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Mar 02

“Secret Admirer” by Pat Jeanne Davis

“Maybe your secret admirer will shovel you out again tomorrow.”

Trudi laughed at her mother’s words. “That’s as likely as a snow angel coming to my aid.” She didn’t know who’d shoveled their driveway this morning, but it couldn’t be an admirer.

Trudi crossed the living room to the window and pulled back the heavy drapes. She swiped the sleeve of her terry robe down the misty pane and gazed out. “Ray’s attending a conference for another day, and he’s already extended the date for my proposal. So snow or no snow, the deadline is tomorrow.”

She watched large flakes drift down against the street light. Ray hired her three months ago. He was a wonderfully easy-going boss and one of those rare single men that she got along with well. If only he could see her as more than a co-worker. Trudi dropped the curtain and made her way back to the kitchen table.

Her mother leaned forward and touched her arm, as though reading her thoughts. “You know what they say, dear, about good things coming to those who wait.” She patted Trudi’s hand in beat with her usual advice –“Don’t give up hope.”

“Thanks, Mom.” Trudi wanted to believe in that promise. But how much longer before Ray noticed her? She stood and gave her mother a hug. “Need to turn in if I’m going to get up an hour earlier.”

The next morning Trudi rolled over, opened one eye and hit the alarm button. She pulled the covers over her head, before remembering that she needed to get up immediately. Hoisting herself out of bed, she walked to the window and mentally prepared herself for the job outside.

Trudi pulled up the blind. A man, his back toward her, shoveled the last of the snow cover blanketing the driveway. She rapped on the pane, hoping to capture his attention. But he didn’t look up.

She wanted to find out about him, but she needed to get to work. A snow angel could come in all disguises—even that of a thoughtful neighbor.

Pulling her car into the parking lot of her office, Trudi noticed it stood empty except for one other vehicle.

She pulled alongside the car, spotting a snow shovel in the back seat, its broad blade glistening wet.

The driver—wearing a navy jacket, white scarf and cable-knit cap—stepped out as she approached him. “Looks like we’re the first to arrive.”           

Where have I seen him before?

The stranger extended his hand. “Name’s Ben.”

“Trudi. Human Resources,” she said, releasing her hand from his. “Some snow!”

“Yeah, sure is. Any trouble getting here?”

“No. Thanks to a kind stranger who shoveled me out.”

Ben blew on his hands and rubbed them together. “Freezing, isn’t it? Look, I’m off to grab some coffee. Can I buy you one?”

“No thanks . . . Ben. Gotta get upstairs.” Ray was counting on her.

He gave a broad smile. “Maybe another time soon.”

Ben held the door open, and they entered the lobby.

Before she could ask him what floor he worked on, he’d ducked into the coffee shop.

Trudi stepped into the elevator and punched the button for the top floor. Dropping her proposal on the secretary’s desk, she crossed her fingers and hoped Ray would be proud of her efforts.

The next day, her heart flip-flopped when she entered Ray’s office and saw him sitting behind his desk.

He looked up. “Have a minute?” he said, gesturing to a chair. Our department head e-mailed me last night to say he’s impressed with your work.” He grinned. “You put a lot into it, Trudi, and it’s paid off.”

Her knees weak with relief, she sank into the chair.

Ray brought his chair around his desk and sat next to her. “You’ve scored with management, you know.”

But have I scored with you, too? Is the waiting over?

He drew his chair closer. “I think you’re in line for a change of status.

”You mean a job promotion?” It wouldn’t hurt, but she mainly longed for a change of status with him.

He placed an arm over the back of her seat. “Yes, a promotion.”

The brush of his arm against her skin caused her to grow warm.

Ray leaned closer and locked his sapphire blue eyes with hers. “This calls for celebration.”

She bit her lip to contain her excitement.

His whisper brushed her ear. “Could we go out tomorrow evening?”

Could they ever!

She swallowed down her shout of joy. “Sounds good.”

Trudi saw Ben’s tall frame in the doorway. He knocked and walked into the office. “You wanted to see me, Boss?”

Ray winked. “Tomorrow night, then.”

Ben cleared his throat. “I can come back.”

Ray leaned back against his chair. “Trudi, this is Ben. He’ll be working with me for a while.”

She nodded. “We introduced ourselves yesterday. Welcome aboard.”

Ben smiled. “Thanks.”

Trudi stood. “If that’s all for now. . .” She had only until tomorrow evening to wait for something more.

She paused outside the doorway when she heard Ben say, “When you discovered I lived on Trudi’s street and asked me to shovel her drive, I didn’t expect her to be so attractive.”

Ray laughed. “Or that I was seriously interested in her.”

Ben continued, “I tried to get to know her, but it seems Trudi’s had her eyes on you the whole time despite my hard work.”

Trudi smiled. In a roundabout way she’d already thanked Ben in the parking lot. He may have dug her out, but he was only a courier for her admirer.

Hadn’t Mom said good things happen to those who wait?

“Message received, Ray, loud and clear,” she said to herself.

 

Pat Jeanne Davis writes from her home in Philadelphia, Pa. She is married and mom to two sons. Pat loves to work in her flower garden and travel. She has completed two historical inspirational novels and is represented by Leslie H. Stobbe and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She loves to hear from her readers. Please visit her at www.patjeannedavis.com

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