So Not My Thing - Melanie Jacobson Page 0,1

also no impression,” Chloe said. “It’s a mystery wrapped in an enigma.”

Miss Mary chuckled into her coffee mug.

“I like it better when you’re not completely awake,” I told Chloe.

“You know how to make it stop. Tell us what’s up.” She studied me with interest now. That was bad news because Chloe was an aspiring investigative journalist, and once her curiosity was in play, she could be relentless.

There was no way I was ready to tell them about Miles Crowe. They’d both understand immediately, Miss Mary especially. She’d had a front row seat to the whole disaster all those years ago, and she’d wiped my fourteen-year-old tears almost as often as my mom had. Chloe and I had met in college, after the worst of it, but there was no way not to know the story unless you’d lived under a rock for a decade. She’d understand why I hated Miles Crowe with a white-hot passion I didn’t even reserve for mice, and I hated mice.

I hated Miles Crowe more than poison ivy, itchy socks, the stink of the French Quarter on the hottest day of summer, people who didn’t use turn signals, “namaste” puns on yoga tank tops, chigger bites, and the thick crust of smashed lovebugs I had to scrub off my car’s fender every Saturday in the spring.


But somehow, he had ended up on my calendar this morning anyway.

I had half a mind to run over to Miss Lila’s shop in the French Quarter for a charm to ward off the bad juju coming for me. She said the stuff in the store was junk for tourists because real voodoo was too sacred for them, but I sort of wanted the comfort of a charm anyway.

Just a little gris-gris to hang over the doorway. Or maybe some sage to smudge. Something to stop the inevitability of Miles Crowe reappearing in my life.

I’d been quiet too long, and now I had Chloe and Miss Mary’s undivided attention. Time for evasive maneuvers. “Are the chicken biscuits ready?” I asked Miss Mary.

“You know it, honey. Jerome’s got them boxed and ready for you. Must be a big meeting if you need to bring in catering.” The interrogation wasn’t over as she reached for the coffee pot.

“My boss is pulling out all the stops, so you know that means breakfast from Mary’s Place.”

“Course it does,” she said, unmoved by my flattery. She had the best chicken biscuits in New Orleans, and she knew it. “Thank her for the order, but I still don’t like her running you as ragged as she does.”

“You sound like my mom,” I said, accepting my full tumbler of coffee.

“We both get to claim you. I figure I raised you...” she studied me like she was calculating, “about twenty-five percent, and your mama did the rest.”

“True that.” I took a sip of the hot chicory coffee and smiled. “She still doesn’t make coffee as good as yours.”

“Nobody can.” Miss Mary spoke with the calm certainty of gospel truth. “But I sure wish Jerome would learn. I’m not going to be around forever.”

“You going somewhere?” I asked, pausing before taking another sip.

Chloe blinked at Miss Mary. “Is something wrong? Are you sick?”

Miss Mary looked from one to the other of us like we were crazy. I’d seen the same look so many times from her in my life that I relaxed and took another sip of my coffee.

“Nothing is wrong with me,” she said. “I just shouldn’t be the only person in my life who can make a decent cup of coffee.”

“Fair enough,” I said.

I glanced down at my watch. It was pretty, a tortoiseshell band with a gold-plated face that I’d picked up at the Banana Republic outlet. But one day, it would be a slim gold Rolex, the gift Brenda, our lead broker, gave to each agent when they listed their first ten properties. I had less than a year to hit that number if I wanted to do it in record time for our brokerage.

To be clear, I didn’t care about Rolexes. But I cared that winning one from Brenda meant I was on my way to my dreams.

If it weren’t for those big goals, I’d have called in sick today or found anywhere else to be except the office when Miles Crowe came for the big pitch Brenda had put together. But she wanted all hands on deck, a demonstration of the full resources she would bring to bear in finding Miles Crowe the best