Saturday, December 7, 2013
Dear Jon - Chapter # 19
Hello all! My name is V.L. Locey. I am a self-published and traditionally published author that lives in the mountains of Pennsylvania with my husband of over twenty-two years, my daughter who is seventeen, a herd of dairy goats, chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys, two dogs, two cats, and a partridge in a pear tree. For more info and links about me and my work, check out the Bio tab up above.
Being a fan of music – and many other things from the 40`s - I thought it would be keen to include the links to the songs mentioned in this story. Here`s Al Goodman`s The Waltz You Saved For Me. Feel free to play them as you read for atmosphere during the appropriate scene or wait until you’re done.
The shit didn`t hit the fan until after my date for Saturday night left. Boy, I tell you, it took every fucking ounce of self-control I possessed not to deck Ross Coleman. The only thing that kept me from clocking the man was Andy sitting on the floor playing, and the fact that I was nutso about him.
“What the hell is the matter with you?” I spat, pulling on Ross until we were once more ensconced in the back room with the door cracked.
“I`m just trying to make you appear a little less questionable,” he assured me, picking up a small block of wood. I wanted to slap the chunk of pine out of his hand. He flipped open his penknife, leaned against his old beaten-up desk, and started to whittle.
Talk about not knowing if I should shit or wind my watch! How the hell could he be so blithe about all this?!
“You do realize that you set me up with a woman?” I asked, my brown loafer tapping the hardwood floor steadily. Ross nodded and whittled. Tiny slivers of white pine drifted downward with each pass of his knife over wood. I glared openly. “Have you forgotten I don`t like dating women? That`s why I`ve been sneaking into your bed as often as possible?!”
He looked up from his whittling when I poked his wide chest soundly.
“I did notice you in my bed, yes,” he replied so calmly my noggin nearly blew off. One corner of his mouth ticked upward. “Jon, it`s only to keep up appearances. If the good folk of Hannity Hills see you escorting Miss Jenkins to social events, the scrutiny will lessen.”
“And this is spoken from your vast knowledge about tricking the good folks?” I snapped. The playfulness left his smoky eyes.
“Let`s just say I`ve learned from my mistakes.” He turned to place his whittled wood block on top of his desk, and then came back to face me. “We don`t want them whispering about you like they do me. Jon, it`s only a date perhaps once a week at the most. You`ll enjoy yourself, Abigail is a lovely young woman who is incredibly well-read and--”
“Of course she`s well-read! She`s a librarian!” I sniffed before stalking out to gather up my nephew. I heard Ross chuckling as he ambled out into the display area. Andrew clung to me like a monkey: arms around neck and legs around waist. “Say goodbye to Mr. Coleman, Andrew.”
“Goodbye!” Andy yelled beside my ear.
“Happy trails!” Ross replied, his voice trembling with laughter. Oh he was just enjoying my temper far too much! Out I sailed with my chin aloft just like Scarlett O`Hara leaving a tittering Rhett Butler in her wake.
“Damned man,” Andy mimicked. This child would have a vocabulary to shame a dock worker soon.
I know how wrong it is to be thinking ‘Dear God, get this date over with!’ before it even starts properly. I had never dreaded seeing a person more, and that was in no way due to Miss Jenkins. She was a lovely young woman, filled with that youthful blush that young women have. The sticking point here was the fact that she was a young woman, and not an older man that was too clever by half.
Yes, it was a clever way to lessen the curiosity about me. And yes, this coupled with the job I would start Monday at the tax collectors office would certainly get me in good stead with the child welfare people. But every time I smiled at Abigail, or nodded at someone as they danced past, I felt my tie getting that much tighter. Come midnight I would be garroted and blue around the lips.
“You seem quite preoccupied, Mr. Porter,” Abigail said as we waltzed smoothly in a circle amid several other young couples. I flushed in embarrassment instantly.
“I`m so sorry, Miss Jenkins,” I effused, “I suppose it`s just that I`m all beside myself with the new job, and having to care for my nephew, and now being able to dance with the prettiest girl in Hannity Hills.”
Her smooth cheeks grew pink. The compliment was no lie. She was the most attractive woman here. Smart and refined with an easy humor, blue eyes, dark brown hair in a neat bob, and a well-turned ankle. The librarian in my arms was a real dreamboat. I just happened to be sailing in a different ocean.
“The other ladies at the library agree that you stepping in to raise Andrew was a wonderfully gallant thing to do,” she told me. I dipped my head in thanks. “You keep this up, and you`ll be up to your elbows in young ladies trying to drag you down the aisle.”
I stepped on her open-toed shoes. Once more I apologized. By the time we were pulling into the driveway of Miss Jenkins small but tasteful home, I could barely suck in a breath.
“It`s turned off warm,” I said, pushing my hat back from my brow, “Mind if I loosen my tie?”
“Let me,” she said, sliding over the seat.
Next thing I knew the back of her fingers were brushing my throat as she undid the crisp Windsor knot. She smelled lovely, like flowers in a window box in spring. My fingers tightened on the steering wheel. When the knot was loose her eyes met mine. The invitation was in her gaze. If I didn`t make a move she`d question my lack of interest. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate having to lie about who and what I am? As my lips pressed against Miss Jenkins` I realized that conformity had me right by my cleanly shaved balls.
Issue # 18