Chapter 12 - There'll Be Some Changes Made

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Jonathon stamped his feet to get the snow off, and then entered the office building. A light snow had started falling as he'd made his rounds outside, but by time he'd finished, it had become progressively heavier and now there was a thick coating covering the ground.

When Mrs. Gibson spotted him coming through the door, she got up from her desk and came to him.

"I'd like coffee," he said, brushing snow off his shoulders before taking off his coat and handing it to her.

"Right away, sir. There's a Miss Montgomery here to see you."

"Montgomery?" he said, wondering who she meant.

"Hello, Johnny," he heard, and turned around. Annie was rising from a chair in the small waiting area.

"Annie!" he said with surprise, going to her with his hand out. "Hello." She looked markedly different than the last time he'd seen her. She was wearing a simple navy suit, but it looked stylish on her on her slender frame. Her dark hair was neatly curled under a wide brimmed hat.

"It's good to see you," she said, smiling while she shook his hand. "It's been a long time."

"It certainly has. My secretary said you wanted to see me?"

"Yes – unless you're too busy."

"No, I've got some time to spare. Why don't you come into my office," he said, holding his arm out to show her the way.

"I'll bring coffee for two," Mrs. Gibson said heading in the opposite direction.

When Jonathon stepped into his office, he was about to close the door behind them, then thought better of it. "Have a seat," he said, indicating the chair opposite his desk.

"I heard about your mom," she said when he sat in his chair. "I'm real sorry, Johnny."

"Thanks," he muttered, gathering the correspondence he'd left on his desk to avoid looking at her. It had been some weeks since his mother died, but it wasn't any easier talking about it.

"How's Billy doing?"

"He's doing alright. He'll be graduating next June," he said, hoping to steer the subject away from his mother.

"It's hard to believe he's already a senior," Annie said with a bright smile.

"Yes, it is."

At that moment, Mrs. Gibson appeared with a tray holding a pot of coffee and two cups. After she'd served both of them, she left.

"Is he still seeing Kitty?" Annie asked.

"Yes, he is."

"I always said they made a cute couple. I remember those times when you invited me and Helen over to your parties. Gosh, we all had so much fun together!"

He winced, as a long forgotten pain pierced through him. Helen. He hadn't thought of her in a long time, not since it was clear his mother would never agree to him seeing her.

But your mother isn't here anymore.

A wave of guilt washed over him, and he quickly pushed the thought away. Then he realized Annie was watching him.

He cleared his throat. "You, uh, you said you wanted to see me about something?"

Annie dropped her eyes and set her cup on his desk. "Ye-es," she said slowly, her face flushing while she opened her hand bag. When he saw the folded sheet of newspaper she pulled out, his stomach sank. "I see you posted an advertisement for a housekeeper, and I came to ask if you would consider me for the job."

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