“You could make a fortune renting this room out”.
“It was our mother’s room and we have never rented it. If friends visit we let them stay in it, but other than that it’s empty”
“Why me though”?
“Because we like you Gloria and you look like you could use a little kindness in your life. I just had a gut feeling about you, that’s it”. Lena chimed in with;
“It sounds like you like the room so is that a yes”?
“Yes! It’s a big yes and a big thank you”.
“Good, Clara and I are happy to have you stay here. Why don’t we all go down to the kitchen and have a cup of tea or coffee if you like and get to know each other better.” They all started down the steps. “Oh yes Gloria, there is a lock on your door and I will give you the key before you leave today.”
“That would be wonderful, thanks”. In the kitchen, the ladies sat at the table and decided on tea. Lena said she would get it ready and checked on her food and brownies in the oven. “These brownies are just about done”. She removed them from the oven and placed then on top of the stove.
“They smell delicious, and so does whatever else you made”, replied Gloria.
“It’s just chicken, potatoes and carrots, but they have a while to go yet. If you like you may have a brownie as soon as they are cool enough to handle”.
“I’d love one, thank you, Lena”.
“So”. Clara said; “Where are you from originally”?
“Rochester, New York. I was born and raised there”.
“Do you have any children”? Clara inquired.
“No, I don’t and was never married. It was just me and my mother. I lost her almost two years ago and miss her terribly. She was a wonderful mom”.
“Is your dad still in New York”?
“I never knew my father”.
“I’m so sorry Gloria. Your mother raised a wonderful daughter. How old are you? I figured about thirty”?
“Ha, I wish, I’m thirty-seven”.
“I don’t believe that”.
“I can show you my drivers license if you like Clara”.
“No, no it’s just that you look younger”.
“Thank you, I’m flattered”. Clara looked at Lena and said;
“She’s just a few years younger than Jeffery”.
“Yes, that’s right”. Lena replied.
“Do you mean Jeffery Bristol”? Gloria asked.
“Yes, do you know him”.
“Not personally Clara. He stops into the Tea Room a few times a week to eat and I chatted with him a couple of times because he is always alone. I always wondered why he wasn’t with his father but it was not my business to ask and he never mentioned anything so I didn’t ask”.
“He never mentioned that he was Clem’s son”?
“Yes, he did mention that his father was Clem Bristol and that he owned a house here on Beech St.”.
“What’s your last name Gloria, I forgot to ask, and we have to add it to the mail box”.
“It Mandell, Gloria Lois Mandell. My mother’s name was Lois and she gave me Lois as a middle name”.
“Do you have any other family in New York”.
“I have a couple of cousins on my mothers’ side, but they are both married and live in California”.
“I wasn’t close to my mother’s sister and after mom passed there was no reason for me to hang around Rochester so I decided to move here”.
“Were your parents divorced”?
“No, they were never married. I don’t know who my father was or is. Why? Does that make a difference”? She sounded defensive. “Of course not Gloria, we are just trying to get to know you a little better”.
“OK, enough of that Clara. The brownies are ready Gloria, would you like one”?
“I’d love one, thank you, Lena”. Lena shot Clara a look.
“When would you like to move in Gloria”?
“Is Friday alright with you and Lena”?
“I don’t have any furniture, just my clothing and a few items that belonged to my mom. It will be just me and my luggage. Friday is good for me because I am off. I work the weekend. It will give me the whole day to enjoy my new room”.
“That will be fine with us dear”. Clara handed her the key to her room and Gloria smiled.
“I am hoping I can save for a car now, wouldn’t that be wonderful”?
“Yes”! The sisters replied in unison.
“Although it doesn’t matter because your house is so close to the Tea Room it only takes about ten minutes to walk, but I would love to own a car. Thank you again and I will see you on Friday, is ten thirty to early for you”?
“No, not at all, it’s fine. We are looking forward to you moving in. It will be nice to have a young person in the house”.
“Bye ladies”. Gloria was practically skipping along the sidewalk.