AW started out as the director of a student-help program at the small rural college where Fiorella was stationed. On the side he taught philosophy. His field was ontology--ironically, the study of reality.
A was an arresting figure--tall, athletically slim, probably in his fifties, white hair and beard. His voice was soft, but his presence was commanding. Fio enjoyed his friendship--he hobnobbed with the administrators and passed on lots of juicy gossip--but there were a few things about him that bothered her. Her stomach sank when she checked his website and saw that his master's had come from the University of South Africa and his doctorate from the University of Wales. Even though A explained he had been an investment broker at the time and traveled a lot, she knew something wasn't right.
There were other clues. He didn't seem to understand that one received a "doctor of philosophy" in a specific field, like linguistics or--or philosophy. And he told people that he and Fio had known each other from when they had both taught at Austin Community College, which wasn't true. Besides, why was his ex-wife so mad at him? And why did he say he'd attend Fio's housewarming, then not show? Ditto for the retirement party she threw for a colleague? After all, Fio had told A that Husband had majored in philosophy at one time. Wouldn't he have enjoyed discussing Kant and Kierkegaard with him? And how did A have the time to teach distance -learning classes for a prestigious New England college in addition to everything else he was doing? And how could a person who had supposedly written a doctoral dissertation compose such a piss-poor blurb for his latest POD oeuvre?
Then A applied for the position of department chair and his credentials were checked. No master's, no doctorate. He was walked off campus by the college police.
Later Fio learned that previous to his academic career, A had received a cease and desist order from the state of Michigan for irregularities in his brokerage business.