclusions. And, please guide us about getting the further instruction we need about getting married."

And they finished their prayer together and Bobbie returned to her side of the tent, even though they really did not want to leave each other to further influence from evil and lying spirits.

Wycliffe and Hanaka, and Greg and Georgianna watched in silence. Hanaka's mother joined them, and the five of them continued their vigil until dawn woke our two protagonists.


(The link to the next chapter will be here when it's ready is here:

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