A novel by Karen Lockhart
Copyright© 2016 Karen Lockhart
Ellen quickly called Pete Smith's cell phone. It only rang once before Pete answered, “Ellen, any news on Tina?”
“Yes, Tina's here at the condo. She met with her father! Vincent Morales is alive!”
There was a moment of silence, then Pete shouted, “I knew it, dammit, I knew it! I had a feeling the bastard was alive.”
I looked at Ellen, “What did he say, tell me.”
“Pete said he knew it, he had a feeling Morales was still alive.”
I looked off into space and wondered what was going to happen now. How would the cops track him down, now they knew he wasn't dead?
After Ellen hung up with Pete, she looked at Tina and shook her head, asking, “What do you mean, your father has found a girl friend after all this time?”
“I smelled 'Obsession' perfume on his jacket lapel. That's a nice scent probably worn by a lady, not a hooker like the women he used to associate with.” She sniffed a little, “I'm really glad he's alive, I mean, Dad's not a nice man, but he's my father, I love him.”
“Tina,” I said, “do you want to stay overnight again, or are you sick of us?”
Tina gave me a hug saying, “I'll never be tired of you guys, you two are always there for me. If it's okay, I'd like to sleep over tonight. I feel safe here; anywhere else, I'll be by myself.”
Ellen went into the kitchen to refill the tea kettle, and placed my fresh strawberry rhubarb pie on the table.
“C'mon you two, sit and have a slice of Ginny's pie. Pie is good for the nerves, girls.”
To change the subject, Ellen told Tina about our shopping spree at Paul's tack shop in Andover. She delighted in describing my Western blouses, and how nice my bum looked in the tight riding pants. The more she spoke, the redder my face became. Tina finally was rolling side to side laughing at my discomfort.
Our plan had worked, her father's whereabouts were far from her thoughts.
We spoke of Cathy's plans for the upcoming horse show. Tina was really out of the loop, having missed her riding lesson the past two Saturdays. We talked about how many horses were going, and what classes everyone would show in.
In no time, it was after 10pm and Ellen and I had to be up at 5am for work. We told Tina good night, and suggested if she wanted, as long as the volume was low, she could watch the television until she fell asleep.
With three of us there, it was a good thing only Ellen and I needed the shower at 5 o'clock. Tina was still asleep on the sofa when we left for the job site.
Things were happening quickly; the forms were up, the reinforcing steel tied in the correct grid pattern, and concrete was ordered for the following morning. Steve Brady made an appearance in time to hear the good news on the job's progress.
“See Ellen,” Steve said, “I told you we'd be back on schedule this week.”
On hearing this, She looked at me, and rolled her eyes. “Who told who?”she asked Steve.
He gave a sheepish grin, “My wife doesn't let me get away with things either, kid.”
As usual, Steve's timing was amazing. No sooner than he finished, we heard the Canteen truck's horn outside.
“Get what you two want, I'm buying,” Steve said, “I mean, how much could it cost?”
Well, Ellen's and my order came to ten dollars, less than Steve's! He got a beef stew, an Italian sub sandwich, chips, a small blueberry pie, and a Coke.
We sat around my desk with our lunches. Ellen and I watched Steve make all that food disappear.
Steve belched, stood up and stretched saying,”Now I feel human again, I missed breakfast, you know.”
As if this was an excuse.
I chuckled, “Steve, why don't you weigh three hundred pounds?”
Steve looked at me. “I was hungry,” he said sheepishly, “Besides, I'm a growing boy.”
“Growing alright,” Ellen muttered, “If I ate that much, I wouldn't be able to move for two days.”
Steve gave us both a kiss on the cheek, and left. Another obvious example of sexual harassment, but from him, it was okay.
Ellen looked out the office window, “You haven't heard from Kevin lately, have you Ginny?”
Before I could respond, my cell phone rang. My ring tone was the famous “Stairway to Heaven.” The caller ID said it was Kevin! Speak of the Devil.......
“Hi, sweetie, I've missed you.”
A little private phoned sex occurred. Then he reminded me that on Saturday the four of us had tickets to the Mikado at Harvard. To be honest, I had forgotten!
Dinner at 6pm, the show started at 7:30. If Ellen could coordinate with Pete, we could go in one vehicle, Ellen's Explorer, it had the most room.
We played kissy face over the phone, with me promising to call him that night after supper.
Supper! I forgot to get a grocery order! Hey, we hadn't had Chinese for a while. Tonight, chicken fingers, boneless spare ribs, pork lo mein, and Crab Rangoon. My mouth was watering, just thinking of it.
We got home about 4pm. I started to vacuum the house, and Ellen started the laundry, asking if I had something for the washer. I went to my room and handed her my laundry basket.
“Don't forget to separate the whites. The last time my white panties came back pink.”
Ellen grinned, “Better then the color they started.”
If I had something to throw, I would have, and I don't throw like a girl!
Friday night came in no time, We looked in our closets, deciding what to wear the next day. I felt a short skirt was inappropriate, instead I chose a pair of lined black slacks and a cream colored silk blouse; those slacks showed off my tush nicely. An ankle boot with a three inch heel completed the picture.
I headed for Ellen's room, dreading what she had picked. To my surprise, she was wearing a nice floral print dress and a pair of two inch heel court shoes in navy blue.
She anxiously looked at me and asked how she did. I smiled and said, ”Grasshopper, you have learned your lessons well.”
“What time are we leaving for the barn in the morning?”
Ellen replied “The usual time, around 9am, why?”
“Kevin would like to ride up with us. He'll bring a suit and change when we do; that way, it'll save some time tomorrow night. I'll call him now and tell him.”
Kevin arrived at 8 o'clock with coffee and bagels and our newspaper. We didn't have to worry about breakfast!
Our lessons went great! Cathy got our checks for our entries and stalls at the show. We would be stabled in the main barn, close to the Arena entrance. The show started on Wednesday, we'd trailer out on Monday. This would give us time to set up, and a day for practice. She suggested making reservations at Motel 6. Most of the rooms would be filled with show people. We would leave at 9am Monday.
The three of us decided on the Four66 restaurant for a light lunch; home at 2 o'clock, plenty of time for our showers and application of our warpaint.
Neither of us thought Kevin would shower twice in the same day.
It turned out we were right! All the way to the restaurant, Ellen and I made sniffing noises.
Finally Pete asked what was going on. Ellen told him as she giggled from the back seat.
“Kevin, you're sitting beside Ellen, not me tonight,” he said.
Over dinner I mentioned Tina smelling 'Obsession' perfume on her father's shoulder.
Pete shrugged, “That's no help.”
To be continued.
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