“Hey, you once mentioned to me that you’d like some help managing the finances here at the bed and breakfast. What can I do to help?”
“Have you ever used QuickBooks?” she asked with raised eyebrows.
“Of course. It’s practically required for my accounting classes.”
“Then you should be able to handle our simple company. I’d have to hire someone to do all the things mom usually does. I may as well hire you.”
“You don’t have to pay me to help out.”
“We pay you to be the groundskeeper? What’s the difference?”
“Uh… I don’t know. I guess I hadn’t thought about it that way.”
“Okay then, you’re hired.” Sammy held out her hand to shake on it.
When I clasped her hand in mine, I didn’t let go. It was the first time we had really touched each other since the previous weekend when she had cried on my shoulder at the hospital.
Her breathing sped up as she looked down at our clasped hands and then she slowly pulled her hand from mine. I turned back to the computer, disappointment crushing my heart.
Why did I do that? Ugh! The first time he touched me in almost a week and I pulled my hand away? I would go down in the world as the worst potential-almost-girlfriend. Did he like me? Or didn’t he? Did he want to help out because he felt obligated? Or because he was falling in love with me?
We spent the next couple of hours learning the financial end of running a bed and breakfast. When we were finished, we opened up our content management files, evaluating all the reservations that were booked months in advance. We looked at the marketing files, and the party planning and catering and rules and laws and taxes.
“I think my brain is going to explode.” I rubbed my temples and pushed my chair back from the desk.
“Time for a break.” He moved his chair closer to mine and lowered his gaze. “I need to talk to you about something anyway.”
“I’m not going back to Ferris State in the fall.”
“What? You can’t drop out of college!”
“I’m not dropping out.” His brow creased. “I’m transferring to North Central.”
“But that’s just a community college. Are you going to be able to take the classes you need to finish your major?”
“Every college has business classes,” he reasoned. “I want to be here to help out.”
I wished that he’d said he wanted to be here with me. I didn’t want his pity or his charity. I sat back in my chair, folding my arms across my chest.
“That is, if you don’t mind me living here year-round.”
Mind? I’d love it! But I couldn’t tell him that. He was just here to help run the bed and breakfast, not to be my boyfriend. I shook off my negative thoughts. “Sure, you can live here.”
Did he flinch? Ugh. What did he want me to do? Jump into his lap, wrap my arms around him and ask him to stay forever? Tempting.
“I mean, yeah, I’d love to have you here.” I backtracked.
His eyes met mine and a tiny hint of a smile pulled the corner of his mouth.
I kept reminding myself how young I still was. Maybe if we spent time together, he’d eventually see me as more than a sister and our relationship could develop into something further. One could always hope.
Running To You
Click here to read the next chapter in my work-in-progress!