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A . T I M E . F O R . U S
PART 2
by chrissy n 7.15.00

Roxanne Reynolds, beautiful and middle-aged with shoulder-length auburn hair, dressed in a peignoir, sat on her patio, sipping coffee. Her son, tall, attractive Steve, wearing a two-piece suit appeared.

"Steve," Roxanne exclaimed. "I'm surprised to see you here."

"Why? I do live here."

"I know," she said, watching Steve pull a chair from underneath the table and sit. "But usually by now, you've gone to the construction site."

"Well, it's still pretty damp out because of that storm we had the other night," Steve said, pouring coffee from a pot. "Work will resume when the ground's drier. But I'm going to drop by the office today, and do some paper work."

"You really like working for Driscoll Construction, don't you?"

"I find the work rewarding."

"Your father would have liked it had you gone to work for his company."

"Mother, you know that Dad and I don't see eye to eye on his business practices."

"You and your father don't agree on many things," Roxanne said.

"Particularly on business matters."

"Well, you're an adult, with your own mind. If you don't want to work with Craig, that's your choice."

"Mother, you aren't exactly brokenhearted because dad and I aren't close," Steve said.

"Craig, and I are divorced, and as you know, it was bitter. He tried to leave me penniless. But he is your father, and I sincerely wish the two of you got along better...But anyway, off to a new subject. I want you to don your best suit Friday night."

Steve sipped his coffee. "What's the occasion?"

"I have a date." She chuckled. "A date at my age," she said.

"You don't look a day over twenty one," he joked.

She patted his hand. "Oh, aren't you a darling to pay me such a compliment." She paused. "But I'm having dinner with Gerard Latham."

"The big deal realtor in town?" he said.

"Yes. He doesn't fret about paying his bills. I can assure you. We've been seeing each other socially a few weeks--dinner, the theater." She put her fingernails in her mouth. "One night, I put on a pair of dungarees and went to the amusment park, and rode on the roller coaster. Almost went into cardiac arrest... Anyway, he wants to meet my son. We're having dinner, and I want you to accompany us."

"Friday night?" Steve said.

She nodded.

"I'm sorry," Steve said. "I can't."

"Oh Steve, if you have something planned with Jane, surely you can postpone it until another time. You and Jane see each other practically everyday," she said.

"I don't have anything planned with Jane. Not directly, anyway."

"What does that mean?"

"Driscoll Construction has been in business twenty five years, and Jane's throwing a party to celebrate the occasion."

"And of course you have to be there," Roxanne said, barely concealing her irritation.

"Mother, I do work with Al Driscoll."

"You work FOR Al Driscoll," she threw in.

"I don't see it that way. And neither does he. I'm his right hand man, and it wouldn't look right if I wasn't there to drink a toast in his honor."

"Well since you care so much about Al Driscoll, and his little construction company, it would behoove you to become better acquainted with Gerard Latham...

"His company is going to open a new shopping plaza here, and even a hotel...Somebody will have to build those places...And I'm sure Driscoll's will put in a bid for the contracts. So you'll have a heads up if you're on friendly terms with Gerard. He's in and out of town, so you'd better seize this opportunity."

"Mother, I don't operate that way," Steve said. "Driscoll's will undoubtedly put in a bid, and if we get the contract, it'll be because our rates are the cheapest, not because my mother is seeing Gerard Latham."

She sighed. "I can't believe the way you put the Driscoll's ahead of your own mother."

"I don't do that," Steve said.

"But you do. I think Martha and Al Driscoll represent something you never got from your father and me--a family, stability. I'm sorry if I'm not like Martha Driscoll--sewing and baking cookies. But I'm me, and I'm your mother, and it hurts the way another woman, and her family takes precedence in your life."

"That is untrue."

"Steve, it's the truth. Maybe you don't realize it. But look at your relationship with the Driscoll's... You were once engaged to Linda, and when she walked out on you...I'm sorry to be so blunt, but that's what happened...When she left, you became involved with her sister, Jane. Can't you see?"

Steve sighed. "What am I suppose to be seeing?"

"I question how you really feel about Jane, if you even love her?"

Steve frowned. "What?"

"When you dated Linda, you went on and on about the family, and how wonderful they were." She raised her eyes.

"Martha this, and Al that. You and Al went fishing, and listened to baseball games on his radio. You were—still are--closer to Al than you are to Craig--your own father. I certainly have seen it. You probably prefer Martha over me."

"That isn't true," Steve snapped. "Mother, I don't deny that the Driscoll's have the kind of family life I've always wanted, and I am closer to Al than I am to Dad."

"And when your relationship with Linda ended, and you started seeing Jane, that could have been about wanting to keep your connection to the Driscoll's... not wanting to relinquish your preferred family."

Steve stood. "That is ridiculous, and I'm not listening to another word of it."

"Well, you should examine your motives for marrying Jane."

Steve shook his head. "All this because my schedule conflicted with your outing with Gerard Latham." He exited the balcony.

   
     

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