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The Replacement
By Jane Doe


I remember the day I met Kris Munroe. Ironically, I was mad as a hornet when I learned she'd be joining us. So was Sabrina.

Jill had told us during our vacation that she wasn't coming back to the agency. She'd finally found a way to break into the racing world, and we knew it had been a fantasy of hers for so long; Sabrina and I encouraged her even though we were sad to see her go. Our natural assumption was that it would just be the two of us from then on. We didn't even discuss it, really.

Then we got to the office, and Bosley told us Jill was being replaced. Replaced. The word was horrible. We screamed at him, but it didn't do any good; she'd already been hired. She was already on her way.

Before this girl even got into the building, she had a big strike against her: I was prepared to resent anybody who came through that door, just for not being Jill. She would be weird, she would be different, she wouldn't fit into our well-established dynamic. Our relations would be formal and lukewarm. Charlie would see that it didn't work, and he'd get rid of the replacement. Jill might even come back. It was my failproof plan.

It lasted all of ten seconds.

She was instantly likeable, and when we learned she was Jill's sister, well, that sealed the deal. We'd heard about her, we'd even seen a couple old pictures of her with Jill, but we hadn't recognized her. The girl in those pictures had grown up a lot. Here she was, fresh out of the academy, bubbly, funny, beautiful, and eager to earn her wings.

Ok, so she was in. We'd get along, and she looked like she could handle the work. It wasn't the same without Jill, but things would be ok after all. That was the first surprise.

The second surprise was the friendship that we developed so quickly. I sometimes had to remind myself that Kris hadn't been with us since the start. She was great at her job. We liked all the same things. She cracked me up. She always understood me. It wasn't long before I had to admit that my friendship with her surpassed what I had with the others.

At first I felt badly about being so close with the new girl all of a sudden. I felt a sort of obligation to Sabrina, having worked with her longer, so it took me a while to convince myself that she didn't think of it that way. She tended to keep to herself outside work anyway - she didn't often want to go out with us or do girly things. Not that she was unfriendly - far from it. She just handled her friendships differently.

The third surprise was that I fell in love with her. When I say that in one sentence, it sounds matter-of-fact, like I just knew. It wasn't at all.

The major trouble was that I was straight. I never even thought about being with a woman. I'd had healthy relationships with men, and men only. So for a long time, I didn't even acknowledge my feelings for Kris.

I thought about her a lot. I didn't think it was unusual, because why wouldn't I think about my best friend a lot?

I caught myself staring at her a lot. She was beautiful. Of course, Sabrina and Jill were beautiful too - around here, it was more or less a job requirement. But there was something special about her, some little sparkle that held my attention.

But the first thing that really made me suspicious of myself was this protective feeling I had toward her. I never had that feeling for a friend before. I was the one that wanted to feel protected by a man – call me old-fashioned. Besides that, I knew she could take care of herself just as well as I could.

So why were these feelings getting more intense with each day? It took me ages to realize, but deep down, I must have known I was in love.

The End

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