The Surprise Guest

Painting by Daniel Gerhartz

Silence, really was golden. Only the sounds of nature for her to hear out here. It was what she needed. Tabitha knew she would be missed, but hoped that it would take a little while.

There was close to a hundred people at the party. Would they really miss her? She shouldn’t have run off, but her head was spinning from the noise and expectations of everyone. It was either run away or stay and faint. Having never fainted before she really didn’t wish to start. Especially in the middle of a party.

Coming to the creek was calming her down already. It always did.

She was so glad to have the mini lantern with her. Not that she was looking for anything in particular, but it was fun to use.

Sitting there she wished that she could stay but Tabitha knew that she had to go back before anyone missed her.

Standing up she turned around to head back and froze. Guilt was all over her red face.

“I see they sent out the search party.”

James shook his head, “Nope, only me. But if I don’t get you back soon, the search party will begin! I reckon we have about 15 minutes to spare, so you want to tell old James why you are out here?”

He put his arm around her shoulders, kindness radiating from his eyes.

Tabitha loved James. He had been the family chauffeur forever. Since she had been a toddler! Oh, the stories he could tell about her and what fun they had through the years. He had become much more than a chauffeur, he was a true friend, a confidante.

“J needed to get out of there James. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. So many people and …” her voice trailed off, lost in her thoughts. She had only wanted one special guy there, and she hadn’t seen him.

“You thought you would disappear and noone would notice?”

She shrugged, “not right away …”

He gave her head a tap with his hand. “Use your noggin girl, God gave it to you for a reason. How do you think you can disappear when you are the guest of honor!” His voice raised a little louder at the end.

“Kind of dumb, eh?” She said, with a sheepish grin.

“No “kind of” about it!”

She made a face at him, causing him to laugh out loud.

“I didn’t want a big party and you know how embarrassing it is, to have the guest list mostly composed of single guys! Mom acts like I am turning 18 and going on 70, destined to be an old maid. ” She rolled her dark brown eyes.

“Yeah, your mama is crazy.”

“Yes, she is, thank you!”

“I mean to think that she sent a special invitation to Hudson and that he arrived late, traveling all those miles ….”

Tabitha’s eyes about bulged out of her head in shock! “Hudson! She invited Hudson!”

“”She sure did, crazy, right?”

Tabitha felt her pulse racing. Hudson had been her best friend through her childhood. When he moved far away their Junior year of HS, he took her heart with him. Now he had come back, she couldn’t believe it!

They had kept in touch with texts and emails but oh, how she missed him! She didn’t find herself interested in other guys, for no one measured up to him. But with the distance they were afraid to start anything. But now???

“We have to get back, Pronto!” She took off and James watched her with mild amusement. He let her go a little bit and then yelled. “You may want to turn around and go the right direction.”

She stopped in her tracks, turned around and ran.

James shook his head, he worried about anyone stepping into her path. She may plow them down. There isn’t any stopping a woman in love.

18 thoughts on “The Surprise Guest

  1. The “family chauffeur”? No wonder all those guys showed up.

    We never had a family chauffeur when I was a kid. Unless it was the county sheriff, whenever we’d be evicted, then escorted out of town. But I’m not jealous of some spoiled rotten brat who grew up with a silver spoon in her mouth. No, far from it. In fact, after Hudson turns out to be an undercover reporter who reveals the family’s dark secret that Tabitha shares in confidence, I’ll feel sorry for Tabitha. And for the pool man, after his wife reads the tabloids.

    Liked by 3 people

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