Audrey decided she'd tell them together. She didn't know if they were actually together, but there was just something about Mae and Ben that said..THEY SHOULD BE TOGETHER.
"Good news, Ben!" Audrey tried to give him the fist bomb of success, but it came off awkward. Still it left Ben smiling. "You, can start your afternoons here with pay, starting Monday."
"YES!" He picked up Mae as if this was a special occasion, after all. But of course, she settled him down like he might be a 3 year old.
"Great." She smiled, but Audrey had to wonder if it was fake. She pulled her to side while Ben went to tell Taylor the news. He had a real job.
"Is this OK.. with you.. You know..Ben is not the problem is he?" Maybe she'd figured this out all wrong.
"Oh..of course not." Mae sighed with a smile. "I know he needed this. And I am his friend. Just his friend."
"OK, I can see that. He really likes you." Audrey hoped that wasn't a problem.
"Yeah, he's ..a friend." Mae sighed as if he were getting too excited.
Ben was on the phone with his mother now. He was laughing. Audrey watched. She'd never seen him this animated before.
"Well, you deserve it." Mae did her best to settle him. "Remember, those books aren't going to mark off the barcodes themselves." She got him back on task. True, he didn't do the serious minded work, but he could very well keep things moving on..usually to the dumpster, but that had a protocol, too. No one seemed to know that, but her, these days.
"I bet, you did it." Ben nodded and smiled as if she was looking after him, after all. She'd gotten him the job at the library.
"Seriously, I doubt I had anything to do with it." Mae was feeling a bit melancholy. Suddenly, it came to her, who he really was as she stared at his face. It felt as if a ghost floated straight through her. She shivered, ever so slightly on this humid day.
Yes, she'd known him once. But not this Ben, she kept reminding herself. Funny, she thought of scrawny, idiotic Ben, always up, for a party. Perhaps a little neurotic. He just couldn't sit still.
Actually, she liked him better now.
Yes, he'd been a good friend, the past week or so. He'd made her Ramen and they'd chilled in front of the TV most of the night after her Jude fiasco that she almost spilled to her boss.
Ben even slept over. But on the couch. Yet, he'd left before she awoke. She hoped he hadn't gone home in the dark. She didn't even know where he lived.
Just about then, Cassie came to the back and told her there was a visitor waiting for her. Of course, Mae thought the worse. Probably some disgruntled patron, but no..it was Gun.
For a moment, she felt light headed.
He asked when she got off work. He had a night off and wondered if she wanted to go to a movie.
"I know its really last minute. I mean, if..I'd known earlier..I would have called ..earlier." He was ever so serious.
"I know. I..I understand." She nursed her bottom lip. She knew Ben would want to celebrate, but she couldn't pass up this opportunity. She wanted to go out with Gun.