“Good Morning” said Sheriff Mac, addressing the woman seated across the room.
“A good morning to you too sir,” she replied with a beautiful smile filled with perfect sparkling teeth.
Rather than take a seat, Sheriff Mac walked over to the woman and said, “I’m Sheriff Mac, Sheriff of Slokey County. I don’t think I’ve had the pleasure of meeting you.”
“I’m Rebecca Roundhouse. My friends call me Becky.”
“Are you new in town?”
“We’ve been in town about three months now, I mean my son and I. We live up on Cane Lane. I found a nice little place and we’re very happy here.” With a barely noticeable tremble in her voice, she said, “You’re not here about my son are you?”
“Oh, no Ma’am. I just stop in on occasion when I have time. I try to stay in touch with the principal to see if he has any problems; like break-ins; things like that. My deputies patrol the school pretty regular every night but we certainly don’t catch everything. Just a personal visit is all. Is your son in some kind of trouble? What’s his name?”
“Mitch. His name is Mitch. The principal’s secretary called me this morning and asked me to come in. She said he wanted to talk with me about Mitch. She wouldn’t say what it was about. I hope he’s not in trouble.”
Sheriff Mac took note of her clothing. “That’s different” he thought to himself. She was wearing a black, delicate looking, ankle-length dress and beige blouse with matching peplum jacket. One of her flats had navy blue straps, the other black.
Sheriff Mac took a seat in one of the World War II era wooden chairs and said, ”I’m sure it’s nothing. Mr. Louis, the principal gets a little anxious at times. He’s very protective of all the kids here in the school. Would you like for me to talk with him?”
“I don’t think that will be necessary Sheriff, but I appreciate it. I know a lot of single mothers have problems with their teenagers but Mitch is a good kid. I’m thinking it’s all going to be just a misunderstanding of some type.”
“I understand. I’m sure things will be okay. Have you gotten all your things unpacked from your move; have you settled in.”
“Oh, yes. We finally got our trash pick-up arranged. They hauled all the boxes off last week.”
Sheriff Mac rose from his seat and reached into his shirt pocket for a business card he offered to Ms. Roundhouse. “The Sheriff’s Department is always at your call. If you ever need anything, give my office a call. The number is on the card there. We don’t have 9-1-1 here yet. What do you do for a living Ms. Roundhouse?”
“Call me Becky, please. I’m a …”
Principal Lewis walked out of his office and turned to Ms. Roundhouse with an inquiry, “Ms. Roundhouse?”
Becky rose to shake hands with the principal, saying, “Good morning. Yes, Becky Roundhouse.” Following Mr. Lewis, she turned her head over her shoulder and said, “Nice meeting you Sheriff. To answer your question — I’m a freelance writer.”
Sheriff Mac watched the pair go into Principal Lewis’s office and before the door was closed, he said, “Nice meeting you too.”