A serial fiction story for your enjoyment

written by James Rada, Jr.

6: A Job Offer

Bobby Hennessey and Peter Lawrence entered the bustling Thurmont tavern, their boots tapping against the wooden floorboards. The warm, inviting scent of freshly cooked food filled the air, mingling with the sound of glasses clinking and people chatting. Behind the bar stood Stacy, Peter’s mother. She smiled a wide smile when she spotted them and made her way over.

“What brings you two in here this evening?” she asked.

“Dinner and discussion,” Bobby replied, taking a seat at the bar.

Stacy raised an eyebrow playfully. “Oh? What’s on the menu for conversation tonight?”

“A Cherry Sprite for me,” Bobby ordered confidently.

Peter cleared his throat and straightened his back, trying to look more mature than his years. “I’ll have a beer,” he said confidently. Stacy raised an eyebrow at him, causing him to quickly add, “Root beer!” before bursting into laughter.

“Always the jokester,” Bobby remarked with an eye roll. “He’s been working on that one all the way down the mountain.”

Stacy shook her head with a fond smile and went to fetch their drinks. As she returned, she asked, “So what’s the discussion going to be about?”

“Do you enjoy working here?” Bobby asked earnestly.

“I’m grateful for the job and Kevin treats us well,” Stacy responded. Kevin Poland was the owner of the tavern and the building it occupied.

Bobby nodded thoughtfully. “Kevin’s a great guy, and he runs a friendly business, but do you truly enjoy your work? People have jobs they do for necessity and jobs they do because they love it. For example, Peter loves working on the farm while I… not so much. I mostly do it to remember my parents.”

Stacy ruffled her son’s unruly brown hair affectionately and smiled at him. “I’m glad he loves it.”

Bobby chuckled. “So, is this your ‘Bobby’ job or your ‘Peter’ job?”

Stacy shrugged, thinking. “I guess it’s my Bobby job. I don’t mind it, but it’s not my passion or what I see myself doing for years. Why are you asking?”

“You did a fantastic job with Hershey last week,” Bobby complimented her.

“How is he doing, by the way?” Stacy asked with concern.

“He’s fine,” Peter assured her. “But you were in your element helping him. You had complete control of the situation.”

“I told you I was a vet tech in Gaithersburg and grew up on a farm,” Stacy said modestly, though a hint of pride shone through.

Bobby’s face lit up with a smile, his eyes sparkling with excitement. “Oh, I remember. That’s why I have an offer for you.” He leaned in closer, his voice dropping to a whisper. “I want you to come manage and work my farm. Turn it into something more than it is.”

Stacy’s heart skipped a beat as she processed Bobby’s words. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She had left Gaithersburg for a chance to start anew, but she hadn’t imagined that chance would be on a farm. It sounded like a dream.

“There’s even a charming cottage on the back end of the property where you and Pete can live,” Bobby added with a knowing grin.

Stacy turned to look at her son, who was beaming and nodding in agreement.

“Is this another one of your jokes?” Stacy asked incredulously, looking back at Bobby.

He shook his head earnestly. “No, it’s a serious offer.”

Stacy stepped back from the bar in disbelief, her mind racing with all the possibilities that this new opportunity presented.

“I’ve never done anything like that before,” she admitted.

“It doesn’t mean you can’t,” Bobby reassured her.

“And I can help you, Mom,” Peter chimed in eagerly.

Stacy hadn’t even thought about that aspect: being able to spend more time with her son while also pursuing a new endeavor. Ever since they moved from Gaithersburg, she had wanted a fresh start for both of them… together. But with her job at the tavern taking up most of her time, they hadn’t been able to truly bond like she had hoped.

She turned to look at Peter, his excitement infectious.

“What would you need me to do?” she asked Bobby, curiosity getting the better of her.

“Just take care of the animals and the property,” he replied. “Start getting it generating some income, even if it’s just by selling eggs at the farmer’s market in town. And maybe we could also board a few more horses or sell some crops. I am open to any ideas you might have.”

“That sounds like a lot,” Stacy pointed out, feeling slightly overwhelmed by the responsibility.

“You can take it one step at a time,” Bobby reassured her. “I just want to see the place productive again. I’ll help out whenever I can, but farming and ranching aren’t exactly my strengths.”

Stacy couldn’t believe what she was hearing. This offer seemed too good to be true. “Why are you doing this? Really?” she asked, searching for any ulterior motives.

“Just like I said,” Bobby replied with a genuine smile. “I’ve owned this place for years and could have done this a long time ago, but I think it’s meant for someone like you to bring it back to life. I could have taken care of things on my own, but having Pete around showed me that having help could give me some much-needed free time.” He rested his hand on Peter’s shoulder, a gesture of appreciation and pride. “And let me tell you, this one is a hard worker.” Bobby’s tone was filled with admiration.

Stacy watched the exchange between the man and boy, wondering what kind of bond they had formed since Peter had started working for Bobby. What stories did they share? What lessons had they learned together? She couldn’t help but feel a sense of curiosity and admiration for their relationship.

“By the way,” Bobby continued, “my hard-working years are past. I want to enjoy things now.”

“You talk like you’re dying,” Stacy blurted out before she could stop herself.

Bobby chuckled, a deep rumble in his chest. “Aren’t we all?” He paused, his expression turning serious. “But no, I’m not. I just want to savor my remaining years. That’s part of the reason why I worked so hard all the years up until now.” His voice held a tinge of regret, but also a sense of fulfillment.

Stacy couldn’t help but feel a pang of guilt for assuming the worst about Bobby’s health. What was she to think? He was older than her, but he didn’t look old enough to be worrying about dying. Besides, she felt a sense of warmth towards him, knowing that he wanted to enjoy his later years after all the hard work he had put in.

“So,” Bobby turned back to her with a smile, “are you interested?”

Stacy looked back and forth between Bobby and Peter, feeling a sense of gratitude for their offer. “Okay,” she said with a grateful smile.

Share →