A Mother's Wish

A Mother's Wish Page 1
  • Background
    Font family
    Font size
    Line hieght
    Full frame
    No line breaks
  • Next Chapter

A Mother's Wish Page 1

Wanted: Perfect Partner

Debbie Macomber


“Is our ad there?” Fifteen-year-old Lindsey Remington whispered to her best friend. She glanced nervously at her bedroom door. Lindsey’s biggest fear was that her mother would find her and Brenda scanning the Dateline section of the Wednesday paper and discover what they’d done.

Okay, so it was a bit … dishonest to write an ad on Meg Remington’s behalf, but it was clear to Lindsey that her mom needed help. She was convinced that Meg wanted to remarry, whether she knew it or not.

It wasn’t as if Lindsey could pull a potential husband out of nowhere. So she wrote the ad, with her best friend advising her.

“Here,” Brenda said excitedly, pointing to the middle of the page. “It’s here. Oh, my goodness! It’s really here, just the way we wrote it.”

Lindsey found the ad. She read aloud:

“Wanted: Perfect partner. I’m dating-shy, divorced and seeking a man with marriage in mind. I look like a beauty queen, cook like a mom, kiss like a woman in love. Box 1234.”

“It sounds even better in print,” Brenda said.

“Do you think anyone will actually respond?” Lindsey asked.

“I bet we get lots of letters.”

“I still think we should’ve said her kisses taste better than chocolate.”

“It didn’t fit. Remember?” They’d worked long and hard on the wording. Lindsey had wanted to describe her mother as “stunning,” and Brenda was afraid it might not meet the truth-in-advertising rules.

All right, so her mother wasn’t fashion model material, but she was very pretty. Or she could be, with a little assistance from the magazines Lindsey had been reading lately. Luckily Meg had a daughter who knew the ropes.

“Don’t worry, Linds,” Brenda said with a romantic sigh. “This is the best thing you could ever have done for your mother.”

Lindsey hoped her mom appreciated her efforts. “Just remember, this guy has to be perfect. We’ll need to be careful who we pick.”

“No problem. If we don’t like the sound of one guy, we’ll choose someone else,” Brenda said, as if they were guaranteed to have tons of applicants. “That’s the beauty of our plan. We’ll screen all the applicants before your mother has a chance to date them. How many teenagers get to choose their own stepfathers? Not many, I bet.”

Lindsey returned her attention to the ad, gnawing on the corner of her lip. She was experiencing a twinge of pride along with a mild case of guilt.

Her mother wasn’t going to like this. When Meg learned what she and Brenda had done, she’d probably get all bent out of shape.

As for the ad, Lindsey figured if she were a man inclined to read the Dateline section, the ad would intrigue her.

“Some men will write just because your mom’s pretty, but it’s the part about her being a good cook that’ll really work,” Brenda assured her. “My grandma says Grandpa married her because her German potato salad was so good. Can you believe it?”

Brenda brought up a good point. “How will we know if a man is marrying her for her looks or her meat loaf or ‘cause he loves her?”

“We won’t,” Brenda said, “but by then we’ll be out of the picture. Your mother will be on her own.”

Lindsey wished she knew more about men. Unfortunately her experience was limited. She’d only gone on two real dates, both times to school dances. And her mother had been a chaperone.

“The day will come when Mom will appreciate what we’ve done for her,” Lindsey said. “She’s the one who’s always saying how important it is to go after your dreams.

Well, this is my dream for her. She wants a man. She just doesn’t know it yet.”

“All she needs is a little help from us.”

“And she’s got it,” Lindsey said, smiling broadly.


Those girls were up to something. Meg Remington peeked in her fifteen-year-old daughter’s bedroom to see Lindsey and her best friend, Brenda, crouched on the floor beside the bed. They were speaking in heated whispers.

Meg cleared her throat and instantly both girls were silent.

“Hi, Mom,” Lindsey said, her bright blue eyes flashing.

Meg knew the look, which generally spelled trouble. “What are you two doing?”


“Nothing,” Brenda echoed with angelic innocence.

Meg crossed her arms and leaned her shoulder against the doorjamb. She had all the time in the world, and she wanted them to know it. “Tell me why I don’t believe that. You two have the look.”

“What look?” Lindsey repeated, turning to Brenda.

“The one every mother recognizes. You’re up to something, and I want to know what.” She crossed her ankles, indicating that she’d make herself comfortable until they were ready to let her in on their little secret. She could outwait them if need be.

“All right, if you must know,” Lindsey said with a shrug of defeat. She leapt to her feet and Brenda followed suit. “But we haven’t finished planning everything yet.”

“I must know.” Meg was struck by how beautiful her daughter had become over the past few years. She’d gone from the gangly, awkward, big-teeth stage to real beauty almost overnight. Meg’s ex-husband, Dave, had commented on the changes in Lindsey when she’d flown from Seattle to Los Angeles to visit over spring break. Their little girl was growing up.

“We’ve been doing some heavy-duty planning,” Brenda explained.

“And exactly what are the two of you working on? I haven’t seen you all evening.” Generally, when Brenda stayed over, which was at least one night of every weekend, the two of them were up until all hours playing music, watching television or DVDs. The house had been suspiciously quiet all evening. Come to think of it, they’d been spending a lot of time in Lindsey’s bedroom of late. Far too much time.

The girls glanced at each other before answering.

“You tell her,” Brenda urged, “she’s your mother.”

“I know.” Lindsey brushed back the long strands of hair. “But it might be a little easier coming from you.”

“Lindsey?” Meg was more curious than ever now.

“You’d better sit down, Mom.” Lindsey took Meg by the hand and guided her to the bed.

Meg sat on the edge. Both girls stood in front of her and each seemed to be waiting for the other to speak first.

“You’re such an attractive woman,” Lindsey began.

Meg frowned. This sounded like a setup to her, and the best way to handle that was to get straight to the point. “You need money? How much, and for what?”

With her usual flair for the dramatic, Lindsey rolled her eyes. “I don’t need any money. I meant what I said—you’re beautiful.”

“It’s true,” Brenda piped up. “And you’re only thirty-seven.”

“I am?” Meg had to think about that. “Yeah, I guess I am.”

“You’re still so young.”

“I wouldn’t go that far … “

“You’ve still got it, Mrs. Remington,” Brenda cut in, her voice intense. “You’re young and pretty and single, and you’ve got it.” Her fist flew through the air and punctuated the comment.

“Got what?” Meg was beginning to feel a bit confused.

“You’re not in bad shape, either,” Lindsey commented, resting her chin on one hand.

Meg sucked in her stomach, feeling pleased with the girls’ assessment.

“Of course you’d look even better if you lost ten pounds,” her daughter said thoughtfully.

Ten pounds. Meg breathed again and her stomach pouched out. Those ten pounds had first made their appearance when Meg was pregnant with Lindsey nearly sixteen years earlier. She was downright proud of having maintained her post-pregnancy weight for all these years.

“Ten pounds isn’t too much to lose,” Brenda said confidently.

“It won’t be hard at all—especially with the two of us helping you.”

Meg stared into their eager, expectant faces. “Why is it so important for me to lose ten pounds? I happen to like the way I look.”

“There’s more.”

Meg glanced from one girl to the other. “More? What is that supposed to mean?”

“You need to be physically fit. Think about it, Mom. When’s the last time you ran an eight-minute mile?”

Meg didn’t need to consider that at all—she already knew the answer. “Never.” She’d jogged around the track during high school, only because it was required of her. The lowest grade she’d ever received was in phys ed.

“See?” Lindsey said to Brenda.

“We’ll work with her,” Brenda answered. “But we’ll have to start soon.”

Lindsey crossed her arms and carefully scrutinized Meg. “About your clothes, Mom.”

“My clothes?” Meg cried, still astonished that her daughter wanted her to run an eight-minute mile. She owned a bookstore, for heaven’s sake. In the eight years since she’d bought out Mr. Olsen, not once had she been required to run for anything.

“I want to know what’s going on here,” Meg said. “Now.”

“I promise we’ll answer all your questions in a minute,” Brenda explained. “Please be patient, Mrs. Remington.”

Lindsey sighed. “Mom, I don’t mean to be rude or anything, but when it comes to your clothes, well … you need help.”

“Help?” And to think Meg had been dressing herself for the past thirty-some years. Until now, no one had bothered to tell her what a poor job she’d done.

“I’m here to see you don’t ever wear high-waisted jeans again,” Lindsey said, as though pledging her life to a crusade. “They’re called mom jeans,” she whispered.

“So you two are official members of the fashion police?” Meg asked. Apparently they’d issued an APB on her!

Lindsey and Brenda giggled.

“That’s what it sounds like.”

“We’re here to help you,” Brenda said in loving tones.

“We’re here to keep you from committing those fashion sins.”

“What sins?” Meg should’ve known. “Do you mind telling me what this little heart-to-heart is all about?”

“You, Mom,” Lindsey said, in a voice that suggested the answer should’ve been obvious.

“Why now? Why me?”

“Why not?” Lindsey responded.

Meg started to get up, but Lindsey directed her back onto the bed. “We aren’t finished yet. We’re just getting to the good part.”

“Honey, I appreciate what you’re doing, but … “

“Sit down, Mom,” Lindsey said in stern tones. “I haven’t told you the most important thing yet.”

Meg held up both hands. “Okay, okay.”

“Like we already said, you’re still young,” Brenda began.

Use arrow keys (or A / D) to PREV/NEXT chapter