Mary Anne walked into the hut she shared with Ginger and had to stifle a gasp. Their luggage was overturned, the blankets that normally stayed on their cots were lying on the ground, and there were clothes strewn everywhere. The place looked like a bomb had just gone off inside.
She heard a muffled voice. "…I don't understand… where is it? Where did I put it?"
"Ginger? Where are you?" Mary Ann scanned the room looking for her roommate.
After a moment she found her in the corner of the hut frantically ripping her way through a pile of clothes.
"Ginger! What are you doing? What's going on? This place is a disaster!"
The redheaded woman stopped what she was doing to look up at Mary Ann. "I'm looking for something," she answered tersely before resuming her search.
"Wait a minute, wait a minute – what are you looking for? Maybe I can help."
"Oh Mary Ann," Ginger said despairingly. "I'm looking for a brown leather book. But I don't know if you'll be able to find it. I've looked everywhere."
Mary Ann started gingerly picking through a pile of things near their makeshift closet. "Well, what's in it that's so important?"
"Oh, nothing special really… Just some stuff, some memories of mine." Ginger answered very carefully, striving to sound nonchalant about the whole situation.
"Ginger, you've torn the hut apart searching for that book! Are you sure that's all," Mary Ann asked skeptically. "Maybe we should ask everyone else to help."
She didn't like the direction the conversation was heading towards. "No! No, that's ok, Mary Ann – you and I can find it ourselves. Just keep looking, will you? I'm gonna go outside and look. Maybe I dropped it out there."
Mary Ann gave up after about an hour or so. Ginger searched tirelessly for hours on end. She only stopped when the sun finally dipped beneath the horizon.
Later that evening, everyone gathered around the table for dinner. It was Mary Ann's night to cook. The rest of the castaways were talking, laughing and carrying on as usual, with the exception of the Professor who wasn't with the group. He had gone to the other side of the island in search of a special flower of some sort, for what, nobody really had a clue.
Mary Ann kept a close eye on Ginger the whole evening. She was usually quite the social butterfly, entertaining everyone with stories of one kind or another. But during dinner she didn't say much to anyone. Ginger absently picked at the vegetables on her plate all the while staring into space. After dinner Mary Ann set a coconut cream pie on the table for everyone to dig into. Ginger didn't even notice – and she loved her pie almost as much as Gilligan did.
'I wonder what's in that book... I can't understand what would be so important about it that she would tear everything up to find it. I know she's probably so upset about not having it - she didn't even eat the pie!
"My dear, are you alright?"
Mary Ann shook herself out of her reverie and looked up to see Mrs. Howell staring down at her with a concerned look on her face. One of the first things Mary Ann noticed was that the older woman was wearing a large beige sun hat - despite the fact that the sun had already set. She then realized she had been wiping the same spot over and over again and quickly took her hand off the table.
'Pay attention,' Mary Ann scolded herself silently. She knew she was spending far too much time wondering about Ginger and that book and promised herself she would stop thinking about it - even if she was dying to know what was in it.
"I'm ok Mrs. Howell," she replied with a smile. She hoped Mrs. Howell would go away. Mary Ann had some heavy thinking to do.
Mrs. Howell made herself comfortable on the bench on the opposite side of the table. "Are you sure? Is there something on your mind? You look rather troubled."
Mary Ann suppressed a sigh - so much for alone time. "I'm fine, but – well Ginger, she's the one who's got the problems."
She saw the gleam in Mrs. Howell's eye and instantly regretted saying anything. Ginger would be furious with her.
"What do you mean, problems? Is it something serious?"
'Might as well tell her,' Mary Ann thought dismally after hesitating for a moment. 'Ginger can kill me later.'
"Well Mrs. Howell, it started this morning – I went back to our hut and Ginger was searching for something – a brown leather book. She seemed awfully upset – she couldn't find it. I helped her look, but I couldn't find it either."
"What was in the book that was so important? Money, perhaps? A property deed? Darling, I would be upset too, if that was the case."
Mary Ann shook her head. "No, I don't think it was money or anything like that. She talked about the book having memories of hers in it."
"Hmm, I don't know. Perhaps I'll talk to my Thurston about it. I'm sure he can help us – he's very knowledgeable."
Mary Ann walked back to her hut after Mrs. Howell left. Unsurprisingly, Ginger was nowhere to be found. She was usually on the beach or at the lagoon, but Mary Ann was certain that tonight, she wasn't just out looking at the water or whatever it was she did out there. She was out looking for that book.
'Gosh, I hate to see her like this. She shouldn't be alone - maybe I'll go and find her.'
Mary Ann was getting ready to go out and find her, but something inside told her to leave Ginger be. She would come back when she was ready. She decided not to go looking for her, but she wasn't ready to just lie down and sleep either. Instead, she passed the time by reorganizing their hut.
Ginger stood at the edge of the lagoon staring at the clear water. Normally she loved the fragrance of the different types of tropical flowers that bloomed all around her and the sounds of the animals in the trees - it was all very romantic. But even they couldn't distract her from her dilemma.
'Where did I leave it?'
At first, Ginger wasn't so worried. Maybe she had left the journal somewhere in the hut. After awhile she began to feel anxious thinking about it. Eventually, that anxiety gave way to sheer panic.
She had racked her brain for hours and retraced her steps over and over again, but couldn't find anything. Ginger was ready to cry. That journal held all her private thoughts. If anyone were to ever find it… it anyone were to read it…
Ginger inhaled sharply as a sudden thought entered her mind. The other castaways. 'Oh no, what if one of them found it...?'
She mentally ticked off the list of castaways on the island with her, wondering if one of them might have found it.
'Let's see... Mary Ann certainly didn't see it... there's Gilligan, Skipper, Mr. and Mrs. Howell, the Professor …the Professor! Oh my God, I hope he didn't find it!'
She paced back and forth trying to calm herself down. 'There's no way it could be the Professor – he would have returned it before he left for the other side of the island. He would have asked who the journal belonged to.'
She began to breathe a little easier. She was sure it wasn't him. It couldn't be.
The contents of the journal were so private to Ginger that the thought of anyone reading them made her face burn with embarrassment. She wasn't ready to share her thoughts and feelings with the world, much less the Professor. She was careful not to write anything about him in her journal, but the poem...
'I might as well have just announced it to the world,' Ginger thought, silently berating herself. 'I don't even know why I wrote that! He didn't notice me. So what? Women like you do not get all googly eyed over men like him. Oh, Ging... you've really done it now...'
Ginger had it already set in her mind. As long as she had this infatuation to deal with, she would deal with it privately.
No one could ever know how she felt.
He could never know.
It would never come to anything anyway - they were too different. She would work her way though these feelings and overcome them once and for all.
She wouldn't be able to sleep until it was in her possession again.
The Professor didn't like lying. He preferred to deal with things out in the open. He told the other castaways that he had gone to the opposite side of the island to collect flower specimens to make medicine with.
Although he technically didn't lie, he didn't tell the entire truth either. The Professor really was gathering specimens. But, he also needed time to be alone to absorb and break down the information he discovered two nights ago.
So Ginger loved him. The Professor stopped and corrected himself - in the poem, she never explicitly stated the word love, but he was sure that she, at the very least, liked him.
He didn't understand. What did she see in him? He supposed he was handsome enough, but she was a Hollywood movie star. Handsome men were probably a dime a dozen in her world. Perhaps she liked his intellect. Or his personality.
But did he like her?
The Professor looked down at the loopy, feminine handwriting on the page he was reading.
'She's a nice girl,' he conceded indifferently, after a moment's thought.
Unfortunately, he didn't know anything about her. He couldn't draw any conclusions about Ginger Grant. She was friendly, willing to help when someone needed it, but she also seemed a bit two-dimensional.
The Professor assumed that Ginger was one of those people - what you see is what you get. What else was there to know about her? Was there anything even under the surface? He didn't really think so.
But the poem she wrote blew that theory out of the water.
'Shame on you, Roy Hinkley. That's what you get for assuming things,' the Professor thought. 'A scientist never assumes anything. You know what they say about assumptions...'
He was amazed at himself. The Professor had been stranded with her for quite a while and yet knew nothing of her personality, her likes, dislikes, or anything like that. He knew the other castaways very well. Why was she different?
The Professor was a man who loved problem solving. He loved finding answers to the unknown. And for him, women counted as the unknown.
The Professor came up with a plan. The first thing he would do though, is give Ginger her journal back.
'If she wanted the contents of the journal to be known, she wouldn't have tried to hide it. Ginger's probably frantic looking for it. I shouldn't have taken it with me.'
He wasn't sure why he took the journal with him instead of just giving it back. During his excursion, if he wasn't trying to find the flowers he needed, he was staring at the poem, reading it over and over again. She puzzled him. He didn't understand her at all. The Professor was a kind man. Growing up, he was taught to respect life. He was compassionate, gentle, and very patient. These traits all stem from love. He had love for people, but he knew nothing of true love between a man and a woman.
Maybe that was his problem. In his mind, he always coupled romantic love with lust - a very base urge.
He packed up his belongings and made his way back to camp.
Ginger woke up feeling pain everywhere. She had fallen asleep on the shore of the lagoon and, while the sand was soft, it couldn't compare to a mattress at The Ritz Carlton. Even her cot was luxurious in comparison.
She was disoriented for only a moment before the events of the last day and a half came back to her. Ginger felt like all her problems were once more heaped upon her shoulders and wanted to go back to sleep immediately.
She stretched, feeling her joints pop and creak, then got up and dusted the slightly damp sand off of her dress before walking back to camp.
She could smell the food the Skipper was cooking before she saw anyone. When she finally reached the huts, she saw a curious object on the log everyone normally sat on around the fire pit. Ginger walked up to the log for a closer look.
Heart hammering with joy, she snatched it up and opened it for a moment as if the pages could reveal to her where it had been. She was so relieved that nobody found it. Ginger went to change her clothes, holding her journal close and smiling all the way back to her hut. She never stopped to wonder how it got there. She hadn't been anywhere near the log when she last had the journal.
The Professor watched her from the window of his hut. He gave the journal to the Skipper and told him to just leave it on the log - the owner would find it and claim it. The Skipper didn't really ask any questions - he just took the journal and tossed it on the log. The Skipper didn't have the time to think about it - he and Gilligan were still trying to patch that boat up. Ultimately, they knew it was a futile attempt - the boat was beyond repair, but they still insisted on trying. What else did they have to do that morning?
The Professor could have handed the journal to her himself, but he knew that would only embarrass her. And it would defeat the purpose of what he wanted to do.
Mr. Roy Hinkley, Ph.D, planned to use his scientific genius for research on women, and Ginger Grant specifically. It would be difficult, but he was up to the challenge.
'I'll learn about her, find out what makes her tick. Then I can better draw a conclusion about her. It's always best to observe the subject while they are unaware. This way I can get a better sense of her, without any pretense.'
The Professor ate the fruit on his plate, eager to begin preparing for his latest endeavor.
A/N: Hi, I just wanted to thank you all again for continuing to read. Now, before anyone starts talking about the Professor's tone, I just want you guys to know that I'm going somewhere with this. So just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. :D