Chapter 25: Letting Go

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Thursday morning was the day before Christmas Eve. With the new policies, Andrew had offered to cover the office so that the others on his team could work from home, since he'd taken the day before off. With Christmas being on Saturday, everyone had Friday off, which meant his team would have a nice mini-vacation from the office.

Besides a couple of people milling around, Andrew and Stu were the only two on their side of the building. To avoid the holiday crowd, Andrew took off mid-morning for Tony's.

As he crossed the parking lot, heading for the street and the barber shop, Andrew pulled his coat around him, warding off the wind. Yet another snowfall was predicted, and there was a good possibility that there'd be a white Christmas.

Tony was giving a cut, and had another person waiting. He greeted Andrew and pointed him to the empty chair. "Do you have time to wait?" he asked.

Andrew sat, watching Tony work his magic on the older gentleman in the chair. "I do. It's dead at work today."

"Talk to me while I cut Randall here." Tony pointed his scissors at Andrew. "Randall, this is my friend Andrew."

Randall offered a greeting, which Andrew returned.

"You don't look like you need a cut," Tony said.

Andrew spun the chair to look in the mirror. "I guess you're right."

"What's on your mind?" Tony asked, knowingly.

Cringing, Andrew rubbed a hand through his hair. "You know the outings I told you about?"

"Sure."

"The woman, Emma, she's acting weird. I'm not sure how to handle it."

"Weird how?" Randall asked.

Andrew tried to think of words to describe it. "Like during our...outings..."

"What's an outing?" Randall asked. "Like a date?"

Tony tsked at Randall as he measured hair between his fingers. "Shh, we call them outings."

"Anyway," Andrew rolled his eyes, "she seemed open to maybe being with me. I was the one hesitating. But now it seems the opposite."

"What did you do?" Tony asked.

"I was going to ask the same thing," Randall said.

Andrew shook his head. "What makes you think I did something?" Then he fessed up. "Maybe I said some mean things to her once about trying to sabotage my job, but I thought we were over it. Maybe I kind of broke things off with her and put her in the friend zone because I was scared she was pulling me from my girls."

"His daughters are precious," Tony told Randall.

Randall pulled his wallet out from under the barber cape. "I have precious girls too. My granddaughters." He swiped to a picture. They were cute, Andrew and Tony agreed.

Sensing he'd lost his crowd, Andrew wished Tony a Merry Christmas, and promised to come back before New Year's. Tony left Randall in the chair and walked him to the door. "Sorry we couldn't talk more."

Andrew laughed. "I'm not. I'm glad you're busy. How about we go for a beer after the holidays?"

"Sounds good. And listen," Tony said, "If you want to know where you stand with your lady, the best way to find out is to ask her. It may hurt to hear the answer, but at least you'll know."

Nodding, Andrew pulled his coat around him. "You're right. Thanks, man." He pulled Tony into a guy hug, patting him once on the back, and then headed out to the street and back to BI.

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