Fool For Romance, Chapter 15

      I had a problem. No, it wasn’t that I was bored out of my mind, and no I wasn’t pregnant. I was lonely. Whoever said that absence makes the heart grow fonder was damn right. I was driving myself nuts. Evan had only been gone for 2 days and one very long night, and Shannon was due back the next day. In case you weren’t paying attention today was Thursday, and Christmas was over a week away. I had wrapped all my presents, and they were sitting under the sorry looking tree that I forgot to water. I fretted about what to get Evan that was assuming that he came back at all. I tried to keep faith though. Was I suppose to get him something meaningful, and maybe have him guess what I felt about him, and if I did, what does one buy the man you love? If I wasn’t suppose to, what do I buy him then? I ran this by my mom, who had been married three time. I guess that made her an expert.
      “Well, how do you feel about Evan?” My mother asked, trying to weasel information out of me, but I was on to her game.
      “He means a lot to me.” I said vaguely.
      I heard my mom ‘tssk’ “Well you just better not run off like Shannon did. You at least owe me a wedding.” my mother warned.
      “Well a good present for any man is a tie. They never have too many.” I rolled my eyes. She was still at it, if I said a tie was okay, she would presume that I didn’t like Evan that much, if I said that a tie wasn’t good enough she would be making wedding plans. I bit the bullet and said, “Mom, a tie is a nice gift, but I don’t think Evan wears ties.” which was true cause I have yet to see him wear one, ever, not even for graduation.
      “What about cologne?”
      “I like the way he smells already.” Whoops I let that one slip. Mary-Anne smiled that mother knows everything smile.
n&bsp;     “Well, I'm not sure.” mom said after she thought about it for awhile. “What does he like?”
      “Football, building stuff, architecture.” Me? I added. “I think he likes history, or at least he did in high school.” An plan suddenly came into my head. “I got an idea, and hopefully knowing the way this town keeps records...” I was lost in the thought, “Mom, I have to call Harry, but if he says it’s okay can your run me down to city hall?”
      “What for honey?” mom was suddenly curious.
      “Some plans for any of the old buildings around the area, Harry might be able to hook me up.” I started to dial Harry’s office number. “Why would he want that?”
      “Because Evan likes that sort of stuff mom... Harry? it’s Randy, can I ask you a favor. Do you think you can get me some of the building plans for the any of the old buildings around here?”
      Harry paused, “Actually I think there are some that I can get my hands on, I will have an assistant look into it. How about the plans for the old Lehman house?”
      That was perfect, it was the first place that we made love, it would have some meaning. “That would be great, Harry. We will be down soon.”
      Mom looked at me if I was daft, then conceded and drove me down to city hall. On the way she was chatted about Shannon getting married and how nice it was for her to be settled. She asked me if Shannon was planning to move in with Noel, and if she did what would I be doing without a roommate. I hadn’t thought about any of this, so as we pulled into the parking garage across from city hall I was flustered. Well if worse came to worse, my mother said, I could move back home with her. I groaned inwardly. That was the last thing I wanted to do, my mom would be able to harass me 24/7, about my love life.
      “Maybe you and Evan can move in together.” she said.       “Such pessimism, you get that from your father’s side. Your grandmother Miranda was always sulky.”
      Fortunately I saw Harry before I had to respond to that. “Hi Randy-girl” he said. He was holding a canister not unlike one that Evan had used.“The clerk found these, and you can have them, but you have to do something for me first.”
      “What Harry?”
      “You and your mother have to come have supper with Lindsey and me.”
      I looked over at my mom, and she was agreeing, “We would love to Harry.”
      “Good, cause Lind is expecting you for dinner, and you know how she doesn’t take no for an answer.”
      If Harry was like my grandfather, his wife Lindsey Montour was like my grandmother, well considering that my grandmother, my mom’s mother, had passed on when I was little. Isn’t family dynamics funny? I had always called her Aunt Lindy, and she always had a cookie for me. The same was true that day too. She had a plate of her special peanut butter cookies waiting for us when we walked in their house. Harry gave her a kiss on the cheek and a tap on the rump. I smiled.
      Aunt Lindy was a bit surprised by my appearance. The swelling had all gone down and the bruises had faded, but there was still enough there to alarm the old woman. She took my good hand and patted me on it, and told me everything was going to be all right cause she had cooked a big dinner. Like that would solve all my problems, but this was Aunt Lindy so I kept my cynical side in check.
      Aunt Lindy liked to gossip, and since I was in the center of the gossip mill these days she decided to catch me up, although I was barely listening. She chatted all through the meal and into dessert.
      “Now that was a surprise to hear about Shannon Moss. She is such a nice girl, teaching those kindergartners. She has more patience than I do.” I want it to be known that I don’t condone the gossip mill, but it has it’s purpose, and right now that was to inform me what was going in town. No wonder Harry knew everything about everyone else.
      “Did you hear about Ora Dunn, the poor old lady, her son was found dead of a heart attack. And that dear Johanson boy, my gosh how he has grown up. Such a sweet boy, he brought me those nice foreign chocolates that I like, you know what I mean don’t you Mary-Anne? That boy is a good catch too, him protecting you and all, can’t do better than a fine boy like that. I heard that he was at the court house the other day filing for a deed on the old Lehman place. The deed clerk couldn’t understand why he wanted that on a separate deed when the boy already owned the land. Just can’t understand some people. Like that Regina Hutchins, did you know that she up and ran off with one of those photo boys down at The Sun?” I was enjoying Aunt Lindy’s apple pie, and was sort of lulled into a hypnotic trance by listening to her voice. I would have missed the one thing that I should have been listening for.
      “Wait what is this about the Lehman house?” I asked. Harry who had been sitting in his chair, I think he was doozing suddenly spoke up, giving Aunt Lindy a dirty look.”
      “Nothing, nothing about the Lehman house, isn’t that right dearest.”
      “Harry?” I was knew he was hiding something. “What is this about?”
      Harry shrugged. “Developmental sort of thing. I don’t know.” He very well did know something, but I was going to have to pry it out of him with a crow bar.
      I resorted to some other tool, “Don’t you think it’s odd...” I pretended to look contemplative, “No, never mind.”
      Aunt Lindy played into my trap, “What is odd dear?
      “That Harry got me the old plans for the Lehman house, right after Evan puts it on another deed. If I were the guessing type, which I'm not, I would hazard a guess that someone was trying to push us together into something more than ya know, seeing each other.” I threw a look at Harry. He was looking nervous, very nervous, he looked like he was sweating. “Yup, and I would also hazard a guess that Evan probably had to seek some LEGAL advise to have a deed like that made up, but I don’t know any LAWYERS, do you Aunt Lindy?”
      “Dear, Harry is a lawyer, and Evan always asks him for legal advise.”
      I could have hugged Aunt Lindy, “You don’t say, so unless Evan has another lawyer in town, he would go to Harry. So did he come to you Harry?”
      “That’s client attorney privilege Randy-girl.” he was smiling, but just barely, he knew everything would be out in the open if I said anything in front of Aunt Lindy.
      “So Aunt Lindy, I just can’t imagine why Evan would such a thing, I mean, well buy a house practically, unless he was going to stick around.”
      “You’re absolutely right, and you say you didn’t know...”
      Harry cut her off. “Lind darling, Miranda has been leading you on. This whole house thing has something to do with the developmental project, boring business stuff, put it out of your pretty little head.”
      “Okay Harry, if you say there is nothing, then my lips are sealed,” Aunt Lindy said with a devious smile on her face. She would keep silent, but only until she knew what really was going on, that’s one this Aunt Lindy prided herself on, she only spread true gossip, like that hurt less.
      “Can I have a word with you a minute Randy-girl?” I knew this was coming. Serves him right thinking he could pass one over on me, that old codger playing merry match maker.
      Harry took me into his study and closed the door. “Okay Harry, spill your beans, I know what you are up to, and if you don’t want me to go off half cocked you will tell me.”
      “Evan bought the Lehman house, outright.”
      “He could afford that?” By Harry’s broad smile I took that to mean yes. I didn’t know architects made that much money, but leave it to Evan to do well. Harry stood there grinning like the devil he was until I almost hit him, “Well, why did he do it, and you better not tell me client attorney privilege, or that real estate is a really good investment.”
      “Now Randy-girl, I was sworn to secrecy and you know it. I would tell ya, but I have a feelin you already know why he did it.”
      I sunk down into the leather wing chair across from Harry’s huge desk. “He loves me doesn’t he?” it dawned on me, and yes, I am as dumb as you all thought I was. Sometimes you are so blinded you can’t see what’s right in front of your face.
      “What you and the Johanson kid have is something special, and don’t let your old grand daddy, that ornery old bastard, tell ya any different. You two were meant to be together way back when you were in diapers. Now if you want to get mad and holler at me for not tellin ya, I understand, but have a heart for your old Harry, he only meant well, and he wants nothing bad to ever happen to ya.” he placed a hand on my shoulder and gave a firm squeeze. I was about to break into tears. I knew what I had to do, and I didn’t have a lot of time to do it in.
      “Harry, I need to ask you a BIG favor... and you can’t tell my mom or Aunt Lindy.”
      Seeing that familiar gleam in his eyes was enough to tell me that he was in.

Chapter 16
Writing/ Pictures/ Linx