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Ramona Davidson allowed a wide smile to spread across her face as she closed down the email program on her computer. Everything was in order. Flight booked, hotel room reserved, speech written. In less than a month, she’d be standing in front of an auditorium full of employment attorneys at their annual conference, giving the keynote address. Now all she needed to do was make sure her cases were under control and then she could completely relax. Who would have believed that painfully shy Ramona would be on her way to becoming one of the most renowned attorneys in the country? All her career dreams were about to come true.
A quick look around her office lifted her spirits even more. After starting out in a leased space barely big enough for a desk, she now owned a building and occupied the whole ground floor. She now sat behind a large cherry desk with six-shelved bookcases scattered all around the room. A black leather sofa and matching guest chairs filled out the rest of the space. She sighed with contentment as she leaned forward and picked up a pen. Could life get any better?
“The kids are here, Mona.”
Ramona’s heart sank into her belly with a sickening thud as she looked up at her secretary. “What do you mean they’re here? I’ve told Sydney not to drop them off at the office. I have three potential clients coming in for appointments.”
She picked up the phone, dialed her sister’s number then slammed it back onto the cradle as it continued to ring. “She’s not answering of course.” Mona lowered her head onto her desk and slowly counted to ten before sitting upright.
“What do you want me to do, Mona?”
“I hate to ask Pam, but can you take the kids out to the park for a while? I can handle the office and process the paperwork for the new clients.” She swiped her hand down her face and struggled to tamp down her anger. This was the fifth time this month her sister had dropped her children off without permission. She picked up the phone again, but quickly hung it up. The next conversation she had with Sydney would be face to face.
“It’s not a problem, boss,” Pam said with a smile. “You know I love those munchkins.”
“Thanks. You’re the best secretary I’ve ever had.”
“I’m the only secretary you’ve ever had, girlfriend,” Pam shot back. With a wink, she turned to leave. “We’ll be back in about two hours, okay?”
“That’ll be enough time for me to take care of business.” Ramona heard Pam talking to her niece and nephew, and the excited shouts from the kids when they heard they were headed for the park. Except for the two of them, there were few adults willing to spend any quality time with them. Their mother had her own problems to deal with; problems Ramona had little patience to understand. However, this habit of dropping the kids off without notice or permission had to end, and it had to end soon.

Fiction & Literature
December 19
Rhonda A. Marks
Smashwords, Inc.

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