Two weeks had gone by since Tom had taken time from work to spend a day at the beach with Sue. His promise to spend more time with Sue had been good intentioned, but placed on hold as he struggled with the current project he’d successfully persuaded the board to invest in. Sue had accepted this return to status quo with good grace. The evening at Harbour Light, the day at the beach, and the knowledge Tom was overjoyed at the prospect of fatherhood buoyed her spirits considerably.
In spite of her stated plan to keep her pregnancy under wraps for the time being she’d successfully confided in each of her friends, and as a result the word spread. Her boss at the real estate agency was dismayed at the prospect of losing Sue for the few months of her maternity leave. She was a competent and stabilizing influence with staff. He was unhappy he’d heard the news through the grapevine rather than being told directly, but his wife came strongly to Sue’s defence. After a while excitement at the office died down and everything returned to normal.
While looking forward to her baby’s arrival, Sue occasionally had bouts of depression when she thought of giving up her work and other interests. What would she tell the boss? He was expecting her to return to work after maternity leave, and she was thinking of stopping work and becoming a homemaker. She knew most of her friends would urge her to return to work. That was the way to survive financially for most families these days, and she did have a Mother who, though limited in what she could do, had the potential to look after her baby in those first few years.
Sue wanted to be with the baby, and she wanted to be part of the exciting world of business at the same time. Her inability to make a decision one way or another depressed her. She’d been so certain she wanted to be a homemaker when the thought of having a baby was merely academic thinking. Now it was a reality, and things seemed less clear.
It was time for the monthly board meeting at Tom’s company office, and he was scheduled to report on progress of the project he’d been assigned to work on. Tom was satisfied with the results of his long hours at work and at home as he made his presentation. The report was received with enthusiasm. It was a good feeling to receive congratulations from the Chairman of the Board as he left that room. As always happens after the adrenalin rush of a board presentation, Tom spent the rest of the afternoon winding down, and by 5 O’clock he was thinking about an early finish for the day and a relaxing evening at home.
“Is this a good time for a visit?””
Tom looked up in surprise to see a prominent board member, Jake Evans at the door. Jake had many hats, large scale developer, financier and a member of the boards of several large corporations.
“Sure, come on in!”
“That was a very professional presentation you made to board members today Tom, and it looks like you’re right on top of your job.”
“I hope so, you guys will skin me alive if it doesn’t work out. Have a seat!”
Jake threw his head back and roared with laughter. “You certainly have our number, what are you doing for dinner this evening? I need to talk about something important, and would like to take you and Sue to “The Needle” where we can get a good view of the city as we talk business.
Tom looked at Jake in surprise. He was going to say he’d like to spend the evening with Sue, as the project had taken up much of his time at home lately. He thought of his pledge to spend more time with her now she was in need of extra consideration during pregnancy. Something told him to put that thought on hold.
“I’ll need to check with Sue and see if that would fit in with her program.” Tom said finally. He reached for the phone and dialled Sue at the real estate agency.
Looking up at Jake he smiled. “Sue says OK if you bring your wife, she wants someone to talk with while you and I talk business.”
Jake chuckled. “Not only do you have my number, but Sue seems to be equally as smart! As a matter of fact I’d talked with Claire before calling on you and she said the same thing. She will only come if Sue agrees to come.”
Tom stacked his work in a tidy pile on the desk and shut down his computer. Picking up his briefcase he headed for the door with Jake.
“What time will we meet you at The Needle?”
“Would 7.30 suit you both?”
Tom nodded as he pressed the elevator button to travel down to level one parking station. As he descended he wondered what would be important enough to have a busy man of Jake’s standing spend an evening with a junior management level person. Was this to be the big breakthrough he’d always dreamed about? The thought made him both excited and apprehensive.
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