Take a Chance on Me

By: Jane Porter

“My goodness. Isn’t this wonderful! Come in, come in. Are you hungry? Have you had lunch?”

“I just ate. I’ve checked into the Graff—”

“What? Why would you do that?”

“I’ve got some work to do while I’m here and until it’s wrapped up, I’m better at a hotel with a business office.”

His grandmother closed the front door and drew him down the hall and into her kitchen where she pulled out a chair for him to sit at her kitchen table. “How about coffee or tea then?”

“A cup of tea would be nice. It’s cold out there.”

“It’s actually quite nice today for February, but it’s that wind. It just chills one to the bone.”

She filled the kettle and put it on a burner, before laying out two teacups and saucers, and filled a dainty blue-and-white-pattern plate with dainty sugar cookies she took from the freezer. “They’re from Christmas when I did my baking,” she said, as if reading his mind, “but they’re still fresh. I treat myself to two a day, but that’s all. I don’t want to put weight on at my age because I’ll never get it off.”

He smiled affectionately as he settled back in his chair. She was wearing dark trousers paired with a gray sweater and another layered sweater piece. “You look fantastic, Gram. Very stylish.”

She blushed and put a hand up to her chic silver pixie. “I just had my hair done today. Mandy gave it a little extra pizazz because she knew you were coming.”

“Mandy? That’s your hairdresser.”

“Amanda Wright, yes. I’ve told you all about her.”

“You have.”

The kettle boiled and she filled her china teapot with hot water, and then added in the tea bags, placing all on a tray. When she moved to lift the tray, he rose. “Let me carry that, Gram.”

“I can do it.”

“I know, but I’m here, so let me help.”

“You fuss over me too much.”

“Maybe because Dad and Grandpa didn’t fuss enough.”

She gave him a quick, sharp look before following him to the table. “They did their best—”

“They didn’t. They always put themselves first.” And it crossed his mind the moment the words were out that he’d done the very thing for much of his life, too.

They’d all leaned on her, and taken advantage of her love, but had any of them ever considered what she needed? The realization strengthened his resolve to do better, and be there for her in the future. He’d accomplished so much in his career, but what was the point of success if he didn’t have time for the people that mattered? And Gram mattered.

He held her chair, waiting for her to be seated before he sat down.

She gazed across the table, her blue eyes bright in her lined face, and yet the creases and wrinkles did nothing to diminish her beauty.

“It’s really good to see you, Gram. It’s been too long. I’m sorry I didn’t make it at Christmas as planned.”

“Your work keeps you busy.”

“That’s why I want you to join me—”

“How did you get away from work? You’re here days early. I thought it was difficult taking time off?”

“It’s a long way to come for just the weekend so this way I can work and see you. The best of both worlds.”

She didn’t immediately answer, focusing instead on arranging their cups and saucers and shifting the sugar bowl so it sat on the table halfway between them. After a minute she lifted the lid on the teapot and checked the tea before replacing it. “Just another minute to let it steep,” she said.

“I’m in no hurry. I have nowhere to go.”

Her blue gaze lifted and looked straight at him. “You look tired, Tyler. Is everything alright?”

“Just up early this morning for my flight.” He patted his cheekbone. “Maybe I need some under eye cream… would that help with the puffiness? Or what would you suggest since you’ve cornered the market on beauty?”

She blushed, and laughed, just as he’d intended. “Thank you, but you can’t distract me. I am concerned about you. You don’t seem to have much of a life, Tyler. Are you dating? Have a girl… is there a significant other?”

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