Sneak Peek Saturday: Summer of Georgie, Installment #4

Read Summer of Georgie, one scene at a time!

Can’t wait for next week? Get your copy on Amazon.

As I’m about to pull out of my driveway, the sounds of “I’m Too Sexy” fill the front seat. Jules. 

I pick up. “Hiya, Jules. Are you doing your ‘little turn on the catwalk’?”

She laughs. “You haven’t changed that yet?”

“Never.” I tap the speaker icon and continue out of my driveway. “You were pretty insistent that night that it should be your assigned ringtone ‘forever and ever’,” I say, deliberately turning up my Northeast accent. Fuh-evah and evah.

“I still blame you.”

“Not the martinis?”

“You gave them to me. And you know what they say about martinis.”

“I don’t,” I say. “Enlighten me.”

“They’re like breasts.”

“Are they?”

“Of course. One’s not enough, and three’s too many.”

I laugh. “You’re better than morning radio, my love. What’s going on, Jules Martin-not-martini?”

“A couple of things. First, I’m hosting book club two weeks from today. Anytime after seven.”

“Great. Is there anything special you want me to bring? Martinis?”

“Funny. Whatever strikes your fancy, dearest,” Jules says. “Next topic: are you still trying to get in touch with that book blogger?”

“The Book Prophet? Yes.” I sit up higher in my seat. “Wait. You didn’t. Did you?”

“Bembé Jean-Baptiste,” says Jules. The tapping of her keystrokes filters through the speaker. “I was right; one of the nurses here is friends with his wife. I have his contact info; I’m emailing it to you.”

“Shut up! And it’s OK if I reach out?”

“He’s expecting you to.”

I slap the steering wheel in my excitement. “Yes! Thank you! Thank you, thank you, thank you. You’re the best, Jules.”

“That’s true,” she replies. “How’s everything else?”

I pause, weighing the pros and cons of being honest with my oldest friend versus sounding like a professional whiner. Jules and I have been friends since seventh grade, and have seen each other through layoffs (hers), miscarriages (mine), and the rest of the drama that comes with life between puberty and menopause. But this nugget of gold she’s just given me has lifted my mood, and I feel almost optimistic.

“Pretty good. The kids have exactly 20 days left. Shannon’s moaning a little about camp, but she’ll be fine.”

“And Max?”

“Still good. He’s not constantly trying to get out of going to school. He might even make honor roll this quarter. That will be a first.”

“Aww, that’s great,” says Jules. “Now tell me an ‘Ebenezer Gates’ story that I can share with my assistant. The stingy philanthropist details just kill her.”

“OK,” I instinctively look around, as if expecting to find a colleague riding quietly in the backseat. “This week I got in trouble for having the wrong kind of Post-it Note.”

“There’s a wrong kind of Post-it?”

“Of course,” I explain. “We’re only allowed to use those wicked small ones. Like, they’re an inch and a half by two inches?”

“They’re 1 ⅜ inches by 1 ⅞ inches,” she says. “Shit. I said that out loud, didn’t I? I can’t believe I know that.”

“Nerd. Anyway, I attached one that was bigger than that to Frank’s book sales report, and he came over to my desk to ask where I got it. I thought he was talking about the numbers, so of course I start going into the process of how I pull from all the sites where we’re selling his memoir, and then he pulls off the Post-it and waves it at me, saying, ‘No, where did you get this?’ Apparently Purchasing is only allowed to order the smallest size, because anything larger is a waste of money. And as Frank puts it, ‘If you can’t fit everything you need to say on it, then you should be having a conversation, not a correspondence.’”

Jules chuckles. “And how much in salary did the time he took to walk over and personally investigate this black market Post-it cost?” 

“The thing is, I get his reasoning; a lot of the hotel’s profits go to the foundation, yada yada yada. But he was just such a tool about it.”

“Yeah,” replies Jules. “Ebenezer Gates.”

I laugh. “OK, love. I’m getting closer to work, so I need my final few minutes of zen. Thank you for the Bembé hook up. You’ve made my day so much more bearable.”

“I’m glad. See you in two weeks, if not sooner.”

I hang up and drive the last few minutes in silence, replaying the conversation with Frank. What a strange place, I think, as the navy and white double “H” logo comes into view. 

Hudson Hotels. The New England chain was somewhat of a fixture of my childhood. When I was growing up, my parents were more cottage-renters than hotel-stayers, but one Hudson property or another always seemed to signify a milestone of sorts during long car rides, marking the home stretch in the journey to my grandparents’ house on Cape Cod, or the halfway point in the ride north to a New Hampshire lake. 

I’d been here nearly 18 months. At first, the relief was palpable. A shorter commute not dependent to train schedules, extra wiggle room in the morning and evening to manage Max’s anxiety and schoolwork, and more time and mental energy to give to Shannon. 

And it helped, I think. Everyone’s happier.

Everyone but you, challenges Gilda. Maybe now it’s time to leave Crazytown?

“We’ll talk when Shannon hits fifth grade,” I mumble, pulling into the space in the lot that I’d come to think of as mine.

I see Lena’s sky blue Mini Cooper a few rows in front of me and mentally ready myself for the day. 

“Book sales, media hits, newsletter, and Bembé,” I say, willing my light mood to return. “Bembé, Bembé, Bembé.”

Leaving the peace and safety of my silver Honda, I turn to the hotel and make my way inside. 

Let the micromanaging begin.

Can’t wait until next week? Get your copy of Summer of Georgie on Amazon!

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