White Walker: Chapter 8

Chapter 8

Judy followed Teddy into the hall where he stopped and turned to confront her.

“What was all that about back there?” he said.


“You and Cody? What’s going on?”

“Nothing,” she said as she shook her head. “I had to go, he was in one of the stalls sick. I asked him if he was all right.”

“You’re sure? He’s not bothering you or anything, is he?”

“No, of course not. I just asked if he was okay.”

Teddy looked at her for a moment, as if he were deciding whether he should believer her or pursue the issue further. “What did he mean by the only other person who knows is you?”

Judy shrugged as she looked around to make sure no one else was within earshot. “He and Liz are seeing one another,” she whispered in a conspiratorial tone as she leaned in close. “They don’t want anyone else to know.”

“Is that all?”

“That’s everything. He doesn’t want Liz to get into any trouble because of his own problems.”

“I thought it was something else.”

“What? Did you think it had something to do between him and me?”

“No, nothing like that.”

“Are you jealous?”

“No, not at all. I mean he’s a fun guy, right? Me, I’m an old stick in the mud.”

“He’s fun only if you like waking up with a hangover every morning.”

“Are you sure there’s nothing else?”

“Absolutely,” she said with a smile, even though it pained her to lie to Teddy like she was. She wasn’t ready yet to share her news.

“Come on, let’s sit down and talk,” Teddy said, motioning for her to follow him.

As Judy followed Teddy into the break room she knew all too well what he wanted to talk to her about. She had known for quite some time that it would come to this. Changes were afoot, not only in her life, but in her body, and her emotions were like a roller coaster running at top speed, threatening to derail at the next turn.

I will not cry, she promised herself, at least not in front of him.

They had been together for a little more than a year and over that time she had come to love him. She honestly enjoyed having him in her life. In fact she had been looking forward to spending the rest of her life at his side. Fantasizing about getting married and raising a family with him. A young boy and girl inhabited her dreams, brother and sister, the brother older, of course, to protect his younger sister.

Like Teddy she had been an only child growing up and didn’t want to subject any child of her own to the life of loneliness an only child endured. Unlike Teddy, her parents had been a constant part of her life. They still lived in the house she grew up in and she promised herself she would visit them this weekend. Soon she would have to give them the news and she was worried about how they would react. At least they liked Teddy. Or they had the couple of times they’d had dinner with them.

Teddy had told her about the succession of hired help that took the place of his parents while he was growing up. The lack of emotional attachment between him and his parents. It was something he didn’t want to see happen with his own children, when he got around to having some. Which he figured wouldn’t be for another few years. Right now he wanted to focus on his career, on building a reserve to support them in the future when they decided to have children. It was the main reason she had remained silent about her condition. She didn’t know how Teddy would respond, and most importantly she didn’t want to be the proverbial monkey wrench in his plans.

Yet the fantasy she had built for herself was tinged by a sense of sorrow, of loss, of some sorrowful act or occurrence she was not fully aware of. Something remained hidden from her view, a half forgotten secret that teased with a sensation that was not fully realized. Something was amiss in her ordered little fantasy, something she couldn’t quite put her finger on.

As she slipped into the seat at the end of the table across from Teddy, she understood that what happened in the next few moments would have a lasting impact on both of their lives.

Teddy took a deep breath.  “You know the company has a policy on fraternization,” he started, and Judy nodded in agreement, “and we’ve worked hard to keep our relationship under wraps.”

“Do we have a relationship?” Judy said.

“I’d like to think we do.”

“Do you love me?”

“Of course I do.”

“But you’re about to tell me I will have to quit.”

“I’m afraid so.”

“Because we’re seeing one another.”

“Well yeah, it’s really the only logical course of action I can think of.”

Judy smiled. “How about this,” she said as she stood up, “we quit seeing one another, I go my way, and you go your way.”

“But I thought you wanted to be together.”

“I do, but I also like this job.”

“But I can’t be your boss and your boyfriend.”

“So I guess you’ll have to settle for being my boss,” Judy said then turned and walked from the room.

“Wait, that isn’t what I wanted,” Teddy called after her, but she ignored him as she vanished through the doors leading back to the main floor.

Click here to return to Chapter 7

Click here to go to Chapter 9

Purchase your copy today from these fine retailers

No comments:

Post a Comment