Saturday, October 13, 2012
"Shust a little accident, Mish McKreedy. What can I do for you? It's not an emergenshy, I hope?" He gingerly stuck one end of the hoodie into his left nostril to stem the bleeding, and wiped his lip with the other sleeve.
"Oh heavens no, Father. I just called to see how you were doing. You know, just a little chat."
Kevin glanced at the time on his cell phone. 10:55 P.M. Who the hell called someone at this hour just to chit chat? At least not someone you weren't really good friends with. He wondered if the Sheriff was at home. "Gee, Ms. McKreedy, that's ah..very thoughtful of you. I'm doing just fine."
"Now Father...we've talked about this before. You must call me Cassie. After all, we're almost like family now...you and I ...and Teddy of course. One big happy family."
The thought of being part of Cassie McKreedy's inner circle made him shudder, but he wasn't quite sure why. She had always been exceptionally nice to him, though rather pushy. Still, there's was something just a bit off about her, and damn if he could figure out why. Ted Beckett seemed like a guy who wasn't easily fooled, and if he found her to be an honest, caring person, why should Kevin feel differently? Mo always told him he jumped to conclusions. Maybe she was right? He tried to put his doubts aside, and make an honest attempt to try and like the young woman, if only out of respect for his friendship with the Sheriff.
"You're right...ah Cassie. I did promise I'd try to be less formal. I guess it comes with the job." He tried a short laugh, but it came out sounding forced, and he blushed, glad that she couldn't see his phoniness on the other end of the line.
There was a short pause, and she continued. "Speaking of your job, Father O'Kenney, how are things down at Holy Family? Have you hired a new gardener yet?" She must have realized the bluntness of that particular question, and apologized. "Oh my. I guess that came out sounding rather
nasty. You know...being that poor Mr. Rivera died so tragically. His murder on the front lawn of the church was so awful. But really, Father, that church is just too much for you to handle by yourself. Especially after your assault. You really could use the help, is all I meant. Take things a bit easier"
"I appreciate your concern, Ms...I mean Cassie. But as a matter of fact, I'm feeling much better these days. And I do enjoy the yard work. Let's me commune with the Lord's creation and all." He silently groaned, sounding pretentious and preachy even to his own ear.
"Well, if it's a question of money, Father, I'd be happy to help you with the church finances. I've been told I'm quite good at squeezing a dollar." She giggled and went on. "Plus, I'm going stir crazy sitting at home doing nothing. Teddy's always gone on county business, and I could use something to fill my days. I don't think my sweetie wants me working full time, but I'm sure if it was to help you, he'd be perfectly okay with it. Oh it would be so much fun! You and I working together to make Holy Family a shining star in the community."
Kevin stood stunned, not knowing what to say next. Her offer had come straight out of the blue, and he wasn't sure how to drag himself out of this situation. There was no way he wanted to spend time with Cassie McKreedy on a daily basis, and thoughts of giving her any control over church business made him slightly queasy. But he certainly did not wish to offend her, or Ted Beckett, so he needed to tread cautiously through the next part of the conversation.
"Well, um...that's quite a generous offer. But I couldn't tie you up like that. I'm sure you have a hundred things to do for...um..ah...planning the wedding" Genius, he thought.
"Oh don't be silly, Father. I have plenty of time for that. Teddy and I haven't even set a firm date yet. And of course, helping our good friend is way more important. Just let me know when you want me to look over your books. You'd have to bring them here to the house, though. I'm still dealing with my agoraphobia issues, I'm sorry to say."
Trapped in a corner, his nose swollen and bleeding, the priest could do little to resist. "I guess I'll call you sometime in the next few weeks. We can...uh..set up some dates or something."
"That's wonderful. I know we'll get along just fine, you and I. Oh, that reminds me, Father O'Kenney! I almost forgot why I really called. Teddy and I are having a little get together. Sort of an informal engagement party on the 26th of October, and of course we'd both would be devastated if you weren't there. So you simply must come!"
For the first time in the conversation, Kevin felt as if he might have some room to wiggle out from under Cassie's bossy thumb. "Gee Cassie, I'd love to come. Unfortunately, my baby sister Maureen is coming to visit from Boston that week, and I couldn't possibly leave her alone in a strange town. But I sure do appreciate the invitation, and I'm sorry I won't be able to attend."
"Oh but, Father, that's not a problem at all. You just have to bring your little sister with you! I can't wait to meet her. After all...like I said before...we're just like family, and I've always wanted a baby sister."
Copyright 2012 Victoria Rocus