“Sit back,” Mac invited, his calm blue eyes regarding her fondly. “Relax. There’s plenty of room. If it weren’t for these winter clothes . . . “ He smoothed his gray flannel slacks and pulled his down jacket closer to his lean body in an attempt to make more space: then he flipped the jacket collar up around his ears until the bronze brown fabric blended with his thick mane of carefully cut hair.
“Black and blue.” Mac winked, eyeing her dark hair and her skirt and blazer. “May favorite color combinations.”
She barely heard him. How she wished she would be coming to
“Hey!” Tom shouted in her left ear and nudged her with his elbow. “It’s starting to snow.” He had been holding his tan coat in his lap, and now he slipped it on over his green cords and yellow crew-neck sweater.
“Ta-da!” Mac held his hand to his mouth as if it were a megaphone. “And ace reporter Tom Crendal gives the world another first.” Mac lowered his hand. “What would we do without you and your astute observations, Tom?”
“Ha.” Tom raked his fingers through his black hair, leaving it standing in dark, featherlike tufts that contrasted with his January pale face. “When I’m a famous journalist working on The New York Times or The Washington Post, you’ll see my byline and say, “Ah, I knew that boy when he was writing for Pebbles at good old Marshalltown High. Always knew Tom would make good.’”
“Sure thing,.” Tom leaned forward and slapped Jill on the back. “That superior rating along with your being chosen for All State Band should grab you the Tye music scholarship for next year.”
Jill half turned where she was sitting in a bucket seat beside her mother. She smiled her thanks as she pulled her white turtleneck sweater up under her chin, buttoned her red blazer, and then reached down to see if the car heater was blowing warm air. “I’m keeping my fingers crossed, gang. No scholarship, no college.”
You’ll get it,” Tom said. “I’m going to give you a great write-up in Pebbles That should help get your name in the minds of the people on the scholarship committee.”
“I’ll probably gain ten more pounds waiting for their decision.” Jill sighed. I wish I’d inherited Mom’s metabolism. I gained five pounds from nervous eating, worrying about this contest.”
“Maybe you should have inherited my will power,” her mother said, laughing. “I’d look like a blimp if I didn’t diet.”
changed the subject from dieting. “Tom when you write that article, -just
“It was fu playing
for you, Jill,”
“It’s snowing harder, kids.” Mrs. Sterling signaled for a left turn. “I hope . . . “ Her voice trailed away as she snapped on the radio. “See if you can tune in a weather report, will you, Jill?”
Mac’s presence added to her feeling of well-being. Dependable. Calm. Mac never pushed himself forward, but he could cope with a bad situation when necessity demanded. She always felt good with Mac.
Again Tom nudged
“Hope it makes the
front page, Tom,”
She wished she were two people. Then one of her could marry Mac, and the other one could enroll in pre-law at Drake. Why did people have to make such hard decisions, such impossible decisions? She scowled until the radio announcer intruded into her thoughts.
snowstorm is sweeping across the
anything for a few moments; then Jill spoke up. “We only have to go a few
miles on I-80, don’t we, Mom? And
“The snow seems to be building up pretty fast.” Mac wiped steam from the window with his jacket sleeve and peered intently into the darkness.
“Good old Mac can dig us out if we get stuck,” Tom said. “He’s a fast study with a shovel.”
“Archaeologists seldom dig in snow, good buddy.”
“Maybe we should stop at a motel, Mom,” Jill said
“But I have to get
If we don’t get back . . .”
“If we don’t get back, someone else can do it for you,” Jill said. “Be practical. You act as if those stray dogs and cats actually belong to you, Tracy.”
“I do feel responsible for them. And really sorry for the, too.” She sighed; then her voice brightened. “But we did find homes for five dogs and two cats this week.”
“I suppose you took for of them.” Jill laughed. “You’re such a soft touch, I can hardly believe it.”
At first Jill’s words irritated her, but on second thought she guessed Jill was right. She was a soft touch. Maybe that’s why she wanted to be a lawyer, so she could help people in trouble.
“I don’t think she’s such a soft touch,” Mac said. “I’ve been trying to get her to let me adopt a dog for two years now and she won’t do it.”
“We don’t let
people adopt pets unless they offer the pet a secure home situation”
“Spare me,” Mac said. “We’ve been over it all before.”
Again they drove in silence for a few moments
“What’d we hit?” Tom rolled down his window and tried to peer out.
hey were stuck.