Not a date

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Jennifer's P.O.V:

Lying in bed that night, I wondered again if I had offended Matthew with my frankness. He had been silent on the drive home, and seemed deep in Thought, preoccupied, withdrawn. yet, when he got off the elevator with me at my floor, walked with me to my apartment and saw me safely inside, He had smiled at me and thanked me for a pleasant evening.

I rolled over on to my stomach, hearing once again in my mind the gentle strains of the Young Korean concerto, and as I drifted off to sleep, my last thought was of Matthew Smith and how much I hoped I hadn't spoiled our budding Friendship with my blunt honesty.

Next morning the telephone rang just as I was finishing my breakfast. It was Margaret, and I flinched at the note of triumph in my sister's voice.

'I hear you were with Matthew Smith at the concert last night,' she crowed. I sighed. Really, the New York grapevine moved at the speed of light. I took a deep breath, determined to set Margaret straight right now. 'I wasn't with him, Margaret. He only gave me a lift. We met in the elevator and found we were both going to the same place... by the way, sister dear, was that one of your little plots to throw us together'? '

'I swear, Jennifer, I had nothing to do with it. Honestly. I didn't even know William had given him the ticket. It was sheer coincidence. I've learned my lesson'.

Fat chance of that, I thought, but something in Margaret's voice rang true. She never backed down when faced with a valid accusation, she only became more aggressive-and was too self-assured to lie.

'I'm glad to hear it', I said. 'It's about time'.

Then there was a short pause. I could practically hear Margaret Panting at the other end of the line.

'Well'? My sister said at last. 'Aren't you going to tell me about it'?

'There's nothing to tell, Margaret. He gave me a Lift. That's all there was to it'.

'Oh, come on, now. I had been told that you both disappeared together at the intermission. she said...

'We both happen to detest jazz and decided to leave early', I interrupted firmly. 'That's all there was to it. Now, it's late. I have to get to work'.

'Work, work, work', Margaret grumbled. that's all you ever think of. 'You would, too, if your livelihood depended on it', I countered lightly. 'I'll talk to you later'.

After I hung up the phone, I went into the bathroom to shower, cursing whoever told Margaret and the whole city's network that beat the FBI for gathering information.

I had just finished drying myself when the telephone rang again. Slipping into my robe and went back to the Living Room and lifted up the phone.

'Mrs. Davis'? Came a brisk, feminine voice.

'Yes. This is me'.

'Senator Smith's office. one moment please'.

There was a short silence, clicks and then Matthew's voice came on the line. 'Jenifer? It's Matthew'.

'Yes, Matthew', I sat down on the edge of the chair in front of my desk, wondering why on earth he was calling me so early.

'Would it be possible for you to come to have lunch with me today'? He asked easily.

My mind raced. What did he want? I was strongly tempted to refuse. not only was I wary of masculine overtures, but I didn't want to feed the New York gossip mill. Then I realized I was being paranoid. I liked the man, wanted his friendship, and I was almost certain that was all he wanted, too. Mature grown men and Women could certainly have platonic friendships. Couldn't they?

'Jenifer'? Came the curt voice. 'Are you there'?

'Yes, Matthew. Sorry I was just thinking. Yes, I'd like to have lunch with you'.

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