After unexpected events in the last couple of chapters, Remy finds some peace this week in Chapter 16. Don’t be put off, though – watch for next week’s chapter when a revelation is revealed that puts things a bit more into perspective for her.
This week’s chapter (as well as next week’s) comes from Cathy MacKenzie. Check out her books of short stories available on Smashwords for only $1.99 and $0.99. https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/camack. There you can read the first story in each book for free. However, the stories are all different, so the sample stories aren’t a true representation of the other stories. Her books of poetry are available there, as well.
The Spot Writers’ blogs appear at the end of this story. Don’t forget to check them out.
Somehow Remy survived the following week at work, surprised by mundane, non-events. Sam, other than filling her in on the phone calls he’d tried to trace, acted like nothing had happened between them. Even Jeremy seemed to be on his best behavior. Mostly, he was non-existent. They passed each other once on the street, but he looked quickly away. Remy wasn’t sure if it was out of embarrassment, hatred or ambivalence. Perhaps a bit of all three.
Irene was her usual snarky self. Remy didn’t know Irene well, but wondered about her private life, which seemed almost too private. She knew she was divorced, but thought she had mentioned a casual boyfriend. They had worked together for almost six months; one would think she’d have shared more of herself within that period. Irene had been hired shortly after Remy, but acted like she had seniority. Remy tried to not let her actions bother her. If Irene wanted to run the office, that was fine with her. A few days one way or the other didn’t give one employee seniority over the other, Remy reasoned. Dr. Kendrick had never actually elaborated on who had seniority, and Remy just assumed responsibilities would be shared. Mostly they were, but sometimes Irene rode her high horse.
Remy, usually a good judge of character, liked Irene at first, but the past month or so she had detected slight changes in her. It was nothing she could put her finger on, just sparks of something that flashed through her eyes and not-so-nice words spewed for seemingly no reason. Was it jealousy? She seemed jealous of her “relationship” with Dr. Kendrick, although Irene never let on she had feelings for him. Remy was positive she had mentioned a boyfriend who lived a couple of hours away. Perhaps she was just lonely, if she didn’t see him much.
Remy thought back to the phone calls and how Sam was all business the next work day after the episode with Jeremy.
He had called her into his office. “I called my friend at the phone company,” he said, “about the phone calls that came in here. The hang-ups. They came from a phone booth at the Lakeside Mall.”
“Lakeside Mall?” The mall was a ten-minute drive from the office.
“My friend’s name is Jim Lawson. Give him a call. See if he can trace yours. Even though he’s my friend, he works by the book and won’t check your calls unless he has your permission.”
Remy had waited for him to say something further, but he just stared at her. Is he regretting what had happened? Remy felt her face flush.
“Let me know if you receive any more calls here. The next step will be to contact the police.” Dr. Kendrick continued to stare at her.
Remy felt like crawling under the carpet, and would have tried, if there had been one. She had quickly excused herself, confused by his impersonal attitude.
The office was busier than usual that week, for which Remy was grateful. A room full of patients didn’t give Sam time to linger about the reception area, if he had been so inclined, nor did it give Remy the opportunity to question his motives and her feelings. At the end of the day, Remy’d grab her purse and would be gone. If Irene felt she had seniority, fine. Let her close up. Let her handle the last-minute details that needed to be done. Remy waited for Irene to say something about her abrupt departures, but she never mentioned them. Remy wondered whether she liked having those extra minutes with Dr. Kendrick after all the patients were gone. Likely they had time then to gossip. Perhaps they even gossiped about her.
Okay. Enough, Remy. You’re being childish, would run through her head when she thought of the moments the two of them likely shared after she’d gone. Remy, still confused, didn’t know how she felt about Jeremy or Sam. If she loved one of them, truly loved one of them, wouldn’t she know? Why did she feel so conflicted?
Remy spent a couple of evenings with Alison and Sarah, but other than that, she spent her time quietly, wading through a couple of novels she had promised herself to read.
It was almost as if the angels had descended from heaven and spread calming dust over the characters in her world. For a change, her life bored her, although she wouldn’t wish the past events to come to the surface again.
She knew they would, though. She figured her days had entered the “calm before the storm” phase and it was only a matter of time before circumstances – and people – heated up again.
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Catherine A. MacKenzie