Deborah Johnson poured some of her homemade lemonade into two large glasses and garnished the top of each glass with a slice of lemon. She was looking forward to her visit with Leslie Fisher. They met in college and stayed in touch over the years.
A car pulled up the driveway. Deborah peeked through the side window and smiled. Leslie was always punctual. Deborah opened the door as Leslie was walking up the stairs.
“Come on in here!” Deborah drawled, holding the door open for her.
“You look great. I see staying home agrees with you.” Leslie said as she gave her friend a big hug.
“Humph! I don’t think so. I’ve got to do something else besides being a caretaker all day.
“By the way, where is your mother?” Leslie asked softly.
“Oh, she is up in Rock Hill on a shopping trip with the church.”
“I see. That’s a nice break for you.”
“You aren’t kidding. Mama can be a hand full sometimes.” Deborah carried a bowl of fruit salad out on the enclosed patio.
“Wow! You didn’t have to go through all this trouble . . . although I am glad you did.” She said, taking a sip of lemonade.
“This is really good.” She said, wiping her mouth with a napkin.
“Well then, come on and sit down.” Deborah said.
The ladies enjoyed chicken salad sandwiches, fruit salad, fudge brownies, and the picture of ice cold lemonade.
“So tell me, Miss Big Time, how is the newspaper business?”
“It is circulating well.” She joked.
“Ha! That’s cute.” Deborah retorted.
Leslie reached into her tote bag and pulled out the latest edition of the Chesnin Gazette. She watched Deborah’s eyebrows as she scanned the pages.
“Wow. You are not kidding. Circulation is way up. You have added a few departments since the last edition.”
“Yes, we did. That is one of the reasons why I wanted to talk to you. We have just decided to add an advice column and I picked you to be our Advice Columnist.”
“Ha!” Deborah laughed. “You want me to be your Dear Abby?”
“Abby, Heloise, Dr. Ruth. Maybe even a little of Susan Orman every now and then.”
“It does sound interesting, but first, let me ask. . .” She started.
“It pays ten dollars for each response and we can negotiate for more as our circulation increases.”
“No, I wanted to know if I had to actually respond to every letter, even the creepy and crazy ones?”
“We will screen every letter but we would like every letter answered.”
“Well. . .”
“The hours are flexible.”
“You can work from home.”
“You’ll even get an assistant, an intern from USC Charleston. You can hire him/her to screen your letters and drop them off at the house. Just E-mail your responses directly to me. Simple.”
”Ok. It sounds like a nice gig. I’m in.”
“So does that mean that you’re my boss now.”
“Yep. Sure does. How does that make you feel?”
“I admit, it feels a little weird, but I’ll be ok with it.”
Leslie poured another refill and held up her glass.
“Is this homemade lemonade?”
“Yes. I just made it this morning.”
“Well, think of this job like making some of your homemade lemonade. In order for everything to work out right, you’ve got to take the bitter along with the sweet.”
Deborah looked up at the nearby photograph of her mother.
“Well, I have years of experience doing just that.” She joked and they both laughed.
“Here’s to a great future in the newspaper business!” Leslie toasted. They clinked their glasses and each took a sip.
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