You can find earlier excerpts from The Reunion here
Parking in front of the Bluebell Café on Third Street at about 9:35, Jen saw her pretty, blond sister already sitting in a booth by the window, drinking a steaming cup of coffee. Rushing inside, she forgot just how annoyed she’d been with Pam and hurried to give her a hug and kiss.
“Jen, my gosh, you look so glamorous!” Pam’s eyes went wide. “I love the hair and you look like you’ve been doing Pilates or something!”
“Pammie, don’t be silly, who does Pilates? But I do still try to do yoga when I can and walking Jack every morning and night helps a lot. But I’ll never truly be rid of these hips!” Jen studied her sister’s face and thought Pam was looking awfully tired.
“Well, I think you look great. I’m so glad you came out this week. Kevin is out of town again on business so it’s just me running the kids to their weekend lessons and getting ‘em off to school in the mornings.” Pam stopped talking and winced at the serious look on her sister’s face.
“You really are mad about Brian being at the house? Mom called a few weeks ago and said Mrs. Walsh had asked her about him staying there while he’s got some project going on. And then he called me and said he needed to stay at least a month until his place would be ready and I told him sure, Mom had said it was fine and he insisted on paying and –“
“Well, jeez, Pammie, I don’t care what Mom and Dad do with the house. It is theirs, after all. But why didn’t you just tell me he was going to be there at the same time as me? A little heads up would have been nice!”
“I was afraid you’d change your mind about coming out at all. You know you could always stay with us, but it’s hard with the kids and our dogs and little Jack not being used to ‘em – so I just figured you would stay away again. And I miss seeing my big sis!”
“Aww, honey, I miss you, too, and seeing Kevin and the kids. But like you said, it’s hard with Jack and your two dogs. Jack’s not used to all the wide open spaces and he gets pretty territorial around other dogs. You’d think he wouldn’t, as little as he is, but what can I say?”
The waitress came by just then with coffee for Jen and a refill for Pam and they put their orders in for a good, old-fashioned home cooked breakfast. Jen looked around and realized that it was kind of nice being home again, especially when she remembered her Claritin.
So they ate their breakfast and talked, then paid and walked around the little downtown area, talking some more. Jen was waiting for Pam to say something about her life, her marriage, the kids, anything that would explain the exhausted look on her face, but she said nothing. Pam pointed out the old Fairview Inn to Jen and said that was where Brian was working, and that was his big black pick up truck in the parking lot.
“Well, he said he was going to be working there today. I guess he got an early start, because he was long gone before I got up and Jack never barked. Is he some kind of handyman or carpenter or something?”
Pam looked slightly amused at that. “No, Jen, he’s a builder. I think he got his degree in architecture. I thought you knew that. I’m not sure, but I think he said he was fixing up the Inn and planning to reopen it again as an even site or something. There’s been all kinds of meetings going on down at City Hall with the Zoning Committee because of some changes he wants to make.”
“You’re kidding, right? Who even knew Brim had a Zoning Committee?”
“Well, I guess if you’d see fit to come back here a little more often, you’d know how up and coming we’re getting to be,” Pam smiled. The college getting bigger has created a lot more jobs around here and it looks like things may pick up a little.”
“So, little sister, what’s going on with you? You look great, but maybe a little tired. Are the kids running you ragged?”
Pam looked a little uncomfortable and scuffed her toe against the concrete sidewalk. “Not exactly. Kevin and I have been having some problems. For awhile now, I guess, if I’m being honest.”