Keep It In The Family – Episode 23

True to her word, the next morning, while Rosie was there having a quick cup of coffee on her way to the yard, Joyce phoned Adam and asked, quite casually, if he could drop in on his way home that evening.“I don’t seem to have seen you for ages, you’ve been so busy. It’ll be good to catch up.”“Sure, Ma.” Rosie could hear his reply. “I should be finished by seven. That’s not too late for you?”“No, that’s fine. I’ll have the kettle on. And how about I bake a few scones?”“You’ve got a deal!”As Joyce hung up, Rosie met her gaze over her mug.“So you’re really planning on telling him the firm’s his?”“I promised you I would,” Joyce assured her, patting her hand. “It’s time I put you first. Do you have to get home or can you be here?”Rosie considered.“I should get home to chase Ryan about his homework, and I know Jodie wants to talk to me about school, but I’m curious to see how Adam reacts.”So, by quarter-past seven, Rosie, Joyce and Adam were seated at Joyce’s kitchen table, teapot and mugs before them. Adam had been surprised to find that Rosie was there, too, but she had passed it off as their mother wanting a quick catch-up about things at the yard. She was determined to take a back seat in the discussion, though.“This is nice like old times.” Joyce smiled as Adam spread fresh yellow butter thickly on his scone and topped it with a generous dollop of her home-made blackberry jam. “You always used to like a scone when you came in from school, remember?”“Hmph,” he agreed, munching happily.Rosie watched her mother preparing herself, toying with a teaspoon as she carefully chose her next words.“Adam, I wanted to talk to you about the business. You’ve done a wonderful job of running things since your father passed,” she began. “You know how grateful I am.”“No worries,” he assured her. “I’ve enjoyed it.”Casually spooning jam on to her own scone as Adam spread a second one, Rosie sensed Joyce’s eyes flick towards her, and sat back, waiting, knowing the moment was now.“I’m glad you’ve said that, Adam,” Joyce said, “because I want you to take over for good.”He stopped chewing and his surprised eyes swivelled between his mother and Rosie.“You what? But what about Rosie?”“Your sister has already given up so much for the business. It’s time she had her own life.”“But ” He looked at Rosie, his bewilderment plain. “Did you know about this?”It was Joyce who answered him.“Actually, yes. In fact, Rosie has known since the beginning of this arrangement what my plans were.”Adam placed his half-eaten scone on the plate and looked at them.“Really? It might have been nice if you’d told me, too!”“I had my reasons, son,” Joyce said in a placating tone. “You had run away from the idea of being in the family business once before. When you came back your father and I were so pleased. We hoped that the business was in your blood. And then when he died . . . Well, I had to let you see for yourself that it’s where you belong.”“And that’s what you think, is it? That it’s where I belong?”


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