Friday morning Clara and Lena dusted and straightened the room that Gloria would be staying in and made sure the house was tidy. “Did Marcus call you yet Clara”?
“No, he didn’t, but I didn’t expect him to call me for a few days. That’s if Jack does a thorough job of examining Clem’s body”.
Gloria arrived at the agreed time. Clara and Lena helped her with her bags to her new room. “We hope you are comfortable here Gloria”.
“How could I not be, Clara. It’s a beautiful room and I appreciate yours and Lena’s kindness and generosity”.
“Why don’t you unpack and Lena and I will go make a pot of tea, or would you rather have coffee”.
“Tea will be fine, thank you”. Clara and Leana left Gloria to settle in. Gloria stepped out on the balcony and admired the ocean view. Savored the beauty of her new room. Thinking about her life in New York and the struggle it was for her mother to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, and how it would have been so much easier if she had a father there to help. Only fifty-seven and her heart gave out, too young she thought but Gloria promised her mother and herself that she would take care of it. She went back to the room to unpack. Took the letter and the other papers out and put them safely in one of the drawers. She would be needing them soon enough. She could smell the ocean breeze and her life was about to change….Soon.
Lena and Clara were in the kitchen when she went downstairs for tea. Gloria could hear them talking but when they heard her coming they stopped.
“All settled in dear”? Lena asked.
“Yes, thank you again, ladies, it’s a beautiful room and I do appreciate your kindness. Please let me know if I can help in any way this coming season”.
“How sweet of you Gloria, we might take you up on that. Right now sit and have some tea and one of these delicious blueberry muffins, I have had two keys made for you too, one is for the front door and the other is the door that opens to the back balcony in your room so you have a private entrance, if you work late it will come in handy and give you some privacy as well”. Gloria took the keys.
“How sweet of you, thank you, Clara. Now maybe I can start saving enough to get a car. The two of you are wonderful and I feel so welcome. I wish you could have met my mother, she would have liked both of you and she would have loved your home”.
“We are sure she was a wonderful mom, after all, she raised such a sweet daughter”.
“Yes, she died too young working long hours never able to enjoy life”.
“So sorry dear. How did she pass”?
“Her heart gave out, she was only fifty-seven”.
“Oh my, she was too young”.
“Yes, she had a bad heart and struggled for a long time. We came to Cape May once when I was about fifteen and she loved it here. Now here I am living her dream”.
“How sweet”. Lena said. Gloria smiled.
Gloria smiled. The three of them chatted and discussed how much Gloria’s portion of the electric would be and what additional channels she would like to add. Clara called the cable company and added the new channels for the television in the room. When she hung up she told Gloria that the technician would be there on Tuesday and offered to let him in her room if he came when she was working.
“That would be great, thank you, Clara. Just then the doorbell rang. Lena got up to see who it was. Jeffery Bristol stood there. “Jeffery, what a surprise, please come in”.
“I just came to bring your containers back and thank you both again for the delicious meal”.
“Would you like a cup of tea? Clara, Gloria and I are having tea and muffins in the kitchen, come and join us won’t you”? He looked surprised when she mentioned Gloria’s name but said; “Yes, thank you, I’d like that”. They headed down the hall to the kitchen.
“Jeffery! Hello so nice to see you, dear”. He looked at Gloria. “You know Gloria”.
“Yes, from the Tea Room. Hi”. He said. She smiled and greeted him.
“Take a seat and I’ll get you a cup of tea and help yourself to a muffin if you like. “Gloria is staying here now, she just arrived today. We are getting acquainted”.
“Welcome to the neighborhood Gloria. I am sure you will like it here. Ms. Clara and Ms. Lena are wonderful ladies”. Gloria smiled and said; “Yes they are”. As soon as he finished his tea Jeffery left. He told them he had some things to take care of. Clara thought he looked a bit uneasy seeing Gloria and finding out she had moved in. She would talk to Lena about it later. Gloria excused herself. “If you ladies don’t mind I would like to go up to my room and finish putting a few last things away”.
“You go right ahead dear and there is a linen closet in your bathroom and you can use the washer and dryer that Lena and I use if you like. It’s in the pantry off the kitchen and pointed the door. The guests use the washers and dryers in the basement in the summer but you can use ours”.
“Thank you, that is so kind of you”. She said and left to go back upstairs.
“Lena, did you notice the look on Jeffery’s face when he saw Gloria sitting here”?
“Yes, I thought he looked surprised but that’s only natural”.
“I don’t think so Lena, it’s not like he doesn’t know her. I’ve seen them chatting at the Tea Room and they seemed quite friendly”.
“Please don’t let that imagination of yours make more of this than it is Clara”.
“No, I think something is going on”.
“Yes, I know and you intend to find out what it is”. They looked at each other and laughed. Gloria went back to work on Saturday. The weekend passed quickly. Monday Gloria was off and slept in but she took the sisters out to dinner and the three had a nice evening. They liked having a young person living in the house, and Gloria liked living with them. She was a little Leary at first but started to feel more comfortable as the days passed.
Tuesday morning Clara was having her breakfast and the phone rang. It was Marcus Kent.