idioms...sayings understood by native speakers part twelve
Charlie snuggled in his bed. Jenny and Carl quietly closed the door. Jenny took the bell off of the bathroom door and put it on the boy's bedroom door.
"What is that for?"
"See, Charlie sometimes gets up at night. His mom came up with this idea. Like an alarm to wake folks up. Charlie cannot go unsupervised. He could wander off and get hurt."
"But that means that Lynn doesn't sleep very well, doesn't it?"
"Ah, she is just a light sleeper. The thing is, she truly does not have a life, save for her brother." Jenny sighed and headed for the couch. "I hope she is having the time of her life tonight."
Carl smirked. "You don't really know my uncle. But I will say, she is probably having an interesting time."
"What is that supposed to mean?"
"Nothing. Just don't be surprised by anything she shares with you."
"Carl, what the hell is that supposed to mean?"
"Well, the Matthews family is not all that it seems."
"Okay, sit down and tell me about it."
"First you tell me. What do you do? Other than be a partial owner of a bar."
"Me? I am a freelance market analyst."
"I am hired by companies who have gotten themselves in trouble, and come up with ideas to get their sales up."
"Are you good at it?"
"If they listen.... "
"So are you available to help our company?"
"Your profit to sales ratio is pretty high. But it has leveled the past few years, which is pretty okay in this economy. Lynn's idea could bring you up to the top in your group. Mattel, once they get wind of what you are trying to do, might get concerned." She sighed, "That is when you guys should get worried."
"So what are you saying?"
"Walk softly, and carry a big patent." She stretched and yawned. "Now it is my turn. What is the deal with Mr. Fox? All I know is he is your cousin."
"Rick? I met him over twenty years ago."
"Huh? The guy is at least forty, you are about what, thirty, what happened to the childhood stuff, you being cousins and all."
"Oh, Rick was found about when he was sixteen. And by the way, he is only five years older than me. His hair just makes him look older."
"Wait... who cares about hair... tell me about the found part."
"Rick was born out of wedlock. The Chairman got his high school sweetheart pregnant. But they had broken up. The woman kept quiet and raised Rick on her own."
"Without any support?"
"Rick said his mom taught him to rely on your wits, drive and desire."
"So how did he come to you guys?"
"His mom died. Her lawyer took Rick and the will to the Matthews mansion. It was quite a meeting."
"No one would acknowledge him. Grandfather got him a job on the docks, while confirmation of his birthright was checked out." He sighed. "Rick has worked every position at that company. To manufacturing, packing, distribution, sales, advertising, and research, until grandfather made him the CO about eight years ago."
"He would have only been about what all of twenty-seven? When did he get his MBA?"
"You don't know my cousin. He had already graduated high school when he came to our house. The man is a genius when it comes to books. He got his degree in business in two years, and his MBA in one."
"Yup. Rick is an odd one. He loves the company... the employees... the whole thing. If anything, he should get the company. Save one thing."
"He is allowed to use the Matthews name, but his legal last name is Richardson."
"You mean, his dad has not adopted him? or acknowledged him at all?"
"The fact is the only reason our company is at its present state is because of Rick. My uncles aren't fools. They don't know what would happen if he actually is able to own the company. They consider Rick a necessary evil."
"Carl? Where do you fit in all of this?"
"I am the hope for the family. I am the true Matthews that should inherit the company."
"Interesting.... and I thought you and your cousin were friends."
"Um, only as rivals can be friends."
Jenny considered this likable guy. Then she considered the sly Fox guy. "So why are you getting so close to Lynn?" She tilted her head, considering something. "You are not using my Lynn to achieve your goal, are you?"
Carl raised his eyebrow at that. "No, I am hopefully just playing cupid."
"I haven't met too many people I can't figure out, Carl Matthews. I will figure you out."
"What? Can't a guy play cupid?"
"Just depends on where he is aiming those arrows... Charlie is Lynn's focus right now. It appears to me that Lynn is Mr. Fox' s focus. So what is your focus?"
Carl moved a little closer to Jenny. "What do you think?"
Jenny hopped off the couch. "I think I need to clean up this kitchen before Lynn gets home."
Lynn sat quietly beside her boss. Rick, as she found herself thinking of him as, proved to be quite attentive to her needs. Even to the point when the shrimp cocktail was served, he intervened and let everyone know that she was allergic to shrimp. The meal went quietly. It was nine o'clock. Lynn clenched her hands in her lap. If this went on much longer...
"Smithe, serve the cognac." As the old man lit up his cigar and sat back in his chair, "Nothing like a cigar and cognac after such a fine meal."
Lynn started to look a little green from the smelly cigar.
Rick got up. "Dad, we will let you enjoy your cigar and solitude. It is time we get home. Lynn has to get up early tomorrow."
Rick looked expectantly at Lynn. "Yes. I have to get somethings ready for the office on Monday, and then Church and all." She got up quickly and pulled her blue sweater around her. "Um, thank you for the meal."
Rick placed his arm around her waist. "See ya, dad."
Rick held tightly to Lynn to keep her from running.
Once outside, the door of the car shut, and Rick turned on the engine. Lynn gave her first sigh of relief.
"Thank God, that is over." she whispered.
"Over?" Rick turned the car around to head out. "Miss Lynn Johnson, this whole thing is far from over." Remembering the feeling he had as his dad was taking Lynn away. "Far from over..." he muttered to himself as he hit his turn signal a little too hard.
Lynn noted how tightly he was gripping the wheel and how tightly clenched his jaw seemed.
"Um, Rick, you will get TMJ if you keep that jaw like that, and the fact that you are going over the speed limit. I would like to get back home in one piece... ya know."
Rick glanced down at the speedometer. "Jeez." backing off the pedal. Doing sixty on this road made for thirty would be suicide. "Sorry."
"It's okay. So what are we going to do about tonight?"
"Lynn, it is only nine thirty, want to go some place else?"
The miles sped by as Rick pulled up by a convenience store. Holding a plastic bag, he came out and offered her a soda.
Then turning down a lane, he pulled up in front of a little house. "Stay here for just a second."
He hit the flood lights and then came out and helped her out of the car. "What is this?"
"This? It is my house." He grabbed her hand and helped her up the little walk. He grabbed a paper towel out of the bag and laid a couple down on the picnic table. "Take a seat. There is something you have got to see."
Lynn sat obediently. This guy really was not at all like she had imagined it. How did he know so much about her? Why was he so considerate? The flood lights turned off. Lynn's eyes had to get acclimated for a moment. Then she heard a whisper in her ear and jumped.
The sky lay bright against the black sky. Lynn's eyes sparkled.
"It is so beautiful." she murmured.
Rick sat down in front of her, watching her face. Taking her hands, he warmed them against the chill of the spring night. Lynn faced the man who had been her bane for the last eight years.
"Lynn. This is where I grew up. My mom taught me to fish, to laugh, to enjoy the simple things in life."
Lynn considered this. "And what did you learn from the Matthews family when you went there?"
"That being rich means to be suspicious, mean, frighteningly stupid, and crafty. But, to them, money means power. That is all that my uncles understand."
"And what does money mean to you?"
Rick sighed, "A hell of a lot of responsibility."
The Chairman chuckled. "Come in, Gentleman."
Seven men filled into the room. The butler carried a tray with Cognac and served it as the members settled themselves in.
"Jesus, I thought they would never leave."
The Chairman grinned. "I don't know. I kinda enjoyed the squirming, myself."
"Hey, I really don't get what this is all about?" inquired the youngest of the group, only tolerated because he had married the runt of the family.
"What is there to understand?" The Chairman looked thoughtfully as he regarded his cigar. "Rick is getting too powerful... Grandfather is looking at his will. What better time to make sure this company stays with the real Matthews family."
"But Rick is your son..."
"He is? Well, guess so. But his last name is Richardson."
AJ raised his glass, "And my son's name is Matthews."
The board nodded in agreement. Then the Chairman added, "Besides, age and treachery outweighs youth and exuberance every time." As he raised his drink... "To the Matthews family."
'TO THE MATTHEWS FAMILY." the seven stated simultaneously.
Rick became quiet. He took a drink of his soda. Then staring at the hands of this girl, he cleared his throat. "It doesn't bother you?"
"That I am illegitimate."
Lynn started to giggle.
"Um, Rick, I could care less if you were born under a rock."
"You are you. Not a name." She paused, "I just wish I had met your mom. She seemed like a good woman."
"Well, my mom did her very best by us. When we lost her, I really did not understand just how spoiled I had been. She left me my house, free and clear. How she did all of that, I will never know."
"Yeah, I know what you mean. Mom worked at a grocery store all of her life. We were not the best off, but she did what she could and this place is free and clear, too."
"So if we lose our jobs, we will always have a home, right?" Lynn smiled.
She swallowed hard, "But really we need to talk about this girlfriend thing. Don't you think?"
"It is getting late. I should really get you home."
"Hey, wait a minute." as she hurried to catch up with him, she caught her shoe at the top of the stair leading down to the car. Rick turned and caught her.
"Lynn, why are you so clumsy?"
Lynn held onto the man and smiled into his shirt. "I was just born that way."
To be continued.