Chapter Three

Columbus

 Ohio State isn’t just in Columbus.

It is Columbus.

Ohio State University was founded in 1870. It always makes the top 20 list in any magazine that ranks top public universities, since ranking started taking place. Total enrollment when Emma went to medical school was 55,000. Undergrads made up 41,000 of the total. So, Emma was one of the 14,000 students enrolled for furthering one’s education. There were 1,700 acres with over 400 buildings on the campus, and Emma thought that the entire township of Kettering together with the Wittenberg campus could fit on those acres. OSU was sports crazed, and the business of sports at Ohio State brought millions into the University’s coffers. That money was well spent.

And the cost of the college was cheap.

And it was really cheap for Emma because she was a resident of Ohio, and thus she only had to pay in-state tuition (Which is always lower than out-of-state tuition). She also received a lot of scholarship money.

And because it was affordable for Emma to attended medical school, she was able to rent a small studio apartment within walking distance near the part of campus where she would be attending most of her classes and labs. Furthering her education had become so affordable, she was handed the added luxury of not having to get a job; which allowed her to study, get fantastic grades and learn a ton about her chosen field.

It also got her noticed.

Dr. Mitchell Hancock was the most respected professor of psychology and doctor of psychiatry that Ohio State University had to offer to its graduate students. He had been published in more periodicals than he could remember, given more speeches to places that he could recall, been voted ‘best professor’ so many times, that he refused

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to be nominated anymore. He was devoted to his students, his colleagues, the school, the football team and the patients that he treated. He was 48 when he picked Emma to intern under him. Emma was 26.

Dr. Hancock had been married and divorced four times. He had no children.

Emma had only a handful of her famous one night stands while she attended medical school.

It was love at first sight for both of them.

And Mitchell was so smitten with Emma, that some of his non Ohio State associates almost thought he even loved Emma a tad bit more than his beloved Buckeyes.

And even though Emma had been on the campus for more than four years, she had never been to a football game.

“After all, I am a Tiger,” she would tell people.

A ‘tiger’ was the mascot for Wittenberg University.

A buckeye was a nut from a tree, but in Columbus, a Buckeye was one of the most rabid fans of college football in the galaxy.

And Dr. Mitchell Hancock -– psychiatrist par excellence was one of those crazed Buckeye loving fans.

He was so obsessed with the team that Emma used to think that he married her and his other wives so he could have someone to talk to about the ups and downs of the Buckeyes during the offseason.

Mitchell never missed a home game in the 15 plus years that he had been associated with Ohio State. He did everything in his power to get better seats and a better parking spot. He would start on this Herculean task right after the last home game was played and it was not as easy as it sounds.

“How come you have a parking spot when you live so close to the stadium?” Emma asked him one day after the regular season had ended, and Mitchell was busy working the phone to upgrade a parking spot closer to the stadium.

“Excuse me, Emma, what did you say?”

And she repeated her question.

“Tail-gating is better the closer you are,” Mitchell responded. “By the way, when are you going to go to a game with me?”

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“I am busy on Saturdays.” Emma lied.

“Oh yeah, I forgot,” Mitchell replied, totally engrossed in some old fashioned horse trading with whomever he was on the phone with in regards to procuring better parking for better tail-gating.

He really thinks that was an honest answer, Emma thought.

Mitchell rather liked the fact that she didn’t accompany him to the games. It gave him something to do with 100,000 other obsessed fans.

“Amazing that you find solitude with all those people around you,” Emma once remarked.

“Excuse me, Emma; what did you say?”

And Emma then went to check on their dinner and make a list in her head of what she hated the most about her husband’s love of the Buckeyes.

But before she found out about Mitchell Hancock’s devotion to Ohio State football and before she was married to him and before she bore a child with him and before she was his intern, Emma Everly was one damned good assistant.

The prolog , and chapter one  chapter two. – Simon

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