Jack didn't know how to cook, but he did know how to grill. He was just setting out the barbequed chicken on the paper plates when there was a knock at the door. He looked around his house. He didn't have much, but he had more then Margot had. He had acquired a couch and a chair, a coffee table that'd seen better days. He even had a rug and a lamp.
He went to the door and opened it so Margot and Sean could enter. She smiled at him and hefted Sean a little higher on her hip. He was smiling and clutching a plastic dump truck.
"Hi," she smiled at him as she stepped into his living room, "It's very nice of you to have us over for dinner."
He just nodded, uncomfortable with even the slightest praise. "I made grilled chicken and salad. I hope that's ok?"
"That sounds wonderful." She sniffed the air. "It smells wonderful!"
He led her to the kitchen. "What would you like to drink? I have, um," he opened the fridge, "um, milk, cola and water."
She looked surprised. Cola? She hadn't had soda in years. Milk and water were so much more flexible that she felt it a waste to buy soda. "If you don't mind, cola would be great."
She sat down and balanced Sean on her knee as Jack put down the glass by her plate and sat down across the table from her.
"So, um, settling in okay next door?" Jack asked, cutting into his chicken. It'd been awhile since he'd sat down and made conversation. He was used to silence and he could answer questions, but start a conversation? Not his strong suit.
"Yes, thanks. I only have a few dishes left to unpack. Although, honestly, at this rate with trying to find a job, I might be packing up again sooner then I thought."
" Can't find a job?"
"No, people don't seem to be hiring right now."
Jack looked at her sloped shoulders and felt her dejection. He felt a softness for her. She seemed like a good person who'd be dealt a bad deck and he knew how that could go.
"I work for a warehouse at the edge of town. Our last secretary just quit. I could see if they're hiring for you, if you want that is."
Her eyes lit up and he wondered if it was really that easy to make her happy. "That would be amazing!"
The rest of dinner seemed to go by smoothly and he was surprised to realize they'd finished dinner way before their conversation had run out. She'd told him about her plans to get a job and buy a sofa and table. Eventually she wanted a car, but that was don't far down the line it wasn't worth mentioning. He liked the sound of her voice. He could just listen to her talk.
He was almost disappointed when she picked up Sean at the end of the night and said that it was probably time for her to go home.
"Thanks for joining me for supper."
She beamed at him. "Thanks for inviting us!"
He was still thinking of their dinner when he went to work the next day. He sought out his boss as promised.
"I dunno, Jack. I'm not looking to hire some whiney young kid." His boss began flipping through papers on the office desk.
"Sir, I haven't known her very long, but if anything I've noticed, she doesn't whine. She seems like she'd be a hard worker, too."
The phone started to ring and his boss tried to answer the phone, but couldn't seem to hit the right button. The phone eventually stopped ringing and he went back to shuffling papers before he finally threw his hands up in the air.
"Fine! But only because I don't know what half this stuff is and it needs to be sorted out. It's also on a trial basis! I'm not promising anything!"
Jack nodded and backed out of the office. "Ok." He felt pretty good. He wondered what kind of smile she'd give him when he told her his boss said yes.
Margot finished folding the empty boxes to take out to the dumpster out back. She was finally moved completely into her new place. Grabbing a handful of cardboard, she walked out into the backyard, noticing her neighbor out feeding the birds.
"Hi," she said, "I'm Margot, you're new neighbor."
The woman looked up and came over to the fence. "You live next to that Grafton fellow? He's a killer, be careful. You're foolish to live there." The woman then turned and walked back inside her house.
Margot was beginning to realize it wasn't just her old town that had nasty people who never forgave. She finished throwing out the cardboard before going inside to bundle up Sean to take for a walk. She'd discovered a small park a few blocks away where she could push him in the swing. He always squealed like crazy. She wondered if he'd grow up to be a daredevil.
As she tucked him into the stroller and left the house, she wondered what kind of man he'd grow up to be. She hoped he'd be a nice and kind man. If she tried hard enough maybe he'd grow up smart, maybe be a doctor or a lawyer. He'd never have to worry about how to live then!
When they reached the park there were two moms sitting on a bench watching their kids play on the monkey bars. Margot made her way to go talk to them, but when they saw her coming they both stood up and called their children over because it was time to go. Instead, she walked over to the swings and as she untucked Sean from the stroller she whispered into her ear, "Don't worry, pumpkin, Mommy loves you." She kissed his cheek and listened to his coo and she placed him in the swingseat.
A/n: I did it! I did it! I updated! Not a huge chapter, but give me some credit... at least I updated!