They stated in their request /invitation, that they had invited several Humanities professors from around the world and I had been suggested as an invitee because of the longevity of the textbook which was still in use and the precursor papers both Chuck and I had published before, and those I had compiled after the publication of the text. In truth, it had been just over a year since I had been involved in academic life, other than vicariously through David, Brian, Ben, Ken, and JC, unless you count the several parent-teacher nights at the boy's school and helping them with their homework.
David convinced me to at least contact them, if I was at all interested, and at least hear them out. The secretary I was connected to was pleased to hear from me, but she was confused, her caller ID stated my phone number was a local one, and I explained I had moved here to Amherst just over a year ago. She asked where I lectured now and I truthfully told her that most of my current lecturing was around the kitchen table to my husband and three boys, but I had left academia to run a private editing business right here in town. She apologized for not knowing that and went on to tell me about the workshops they were hoping to have at least fifty scholars participate in.
By the time they had sent me a rough plan for their symposium I had decided that because of the textbook I would attend, but probably not participate in other than a question and answer session on the textbook if they wanted. I explained this to the department secretary who was coordinating the sessions and she thought that was doable, although there was a panel discussion, she thought I might be interested in, and that was one only for students, run by students and the panel, except for me, was all students. This was a group of students from all the area colleges, the ones here in Amherst and one from South Hadley and one from Northampton, both formerly all women colleges but both now accepting male students. I agreed to this and she informed me that the leaders of this discussion group would be in touch to go over the prospectus for their session about a month before the date of the gathering.
I admit it was a kick to be even considered for this, especially as in my mind that scholastic part of my life was in the past and I know it wasn't even two years, but it did feel like a lifetime ago. But the symposium was months and months in the future and in the meantime, we had the rest of Summer, Fall and then Winter to get through.
Our Saturday dinner at home, a week after the graduation party, was interrupted by a phone call. David hopped up to answer the house phone and I heard him telling the caller to just come over, we were just finishing our dinner. He sat back down and told us that that had been Ken on the phone and he and Ben had a favor to ask us, but wanted to do it in person. He also told us that Brian and JC were with them and they were all on their way out to see us all. We had just cleared the big kitchen table when the front doorbell rang and Matty assured us it was Ken's car on the front drive before he opened the door to admit his "Uncles".
We did actually see the two couples a few times a week, either together or when one couple came out to horseback ride and the other didn't, or both couples arrived together for dinner or just to visit.
And it wasn't just the guys. The ladies lived just down the road and we often rode on their trails as they did on ours. It all added some variety to our riding and we often, during the Summer, shared picnic lunches on the trails.
The two couples accepted our offer of coffee and sat around the table, but not as casually as they had previously when visiting. This time they sat as couples, sitting close to their other halves, and actually holding the hand of their love sitting beside them and across the table from the other couple. David and I sat at one end together, so we had a couple at each side of us. JC spoke up first, asking if we had had a chance to explore the old storage barn. We told them we hadn't yet, but we knew of a mechanic who was willing to work on the old tractor to see if it was salvageable, but he and his family were on vacation and he wouldn't be able to work on it until they returned in two weeks. JC then went on to tell us he and the guys would like to borrow the barn and the property around it for a two-day period around the Fourth of July. We told them sure, we'd let them use it, but for what?
That was when Ben spoke up and told us the two couples had gotten engaged and they each wanted their weddings outdoors and they all agreed that the setting of the old barn with the mountains off in the distance was such a beautiful location, and they were thinking of renting a couple of dozen folding chairs and then having a buffet lunch for the attendees in a marquee off to the side. We looked at each other and after a second of us mentally communicating David told them we would be honored if they used our place for their marriages, but we would provide the chairs and the catering for their reception. It was then the two couples asked us to be their best men and if the boys could all be involved, like as the ring bearers for the two youngest and maybe Matty as their usher. I told them we'd be honored to be their best men, but they'd have to ask the boys if they wanted to participate, although we all knew they'd love it.
The boy's "Uncles" called the three boys in and asked them to participate in their weddings, just as they had in their Father's ceremony. The boys knew this was a big deal for their Uncles, and them, so they seriously asked if they would be able to wear their wedding suits. The Uncles laughed and told them it would be better if they did so, instead of their birthday suits! That got everyone laughing, especially the boys, but it gave everyone a chance to congratulate the two engaged couples.
It appeared the couples wanted to marry before starting their new teaching positions. Which would be in early August when they signed their contracts and began their teaching orientation before the actual school year started. David and I called the caterer who had provided such good service for our own wedding and arranged everything from the food to the chairs for guests and the marquee for dining in after. They threw in the DJ and the dance floor for after the wedding feast was consumed and agreed to set up and take down everything.
The couples went to obtain their marriage licenses and during the intervening week, they also made arrangements with one of the local Justices of the Peace to perform the legal ceremonies. Friends of the couples had been notified and the ladies from the neighboring farm were enlisted as the wedding planners and coordinators of all we had set in motion, it would truly be a wedding day for, and organized by gays.
The weekend of the weddings arrived and we in our house watched as the caterer set up the tents for the reception, one for the food prep and a much larger one for the actual buffet dinner after the dual ceremony under the beautiful arbor we had erected for the couples and the Justice of the Peace to stand under with the barn and the sunset as a backdrop for them to exchange their vows under.
The boys were excited to be included in their "Uncles" ceremony and they took their jobs seriously, much to our amusement. As soon as the caterers had placed the rows of chairs on the lawn the boys were pestering us to help them practice with them, perfecting their roles as ushers and ring bearers.
By the time the two sets of grooms arrived, the boys had their assignments down pat, as did David and I.
The ceremonies went off without a hitch and we got to meet several, if not all, the friends of the two couples and we were very surprised to find that the two groups overlapped in many cases either because of shared classes or shared friends in both groups. Another surprise was the Justice of the Peace, who we got to speak with at the reception. He was a clerk in the records department in Town Hall and he asked if there were any remnants of the old stone houses that used to be on the property.
We told him that the old farmhouse foundation was totally filled in after the fire several years ago, and when the foundation for our house was dug, we had the contractor level that area off again so we could have a garden there as you entered the property. He told me it was an impressive garden too, but he meant the five other structures/homes that had been on the property in the 1800s and into the early 1900s. He explained that when he had been recording our deed transfer it had fascinated him enough to look up the original deed from the original transfer several decades ago and found that the property as a whole was originally a farming co-operative comprised of family members who each had a home on the property at least until the end of World War 1. By then the only surviving family member had removed the other homes and only the one by the entrance to the property remained for his family's use.
He further told us that should we want to add other dwellings to the property, even though current policy stated we couldn't, there was indeed legal precedent to prove that multiple dwellings had originally been here on this land, and by petitioning the local government to approve additional dwellings we would no doubt be granted approval for the additions, as long as the land remained under our control as the deed holders. It certainly added fuel to an idea that had been at the back of my mind up to this point, but now it was the time to party with friends.
By the time the two couples came back from their week-long honeymoons part of my plan had been put into place. I had gone to the Town Hall and applied for permits to place additional houses on our land. Not houses for sale to the general public, but housing for use of the people we invited to live in them. This was clearly stated on the application, in fact in the section for "use of the structures" I had filled in; "for housing of staff, etc". The clerk at town hall was at first unsure about granting the permits, but after I explained to his boss my understanding of the history of our deed to the property, and the head of the building department made a few calls to people in the town's legal department, the permits for the four dwellings was provisionally granted, full permission would depend on the housing plans being submitted and reviewed by the building department before actual construction permits could be granted.
The next day at work, during a break, I called our contractor friend and he assured me he could determine the best possible locations for the houses. He would have the ground "perked" for suitability of septic systems and well locations for each of the four building sites he would determine, but not before checking with David and me as to which locations we preferred the homes be constructed on.
By mid-August, David had started his employment with the Amherst school system, along with JC and Brian. Ben and Ken were starting with the University's own grade school about the same time. While these five were at orientation meetings and setting up their classrooms the boys came to work with me. Matty helped the younger boys, Davey and Eric do little projects while I worked, so we all had custom drawn and colored pictures on our fridges and walls by the end of August, just in time for the boys to begin school. Once school started the boys rode one bus to school with Matty seeing his younger brothers off at the grade school and himself walking next door to the middle school where he was starting the seventh grade.
Although he really wanted his father (David) as one of his teachers, it didn't work out that way, but he did get assigned to his Uncle Brian's algebra class, and he did have his father for one of his study halls. Of course, we had told Matty not to call them Dad or Uncle in school, to use the correct form of address and call his dad, Mr. Weston, and Uncle Brian, Mr. Northrop, just like the other students had to do. We explained the reasons for this, and he seemed to grasp the situation well.
While the boys and the new teachers were settling in at their schools, I was working on new manuscripts for the winter publication season, as were the rest of the editors, both the full-timers and the extras we had to call in as usual in this, our busy season. We had gotten back into our routines editing rather smoothly and with the added help of the part-timers, we were right on schedule. It really didn't afford me a lot of free time, but thanks to the internet and some research, I brought myself up to date on the current studies being published in the studies of the Humanities. It was very rewarding to me to find that the studies of philosophy, literature, religion, history, language, music and the arts hadn't changed much since the publication of the text Chuck and I had published. The text helped the reader meld these studies into cohesive studies of the human experience and develop an understanding of our world when the studies were applied to the various regions and countries of our planet.
It sounds deep, but for history and government students, it gave a practical overview of our societies. I guess it was the nerd side of me showing, and in truth, I was better equipped to make sense of these studies than many of the professors of other branches of studies. It was time-consuming, but I limited myself to one hour every afternoon, one hour after the boys were in bed, and on the weekends, I indulged in two-hour sessions. David told the boys I was doing important homework for a class in the early spring.
It was an interesting early fall, and by the beginning of the long weekend of the Columbus Day weekend we had all the perk tests results delivered to us, showing where on our property both wells and septic systems could safely be placed. There were over ten sites that tested out as very good home sites, but of course, there were some that were better than others. Interestingly the best sites found were just past the old barn where the wedding ceremony was held. I was pleased by that and both David and I felt that the view of the mountain range in the distance was a big plus. Our contractor had pegged off acre plots and spray painted where the best sites for homes would be on these plots. The next step would be to find out if the first two couples we wanted close to us were even interested in moving out to our property, and to find caretakers for the whole property, including the care of the horses and the barn as well as someone to take care of the everyday operation of our home. It was very manageable for David and I during the summer months, but we knew during the school year and during my busy periods at work, it was going to be an unnecessary stress on us and our family.
To this end, David and I talked this up at our workplaces and let our friends know we were looking for someone to cook and clean and keep our household on an organized schedule, while also looking for a property manager for the renting out of our fields and the care of the animals in the barn. We also took Ken and Ben along with JC and Brian on a walking tour of the property just past the barn where they had married.
They thought we were all walking to give the boys a chance to burn off some excess energy so the banter was light and the interactions with the boys were exhilarating as they raced through the fields, occasionally finding something of interest, and to them almost anything was interesting. But Eric won the prize as far as David and I were concerned, a roughly rectangular piece of granite, slightly bigger than a brick, that he stumbled upon, quite literally as he ran along the wide path's edge along one of the grain fields just below the old barn.
It had a crudely chiseled year along one side,1899. I told David I thought it just might have been the cornerstone of a home that used to be here on the property, maybe the home that used to accompany the old barn on the original homestead. We both told Eric that he had made a wonderful find and then had to explain to the boys exactly what we thought it was, what it was used as, and how old it was, and that we wanted to display it in our own home, possibly on the hearth of the living room fireplace. Boy was he chuffed about this, and his brothers had slowed down a bit to see if they too could find a treasure.
While the boys were slowly exploring, David pointed out the pegged-out plots and the spray painted proposed house sites to our friends, who looked up and saw the mountain range across the fields and across the unseen river. David nudged me to begin my part of our campaign to allow our friends to share living out here with us on the property, but allowing them the privacy of their own abodes where they could cement their relationships and begin their own families, should they want.
I walked up between the two couples and softly said, "David and I were thinking of taking advantage of having a few smaller houses placed on the property, since the deed proves it possible, as long as we retain ownership of the land itself. We've decided to go ahead with it so we can offer one to the housekeeper we hire and one to the barn-keeper and farm manager, should we find people we think we can all get along with. That leaves two other houses we anticipate having built here, in fact, right here on this side of the old barn, to take advantage of the sunsets over the mountains, know of any teachers who would like to live here out in the country?"
That sparked a lively discussion between the adults with us explaining that we were prepared to provide the houses, in fact, our contractor had left us several plans and sketches of prefab homes he could possibly have installed before the end of the year. We offered to show these to them up at our house over a cup of coffee, as soon as the boys found the treasure chest, we had hidden in the field they were exploring right now. We had taken an old trunk out yesterday and it was filled with all kinds of balls; basketballs, soccer balls, softballs, dodgem balls, and kick balls and a few baseballs for Matty. There were even a few kinds of gloves in there and we thought the boys would have a lot of fun with the different balls. We didn't have to wait long. They all spotted the trunk about the same time and they wanted to take it home with them, before they even looked inside.
We adults were sitting at the big farm table dividing the kitchen area and the family room while the boys were on the patio exploring the insides of the trunk. The house printouts were being passed between the two newlywed couples and a few were passed to David and me and we closely looked over those since these were in contention as possible choices. None of them were huge houses, they had anywhere from three to four bedrooms and three to four bathrooms, all had garages and they all appeared to my eye as being craftsman style houses, all with full front, wide entry porches, the only real differences being the room sizes and layouts of the interiors.
They were still going through the plans when I noticed Matty showing his younger brothers how to dribble a basketball from hand to hand and not just bouncing it with two hands. I so admired the way he dealt with the younger boys and took over so well as a mentor to Eric when he had been brought into our family. I was thankful we had found that old basketball hoop in the lower level of our barn and had installed it on a pole at the end of the parking pad to the side of our garage. David had remarked that this way no windows would be in the direct line of an expected basket shot or a bad foul shot.
My attention was brought back to the table we were sitting at when I heard Ken calling out that he had just the right one for Ben and himself, and a second or two later JC was exclaiming they also had found one they both agreed on. Brian was looking over the ones David and I had in front of us and was nodding his head that he and JC had picked the right one for them, so we looked over the two chosen plans and drawings and agreed they were indeed nice-looking houses, and each had three good sized bedrooms. We asked if they were sure and both couples said they were, so now came the hard part, deciding who got which lot, but David had a solution to that and asked which lot each couple had liked. Thankfully they each liked a different lot, but the two lots were right next to each other, so they would continue to be neighbors.
Both couples insisted they would pay a reasonable rent for the use of the completed homes and they wouldn't waver from their decisions no matter how much we argued with them, so the next day I talked to our contractor and asked him to check on the availability of the two chosen styles and we asked him to see if one more of each style could also be obtained and placed on the opposite side of the lane where the old barn stood, but down the lane a bit so the four houses wouldn't be directly across from each other. He told me later in the day that with any luck all four structures would be in for the December holidays and he could possibly have the first two habitable by then, the second two finished by the end of January. He had received the specs for the foundations needed and he began on our friends' lots the very next day, prepping for the foundations to be dug and the septic systems installed. He took our plans for the houses to the building department and registered them so building permits could be issued, it was the start of an exciting autumn on our property. The boys were thrilled to see the progress every day when they came home from school.
All three boys loved to see the big hole diggers at work and the resulting big holes created, but then wooden forms were placed around the inside walls and rebar was threaded through the forms and across the floors with reinforcements for the plumbing for the septic systems and the concrete trucks were a constant presence for several days, filling the voids in the strengthened forms and the reinforced floors and four days later, crews were removing the forms and waterproofing was applied to all areas of the new concrete floors and walls. It was still Early November and our contractor told us the first two houses were on the road, heading by highway to us, they were as prepared as possible for them.
Thankfully we had time to arrange special field trips for the boy's classes for the delivery of the first house which arrived on two huge flatbed trailers. There were several sections on each trailer, components for the first floor loaded last so the huge crane could offload those sections first. We had the children all on the other side of the rough farm lane watching from a safe distance and after the first floor sections were installed on the basement the workmen took a break and allowed the forty-five students and teachers and chaperons time to explore for twenty minutes and then we herded them all back across the lane and the first flatbed truck backed out and the second pulled into its place, this truck had the second floor sections and other pieces, like the finishing pieces to complete the joined sections on both the inside and the exterior, as well as the porch sections.
It truly was fascinating to watch the sections being lifted into place and the teams of workmen crawling over the growing structure to join the big sections together to create a solid structure. The children all were amazed that the bathrooms were intact in the sections and kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities were already in place, as were flooring in the first-floor rooms and carpeting in the bedrooms. The second house was being delivered the next day, but the kids were in their classrooms that day, but a representative from the building department was on site and he watched the process throughout the day and came up to me before leaving and told me he was very impressed with the whole procedure and the quality of the workmanship on the houses. He then presented our contractor with the permits for the next two houses and told him to call when we were ready for him to inspect for the occupancy permits.
The next two houses were on their way now and all was now ready for them to be installed on their foundations during the next week, and it was by now the first full week of November and thankfully there was no measurable amount of snow yet, all we really needed was just a few more days of snow-free weather to get the next two houses installed.
After school let out that Friday all the newlyweds appeared to see their homes, now assembled on their foundations and most all of the finish work done on the inside and outside of the homes. Our contractor took the couples and us through the two homes and we were all impressed with them and the work done already on them. He told the couples to prepare for moving in the next weekend for these two first houses. Of course, the men had stopped by every day after they left their schools and their excitement about moving was growing by the day as they explored their houses and the work that was being done after the modules had been assembled.
It had been too cold out for canoeing, but we did take the boys out walking and riding their ponies every day along the trails on our property and the farmland where Mary and Lou were raising their daughter Beth. When the official moving day arrived the two couples appeared with a loaded pick-up truck and unloaded first at one house and then at the other. Delivery trucks started showing up at both houses just after noon and soon both houses had the basics, as far as furniture went and then both couples were off to shop for linens, towels, groceries, and cooking supplies. By evening they were all back to their homes, setting up house.
It was David that started the family building among the four newlyweds, unwittingly. He and I had taken the boys to ride their ponies, and of course we accompanied them on horseback through the trails behind the brick barn and we listened to the boys as they were talking about school the next day and David swears, he heard them talking about a boy that shared the first grade class with Davey and Eric, a boy named Fred.
We had met Fred during the delivery of the first modules, when we had all the kids from our boy's classes out to witness the delivery, off-loading, and watching the huge crane swing the sections into place. He was an elfin boy, a bit smaller than our own two six-year-olds, but high energy nonetheless. He needed to be watched as he was full of curiosity and would impulsively wander to explore on his own. In a word, he was adorable.
The few times we had seen him he had looked a bit disheveled and somewhat dirty, but with that sly grin intact always. Matty was asking Eric and Davey how Fred was doing this school year and David told me he eavesdropped on their conversation because he had heard other teachers in his school gossiping about Fred and his mother, who was a former student of theirs who had shown up back in town with Fred as a bun in the oven, unwed, or at least without a spouse, and she was living in her grandmother's old house, no more than a shack, about a mile down our road, just beyond the girl's farm.
The gossip was that the parents were long dead, and the girl lived with the elderly grandmother during her four years of high school, but she had taken off for a big city, most mentioned was Boston, lived a decadent lifestyle, became pregnant, came back to her grandmother at eight months pregnant, her grandmother died and the following week the baby Fred was born. It appeared to all that the grandmother had left the property to the granddaughter, so the granddaughter and her young son lived on in the tiny home, said to have only one true bedroom and just about a quarter of an acre of land.
David had even driven by that little shack and checked it out, finding the place no more than a hovel, totally unkempt and the yard an overgrown mess. JC and Brian, along with Ben and Ken, had been taking the online course to become foster parents. They had been in touch with our former caseworker, Mary Chambers, and had turned over copies of their marriage licenses and their test results to her shortly before the school year had started. She had been to both new houses during their housewarming party for the two new homes and when JC had checked on Fred, through his teacher, he couldn't get the little imp out of his mind. He told us that Fred was a good student, but the teacher found giving him something to do with his hands not only kept him occupied during class, but his attention from what was going on in class was not diminished by this.
The boys had been talking about what to bring for lunch the next day, and what each could share with Fred, when David heard them talking. The next morning David and I packed their lunches, putting extra in each bag, including extra money for beverages in each of the three bags before putting the bags in their backpacks. David told me, as the boys were dressing, that he wondered just how bad things were down the road if the boys were concerned about Fred eating lunch, and while he was getting dressed for his classes I looked up the property on my home computer and to me it looked like the property taxes were in arrears so I thought I'd call in sick today, not going into the office, but I could continue to do most of my editing from home on my laptop which was synced to my desktop computer at the office. This I could do at my own pace, giving me plenty of time to do some snooping on my own.
When the boys and man in my life were well on their way to school, I made sure I had my cell and wallet on me and then left to drive down our country road, coming to the little house Fred shared with his mother. There was an older car parked there, possibly one the grandmother had owned, it looked like something an older grandmother would drive, and I parked next to it and walked through the overgrown lawn to the front stoop. It was very obvious no one had tended to the property in a very long time. There was an old brass knocker on the door, so I rapped it and waited quite a few minutes until a very disheveled woman poked her head out of the door, saying, "You're early, just give me the pills and go away!" I reeled back a bit and explained that I was a neighbor, coming by to introduce myself and asking for permission for her son to visit with mine after school. She seemed befuddled and said that was alright with her, and then she closed the door in my face.
I went back to my car and backed out of the drive, then went down to the girls' farm. I knew Mary and Lou were at work and Beth was in school, but Alison and Deana were possibly home as they had their chores to do this early in the day. Later in the morning, Deana would be attending classes and Alison would be going in for her shift at the police station where she was a newly hired policewoman, having been in the MPs while in the service. I called as I drove (I know, a bad move) and asked if Alison could spare me a few minutes to talk with me before she left for her shift, she told me she had about forty-five minutes, so come on over, and I told her I was pulling into the farm right now.
After greetings were exchanged, I explained to Alison what was on my mind as Deana went to get ready for her morning class at the University. Alison listened to my description of what had transpired at Fred's home. She listened closely, and then asked me to repeat exactly what had been said to me when Fred's mother answered the door. I repeated exactly what had been said and then Alison went to the landline phone and repeated much of our conversation to someone she called "Sarge". She listened to this person, interjecting here and there and then as she hung up, she called up to Deana and told her she was going in early and would see her tonight when they both got home.
She then told me she had to get going and suggested I go home, and she'd be in touch as soon as possible. It was about three hours later when a police car pulled in front of the house and I heard two doors close on it as I went to answer the door. Alison, now in uniform, and a male Sargent were on the other side of the door and Alison made the introductions as we entered the house from the entry. I led them to the big kitchen table and proceeded to pour three coffees for us and we then sat around while they informed me about what had gone on after I left Alison at the farm. Alison had proceeded to the station where she and her Sargent had sat and gone over my recollection of my brief visit to Fred's house and other tidbits of information they had from other sources and when they combined these, they arrived at the conclusion that there was an illegal drug delivery service operating in our multi-college town.
A plain clothed officer was stationed right by Fred's house and he watched and filmed as a "delivery" was made at the front door and money exchanged hands, from Fred's house the plain clothed officer followed the delivery guy to another town residence and from there the officer called for backup and they raided the duplex and made seven drug arrests, for everything from distributing, to running a drug lab. While this was going on Alison and her Sargent went to Fred's house and tried to interrogate Fred's mother, but she had ingested some of the delivered drugs and was quite unresponsive and even more agitated. She was placed under arrest, taken to the University hospital and placed in the drug unit, handcuffed to her bed. Alison and her Sargent wanted to thank me for bringing this to their attention and were hoping for even more drug-related arrests as soon as the duplex and its contents and the former occupants could be investigated.
Before they left, I asked what would happen to Fred, and they both told me that DCFS had been notified and I would most likely be contacted by Mary Chambers before school even let out for the day. Before they could have even reached the police station, my landline rang again and it was indeed Mary, asking if I could do a huge favor for her. I laughed for the first time that day and told her that David and I were not taking in Fred for more than a day, that she needed to contact JC or Brian for a placement assignment, as they knew Fred and had spent time with him, he'd get one on one attention from them and they would love the chance to foster Fred, and he'd be on our property with three friends for neighbors if they did foster him. Mary was laughing and told me that is what she was calling about.
She had already talked to Brian and JC and placed Fred with them on paper, but after they got out of school JC and Brian were going to accompany her to Fred's old home to gather things for him and she was asking me if I would meet the school bus and make sure Fred got off with my three boys and if I'd keep them all occupied until they all returned to JC and Brian's home with Fred's belongings. Fred's mother had already had her parental rights revoked by a family court judge. With a sigh of relief, I agreed, and she told me she would take care of informing Fred about his mother's arrest and that she was no longer his mother, in fact, the doctor had just informed her that Fred's mother might not even last the night or the next day, as she had overdosed herself with the drug she had taken.