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"I'm so jealous."
Jon snatched an apple from the bowl and bit into it. His mother was working at her laptop at the kitchen table. She'd turned it around for him to see the photo of a baby that didn't look more than a day old.
"Isn't she cute?"
"Adorable. I know you like setting me up with women but don't you think she's a bit too young for me?" Jon leaned on the countertop and continued to nibble on the apple.
"Very amusing. This is Emily Marie, Maggie's first grandchild. I'm so envious. I thought I'd be a grandma long before her and not just because I'm older and have a son who's older too."
His mother adjusted her reading glasses so they settled midway down her nose and peered over them as she always did when she got started on this topic. The one about him being still unmarried at the ripe old age of thirty-one.
Jon pretended he hadn't heard or seen her glancing his way and instead grabbed one of her design magazines sitting by the TV and paged through it. Boring stuff, but she might just think he wasn't listening and quit saying what he knew would come next.
"Now you're done with your studying and a fully-fledged doctorâ€¦"
He'd been right. In fact, he could have written the script. He cut in before she could continue.
"I'm thinking of looking at some houses next week. I know you'll miss having me around but you really don't want me living in the guest apartment forever. Especially now I'm a fully-fledged doctor." He raised his eyebrows at her. Had she detected the sarcasm?
"Jon, doesn't this photo get you thinking about settling down and having babies of your own?"
"Nope, just the opposite. They look cute on screen or paper but in person there's the screaming, wettingâ€¦pooping." He looked at his watch. "Jeez, is that the time? I need to get a move on, so I'll let you ooh and aah over Emily Maria in peace."
"It's Marie," said his mom, turning the screen back towards her. "I bet by the time Maggie arrives next month she'll have a ton of photos to show me."
Jon reached for another apple to take with him as he left. "Then remind me to be busy during those two weeks."
"Did you say you had a date tonight?" his mom shouted after him.
"No, I didn't. It's just a bunch of us, yes, including some women, going to one of the clubs for a few drinks. And I'm already running late," he called back.
* * * *
"Maggie, how is that adorable granddaughter of yours?"
Maggie had known she'd soon get a phone call from Julie after the photo had been emailed. Julie had wanted grandchildren for as long as Maggie could remember, but it seemed that wasn't going to happen anytime soon. She just hoped her dear friend didn't think she'd sent the photo to rub in the fact that Maggie had achieved that milestone first.
"She's wonderful and growing every day. I'll hate leaving her." Maggie looked at the framed photo of Emily that now sat on her desk at work. Maggie hadn't thought she would, but she loved this whole grandma thing already.
"I hope that doesn't mean you're not coming on your trip?"
"Of course not. I'm looking forward to seeing you."
Maggie glanced at her appointment book. Wouldn't be long now before she was heading off to the Spanish island, to sun, sand, wineâ€¦
"I have so much planned for us, sightseeing, dinner at some of the best restaurants so you can experience the local cuisine and, of course, the beaches too."
"I can't wait." Maggie pulled out the three library books she'd borrowed to read up on Mallorca. She knew sometimes books made places look better than they actually were, but even if the island was half as good in real life, she was in for a treat.
"And I mentioned your visit to one of Miguel's friends and he's very interested in meeting you. I did the interior design for his house many years ago. He owns two yachts, also has a house on Ibiza and he's not bad-looking either, so I think we should invite him over for drinks and dinner while you're here. You know how great I am at pairing people up? If only I was more successful with Jon."
Poor Julie. And poor Jon. Maggie knew how relentless her friend could be once she got her mind set about something. "He'll settle down when he's ready," Maggie said. "You know how guys are these days. And I'm sure all that studying didn't leave him much time for a social life."
"I'd like to think you're right."
"I am. I bet one day he'll waltz in and tell you he's getting married without you even knowing he's been seeing someone." She wasn't just saying that to make Julie feel good. She knew a few guys who'd done just that.
"Oh, Maggie, how I wish! Hey, speaking of which, I just heard his car pulling into the driveway and he's giving me a ride into Inca so I can do some shopping, so I have to go."
"Okay, and I'll be seeing you soon."
Maggie put the phone back in the cradle. So Julie had a man lined up for her. She leant back in her chair. A vacation romance wouldn't be so bad. Romanceâ€¦ Listen to me! Just some great sex would be good enough. She'd gone without any of that, good or bad, for over a year, the longest dry spell since she'd lost her virginity.
Maybe her drought would end in Mallorca.
She glanced at her appointment calendar, still not believing she was going on her first real vacation since she'd launched her own business a decade ago. Sure, she'd been to see her mother in Florida every year, but this vacation actually required her to travel across water, step into a different time zone. And she needed a passport, too. Maggie peeked at the calendar again.Two more weeks and she was off to paradise.