THE BOYFRIEND BOOKMARK: ★★★★
My job ticked along way better than expected. Once I was on the inside, had my clearance, and put my naturally excessive curiosity to work, doors opened. And I opened them.I popped my head into the lab walking back to my desk after an aircraft inspection. “Any little green men in here?” I asked.“Glenn,” my boss, who happened to be in the room, said. “I was just talking about you.”“Yep, my ears were burning. That’s why I stopped by. Whatcha need?” I asked.My boss looked like he didn’t know quite what to make of me, but overlooked any reservations he may have had, just like anyone else who saw my potential and took a chance on me had. For those folks, I was grateful. A flashback to my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Emerson, came to mind. She was the only one who took the time after class to sit down with me and re-explain each day’s lesson, because sitting there in a room full of quiet kids, listening, drove me ape shit. Instead of listening, I fidgeted in my chair wondering what was for lunch, sometimes getting out of my chair for a better view out the window, especially when a plane flew overhead. Mrs. Emerson was nice. “I have one just like you at home,” she said. I’m not sure what she meant, but at the time, I was thinking “nice little boy.” During our one-on-one’s, she’d speak to me like I mattered and never criticized me for not being like all the other kids who could sit in their chairs, listen, and understand, going off to do their homework by themselves after class. We did my homework together, and she gave me M&Ms after each problem I did right. Once I figured that out, I aced almost everything because there was a good reason to do the work. M&Ms right away, not some dumb letter grade handed back on a page three days later. When she explained to my folks that I knew the material, they laid into me about why I couldn’t do it at home in my room, but they clearly didn’t understand the power of M&Ms . . . or one-on-one.“Conroy,” my boss said, “we need you in Seattle. You’re the first guy I thought of when this assignment came up—right up your alley.”I was intrigued. My ears perked up when the words “need you” hit the air. Plus the fact that he thought of me, and “right up your alley” sounded phenom. Having gotten my attention, I listened intently as boss man outlined the particulars of the job, throwing in words like “top secret” and “special clearances” and “national security.” I was all over it and would have accepted right then and there if I didn’t need to consider Camryn.“We need you ASAP,” he said.“Let me talk it over with my wife,” I said, somehow managing to stifle my excitement. I hoped she’d like the idea too.
C.R. Everett was born in Northern Illinois and has lived in various places over the years, currently residing in Utah. For twenty years she worked in finance, but today devotes her time to writing. She lives with her husband, two kids, Shiba Inu, and cat. When not writing, she updates her website, connects with her readers, does the mom thing, or cleans up after unruly pets. In her free time she enjoys reading, usually at the gym while on a treadmill, baking, taking walks, enjoying nature, and going to Starbucks. Mocha is her favorite.
Love, Carry My Bags (#1)
Reese’s dad was putzing around the kitchen when we walked in. “Oh, you’re staying too,” he said, my duffel prodding his memory. “You can put your stuff in Helen’s room. Since she’s not using it anymore, you may as well.”“Hey.” Reese greeted his father.“If you want something to eat, you’ll have to fix it the old fashioned way.” Mr. Dahlgren stirred leftover spaghetti heating on the stove. “Your mother made sure I’d be living in the dark ages when she absconded with the microwave . . . . At least she left the television.” Reese and I exchanged uneasy glances.“Well, that’s a good thing because you and Reese would be bored watching the microwave together while I do my homework,” I said, grasping for the bright side. “Reese, would you show me upstairs?” I asked, conveniently escaping the awkward moment.He carried our bags up the stairs and placed mine on a low-set king-sized bed in the first room on the left. The room reminded me of my grandmother’s house with dimly lit gabled walls and a faint odor of must, the vintage green bedspread, a ‘50s remnant. “Your parents didn’t sleep together?” I asked, surprised. It hadn’t occurred to me that married people might not sleep together. Well, there were the Samuelson’s I’d heard of, but they were in their nineties and had health issues which made a shared bed logistically impractical.“They haven’t shared a room for years,” Reese said, like this was normal—at least in his parents’ household. I stood, focusing through the bed, my head, lost.“Look,” I said with reluctance, “I’ve got some homework that’s due tomorrow. Why don’t you go downstairs and spend some time with your dad?” Reese’s eyes told me he knew it was the right thing to do even though he’d rather not.“I’m so glad you’re here,” he reiterated, giving me a parting kiss then closed the door behind him. I flopped on the bed, opened Accounting II.Twenty T-squares later, Reese knocked on the door.“I brought you some water.” He set the glass on the bedside table then sat down next to me. “How’s it going?”“I’m almost done.” I took a sip of water. “Thanks.”“Good, I could use some company down there. Dad keeps bringing up sore subjects, between channel surfing. ‘Have you spoke to your mother?’ ‘Why did she leave?’ ‘The grass isn’t greener . . . it’s damn brown for me.’ ‘Why don’t you do something worthwhile with your life?’ Stuff like that.” I put my accounting text down and climbed onto Reese’s lap. I wanted to make all his bad disappear.