Family Fiction posted December 27, 2022 Chapters:  ...36 37 -38- 39... 

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Her encounter with Dougie.

A chapter in the book The Miranda Chronicles

Not So Happy (Miranda)


***So far, Miranda Jessup Buckley has been jilted, fired and left to take care of her ex-lover's child.   Life has been a series of one surprise after another.  This last surprise is the return of her ex-lover, Dougie Wilcox. ***
He stands there, just a foot away from the open door to the office.  A big, clueless smile plastered on his face.  He puts his hands on his hips and plants his feet far enough apart to show off his non-negotiable confidence. 
"What the hell are you doing here?" I say, once the shock has worn off and I'm able to control what will come out of my mouth.
"Aren't you gonna give me a hug?"
I squint, shaking my head.  "What did you just say?"
He grins and cocks his eyebrow.  "I asked why you won't give me a hug."
If I found any humor in his question, I'd laugh.  But I don't and I don't have the energy to be very nice at all.
"Why would I give you a hug, Dougie?  If I hug you, you might think it means I'm happy to see you.   And, well, I'll just come right out and say it.  I'm not happy to see you.  Not in the least."
He shrugs, looks away and laughs. "You are still as mean as a snake. "
"What are you here for?  You run out of money?  Come back for more of your shit?"
"I missed you." He tilted his head and smiled that lethal smile of his.
This might have worked several months ago.   He had this uncanny ability to make me feel like I was his one and only.  But those moments usually didn't last more than the ten minutes of slap and tickle, then it was back to me being the old ball and chain.
"Are you back for Waylon?" I feel this unsettling whirl go through my insides.
"Oh, uh no.  Not yet.  I have big news."
"News too big for the phone?"
"There's this guy who wants me to be his partner in an up and coming construction company."
I sigh.  I already know where this is going.  
"And you need money."
He holds up both hands. "It's an investment, Randa.  You could double your money in probably less than six months."
"No.  No thank you."
"Come on.  I'm giving you the first opportunity at this.  Ten grand and you can have a piece of the pie."
"I said no."
He stares down at the floor like the kid who gets picked last in gym class.  "At least, let me take you to dinner."
"I work until after 9.  Then I go home to make sure your son has done his homework and showered."
Never the quitter, Dougie reaches in his pocket and pulls out a hotel key.  "Why don't you swing by the Iverton Inn after you get off.  Room 307."
"Don't wait up for me," I say.
Maybe he hears me, maybe not.  I don't know and I surely don't care.  All I know is I feel this huge weight go lifting off of my shoulders when he turns to walk away.
Dougie Wilcox has no power over me.  For the first time since I was fifteen years old, I am not worried about some damn man.  And it feels exhilarating. 
I call to check on Waylon around eight.  I can't directly ask him if he's heard from or seen his father.  He doesn't mention anything about Dougie.  So, I'm left to believe that son of a bitch, didn't come to town to see his own flesh and blood.  He came for money.
The store is pretty busy tonight and that is a good thing.  With people all around, the night passes quickly.  
I lock up and start the trek home.  The Iverton Inn is just a couple of miles down from the exit I take.  But, you know what, I drive right home.  
In my head I can see Dougie all bare chested, the sheet draped over his naked body as he leans against the headboard.   So confident that simple Miranda can't resist a romp in the bed with him.  I smile as I see him checking the clock.  No Miranda.  Poor guy, he never sees this coming 
I pull up to the trailer and turn off my car.  The glow of the television is the only light coming from inside.  I climb the steps and see something by the door.  A vase with flowers. 
"Geez, Dougie.  This is a new tactic,"  I mutter.  I reach down to pick it up but pull my hand back. The flowers are all dead.  A ribbon is draped around the vase.  I see the faded words 'deepest sympathy'.
I kick the vase to the side and quickly unlock the door.
"Did someone come to the door?"
Waylon looks up from the television.  "Not that I know of. Why?"
"Just wondering.  You didn't steal any flowers arrangements from the cemetery, did you?"
"Uh, no.  I have a life."
"Ok.  Someone's fucking with me."
Waylon smiles suddenly.  "Are you gonna call the sheriff?" he teases.
"Nope.  Unless you want him to come over for a play date with you and Aaron."
He laughs.  "Dad called.  Said he might come see me tomorrow."
I nod, pretend to be surprised, and lock the door.  "That's nice. He's in town?"
"He told me he already saw you.  You don't have to pretend.  I figured he would come see you first."
"Just for money.  That's all he wanted from me."
Waylon picks up the remote and offers it to me.  "Want to watch a movie?"
And though I may have passed up a night, or more realistically fifteen solid minutes, of passion, I had a good night.  Watching an old movie with a kid who is really starting to grow on me.
***To be continued ...


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