Mel Burk, council woman of Tilito, was going to have an interesting day. It wasn't because she had anything at work important enough to draw her attention. It was because her manny (man nanny) Joe Longo, was blowing a trumpet up and down the stairs like an imbecile. Mel attempted to drown it out by putting a pillow over her head, but it just didn't work. She groaned and slid out of her bed. There was a knock on the door. She put on her silky blue robe and opened it. Joe had the trumpet in his hands and was grinning at her. "Leave me alone baldy. Can't you see I'm trying to sleep?" He grin wavered at that remark even though she made it constantly.
"On a Monday? Nuh-uh. You've got work and they have school." Her head pounded at the thought. She groaned again. "Ok. I'll be down in ten." She closed the door on his face and hopped in the shower. Even though Joe had some unorthodox routines and was just plain weird, he was still a good friend. But she would have to hide that trumpet if she was ever going to get any sleep.
When she came downstairs, she could smell pancakes and bacon. One thing she loved about Joe was his cooking. She smiled when she entered the kitchen. He was at the stove flipping pancakes and whistling show tunes. Classic Joe. She could feel an insult coming on but she held her tongue.
"C'mon Aunt Mel, We gotta go!" Lennox and Rider were rushing to get out the door. Her stomach rumbled. "Ok. I'm coming." She grabbed her keys and looked longing at the pancakes. "See you later, Joe."
"But what about….." He didn't get to finish because she was already out the door.
Mel got to work on time and was immediately called to a meeting. Everyone sat down in the meeting room. Even her assistant, who sat beside her as her boss walked in. "Thank god you're here. I don't think I want to know what this meeting is about." Her assistant nodded as she handed Mel a cappuccino. Her old guy boss started speaking. "Attention everyone, I have an important announcement. We will be hosting a dance competition at the Vera Dala. It has a dance floor and everything." Mel raised her hand and he frowned. "What Mel?"
"What is this even for?"
"Uh…It's for…..us. We need to have a little fun now and then." There were confused murmurs through the crowd. The boss sighed. "It's a fundraiser. Those who will compete will be earning money for a charity if they win." The room was dead silent. He rolled his eyes. "Good publicity." Everyone jumped to their feet raising their hands. "I'll do it"
Mel tried to squeeze past the restless crowd to get out the door. There was no way she was ever going to dance in front of people. "Mel?" She turned automatically at the sound of her name. It was her boss grinning evilly at her. "You have to be in it. It's required." She nodded as her blood started boiling. She stomped to her office in a huff. Joe was waiting for her. "What's up?"
"I just thought you might be hungry since you skipped breakfast." He sat a blue lunch box on her desk. Her mood brightened quite a bit at the thought of food. She hugged him tightly. "Thanks Joe. You're a life saver!" He chuckled and hugged her back. "No problem." Her stomach did restless flips as she inhaled his scent. She quickly pulled away trying not to linger. Unexpectedly, Gus walked through the door. He pushed his glasses up his nose and looked from Mel to Joe. "Uh…Am I interrupting something?" Mel was afraid to see what he wanted. She shook her head. "Ok. I was just wondering if you would be my dance partner in the dance competition." She shivered as she imagined dancing with Gus as he sweat and spit all over her. Then an idea popped in her head. "Actually," she said putting an arm around Joe. He eyed her suspiciously. "My boyfriend Joe is going to dance with me."