A Promising New Start by Mario V. Farina

After class, Lynne asked whether I could help her in getting a job at Trainer, Townsend, and Santora. She had been working in a local bank for several years and wasn't getting ahead. She felt that a new career in accounting at my company would be beneficial to her.
A Promising New Start
A Promising New Start by Mario V. Farina
My name is Glenn Carver. At the time of this story, I was thirty-eight and worked at the accounting firm of Trainer, Townsend and Santora, as an accountant. In the evening, I taught accounting courses at the local junior college. Lynne Markey was one of my students. She was tall, thin, and very attractive. What I liked most about her was her smile. Whenever I entered the classroom, her face would light up, and some of its warmth would seep into my psyche. I told Lynne that I didn't have much influence with those who hired, but that I would be happy to give her the names of some persons to contact. Also, I suggested that I might be able to help plan her resume. She brought in some facts about herself at the next class. I read these with great interest, not only because I had agreed to help with her resume, but also, because I was beginning to have an interest in her that went beyond a classroom relationship. She was thirty. I was disappointed in her age because I thought she might be too young for me. From the fact sheet that she handed me, I saw that she was divorced. To me, this meant that she was available. The thought that she might already have a boyfriend did not occur to me. I was available too. My wife and I had divorced some years before. We had had no children. In seeking a new lifetime companion, I had dated those who simply wanted to share expenses, some who yearned for a life of ease, others who wished to climb the social ladder. Currently I was seeing a young woman named Gloria. I had been infatuated with her early on, but found that she wanted our relationship to mature much faster than I did. Indeed, forward motion with our bonding had ceased, but our seeing each other had not. I knew that my association with Gloria might be an impediment to building a new relationship designed for a lifetime. At the next class, I gave Lynne some suggestions as to how she might prepare her resume. I also gave her a copy of mine. I said that my resume might be an example of how she could pattern hers. My motives weren't very honest. Having been in the business world a good many years, and having become successful in several endeavors, I thought my information might impress her. One day during the following week, Lynne waited until the class had ended, then came to my desk and said she had decided to leave Rexford and go back to her hometown of Owego. "I applied for a job at Trainer, Townsend, and Santora," she said "but there was no response. I'm still not getting anywhere at the bank. Things aren't going too well with my boyfriend. I decided to go home." "I'm sorry to hear that," I replied. I was unhappy to hear the news for more than one reason. Lynne had been in two of my accounting courses, and I had become fond of her. Whenever she came to class I would find myself speaking directly to her. When she didn't attend, I felt there was no one in the room worth addressing. Gloria would come to my classes once in a while just to sit in. We would go out to dinner afterward or to a show. However, I experienced much more pleasure in having Lynne in the classroom than Gloria. I had been surprised to hear that there was a boyfriend. "Won't your boyfriend miss you?" The idea that Lynne might be involved with someone had seemed only a remote possibility. I should have known better. She was an attractive woman. "I don't know. If he does, he can come to see me. We have been going together for some time, but the relationship has stalled. If I leave, maybe it will make him think about what he's missing, and motivate him to do something about it." "Do you have a job in Owego?" "Yes, my father owns a machine shop there. I'm going to go to work for him as Secretary and General-all-around-Clerk." "It's a shame that all of your accounting training can't be put to better use." "Maybe it will someday. The business is growing, and we'll probably have to increase our competence with accounting. My father is basically a farmer. He doesn't know anything about computers or accounting. I'm sure, I'll be an asset to the company." "A farmer running a machine shop" I asked, puzzled." "Yes, he was brought up on a farm. In fact, he owns one now in Bainbridge. He went into the machine shop business many years ago when he was struggling to make a living for the family. The business grew and he had to grow with it. But, in his heart, he's has always been with farming. He goes to the farm every weekend. Going there relaxes him greatly. When I visit, he's always on a tractor!" "Well, I wish you every success, Lynne! Would you mind giving me your address so that, later, I will be able to call and ask how things are going?" She said she didn't mind. On a slip of paper, she wrote an Owego address and telephone number. She also jotted down the name of the machine shop; the Precision Tool Company. "Do give me a call," were her parting words. I felt depressed as I drove to Gloria's home after work that evening. Some weeks later, I phoned Lynne and found her at home. I asked how she was doing and what she was doing. "I'm doing very well," she said. "I'm working for my father and enjoying the job very much. I live next door to the shop in an apartment that my father owns. It's actually a little house. It's the nicest place I've lived in since being on my own." "How are you and your boyfriend getting along?" "Not so well, Professor Carver. He has come down to see me several times, but we are not getting along well at all. I think we're about ready to break up." "I'm sorry to hear that." I wasn't at all! "Lynne, I'm going to be on vacation within the next month or two. I'll be passing through Owego. Do you suppose I could stop in and say hello?" "Of course Professor. As a matter of fact, I'll be coming to Rexford on the twenty-first of November. Possibly we can meet and chat a while then." "Yes, of course. Let's make it definite, Lynne. When you come, let's have dinner together. Will you be driving or coming by bus? I can meet you." She said she was traveling by bus. We agreed that I would meet her at the Rexford bus station. When we hung up I was overjoyed with the conversation and phoned a florist. I asked the shop to send Lynne an arrangement of flowers. The card said, "Thank you for the talk, Glenn." The twenty-first of November was a special day! I had been looking forward to picking up Lynne Markey at the bus station and having dinner with her. There was a minor problem to solve. How was I going to account for the time after work when I was supposed to visit with Gloria? I was not living with her, but she expected me to stop by after work every evening. For days, I thought about the problem, but no solution suggested itself. The twenty-first arrived, and I decided to solve the problem by ignoring it. Gloria and I were not engaged. I was certainly free to do as I wished after work on any day of the week! I had some trouble finding the bus station as it had been moved since the last time I had been there, so I arrived a little late. Lynne was sitting on a bench looking unconcerned. I walked to where she was sitting and greeted her. She looked up and smiled, "Hello, Professor Carver, it's nice seeing you." "It's nice to see you, too." I replied. She told me that the main purpose of her visit to Rexford was to visit her boyfriend. She wouldn't be able to stay with me too long after we had had dinner since he was expecting her. I told her that I didn't mind, that even a short time with her would be very pleasant. We walked to my car. I helped her into the seat, and we drove in the direction of the Mangez Très Bien, the finest restaurant in town. Traffic was light and we arrived at about six-thirty. Lynne ordered fish and I, steak. As we ate, we discussed Lynne's work, her apartment, my work, and several other topics. We joked about the server whose name was Patty. We kept referring to her as Patty Cake. The time passed quickly. At about 9:30, Lynne glanced at her watch and said that she must leave. She requested that I drop her off at her boyfriends house. "I told him that I would be a little late," she said, "so he won't be worried, but it is much later than I had expected." "Will he mind your being with me?" I asked "No," she responded. "I told him I was having dinner with a former professor. He won't mind." I wondered how Lynne and her boyfriend were getting along, but thought it inappropriate to ask at this time. We drove to her boyfriend's, and I parked in front of the house. As Lynne was exiting the car, I reached over and took her hand. Pulling her slightly toward me, I kissed her on the cheek. Unexpectedly, she threw her arms around me, and gave me a warm kiss on the lips, then she left. I watched as she hurried to the door of the house. Someone opened it and she went in. Then I drove off. The warmth of her kiss had been a very pleasant surprise. Some days later, I dialed Lynne's number and found her at home. "How's everything going?" I asked. "Not bad, Professor," she responded. "Oh? You're getting along better with your boyfriend?" "No, we've broken up for good. There were just too many differences between us. I'm taking it hard, I'm afraid." "I'm sorry to hear that, Lynne. I have an idea. Why don't I come down to see you this weekend, and we can talk about it." I was pleased to see that she had broken up with her boyfriend. I was hopeful that, with his competition out of the way, she and I would become friends; in fact, more than friends. "That would be fine," she responded. "Can you give me the name of a good motel near you?" I asked. "Oh, there's no need for that." I have an extra bedroom here. You can stay overnight. I couldn't believe the offer, but readily accepted it. After agreeing upon a time that I would arrive, and getting instructions on how to get there, we hung up. Reflecting upon the conversation, I felt a mixture of emotions. I knew I must break up with Gloria under my own power, not by having someone else substitute for her. But I also knew that I was weak, and would have extreme difficulties living through the next several days, weeks, or whatever it took to break up. Gloria had taken possession of me. Though my feelings for her had cooled, I found it very difficult to break loose. Breaking up with her was going to be as difficult as tearing two pieces of Velcro apart. I was reminded of the popular song, that declared there were fifty ways to leave your lover, but feared I was not capable of using any of them! On the day we had agreed on, I arrived at her house right on time. She was waiting for me at her doorway. She came to greet me as I exited the car. We hugged. Then she ushered me into her home. The house was very modest. Only the absolute necessities seemed to be available. I didn't mind since I had come to see her and not the accessories. After showing me around her home, we went to a nearby restaurant and had a light lunch. Then, while returning to her place, she guided me on a tour around the little village of Owego. At her home, we talked of many things. She was interested in my life and my ambitions, and I was interested in what she told me about herself. We did not talk about her boyfriend to any great degree, but she did state at one point that talking to me was helping her get over him. That night, she decided to have me sleep in her bed, while she used the spare bedroom. Falling asleep took a long while. There was much for me to think about. I was awed that she trusted me as much as she did. It rained, and I was pleased that the rain drops could be heard so loudly and pleasantly as they peppered the roof. In the morning, I dressed and went into the kitchen. Lynne was making blueberry pancakes. She had purchased real maple syrup to use with them because, she said, I was a special guest. The day passed quickly with talks and walks in the area. She invited me to stay a second night, and I happily agreed. The following day was to be a workday for me so I needed to leave before it began getting dark. She walked with me to the car. "It's been very pleasant having you here, Professor Carver," she said. "Please call me Glenn," I requested. "I was hoping you would say that," she smiled. As I drove home, I kept feeling that, during this weekend, there had been a promising new start in my life. Indeed, it had!

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