Nebraska Center for Writers

by Robin Leemann Donovan

IT WAS A WEDNESDAY and I was running a bit late. I ran across the south parking lot with my pocketbook and tote bag in one hand and my 12-pack of Diet Orange Sunkist in the other. Burdened with an unwieldy load I navigated precariously through both the front door and the outer lobby entrance. Once inside I wound my way around the tall wooden, teepee-like structures that served both as organic art installations and intimate meeting pods. I veered around rows of sleek wood and black laminate desk units precariously balancing my parcels. Upon reaching my desk, I quickly dispatched my paraphernalia and logged on to my computer. The meeting reminder popped up with a ‘bing’ to confirm a 10 am conference call, reminding me that I wanted to reread the project file before jumping on the call.
I noticed the message light blinking and hoped it would be something quick. I’d have to hustle if I was going to review that file. The message was from Ken Farley. That was a blast from the past! Ken and I had worked together at an ad agency in southern Connecticut for a number of years, which now seemed like a lifetime ago. The message was oddly cryptic.
“Wow Donna, that must have been some shock for you, huh? All things considered you must be really torn about how to feel. I’d sure love to know what you’re thinking. ”
Geez, was Ken on the sauce now? I couldn’t imagine what on earth he could be talking about.
Oh well, no point in taxing my brain. I might as well just call him. Logic would dictate that I wait until AFTER the pending conference call to indulge my curiosity, but I was never one to be a slave to logic. Once on the phone Ken was no less cryptic. I put up with about two minutes of his nonstop gibberish before I really started to lose my temper.
“Hey Ken, “what the hell are you talking about?!”
I lost no time in expressing my impatience. That seemed to help him focus.
“You mean you haven’t heard?” he asked.
“Guess not,” I tried to hold on to what was left of my patience, “why don’t you fill me in?”
“Your old buddy Betty Jean bought the farm!”

Reprinted with permission
from Is It Still Murder, Even If She Was a Bitch?
Copyright © 2011
by Robin Leemann Donovan

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The Rock

Nebraska Center for Writers