Chapter 21

Jo ran across the street as Jenny stepped out of the taxi.  She waved her hand and laughed, “I’ve been waiting for you, you old run around.”

Jenny seemed in a trance as Jo stood there holding out her arms. “I’ve got some news for you that you will want to hear.”

“Come inside, Jo. I have something to tell you, too.”

When they were seated in the living room Jo ordered, “You start, I’m always ready to hear the dirt first.” She sat on the edge of her chair.

“I’m afraid it’s not gossip. Mike Farrell is in the hospital. He had a heart attack. Jim is there.” She took a big breath and let out a stifled sob.

Jo crossed herself and ran over to sit beside Jenny on the sofa. She hugged her. ” I’m so sorry to hear that. Are you going back to the hospital? I’ll drive you. You should have called me instead of the taxi.”

“I’m not going back. Jim doesn’t want me there.” A torrent released and her body shook with sobs. Finally she said, “Sorry you came in the middle of all this.”

“Well, I’m not. I came bearing good news for a change.” She made a dramatic pause. “I came to tell you that Gus got you a job.” She waited.

Her words sank in and Jenny registered disbelief on her wet face, “How…? Where…?”

“He gets on the other side of town a lot. Anyway, he’s friends with this guy who just opened a club…a nightclub, I guess you’d call it. He’s looking for a hostess, someone mature and a looker. You know what he wants…someone to keep the clientele happy, sort of flirt and get them to spend big. Who knows, you might even come across someone to give you a loan,” she winked. “I hope I didn’t overstep…I kinda told him you would take it. If you want the job show up at this address about eight for a little training. She handed her a slip of paper and noted the bottle of gin on the coffee table. “And lay off the sauce, my friend.  You need this job.”

“I don’t have anything decent to wear,” she protested.

“How about you start out with the little green thing you wore to the party. You sure know what to do in that outfit. Gus loved it and so will this guy.”

When Jo had gone, Jenny picked up the phone and called her mother, knowing this was her usual day off. “Hello, Mother. Are you sitting down?  I have something to tell you. She heard a shaky reply and took a deep breath. “I know how fond of Mike you are.  He’s in the hospital….a heart attack.” She waited. No response.

“Oh, my God. I…I love that man. How can that be? I’ll go right over.”

“No, don’t do that. Jim’s there and they aren’t letting anyone in. He said he would call if there’s a change. Please don’t go until he’s…a little better. You couldn’t see him anyway. I’ll call you the minute I know anything….anything at all.” She listened to her mother crying softly into the phone.  “I’ve had some good news today, too. Wanna hear it?”

Emma blew her nose.  “Sure, sure, I could use something good about now.”

“I got a job. I mean I have to show up for a tryout tonight.”

“Sounds like you’re gonna be an actress?”

“No, it’s a hostess job if they like me. Cross your fingers.”

“I will. Call me about Mike. Promise.”  The phone buzzed in her hand. Jenny looked at it, expecting more than fingers crossed. She stared at the bottle of gin on the coffee table. She held it in her hands for a few minutes. She desperately wanted to put it to her lips. Instead, she took it to the kitchen and put it under the sink with rest of the garbage. At least she wold know where it was for safekeeping.