One day later, Susan found herself in her one, real business suit, a present from her parents on her graduation. She was climbing the steps of the county offices. The county offices took up almost an entire block and seemed to be a connected set of buildings that housed everything from the county courthouse to the police department to the county buses. She might have even glimpsed the county jail at the end of the buildings. It was small town USA and it was where she wanted to be right now. As she opened the door she ran smack dab into a police officer.
“Oh, excuse me. I’m so sorry,” said Susan as she looked up into the eyes of the officer who had pulled her over for a broken taillight.
“No problem, no problem. I should have been more aware of my surroundings. I was just reading this article in the paper. Do I know you?” asked the officer.
“Sort of. You pulled me over a couple of weeks ago for a broken taillight,” replied Susan.
“Oh yes. Did you not get it fixed and got a ticket you have to take care of now?” asked the officer.
“No, no. I got it fixed. In fact, I fixed it myself, the very day you pulled me over,” said Susan and she left it at that. She didn’t know what else to say.
“So what brings you to the county offices? Perhaps I can help you find what you’re looking for?”
Susan just stared at the officer. She wasn’t used to men being nice to her anymore.
“My name is John, by the way,” said John as he stuck out his hand to shake with her. “It’s nice to meet you officially.”
Susan came out of her stupor, “It’s nice to meet you John. My name is Susan. I’m here to interview for a job actually but I don’t want to take you away from your work. I’m sure I can find the room,” said Susan, although she wasn’t sure she could with the time she’d lost chatting with John.
“No problem, Susan. I’m off duty which is why I was reading a paper and not paying attention to where I was going. What room are you in? I’ll show you where it is,” said John.
Susan looked down at her paper. “The interview is in room 301,” replied Susan.
“Great, you’re on the third floor and you’ll be interviewing with Jacob Marley. Let me warn you not to make any cracks about his name,” smiled John as he led me to the elevator.
“Why would I make any cracks about his name?” asked Susan.
“Well, his name is Jacob Marley. It’s the name of Scrooge’s dead partner in the Christmas classic A Christmas Carol,” said John.
“Oh, yes. I should have realized that. I did get a degree in Comparative Literature from UW (UDUB). You’d think I could at least recognize famous literary characters.”
The elevator door opened and they both stepped in.
“You graduated from the University of Washington with a Comparative Literature degree?” asked John.
“Cool, but why are you applying for our 911 dispatcher job? I’m assuming that’s why you are here, meeting with Jacob?”
“Yes, I’m applying for the job. I need a job and it’s surprising how many jobs do not require a Comparative Literature degree. I know, shocking but true. It’s a job and it pays well and I need the pay. Besides, it’s got to be interesting and steady work. You always need someone to answer the 911 calls,” replied Susan.
The elevator stopped and John stepped out of the elevator, with Susan close behind. They went down three doors and stopped at room 301.
“Well, here’s your room. Would you like to meet for lunch later this afternoon, after your interview? I could meet you back here after an hour or so. You have to eat and it would be my treat,” said John.
Did she want to meet up with this man again? He was nice, but was she ready to even put a pinky in the dating pool again? Granted, it would be non-threatening. It was lunch, broad daylight and he was an officer of the law. Thora had said to take as long as she needed and Jesse would probably be sleeping by the time she got done here.
She looked up into the face of the very handsome officer John. Her heart fluttered and she did the one thing she didn’t really want to do.