Secret Admirer “Maybe your secret admirer will shovel you out of our driveway again tomorrow.” Trudi laughed at her mother’s words. “An admirer! Me? That’s as likely as a snow angel com- ing to my aid.” 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 out of town for another day, but he’s already extended the deadline for my proposal. Snow or no snow, tomorrow is the deadline.” She watched large flakes drift down against the street light. Ray was not only a wonderful boss but one of those rare single men with whom she had much in common. She smiled. Even the same birthday. If only he could see her as someone more than a co-worker. Trudi dropped into a chair at the kitchen table. Her mother leaned across 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 her daughter’s hand in beat with her usual advice – “Don’t give up hope.” “Thanks, Mom.” She wanted to believe in that promise. But how much longer before Ray noticed her? Trudi stood and gave her a hug. “Need to turn in now if I’m going to get up an hour earlier.” Next morning Trudi rolled over, opened one eye and hit the alarm button. Six o’clock! She pulled the covers over her head, then remembered why she’d set the alarm so early. Hoisting herself out of bed, she walked to the window and pre- pared herself mentally for the job outside. She opened the blind and saw a man with his back toward her shoveling the last of the snow cover from the driveway. She must find out about him, but for now she must get to work. When Trudi arrived at the indoor garage at work, the place was empty except for another vehicle. As she pulled along- side the car, she spotted a snow shovel in the back seat, its broad blade glistening wet. The driver — wearing a black pea jacket, white scarf and black earmuffs — got out as she approached and walked over. “Looks like we’re the first to arrive.” Haven’t seen him before. The stranger extended his hand. “Name’s Ben. Yesterday was my first on the job.” “Trudi. Personnel,” she said, releasing her hand from his. “Some snow!” “Yeah, sure is. Any trouble getting out of your driveway?” “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.” She had a full day ahead of her. He smiled. “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 entered the elevator and punched the button for the top floor. She dropped her proposal on the secretary’s desk. Fingers crossed, she hoped Ray would be proud of her efforts. Her heart flip-flopped when she saw Ray at his desk the next day. “Have a minute?” He gestured to a chair. “Our boss e-mailed me last night to say he’s impressed with your work,” he said, grinning. “You put a lot into it, Trudi, and it’s paid off.” Her knees went weak just as she was about to sit. “That’s a relief,” she said, managing some self-restraint. He drew his chair closer to hers. “You’ve scored with management, you know.” But have I scored with you, too? Is the waiting over? “I think you’re in line for a change of status.” “You mean a job promotion?” What she longed for was a change of status with him. “Yes, a promotion.” Ray edged closer and locked his sapphire blue eyes with hers. “This calls for celebration.” He placed an arm over the back of her seat. “Er, could we go out tomorrow evening?” he whispered. Could they ever! “Sounds good,” Trudi said, her tone masking the excitement she felt. Then she saw Ben’s tall frame in the doorway. He knocked and walked into the office. “You wanted to see me, Boss?” “Terrific! Tomorrow night,” Ray said. Then he turned to Ben. “You’re here sooner than I expected.” Ben cleared his throat and shuffled his feet. “I can come back.” Ray leaned back in his chair. “Trudi, this is Ben. He will be working with me for a while.” She nodded. “We introduced ourselves yesterday. Welcome aboard.” Ben smiled. “Thanks.” Trudi got up. “If there’s nothing more for now?” She had only until tomorrow evening to wait for the something more. Hadn’t Mom told her good things happen to those who wait. As she moved closer to the door, Trudi heard the new hire say, “She’s my new neighbor, and I planned to get to know her. I would’ve shoveled her out even if you hadn’t asked me.” He laughed. “I didn’t even get to buy her a cup of coffee and you get to take her out.” Trudi grinned and kept on walking. In a roundabout way she’d already thanked Ben in the parking lot. A snow angel could come in all disguises — even that of a new neighbor. Ben may have dug her out, but he was only a courier for her admirer. _________ This article appeared in Ruby for Women Magazine, March 2017. Image courtesy of Pixabay
Snowy Steps in England
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