The Introduction

Melinda poured the coffee from the pot into two Christmas mugs, then brought the mugs to the table. The man gingerly took a sip from his mug and placed it on top of the kitchen table as Melinda sat down across from him. The room was silent once again.

“So, tell me about yourself,” Melinda said.

“What do you want to know?” replied the man.

“Well, let’s start with your name.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. My name is Jim. Jim Jones.”

“Melinda Smith,” Melinda said, reaching to shake Jim’s hand as she inwardly cringed at having to use her maiden name. She had gotten used to the idea that she would become Melinda Marcum in the near future.

“It’s nice to meet you,” Jim said.

“The pleasure is mine,” replied Melinda. “Now, where are you from?”

“Well, I grew up in Morgantown, West Virginia, but I moved her to Wheeling about a year and a half ago to be with my girlfriend. You?”

“I’ve lived here in Wheeling all my life,” she replied.

Just then the phone rang and Melinda bolted up from the table.

Him, Jim thought.

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