Now that Monica Ferris' Find a Boyfriend for Betsy Contest has officially ended and over 90% of the poll responders said that they would like to read it, here's my entry. Please note that I was striving to remain true to the author's established style and the personalities of the existing characters.
Godwin DuLac was naturally talkative on an ordinary day. Today, the day his uncle was due in town, was far from ordinary and Goddy's increased anxiety level was evident in his almost constant chatter. They had just locked the front door for the evening and were tidying up the shop. "Betsy, are you *sure* I look okay?"
"You look fine, Goddy." She continued to restock embroidery floss without looking up: he must have asked her this same question a dozen times since he arrived eight hours ago.
"No, *really*. I haven't seen Uncle Craig in years. Not since my mom's funeral. I mean, we talk on the phone and email a lot but the season is *so* much longer than it used to be, too, so he's always on the road.
"Maybe I should dash home and change?"
Betsy Devonshire paused in the process of refilling a narrow plastic bin with hanks of lavender floss to eye her young assistant manager's outfit du jour. As usual, he was well-dressed. Over a pair of caramel slacks and cream colored silk turtleneck, he was wearing a dark chocolate colored fisherman's sweater he had designed and knit himself. Goddy had chosen a minimally processed worsted weight ecological wool which showcased the crisp cables and stitch patterns that so characterized the Aran Islands style sweater. As always, he was sporting a pair of hand knit white cotton socks. She tried not to compare his chic look with her own tan khakis, basic blue blouse, and teal cardigan.
"You look fine. Better than fine, actually. Those hours in the gym are really paying off."
He shot her an exaggerated grimace. "I *so hate* going there." He treated her to an exhaustive list of exactly what he detested about working out but Betsy didn't mind. She'd accomplished what she had wanted: Godwin was, at least temporarily, distracted from Craig Richards' imminent arrival and he had returned to straightening the contents of the pattern racks.
While she returned to her own restocking and straightening tasks, Betsy's thoughts turned to Goddy's uncle. Craig had been a trainer with professional football teams for the past thirty or so years. Never married, he was taking a somewhat early retirement and relocating to Excelsior, Minnesota to be close to Goddy - his sister's only child. She wondered if he was at all like his highly animated nephew.
Just as she finished tucking the last of the floss into its proper bin, they heard a tapping on the shop door. Betsy would have known that the attractive man on the other side of the glass was Craig Richards even if Goddy hadn't just cried out, "Uncle Craig!" and dashed to open the door. Craig shared Goddy's somewhat short stature and slight build as well as his delicate nose. At 59 years old, Craig's thick blond hair was lightened, not by a beautician like his nephew's, but by the passage of years.
Betsy saw Craig's face stretch into an enormous grin as he embraced his nephew. His bright blue eyes lit up and his whole face seemed to glow with happiness. It was the look of a man who has come home at last and Betsy found herself smiling in response. Suddenly, Betsy felt very happy indeed.
"Welcome to Excelsior."
"Where *are* my manners? Uncle Craig, this is my boss, Betsy Devonshire. Betsy, this is my uncle, Craig Richards." As they shook hands, Betsy found herself continuing to return the man's easy smile.
"Nice to meet you, Betsy. I know this sounds trite, but Godwin's told be quite a lot about you already."
"Not too much of it bad, I trust."
"Betsy!" Goddy's look of horror was priceless. "How could you think I'd say anything bad about you?" The shocked look gave way to a slightly hurt one.
"Oh, Goddy, I was only teasing you. Look, why don't you two get going. You don't want to miss your dinner reservation and things are just about wrapped up here."
"No, I couldn't do that. It will only take me a few minutes to finish up. Uncle Craig, you won't mind waiting just a bit, will you?"
"No, not at all. But, Betsy, if you don't have other plans for the evening, why don't you join us? I'm sure the restaurant won't mind adding another person to our party. You could tell me more about how you helped clear my nephew's name back when John was murdered." He turned slightly. "If that's okay with you, of course, Goddy."
Goddy beamed. "She was *brilliant* Uncle Craig! Just brilliant! Please say you'll come, Betsy. And Uncle Craig can tell you all about that football player who tried to get him to inject steroids. He's a real whistle-blower, my uncle!"