"Look, Peter, I'm sorry about my reaction to what you said," she apologized. "I know you have my best interests at heart.
"I'm just having a hard time, these days, because my life seems to be going NOWHERE. And all the other people I know seem to be moving ahead with THEIR lives."
"But, Lou--" Peter protested, "you're the most brilliant woman I know! All you have to do is decide what it is you want. And I have no doubt that you can accomplish whatever that is!"
"But I don't KNOW what I want," Lou confessed.
The next morning, before her appointment, Lana took a look at the completed renovations to what had been Rafael's first-floor bed/bath/gardening station (which he had thought was all a waste of an otherwise good space).
"Wow," she said aloud.
Rafael--with Peter's design advice--had put in a huge spa-like bath with 2 shower stalls, 2 toilet enclosures, a generous sink, and a laundry area. Just inside from the new pool.
And, because Rafael loved art, and had loads of money, there was loads of art.
And a non-slip rubber floor.
The laundry area was needed for all the swim towels.
"There's nothing like throwing unlimited money at something," Lana observed wryly.
Outside Devin's house in Oasis Springs once again, Lana stopped and took a deep breath.
The Chief of Police had asked her to administer an aptitude test to Devin, to determine what kind of job training might be suitable for him. (A job that might keep him out of trouble--and out of jail.)
Several new private-sector companies would be soon opening locations in the area, and had announced their hiring needs, and the qualifications that successful applicants needed to have.
The Town Council had made questionnaires available for any residents who were interested.
"Oh, hell," Lana said aloud. "I'm NOT looking forward to this--I seriously fear what Mr. Austin's results are going to be....
"Either I'm going to find out that he's barely qualified for a job restocking a grocery store, or he's going to end up going back to jail!"
She approached the door, but Devin emerged before she had a chance to knock.
"Hellooooo--come in!" he exulted.
Lana followed him inside.
"You've ... umm ... been decorating," Lana observed.
"Yes!" Devin replied. "I'm delighted you noticed!"
Lana privately thought it would be difficult for a blind person not to notice that Devin had been 'decorating.'
"And I have a PARLOR now!" he enthused. "We can sit in there while you give me your 'test'!"
Devin's parlor was really quite the place.
Lana felt dizzy from the riot of color and pattern (not to mention the accessories).
"Pleeeeease--come sit next to me!" Devin begged, positioning himself on a sofa that looked very much like a woman's lips.
"Mr. Austin, please remember this is a professional, POLICE matter," Lana replied, instead taking one of the armchairs.