TITLE: Making Other Plans
GENRE: Women's Fiction
Grad student Jessica Van Horne temporarily returns home, where she attempts to win parental validation by fixing whatever is wrong with her little sister while her mother resists in a desperate effort to keep, well, everything under control. As the resultant conflict unfolds, they both discover the truth of the old saw that life is what happens while you're making other plans.
"It's nothing personal, Ms. Van Horne."
Jess looked up at her immediate supervisor, the ever-annoying Sour-Puss Pickler. "It... isn't?" The two words were all she could get out. Because her brain was running around screaming, 'Summer furlough? No pay for three months? What the flush--?!'
"Not at all," Pickler said. Was he smirking?
"Then why me?"
"Because--" Oh yeah, that was his smug tone. "--Dr. Baird's niece thinks she might enjoy being a receptionist."
Enjoy? OMG "B-but...
I've been here three years. My performance reviews are excellent. And I have bills to pay!" Oh, shut up, Van Horne. Don't beg--especially not Pickler.
"Don't we all." Sour-Puss made a dismissive hand gesture. "But Dr. Baird is a partner and his niece wants to work here this summer."
Oh. Well. When you put it that way...
"And besides, you've made it clear you'll be moving on soon."
"Huh?" Jess's conversational skill hit a new low as thoughts of showing up at Roxy's graduation without a job--and Mom's reaction to that--ricocheted around in her cranium along with the 'No money!' screams.
"You applied for an internship here, didn't you?"
The Nowlin Clinic was one of the country's top adolescent counseling centers so yes, Jess wanted to do her state-required internship here. Duh.
"But that's not until December," she protested. "January actually. That's... that's...
" Six damned months away!
Pickler again waved off her concerns.
"W-what about Records?" Jess suggested desperately.