I nodded slowly. His eyes locked on mine and told me he knew that this was a big step in the right direction, which made me happy, though I wasn’t totally sure what to make of this gesture. Was he opening his life up for me?
Jackie and I decided to meet at the farmers’ market for coffee before one of us possibly lost her livelihood. We grabbed two cups of the best coffee we’d ever tasted and waved at Mykia as she attended to some early customers.Seth and I simply could not work together, Jackie explained as she sipped her coffee. All of his ideas centered around sex. Or something sexist. Or both.
Well, two of us are going to get the boot. I’m worried for Glynnis. And for myself.I’d like to say I’m worried for all of us, but I’m not, Jackie admitted. I don’t want to go, and I don’t want you to go either.Lukas was toughest on mine. It’ll be me and Glynnis. I pushed the unkind thoughts from my mind. The ones that said I wished it would be Rhiannon and Byron, because they were young and would bounce back a lot quicker than I would. I tried to bury my fear down even deeper—what would I do? How would I continue paying the mortgage? How could I help Trey pay for college? But it kept bobbing to the surface, leaving an oil-spill residue of anxiety.
Nervous, Jackie and I both checked the time on our phones. Let’s get it over with, she said.We climbed the stairs to Guh, our footsteps heavy with foreboding. I’d worked for Giacomo for seventeen years. Nearly Trey’s entire life. Would getting the boot ruin me? I thought of the garden, of Lukas’s insincere promise that opportunities would abound. Maybe I’d make my own opportunities. Maybe . . .
When we stepped in the office, Byron, Rhiannon, and Glynnis were already at their workstations, saucer eyed. They pointed to the chair where Seth usually sat. An opened envelope, torn in half, rested on the keyboard.
He’s gone, Glynnis said, pink cheeked, likely embarrassed by the relief in her voice. But he didn’t go out the back door.He resumed chopping the onions, a slight smile on his face. My wife lived in this house, he said quietly. And I lived next door while she did. It was the only way we could manage to stay together, to be separated. Then that wasn’t enough, and she took off in the middle of the night. This was before Google. I didn’t know where she went.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I might actually like you, Bill Eckhardt.And it completely shocks me to say that I might almost tolerate you, Paige Moresco.
Well, if that’s true, will you call off the village dogs? I’ve got a citation with my name on it.Seems to me that citation somehow ended up on my lawn, in pieces.