Slow Dancing

Free Slow Dancing by Suzanne Jenkins

Book: Slow Dancing by Suzanne Jenkins Read Free Book Online
Authors: Suzanne Jenkins
of Alan’s lies, Becky the secretary moved in, and when she moved out, Cynthia the dental hygienist moved in and so on for ten more years. Alan didn’t think about Margaret again until he lost his job.
    Car sales plummeted and the dealership folded during an economic downturn and hard working, generous Margaret popped into his thoughts. The only number he had for her was one that she’d had disconnected when she was supposed to be coming to join him. Then she’d called one night, leaving a message at the boarding house, that she was going to be delayed.
    “You got a person to person call from Seymour last night,” the landlord said. “Margaret has car trouble and won’t be here till next week.”
    “Seymour? Where the heck is Seymour?”
    “Some place in Alabama, I reckon.” She never arrived, and he figured she went back to Saint Augustine after all.
    Now, years later, with no other options, he had nothing to lose by heading back to Florida, the town of Seymour forgotten. But when he arrived in Saint Augustine, there wasn’t anyone left who knew Margaret. He went to her aunt’s house, but the woman had died. Tracking down her friends was impossible because he’d never met any.
    Remembering where Margaret worked, Alan walked around the building, finding a directory posted on the wall next to the elevators. A maintenance man walked by and Alan caught his attention.
    “Can you tell me what happened to Hartland?” Alan asked. “An old girlfriend worked there and I’m trying to look her up. I don’t see it listed here.”
    “Hartland sold out to Reynolds a while back. I worked in Hartford offices.”
    “Do you remember Margaret Fisher? She was in the pool. About five six, a hundred ten pounds, auburn hair and blue eyes.” He told the man about waiting for Margaret to show up in Galveston.
    “She’ be hard to forget,” he said when Alan questioned him.
    “She was a looker,” Alan said, feeding his memory. “Do you remember when she left?”
    “She got throw’d out like all of ‘em. How late you say she was?”
    “Thirteen years,” Alan answered, frowning.
    “Yep, it be around thirteen years. She had a baby, a little girl it was. The boss let her bring the baby to work with her.”
    Alan reeled. A baby? “You sure about this?” Alan turned away to hide his face. Margaret never mentioned a baby, didn’t even hint of one. Maybe it wasn’t his. He turned to the man. “Do you remember when she had the baby?” He screwed up his face and looked at the ceiling.
    “No, but the child was walkin’ along side her when she left. I’d say she was two or three years,” the man said. Alan thought about this for a moment; he’d left Saint Augustine fifteen years earlier so she must have been pregnant. It made him angry that she didn’t tell him. He didn’t like sneaks, forgetting he’d taken her money and lied to her, his part in the end of their relationship, how he took off for Texas leaving her high and dry. How would he ever find her now? Where was Margaret Fisher?
    No money for a private investigator, before the time of internet searches and online family trees, the only research tool Alan had was attached to his body. Deliberating, he guessed he needed to find out more about the birth of Margaret’s baby to determine if it was his. The only place he could think of to get the information was the hospital in Saint Augustine.
    Hanging around the coffee shop adjacent to the local hospital, Alan met Noelle after a week of diligently going there for breakfast. She was a big girl, five more pounds and she’d be chubby. Her hair caught his eye, shiny auburn, almost plum; she wore it in a long braid down her back. The opportunity to approach her would come about after seeing her there three days in a row. That day, on a mission to get coffee for her co-workers, Alan was sitting at table near the cash-register when she came in to the shop.
    “I’ll take four regular, two black and a decafe,” she

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