As it turned out, Edwin Andersen was not suspended. Nor was he expelled. Nor was he punished in any way shape or form, as far as I was able to surmise. He got his fifteen minutes of fame, then returned to his previous, below-the-radar existence. The only reason I could think of for the lack of disciplinary action was that the administrators had forgotten about him just like everyone else had. I admit, I nearly did, too. Nearly a month passed before anything noteworthy occurred.
One stormy Friday, Nick arrived late to chemistry, making quite an entrance thanks to the weather. The wind caught the door, which opened out onto the courtyard, and nearly took it off its hinges. A gust of cold air swept inside, sending papers fluttering off of desks, and in came the miscreant, his clothes soaked with rainwater and his wet, dirty-blond hair sticking up in every direction. The soles of his shoes squeaking loudly, he made his way to his desk and, with an apologetic smile at the teacher, sat down next to me.
"You won't believe what I just saw," he whispered, but that was all he could tell me before Mr. Larsen resumed his lecture about ionic bonds.
We did not have a lab that day, so the next opportunity for discussion of the matter was not until the bell rang to release us for lunch. Gathering up our things, we headed out the door to brave the weather.
"So what were you going to tell me?" I asked as we crossed the courtyard, our heads bowed against the wind.
"You remember Edwin Andersen?"
"The one and only."
"What about him?"
"Well, today as I was leaving the H building, I noticed him going into that room under the stairs. You know, the one that has the door that's always locked. I'd always thought it was a boiler room or something. Well, anyway, I saw him go in, so, I don't know, I just followed him. I don't know why, I just did."
"It sure isn't a boiler room."
"What is it then?"
"It isn't a room at all. It's another stairway. I guess that's how he got onto the roof that one time, but that isn't all. I followed him up a bit--he was a bit in front of me, so he didn't know I was there. I didn't go all the way to the roof because I didn't want him to see me, and I was starting to get a funny feeling about that place, but I got to about the third floor, walking as quietly as I could. Then I heard voices."
"There was someone else there?"
"Apparently. They sounded like they were both on the roof, and I couldn't hear what they were saying. So I crept a little farther up the stairs, to where I could see them. And that was where things got really weird..."
We had entered the cafeteria by now, and Nick lowered his voice and moved closer to me so as not to be overheard. "There were two of him. Two Edwin Andersens."