The sand was cooler as it squeezed between her toes. No longer were the sun’s rays beating down on it, heating it up. Colors were blending together like melted crayons as Adrianna watched the setting sun and she dreamed.
She walked around the water’s edge with the water splashing on her bare feet. Her hot pink pedicure was fading, but she didn’t care, her mind was filled with dreams of what could be. Her dreams were changing from what they used to be.
For a moment in time she had been in the spotlight. She had known what it was like to see her name up in lights. To have the fame that she had always dreamed about eversince she was a little girl.
Her mom had joked about her being born with a microphone in her hand, for how she loved to sing. Never one to be shy, she would perform whenever she had an audience.
Broadway called her heart when she was 18 and off she went to fulfill her dreams.
All was amazing in the beginning but then…years passed and something in her heart began to change. She longed for the simple days of her childhood.
The days of frolicking in the sand and taking the kayak out with her Grandpa. How many hours had they spent on the lake paddling in the water? He had listened intently to her dreams. Adrianna felt as if she was the only thing that mattered to her grandpa in those moments. He made her feel special.
She would prattle on about longing to leave their small town and go to the big city where she could shine.
He would listen with patience and never discourage her, but he often would remind her to not forget the simple pleasure of watching sunsets.
When on the lake they would rarely miss a sunset. Adrianna had enjoyed the the pagentry of the sky, but didn’t see then how it could compare with the dazzling lights of the city.
Her proud grandpa was sitting in the front row, finally having made it to a Broadway show. Adrianna had beamed with happiness.
He had spent a few days with her as she showed him around New York. He was glad to be with his only granddaughter, but she sensed that he was eager to get home, back to his lake.
The morning he left for his flight she had kissed him goodbye and he said, “I am proud of you honey, but never stop watching the sunsets.”
She had smiled but at the time couldn’t remember the last time she had taken an evening to appreciate the sunset. One had to keep a busy schedule if they kept wanting to see their name in lights.
Adrianna had tried to dismiss the unsettling feeling that had come after his visit, but she couldn’t. Keeping her busy schedule was becoming more of a chore. It wasn’t as enjoyable as it had been at first.
Performing night aftet night was losing its charm. She had needed a break, a chance to think about things and she knew just where to go.
Adrianna stood at the kayak, ready to get in.
“Are you ready?” He walked a little slower but his periwinkle eyes still twinkled.
“I am ready, Grandpa.”
They climbed into the kayak and started paddling into the sunset. There was a comfortable silence between them.
Adrianna watched the changing sky and thought how it was true, dazzling lights could not compare to the pleasure of sunset dreams.
“Let’s take the rugged trail” … they said … It will be fun …. they said … Body had opposite opinion … Legs aching … BUT I did still have fun with my husband’s crazy family.
When you guzzle down a bottle of water and pour a bottle of water over your head … It is HOT! When you and your SIL agree that we sweated a billion calories hiking in 90 degree heat … Makes the icecream afterwards calorie free.
A beautiful voice … whose music brings back memories from long ago … Lying on the bed, singing to the radio … This was my favorite song of hers …
Daniel was driving down the road, enjoying the quiet. He had turned off the radio and was letting his mind wander.
Enjoying the scenery as he drove his heart was light. Two weeks of vacation were starting and he was ready. Everything was right was with his world.
Who was that? Daniel saw a young woman up ahead and she looked like she was about to collapse. She was walking at the pace of a tortoise. Slowing down, he pulled to a stop along the side of the road.
The poor woman looked weary and was dripping with sweat. He got out of the car and walked up to her. “Are you ok, Miss, do you need some help?”
He handed her the bottle he had with him. She took a couple sips and then proceeded to pour it over her head.
A smile of relief came over her and life sparked in her eyes, “Thank you!”
“You are welcome. My name is Daniel.”
“Do you have more water?’ Her face was still beet red with perspiration. He wondered what she was doing out here on such a hot day?
Fortunately he had thrown a couple bottles in his car so he ran back and got more. She drank the one and poured the other one over her head again.
Her eyes shined. “Thanks so much Daniel. I needed water so badly. My name is Stephanie.” She put out her hand. “Sorry, I know I look a mess but you are a lifesaver, I thought I would die in this heat.”
“Is your car close by? Do you need a ride into town? Its only about 10 miles down the road.”
With a sigh of appreciation she told him yes about the ride and soon they were heading down the road. It wasn’t until they were driving down the road that he realized she never answered the question about her car.
In the car he suddenly felt shy and wasn’t quite sure what to say, so they rode in silence. Well, not total silence. Stephanie was humming to herself and swaying her head from side to side.
Daniel was starting to feel happy that the ride to town wasn’t too far.
When they entered town they passed Mason’s Diner. “I am rather hungry, do you think we can stop and get something?” Stephanie looked at him with her big brown puppy dog eyes. He couldn’t say no, though he doubted she had money with her for she didn’t have any purse or wallet.
Daniel was getting hungry too so he pulled into the parking lot.
A cheery waitress welcomed them when they stepped inside the diner. “Choose wherever you would like to sit. Any booth except that corner one. That is Tippner’s booth, he is a special case, I mean customer.”
Hmmm…thought Daniel, a special case. Did he hum like Stephanie, he wondered, who was still humming softly. Daniel was sure that Cara, the waitress could hear her, but she didn’t blink an eye. It didn’t seem to phase her. He figured she probably was used to dealing with all kinds of customers.
When she came to tske their orders Stephanie did stop humming, long enough to give her order.
Then before starting up again Daniel asked her a question. “I hope you don’t mind me asking but were you lost in the woods? Did you lose your car?”
“My car?” At this she started laughing and laughing. Daniel was becoming more convinced by the minute that Stephanie was a special case.
“Pardon me for laughing, but I don’t own a car. I don’t need one. Plus I don’t know how to use one. Where I come from we have no need of cars. But now I don’t know how to get back home.” Daniel felt tongue tied with shock.
Cara walked up to the table with their orders. Biscuits and gravy with scrambled eggs.
She was placing Stephanie’s plate in front of her when Stephanie said, “I have a magic carpet, but it disappeared today, that is how I got stuck along the road.”
Cara knocked over Stephanie’s water glass with her plate. Flushed , Cara quickly wiped up the water. “I am so sorry.”
“It is fine. Can you tell me Miss, have you seen anyone arrive here on a magic carpet today?”
“Ummm…can’t say I…” the bell jangled and Tippner entered the diner heading to his special booth.
An idea came to Cara and she smiled at the thought. Noticing Daniel’s distressed look she thought it would be perfect. After all Tippner did owe her one.
Turning her attention back to Stephanie she said, “As a matter of fact I have just the guy that you should talk to. Come with me and I will introduce you.”
“Stephanie this is Tippner, and he is always glad for company. Aren’t you Tippner?” Cara gave a coy smile.
Tippner gave Cora a questioning look, but she ignored it. “Feel free to ask him all about your magic carpet, he may have seen it.” Tippner spit out his water as he shot Cara a piercing look. She turned away, trying hard to hold in her laughter at Stephanie’s words. “Oh, do you have a magic carpet also? What is the name of yours?”
Daniel left Cara a big tip after telling her what all he knew about Stephanie, which wasn’t much. Maybe the hot sun had messed with her brain. Who knows how long she was out in it. She really had guzzled down the water and was gobbling up the food. Now that he had a full stomach he could get back on the road to continue his vacation! What way to start it!
Cara would contact Fred, the police chief but why not let her talk to Tippner for awhile. She laughed again as she passed by the table and heard Stephanie asking him if he wanted to help her start a new society.
Cara was pleased, looks like Stephanie had found the perfect person to talk to.
“Hey Tippner!” Mason greeted his friend. He had just come from the back room. He walked over to his booth. “Hi Miss, I am Mason, are you a friend of Tippner’s?”
Stephanie’s eyes grew big as she looked at Mason and reached out to touch his hair. “Can you help me?”
Mason, always ready to be helpful, replied, “Sure, what can I do?”
Cara snickered , while trying to take the order from the table close by. Mason had just walked right into that one. She couldn’t have planned it better if she would have tried.
“Do you own a magic carpet?” she heard Stephanie say.
Cara shook her head, just another ordinary day in the town of Bittersweet Creek where you never know what may happen!
Here is the conclusion to The Inner Debate
Roman had laid awake most of the night trying to come up with a plan and he finally had thought of one. He prayed that it would work, for he really didn’t want to lose Jessica.
It was hard to believe how much time had passed since he first came to live at the cottage. At first it hadn’t been so bad. The cottage had been like a little boy’s dream come true and the woman was sugary sweet to him.
For a boy who was alone in the world, it was nice to feel like he had a place to belong. Plus he had a friend to play with as well. She was a rosy cheek little girl with pigtails in her hair named Greta. They had been ecstatic about being able to eat all the candy that they wanted. Greta especially liked the lollipops.
Roman remembers feeling so bereft and confused the day Greta disappeared. The woman didn’t seem upset at all, in fact she appeared to be deliriously happy about it.
A few years passed and gradually the woman grew worse and worse to be around. She was demanding of Roman, making him do everything. She barely lifted a finger. He had become her servant. Many times he thought of running off but always chickened out. Where would he go?
But now things had changed. The woman wanted him to find her a young woman. She said he could be relieved of all his duties if he found a young woman. She needed someone that could cook better and that knew how to sew.
The thought of being on his own and no more chores excited him enough to try and find a woman but there was no way he could subject Jessica to “Her Highness.’ He was simply going to make a run for it. Not an elaborate plan but if he could save Jessica it was worth a try.
He was washing the woman’s clothes in a bucket of water and looking at the house watching the door. Run Roman Run, he told himself. Ready, Set, …
“Roman, aren’t you finished yet? You are as slow as a turtle.”
She was marching towards him, and an idea popped in his mind. He knew he could outrun her. Waiting for the right moment, he watched her come closer.
“Why are you just staring at me, Get to work!”
As she rose her hand to slap him, he picked up the bucket of water and threw it on her.
A hideous scream came out of her and he watched in astonishment as the woman started melting right before his eyes!
Jessica was keeping a keen eye out for her Romeo. Well he technically wasn’t her Romeo yet, but a lady could dream.
When he came he looked the most happy that she had ever seen him. His mood didn’t change, he didn’t grow distant, he appeared totally content and brimming over with joy.
He surprised her, not only had he brought her a salted caramel latte this time, but candy bars and peanut butter cups as well. Her sugar stash was well stocked.
The last week of her stay involved a lot of time spent with Roman. Her fairytale dream was becoming true.
She had begged her mom to let her bring Roman home so that he could take her to her 21st birthday Ball. Her mom and aunt were skeptical about some guy who lived in a candy cottage and brought her fancy coffees.
What was he up too? Was he some tricky, sleazy guy? Once they met him it didn’t take long for their worries to dissipate and they were full of joy for Jessica, who had always been their little Princess.
The night of the Ball was magical. Jessica dazzled Roman with her beauty when she appeared in her cherry red gown and glass slippers. They danced all night, he never left her side. From that night on Jessica and Romeo lived happily ever after in their candy house in the woods.
Is Roman really a wonderful “Romeo”? I decided that we needed to find out. This is Part 2 to The Encounter
Three times. Jessica had a dreamy look in her eyes. Three times now Roman had brought her a French Vanilla Cappacino. He has been staying longer with her each day and Jessica felt herself becoming more captivated.
Today she had begun to worry that he wasn’t coming. He didn’t come until around 6pm. All day she had waited, her heart was flip flopping inside of her as she waited, arguing with herself to go out, why was she waiting for him? But all she could do was sit on the deck, trying to read, as thoughts of Roman ran through her mind. What was she doing falling for a guy who she might not see again.
Her mom and aunt had called earlier while she was waiting for him. They had wondered if she had met anyone there and she said a friend and her enjoyed coffee every morning.
She may have left out the little detail about him being a guy and quickly changed the subject. They were more than happy to talk about plans for her 21st birthday coming up.
As much as she was enjoying his visits there was something odd about him. One moment he would appear suave and confident and the next moment cold and distant. That would be when he would abruptly leave, like he did again today.
Everything was going fine. They were talking, getting to know each other and laughing together. He asked her about going on a hike tomorrow. His face had brightened at her cheerful response, before his face grew somber.
What caused the change? Had he not wanted her to say yes? He had grown quiet and then said he had to go, leaving her wondering. Men! They could be so confusing. They said women gave mixed signals, but why ask someone to do something if you really didn’t want them too! She kicked a stone in ber path as she walked back inside.
Roman needed something to kick as he was walking back to his cottage. Why did Jessica have to be so vivacious and friendly? He was drawn to her and hating himself more and more for it! It had only been a few days but she filled him with joy and he wanted to know her better.
It was with much regret that he knew what he had to do. But for his peace of mind he had too, there really was no other choice to make. If only he didn’t have to go back to the cottage tonight and face the “woman”, or as she preferred to be called, “her Highness.”
“Where is the girl?” He tried to make it up the stairs before she saw him but it didn’t work.
“I said, Where is the girl?” The woman had stood up now and was glaring at him, expecting an answer.
“She…she wasn’t there.”
The woman looked at him with a skeptical eye. “Wasn’t there? You were gone for a long time. What were you doing if she wasn’t there?”
“I was waiting for her, my Highness.” He thought he better try to sweeten her up as much as possible. Though he doubted it would do much good.
“Well maybe you should have waited longer. You are running out of time you know. ”
He tried to ignore the tightening knot in his stomach and the sardonic smile on her face. Without a comment he walked up the stairs to his room to go to bed, though he knew that tonight, sleep would elude him.
(To be continued…)
Reading a historical novel about Native Americans … We thought we knew so much more than they did … When really it was the other way around.
When your knee starts hurting for no reason … no jumping out of airplanes … no falling off a bike … it just decides to stir up trouble all on its own.
When you are reading a fictional novel and read about a breed of dog that you never heard of before. You wonder if its real. It is! Have you heard of a Langberger? They come from Germany, a pretty dog, but too big of one for me to own.
Wow! This was amazing. She felt like she was in paradise and she never wanted to leave. Jessica closed her eyes, letting herself listen to the waterfall, embracing the serenity.
Spending all day outside in the sun had worn her out but it had been refreshing. She hadn’t been able to bring herself to leave this little corner of Eden that she had found. Now she was stretched out on her bed in the cozy cabin, debating about where to go eat.
The shower had helped her to wake up and she decided to go back into town. She would pick up an order of sushi and bring it back to the cabin.
While waiting on the sushi she checked her phone for messages. Her Aunt had sent several, Jessica would have to call her when she got back to the cabin.
Aunt Rachel loved her like a daughter, having had no kids of her own, she was delighted when Jessica was born. Jessica was blessed to have a mom and an Aunt that adored her.
Her dad had died only a short time before she was born and her Aunt Rachel was a life saver to her mom! Who knows what would have happened to her mom if it wouldn’t have been for her. She helped her mom to stay afloat when the waves of grief threatened to drown her.
They both had always been there for Jessica and for that she would be forever grateful.
The only drawback was that they were overprotective of her. Jessica kept telling them that they had to let her spread her wings sometime.
When the opportunity arose for Jessica to go on vacation with her friend Elena she jumped on it.
An amazing log cabin in the middle of the woods, not far from the waterfalls that she had spent the day at. So peaceful. She really wished that Elena hadn’t got sick but so glad that Elena had encouraged her to go on her own. Jessica was relishing being here, savoring the moments.
After calling her Aunt and Mom and assuring them that she was fine, she soaked in the bubbles of the jacuzzi. That night she laid in her bed, feeling as content as an otter, lying on its back in the water, just floating along. It didn’t take long until she was floating into dreamland.
Jessica woke up early the next mornimg and went out on the deck to listen to the birds. She caught her breath … there was a deer and her fawn standing not that far away from the cabin.
This was surreal for someone who had grown up in the city all their life with a Starbucks on every corner. Oh, she could go for a Starbucks coffee right now. Suddenly the deer perked up their ears and the mama ran with her fawn following close behind. What had startled them?
“Good Morning Miss! Would you like my own freshly brewed French Vanilla Cappacino? I am staying in the cabin close by, and have been meaning to come say Hi and introduce myself. My name is Roman.”
Looking down Jessica saw a young man, tanned with blonde hair and the most charming smile. She walked over to him thinking that this vacation was getting better all the time.
“Hi Romeo, I am…” Jessica’s cheeks turned crimson, had she said what she thought she said?
He looked at her with a twinkle in his eye as he asked with a face of innocence. “And would your name be Juliet?”