Annie & Jack After Forty

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Chapter 8


I hand Ben the glass of whiskey from the bar in his home office. I followed him to his house after dinner to talk about our crazy mother’s newest attempt to get under my skin. I was actually pretty calm during dinner in front of Sophie. I found myself calming down by quizzing Sophie about Sarah Jane’s Aunt Annie. Thank God Ben chimed in too with the questions, staying on the subject.

“I’m glad you held it together through dinner. I think Sophie is still in shock at how well you handled yourself.” He laughs.

“I’m not upset, Ben. She can think she’s poking me all she wants. The bottom line is, I’m going to choose every single color and change that happens in the house. I’m happy really; I’m glad to get it started and over with by summer.”

I sip my whiskey and ignore the look on his face. He’s expecting me to say, but, and throw a fit about this. I smirk, “Get the look off your face, asshole; I’m not a ticking time bomb, which is going to explode. I mean every word I just said. I plan to call Mom tomorrow and thank her, maybe send her flowers. If she did this to get under my skin, it didn’t work. It needs to be done, and it’s great, it’s starting soon.”

“Really, no shit. You don’t plan to try and get back with the crazy woman?” He chuckles, still not believing me.

“Nope, I trust she would never hire idiots, she’s cutthroat if anything. She’s eliminating a headache for me. I win this round.”

“That’s true; I bet she got you a good deal. I tell you, what a small fucking city this is at times. What are the odds Sophie’s friend’s family keeps intersecting with ours; it’s crazy. Of all the restaurants, her aunt works at is The Stardust, and now the family is working for our mother.”

“Yeah, what are the odds?” I say, thinking about Annie’s hair. The blue eyes that I noticed, the first two times we met, seemed larger now on her pretty petite face. They shined even brighter. She looks younger than I first pegged her to be. She’s beams at everyone and everything. She doesn’t have a strong southern accent, but I detect a small twang with her pronunciation of certain words. It leads you to believe she’s definitely from the south. There is no doubt that Sarah Jane and her mom, Leslie, are from the south, Tennessee to be exact. Annie’s beautiful sweet smiles and giggles aimed at me bother and piss me off. My stand-off expressions doesn’t seem to affect her at all. That must be some polite southern bullshit thing, to always smile.

“Our waitress, Annie, she’s pretty. I thought she was cute when I first met her, but now with her haircut, makes her stand out, don’t you think?”

I nod my head, yes, “How old do you think she is?”

The fucker laughs, “Why? She seems too nice for you. Are you interested?”

I roll my eyes. “I was just curious.” I pierce him with a pointed look. “How old is Sarah Jane’s mom? I caught the smile you gave to her.”

He laughs. “I’ve met her a few times now, very unforgettable. I hear Sophie coming downstairs. I’ll fill you in about her later.”

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