Fawn paced the living room. Deep sighs repeatedly escaped her lips, although she was unaware of them. She crossed and uncrossed her arms across her chest. It had been almost two weeks since her interview and there had been no word since then. Her brow furrowed with worry.
Joel arrived just after lunch. She watched him dismount his horse. There was no smile as he approached the house.
She thrust the screen door open and stepped outside.
Joel stutter-stepped at the abrupt meeting. He removed his hat, hung his head, and answered while averting his eyes.
“The people in Pipestem heard about your troubles here. They are afraid those troubles will follow you. They have decided not to hire you until the culprit or culprits have been arrested.”
“I knew it. I just knew it.” She wailed. The weight of frustration pressed on her chest, threatening to suffocate her. Rent would soon be due again and how were they to pay with no income? She turned away from Joel, hiding her tears.
“It will work out, Fawn.”
Dashing her tears away, she whirled on Joel and beat her fists against his chest. “It will not. Nana and I have nothing now.”
He put his arms around her. “I will help you. I can give you….”
“No! I will not take any more charity.” She pushed away from him. Her right elbow stuck out as her hand rested akimbo on her hip. Her left index finger pointed at Joel’s nose.
“I am sick of being dependent on other people.”
“Fawn, I understand….”