We sat in a booth by a window facing south with a view of the parking lot and Fairview Road beyond. Our flight wasn’t until the next morning, and we had spent the day driving around Charlotte neighborhoods, gawking at houses. The conversation was about business. That’s all we ever talked about.
“Do you think we’re boring?” I asked.
“No,” JoAnn said. “I think we’re exciting.”
I watched her absorb her environment. She befriended the waitress with a glance. She smiled at me and my heart lost a millisecond. Yes, we are.
“How?” I asked.
“In every way,” she said.
“We while away the day. We find a shopping mall. We go to a bookstore,” I replied.
“So now you don’t like books?” she said.
“No. We’re just so predictable.”
Our server arrived and we ordered. JoAnn wanted Southern-style veggies and ordered several sides. I had a cheeseburger. Harper’s Restaurant sat on a perimeter pad between the shopping center and the busy road. We’d spotted it when we left the Barnes & Noble store where we had just spent an hour browsing in our usual departments: new fiction, mystery, romance, and business, where I found nothing new—or at least nothing I hadn’t already purchased sometime in the past 10 years. As our business grew, I constantly sought out the latest how-to-succeed guru. I was that lady in blue at the Mustang Library asking, “What’s the real secret?” Like everyone else, I hoped for some supreme being in the form of an author to part the heavens and anoint me with ...