Gathered on the front patio, the crowd clattered silverware and chattered loudly. Sarah and her friends sipped on cooling iced tea and snacked on a small charcuterie board.

A plane flew over, engines roaring. It shook the building as it passed over. The patrons looked upon in shock.

Sarah was stunned, her eyes locked on the plane. The plane, a double decker airbus, seemed to stop and float midair for several moments in the sky, like a blimp on game day.

A collective gasp escaped from the crowd as the plane rolled, dove, and debris started flying. The crowd ducked as debris scattered. Shrapnel flew from the plane as it crashed over the trees in the distance.

Sirens began to fill the air as the crowd shuffled away from their covers. Sarah and her friends began heading toward the crash site to help however they could.

The police had set up a perimeter and buses moved people to staging areas. They boarded the full bus and it pulled away.

The travel to the support site felt as though it took hours. Block after block was speckled with fires and smoke. The damage from the plane seemed to stretch for several blocks.

They passed the fuselage of the plane. Dozens of emergency workers worked the scene. Some survivors staggered among the wreckage.

The bus came to a clearing aside two large fields. Smoke rose from the crops. As Sarah and her friends exited the bus, they were handed small shears. The farmer needed help saving his crops as the roses and ears of corn were needed for the towns festival. They weren’t going to be able to save it all, but anything was better than nothing.

Sarah found it odd. But there were hundreds helping throughout the town doing anything they could. She started pruning the roses, placing them in her basket.

She paused to look at one specimen and as she did, her finger brushed upon a thorn. She stuck her finger in her mouth and tasted blood.

Her body shook and she inhaled sharply, finding herself in her bed. What a strange nightmare…or was she really there?




The scream echoed about the alley. A body slammed against the wall with a sickening thud. Then the sound of a splash as the body fell to the rain drenched alleyway.

Standing over him, she crossed her puny but tatted arms. Hard to believe they’d be capable of moving anything, much less pushing a full grown man into the wall.

He wouldn’t strike back, and she knew it. “You deserve what you get!” she snarled as she walked off, flicking him off one final time as her silhouette framed by steady neon lights turned the corner.

He curled up his knees and held his head in his hands. He was mad. Mad at her, mad at himself, mad at the world. Mad at the situation he found himself in once more, another broken moment in his life.

He palmed his eyes a moment, trying to save face should anyone see. Red eyes still gave him away. He spider walked himself back up and wiped away what he could of the puddle which now wet the seat of his pants.

Slowly, he walked toward those same lights but turned right instead. The glass wall of the local Chinese restaurant displayed freshly made duck and the aroma of rice wafted around. His stomach growled, but he continued to wander down the street. Chickenshit? Chickenshit! he mulled over her parting words.

A distant siren echoed as it came closer. Blue and red flashing lights bounced off the buildings. Wet hair hung clung to his face, filtering the scene from his view. His hands gently pushed it aside so he could see.

A small girl sat on the curb as the paramedics frantically worked on someone in the median. She clutched a small curly haired teddy bear missing one eye. A stroller, haphazardly inverted, sat in the crosswalk. Broken glass littered the intersection from the windshield of an orange colored Charger.

A woman, brought to tears, stood amid the chaos. Her hands trembled as the cop escorted her to the same curb to sit by the little girl. An ambulance pulled away, the siren sounding a moment, then falling silent.

The woman looked up, struggling to speak, as a policeman took her statement. He took it all down, and then read it back to her. She shrugged, and lowered her head, bawling.

Softly, the officer tapped her shoulder, trying to reassure her. He looked up and saw the man from the alley standing there. “Son, can you either help or move along?”

He acutely became aware of his gaped mouth, and closed it. “Yes, sir.” He quickly walked over, wringing his hands. “How can I help?”

The cop looked him over, then looked at the curb. “Can you distract here a bit while I finish up?”

He shook his head in compliance, then knelt down in front of the two girls. “ You okay?”

The little girl shook her head while the woman shrugged and responded, “I don’t know what happened. The light was green and I was just driving. No one should have been there…”

He let her release her upset and quietly chided himself for being upset with himself earlier. This was much graver than what he ever dealt with. She sobbed into his shoulder.

“Can I call anyone?” He asked as she calmed down. He handed her his phone so she could dial the number. She stood up and took a few steps away as she explained on the phone what happened.

He turned his attention to the little girl. “Do you need anything?”

She’d been quietly sitting there, and looked over and shook her head no. A sweet smile came across her face. “Tell the lady I am okay. It wasn’t her fault.”

Confusedly, he looked over his shoulder back at the woman, then back at the girl.

She repeated, “I’m okay.”

Suddenly the woman bent over his shoulder and returned his phone. “Thank you. My sister is here to take me home.”

He looked over the scene and realized time had passed and the wreckage had been removed.

He looked past the woman, “Where’d she go? The little girl?”

The woman paused and stared at him. “They took her in the ambulance.”

He rose to his feet. “No, it was another little girl. With the…” he paused. “She wanted you to know she was okay and it wasn’t your fault.”

The woman’s face turned angry. “Why are you saying these things! I can’t believe…what a chickenshit!”

He stammered, unsure why she turned angry. “She’s…she’s okay.”

Rage filled the woman’s face, “She died!”

He stumbled back to the wall behind him and sunk to the ground amid his confusion. The woman stormed off.

A few moments later, the girl walked back up. “Thank you for trying to tell her. Sometimes people can’t or don’t want to hear.” She reached to give him a hug as he stared. “And, you are no chickenshit!” her little voice squeaked. “Thank you for staying with me. I have to go now. Take care of Curly for me?” She waved as she disappeared from view.

He collected himself. It had been a strange night. In the distance, the sky began to lighten with the dawn. He looked around and saw a a small teddy bear at his feet. He picked it up and gave it a look. A little tag hung from its paw, Hi! I’m Curly.


Tropical Trek – Part 8

Suzy dressed and got ready to head down to the restaurant after wrapping up work for the day. As she opened the door, she almost ran into Mark. He was about to knock.

“Oh, Mark!” Startled, she stammered, but her voice went flat. “What do you need?”

Mark’s stern look softened, and she could see worry only his eyes. “Can I have a minute?”

“Sure, can we talk while we walk?” She pointed down the hall.

He nodded yes, then slowly spoke, “I was out of line, so I came by to apologize. It’s none of my business how you live your life.”

She could see he was struggling with his words. She took in a breath, then forced herself to move on. “Mark, I appreciate the apology.” She surveyed his face and realized how much he had aged since losing Sarah a year ago. “I’m not Sarah, but understand why you worry about me, and the crew.” She searched for words to make him feel better; she abhorred conflict.

He seemed relieved, and his haggard breath released. They walked up to the restaurant and Mark nodded toward Steve. “Have a nice dinner.”

Suzy smiled at Mark sweetly. “Thanks, Mark. I will.” With that she turned and exhaled as she stepped away.

Mark disappeared back down the hall.

“Hey, is this seat taken?” She tapped her fingers on the back of the chair.

Steve looked up from his drink with a smile. He stood up and greeted her with a hug. “Well, I hoped you got my note!”

He pulled out her chair and slid it back in as she sat. “Sorry for the disappearing act this morning. The guys wanted to go down to Manuel Antonio for a full day and we headed out early.”

She nodded, “Yeah, no problem. It was an early day for me too.” She looked over the menu and figured out what to eat. “So, how was it?” She looked up to see him almost eyeing her.

“Oh, uh, good. We went to this plane themed restaurant…”

“El Avion?”

“Yeah, that’s the place. It poured while we were there. It was good to be out of the rain. Calming, even though the drinks were flowing.”

Suzy put the menu down and the waiter popped over to the table immediately to take their orders.

After he left, Suzy looked over Steve. He seemed nervous. “Hey, is everything okay?”

Steve played with his ring finger. Oh boy, she knew that look of guilt. She hung her head; another unavailable man wandered into her life. She sighed audibly.

He looked up at her. “It’s still fresh. I’m not married. Any longer. My buddies insisted on getting me out of my condo a few days. That’s why we were here.”

Well, at least she wasn’t a home wrecker! “No worries. Life just throws things at us at times. We’re good.”

She forced a smile through the knowing of the shoe about to fall. “Let’s have a nice meal and we’ll return to our lives each with a new friend.”

He didn’t seem satisfied, but let it go as the appetizer was placed on the table. They shared some more of the days events with each other as they enjoyed the meal although somewhat awkwardly.

Suzy watched out over the rainforest as the sun sank down on their final night. The sky illuminated with pinks and purples then gave way to navy.

Steve piped up, “Could we go for a walk before turning in for the night?”

She half smiled and nodded yes. He showed her the way to the beach path. They walked together quietly and found to beach chairs left out by the waters edge.

He softly spoke, “Suzy, I really am glad you found me at the waterfall. I’ll never forget seeing you come out of the forest, looking around with awe.”

Suzy blushed. She didn’t realize he saw her the whole time.

“I…I…” Steve stumbled over his words. “I hope we can keep in touch.”

Suzy knew tonight would be hard; it’s hard to walk away even when it’s necessary to continue on your own paths.

“Listen,” she grabbed his hand and her voice trembled, “I don’t like goodbyes. They feel final and I don’t want whatever this is to…”

She couldn’t get the last word out as his lips pressed into hers. His hand pulled her face to his and they ended up standing in a full embrace.

“Then, we won’t say it.” He stroked a stray curl from her face. “We will figure this out. I just need time, okay?”

He clasped her hand in his and walked with her back to the resort. He gently kissed her good night at her door. “You have no idea…” his voice trailed off. She opened the door, but he stepped back and softly touched her cheek, leaned in and kissed her once more, then turned and walked away.

The next few days were a blur for Suzy. She wondered how Steve was and busied herself with work. She didn’t know how long she’d wait, but for now, his kiss kept her hopes alive.

Sometimes we don’t get what we want even when everything seems perfect. But, one day, it will come together in the way it’s meant to be. Until then, easy daydreaming will have to do.


Tropical Trek – Part 7

Please enjoy this repost while I recover from my week of a little R&R at the beach!

Suzy woke to the sound of her phone’s alarm. She looked over, expecting to see Steve, but he was long gone.

She sat up and sighed, then looked around her suite from the bed, then reached to pick up her phone. As she did, she saw a note on the dresser.

Dear Suzy,

Tonight’s my last night here. I hope you can join me for dinner downstairs just before sunset.

See you then,


Suzy smiled to herself. Of course she’d have dinner with him.

Just as she laid the note down, a knock pounded from the door. She jumped from the bed, startled, and grabbed her robe as the rapping continued.

She hollered out, “Just a minute!”

The knocking stopped as she opened the door. Mark pushed into her room. “Is he here?”

Suzy looked at Mark with a glare. “What do you think you are doing?” She growled at him. “Get out!”

Mark, satisfied Steve wasn’t in the room, walked back to her. “You need to watch what you’re doing.”

Suzy pointed to the door. “Out!”

Mark stormed out of her room. She locked the door behind him, then broke down. When will he let go? she thought to herself.

After a few minutes, she gathered herself and started getting ready for the day. It was going to be a long day at this rate. At least she had the evening to look forward to.

The team was gathered around. Mark was mysteriously missing. Suzy was relieved she was getting a brief breather from him.

Melissa looked up with an odd look on her face. “Mark bowed out; said something came up. Are we ready to head up the coast?” Her tone was flat and the team looked tense.

Suzy shook her head along with the rest of the team. They piled into the two vehicles and drove to an expansive stretch of beach dotted with boulders and steep cliffs.

The beach was not too crowded so the team set out to get filler footage and photographs. Suzy pulled out a collapsible chair and sat down, working on a script. Words were not coming to her, so she paused and stared at the ocean.

“Hey! Earth to Sooz!” Melissa waved her hand in front of Suzy’s face. “You in there?”

Suzy jumped then shook her head. “Yeah, just having a time with this.”

“Mark got to you this morning, didn’t he?” Melissa stated. “I told him not to go; he wouldn’t listen.”

Suzy closed her tablet and looked at Melissa. “He needs to stop. This is the last job I will work with him on. Why does he feel he needs to oversee all the women? It’s not like we ever had any kind of relationship or anything,” she rambled.

Melissa gently laid her hand on Suzy’s arm, “He’s protective…and you remind him too much of his own daughter.”

Suzy shrugged her shoulders in resignation. “But, I’m not…” and her voice trailed off.


Tropical Trek – Part 6

Please enjoy this repost while I enjoy a little R&R at the beach!

A loud rap came from the door to Suzy’s suite.

Suzy rubbed her eyes and looked over at Steve sleeping there, then looked at her phone for the time. It was just a little past 10 PM. Suzy found her sarong and wrapped it around her hips in an impromptu skirt then made her way to the door.

As she opened the door, Melissa cooed, “Hey sleepy head….”

Suzy lifted her finger to her mouth, prompting Melissa to look around her. Steve’s feet dangled off the bed due to his tall frame. Melissa’s face lit up, but Suzy knew Melissa too well.

“Hold up. Let me grab my keycard,” Suzy whispered as she stepped away from the door.

Melissa held the door open, and they both walked out into the hallway.

“So?” Melissa questioned. “What’s that all about?” She waved her finger in a circular motion at the closed door behind Suzy.

“It’s nothing. We were just talking and fell asleep. See, fully dressed.” Suzy waved at her haphazardly tied sarong. “Don’t say anything though, okay? I’m already having to deal with Mark, and he has no reason to have any opinion on what I do on my personal time.”

Melissa smirked, then smiled. “Sure, nothing will be said. But I swung by to let you know. The team wants to head out in the morning to check out some of the local beaches. We want to meet up at 7 in the lobby. Good for that?”

Suzy smiled and shook her head, “Yeah, I’ll see you all then.”

Suzy slipped back into her room as Melissa walked off. She took a deep breath and headed back to the bed, lightly touching Steve’s shoulder. He stirred but didn’t wake. Suzy set her phone to wake her at 6 and headed back into the bathroom to get ready for bed.

She slipped into a black jersey chemise with lace trim along the bodice. It was modest enough to not suggest anything, but still fit her well should Steve wake up and take notice. She walked through the room turning down the lights, took the throw from the edge of the bed and covered Steve, then slipped between the sheets next to him.

She couldn’t resist him, but she knew she needed to sleep. She turned off the final light, kissed him lightly on the cheek, turned over, then curled up to get some zzz’s. Little did she know, Steve was partially awake and smiled, then wrapped his arm around her waist as they both fell to sleep.


Tropical Trek – Part 5

Please enjoy this repost while I enjoy a little R&R at the beach!

“Mark, just leave. I’ll get the copy to you, but this discussion is over. It’s not your business!” Suzy pushed Mark out of the door of her suite. Once the door shut behind her and was locked, she exhaled. She walked into the bathroom and rinsed off her face, then looked at the mirror. She noted the age around her eyes; she wasn’t a 30-something anymore. She sighed and stripped out of her clothes, then took a refreshing shower.

On stepping out, she slipped into her bathing suit and wrapped an oversized sarong around herself into the form of a dress. She dried her hair and headed back into the suite, then set up her laptop up to start working. She opened the slider door to the patio to get a breeze through her room and settled in to work.

After a couple hours passed, a knock came from the door. She worried it was Mark again; she really didn’t want to talk to him any more today. Her face became stern as she walked to the door. She swung open the door almost ready to say “Go away!” but she paused as she saw Steve’s face.

“Hey, everything alright? You look, peeved or something?” Steve asked.

Suzy stammered, “Oh, I, I thought you were going to be someone else. I’m fine. What’s up?” She looked over Steve and realized he had two plates of food in his hands.

“I saw your team downstairs eating. They said you were holed up in your room. Wanna bite to eat?”

Her stiffness melted away and realized how nice of a guy Steve really was. “Sure, come on in. Want to sit on the patio?”

Steve shook his head and followed her through the room to the patio. They each took seats on the two woven chairs. Suzy crossed her legs up on the chair. “Thanks for dinner.” She looked over the plate of rice, beans, and meat. “They really like their rice here, don’t they?”

Steve chuckled. “It is a mainstay, I guess.” His sheepish grin came through when he shrugged his shoulders. His long arms were slightly reddened by the sun.

“How did you like the jungle trek today? Looks like you got some sun.”

He laughed, “Yeah, forgot the sunscreen.” He then launched into a tale about his afternoon with the guys.

Suzy liked watching him talk. He was animated and alive. As he wound down his story, he asked, “Have much more work to do?”

Suzy shook her head, “Probably about a half-hour or so. I was thinking of taking a dip afterward. Interested in meeting me back at the pool?”

He looked her over, her sarong had fallen open, showing her swimsuit, while she had her legs pulled up on the chair. She shifted to cover back up.

“Sure. I have my trunks on already,” he pointed at his shorts. “I could just wait here if you want.”

She blushed. “Sure, I’d like that,” and she stood up to head back to her computer. “Make yourself comfortable.”

Steve followed her in and crashed on the bed. “Ahh.” He sunk into the spread and propped his head on a pillow and settled in while Suzy set out to finish up work. She sat with her back to him, working steadily on the computer.

He started to speak behind her. “When I was young, I had this friend.” He tossed a balled-up piece of paper he found on the bed. “This reminds me of those times, but in reverse.”

She paused and listened to him, turning slightly to see his face. “She’d lay in my bed while I’d work away on the computer. I always wondered what she was thinking. Most of those times, we were just friends.”

She smiled and turned. “She was probably hoping you’d take a break and look at her, really see her. However, I bet she was happy as friends too.”

He tossed the paper up once more and caught it, then looked at her. “Oh, I did see her. I wanted her. But, see, I was happy as friends, too. You don’t want to mess those kinds of friendships up.”

Suzy turned back around. She had similar memories of a lifetime ago and knew their power. She made a few more keystrokes, then her computer made a whoosh sound. “That’s that.” And she turned back around.

“I’m not that friend, but I could be.” Behind her, the rainforest gave way to its namesake as the skies started to thunder and pour. She stood up and reached around her neck, loosening the knot, dropping her sarong, then crawled into the bed next to him.

He looked her over. Her dark brown hair framed her soft round face. He gently ran his fingers down her arm and over her hip. Then they came together in a soft kiss which seemed to last for minutes. Steve pulled back, then looked Suzy in her eyes. “I don’t want us to get too far in too fast. Okay?”

Suzy understood and shook her head, then rested her head on his arm. They listened to the rain as it lulled them to sleep in each other’s arms. She hoped he’d share more of his story, but now wasn’t the time.


Tropical Trek – Part 4

Please enjoy this repost while I enjoy a little R&R at the beach!

Suzy walked to her bed and saw a message left for her on her phone. She quickly recognized the number as a member of her team and played the voicemail:

“Hi Suzy. It’s Mark. The team was able to get an early flight. We’re already here. Meet us in the lobby in the morning at 7. Melissa saw you at dinner, but she didn’t want to interrupt. Catch up then.”

Suzy looked at the time. It was just after midnight. She slipped off her sandals, sarong and tee and slipped into bed. It was going to be a short night’s sleep. At least her brain could spin up a few pleasant dreams after the evening she just had.

6 AM arrived early. Suzy quickly showered, dressed, and finished up a few notes for the sites she had already scouted. Hopefully Mark would find at least one of them appealing to head to today. She gathered her pack and headed down to the lobby.

The team was gathered in the restaurant, and several plates filled the table with breakfast pastries and such. Melissa sipped on her personal morning shake while the rest of the team enjoyed the pastries, coffee and tea. Their chatter could be heard all the way into the lobby by Suzy as she walked in.

“Morning! Glad you all caught the early flight!” Suzy greeted them and then spied a cinnamon roll among the platters of food. She resisted temptation and picked up a bowl of fresh fruit and a boiled egg instead. “I’ve checked out a few places already, but let’s go over what I’ve found.”

Suzy took out her surface and walked through some of the sites. Mark and the team observed closely.

Suddenly, Mark spoke up. “Go back. Those rope bridges…where’s that? That looks interesting!”

Suzy pulled out her notes and reviewed one of the tourist’s experiences she visited at the start of her trip. “This location offers trails with three options, one at the top of the mountains, the rope bridges, and a basin experience. They hook together so you can do all three options with a little retracing of some of the trails. At the end of the experience, they provide a local meal including rice, meat, beans, some fresh fruit and vegetables.”

“Perfect! Let’s head there today. How long to get there?”

“It’s a quick ride, but the road up to the entrance is a bumpy dirt road. Did you get a 4×4?”

Mark rolled his eyes at her, “Of course…. I know we’re not in Chicago!”

The whole team, including Suzy, laughed. “Well, on that note,” Suzy announced, “This way!”

The team arrived onsite and spoke with the proprietor, getting the necessary releases, then opted for the swinging bridge trail. They worked through the trail setting up shots and repeatedly crossing the bridges capturing all angles as Melissa strutted her stuff and recited the script Suzy had prepared.

Suzy enjoyed the experience of seeing all of the lush greenery and crossing the bridges when she was here alone. The whole team being onsite changed the dynamics and the experience, but she hoped her original vision would still come through. It was fun to work with others, but she really enjoyed her quiet escapes at the start of the trip more. Now, it was time to work.

Finally, Mark made the final call, “CUT! Let’s head back and get lunch.”

Suzy looked at her watch. Four hours of filming and content for no more than 15 minutes of content. That should be good for today’s venture.

As the team arrived back at the entrance, the owner prepared their meals. While waiting, they shared the different shots and clips gathered and came up with a game plan for editing the content for the site. “Suzy, mind putting together some additional content we can throw on the site?”

This is always what Mark asks for on site, and always what Suzy delivers. “Sure thing. I’ll have it to out by the end of the day.”

With that, lunch was served. The team started digging into their lunches. The freshness of the food sated even the hungriest in the crew and was a welcome meal. As they sat eating and recovered from their morning’s work, the parking lot began to fill up. A few more cars pulled into the location. Suzy didn’t pay much attention, already thinking about the content she needed to put together this afternoon.

A familiar voice spoke up behind Suzy, “What’s for lunch?” She jumped a little, not expecting anyone to be so close.

She looked up to see Steve’s grinning face. “Hey, what are you doing here?” Her voice belied her excitement to see him, although she tried to control it. “Just some local food. Wanna bite?”

He looked over her plate. “Looks good.” He hesitated, realizing the entire table was looking his way. “But I don’t want to intrude.”

A voice from behind him called out, “Steve, we’re heading out, coming with us?”

Steve looked over his shoulder and shook his head yes, then turned back to Suzy, resting his hand on her shoulder. “I should get going…thanks though!” With that, he turned and walked over to his friends.

Suzy looked over her shoulder and waved bye. He turned back towards her and smiled before turning back around.

Melissa scooted closer to Suzy and in a not so hushed voice asked, “Who’s that? And, what about his friends?”

The team shifted their attention to Suzy as her face blushed through multiple shades of red.

Suzy tried to make light of it. “Oh, them? They’re staying at the same resort as us. I bumped into Steve a couple times yesterday.”

Melissa cooed, “I bet you did!” and snickered.

Suzy rolled her eyes and shook her head. The entire team chuckled at the exchange and went back to eating their lunch before heading back to the resort and an afternoon of photoshopping and editing.


Tropical Trek – Part 3

Please enjoy this repost while I enjoy a little R&R at the beach!

Back at the resort, Suzy stepped out of the shower in her room, freshly clean from the day’s trek. She slipped into some hipsters and a light bra, a tee, then picked up the multicolored sarong from the edge of the bed. She wrapped the sarong around her waist, shaping it into a flowing skirt.

Once dressed, she slipped on some strappy sandals and headed out to enjoy a bite to eat in the resort’s restaurant. As she made her way into the restaurant, she could see through the open-air eatery to the ocean. “A seat with a view of the water, please.”

The host guided her to a table set for two with a view down the mountainside and overlooking the water. He handed her a simple menu with local fare and some American standards. She nodded at him with thanks and took her seat.

Suzy quickly looked over the menu and decided on something local, although she couldn’t quite pronounce it. She set the menu down and looked out over the view before her. It was breathtaking. The sun was settling low in the sky as a pair of scarlet macaws flew between the trees which framed her view. The crash of the waves below was distant but soothing. She could get lost in the beauty so easily. This is what would inspire her story for this trip.

A voice from behind startled her back. “Mind if I take a seat?”

She looked up and saw Steve standing there. “Of course! Please.” Her cheeks blushed briefly, but she hoped he would mistake it for the sun. “How was your time with the fellas at the waterfall?”

He scoffed. “I had more fun talking to you.” His lips curled a little at the edges when he spoke. “Anyway, where were we before they so rudely interrupted?” He rested his chin on the heel of his hand.

Suzy was flattered, but she wasn’t here for a fling, but rather work. But a little flirting wouldn’t hurt. “I think you were going to let me in on why you were really here…” She glanced down and then back at him.

Steve leaned forward and lowered her voice, “It was to meet you.” His grin turned sheepish.

Suzy couldn’t help but laugh and roll her eyes. “How many times has that line worked for you?”

Steve started laughing at himself, “Tried, once. And apparently it bombed!”

Both of them started laughing at the same time. Then Steve stopped, “Seriously, just here to relax and have a break from home. We cool?”

Suzy smiled, “Sure. Want to have dinner with me since you’re already here?” She handed him her menu.

They continued their conversation over dinner, exchanging tidbits. Suzy found him interesting and charming. He was interested in hiking and did photography and some marketing related writing of his own and was a bit of a math guy. It was a strange but familiar mix to her own life. By the end of the meals they were comparing stories about their families, travels and life.

The restaurant grew quiet and they realized they were the only remaining customers. Suzy looked around noting the waiter standing at the bar, chatting with the bartender. “I think they may want to head out.” She nodded in their direction.

Steve nodded, “Can I walk you back to your room?”

Suzy grinned and found herself uncannily comfortable with Steve. “Sure.”

As they walked through the resort, Steve found Suzy’s hand and slipped his into hers. She didn’t pull away; it was nice to have someone hold her hand after so long. They found their way down one of the corridors, and Suzy stopped in front of one of the suites.

“Well, this is me.”

Steve fiddled with her fingers for a moment, not wanting to let her go, but then released her hand. “Okay,” he stammered, “hav…have a good night.”

She slid her key into the lock and let herself in. She turned back and looked at Steve, “Maybe I’ll see you tomorrow?”

Steve’s face lit up. “That would be nice.” He made sure her door securely closed before walking off to his room.

Suzy leaned against the inside of the door. She hadn’t felt this way in a long time.


Tropical Trek – Part 2

Please enjoy this repost while I enjoy a little R&R at the beach!

They swam to shore, then walked over to her pack and took seats on opposing rocks. He towered over her short stature.

“I’m Steve, by the way,” he stated as he brushed some of the wetness off his head.

“Suzy, nice to meet you,” she responded as she took her towel and dried her legs, then laid the towel across her lap. She dug into her bag, “Sesame snaps?”

He smirked and took a pack from her. “What brings you out here?”

Suzy smiled. “Oh, I am a writer for a travel site. I get to go to fabulous places, do fun things, eat interesting food, and write about it.”

“All by yourself?” Steve’s eyebrow arched up.

“No, no. I arrive a couple days before my team. They’ll do all the videography, photography, and our model/spokesperson will show off what I find.”

“Sounds like a dream job,” he leaned toward her a bit, “traveling the world and such.”

“Well, I used to live behind my computer, basically 24/7, and decided finally, once I had a good cushion built up, to change it all.”

“Getting out of that grind is good!” Steve smirked as he leaned back and bit into one of the sesame snaps. He chewed a moment and looked back over.

She raised her eyes back towards his, “and, what’s your story?”

Steve shifted once more, setting his arms on his knees. She noticed his skin on his shins was slick and smooth, like that of a swimmer. His face soften a bit.

“I’m out here with some buddies. Getting away from the grind.” He laughed at his choice of words. Then he leaned forward and started to speak in a hushed voice, “Actually, I’m here to…”

A clamoring group of men walked out of the dense rainforest . “Hey! Steve!” The troop began to set down their gear.

Suzy looked over the group and then back at Steve. “I should let you get back to your friends.” She extended her hand, “Nice to meet you, Steve.”

Steve shook her hand, then smiled back at her and stood up, “Thanks, later!” He held up the remaining sesame snap as he waved goodbye to join his group.

Suzy waved, then turned back to her pack and pulled out her phone to grab a couple shots of the pools and waterfall. She then made a few notes and packed away her belongings.

She watched the guys goofing around and giggled to herself, then decided to head back. She slipped her shorts back on and her hikers, then quietly headed back into the rainforest, and back to the resort.


Birth of a Star

I interrupt my own escape to bring this little story that I needed to get down…Enjoy!

She stretched out her hand and pinched the midnight sky. A brilliant burst sprayed out from her fingertips. She smiled and leaned back into his embrace.

He stared to the sky for several minutes, his jaw slightly gaping open. A barely audible sound of “Wow!” softly escaped his lips. His eyes, full of wonder, turned to her questioningly.

In her eyes, he could see the universe. In his eyes, she could see their future. This was the magic they shared; this is why they were entwined for always.

“Just for you. It’s yours forever, as is my heart.” She craned toward his cheek and planted a gentle kiss, then returned to his embrace.

Earlier that evening, he heard her pull up. The motor sounded different…a low growl instead of the purr of her car. He heard the motor shut off and, after a few moments, the squeal of the screen door, then her knock on his door.

She had asked him out for the night and wanted to make all the plans. All he had to do…wear some comfortable warm clothes and take a nap that afternoon. He still wondered about that nap, but he wasn’t one to turn a nap down either.

He opened the door. She stood there in a pullover sweater and jeans. Her curly hair bounced around her cherub face, and her cheeks were already blushed.

“Ready to go?” She asked excitedly.

He looked over her shoulder. A four-wheel truck sat in the drive. “Where’s your car?” He questioned with a raised eyebrow.

“It’s safe. This is a rental,” she chuckled as a smile spread across her lips. Her face became a little goofy looking as she tilted her head, “Well, you ready?”

He shook his head, locked up and together they headed to the truck. He noticed a tarp covered the truck bed as he climbed into the cab. The cab was warm compared to the light chill outside.

She climbed in to the driver’s side and turned over the engine, then backed out of the drive. Country music, mixed with pop, poured out of the speakers. She had an eclectic taste in music.

He shifted to look at her as she drove. “So, what did you plan for us?”

She grinned and started, “If I tell you, I’d have to…”

He scoffed and finished her sentence, “kill me?”

She laughed then pasted a fake serious look on, “Well, no. Let’s just say torture would be involved.” She couldn’t contain laughing at herself.

He snickered as he understood what she meant by torture. “Oh no! Save me!” He faked consternation.

She giggled, but remained focused on the road. She slowed to a crawl, looking for her turn. Finally, she found the gravel road.

She turned and the truck bounced about as they moved along. The gravel crunched under the tires.

He asked quizzically, “Where are we headed?”

She refused to answer as the truck pushed through the overgrown bushes. The road seemed to twist and turn. Occasionally, the overgrowth would give way to views of mountains in the distance.

She finally spied the small wooden sign pointing to the left. She pressed the brakes, sending gravels scattering on the road, then pulled into the grassy meadow.

She drove out along a dirt road about 150 yards, then pulled off the road into the high grass and put the truck in park. She turned to him and asked, “Will you help with the tarp?”

Without a word, he hopped out and began untying the endless knots, pulling back the tarp. Soon he saw pillows and a warm blanket and a basket stuffed full.

She lowered the tail gate and hopped up, then swung her short legs up and stood up in the bed. “Just, give me a moment,” she asked as she straightened a few things up. She pulled out a picnic blanket and draped it across the tailgate, then set the basket on top. She stooped back down then sat and dangled her feet. “Come, sit.”

He hopped up and grinned at her. “So, this is your plan?” He took a cup she handed him and sipped.

She proceeded to pull out a variety of finger foods they could nibble on. “Yes. Do you like it?”

He leaned back as he bit into a meat and cheese roll up. Gently, he smiled and nodded yes. He knew she worked hard to pull this together.

“Look!” She whispered excitedly. A fawn jumped over the high grass across the meadow, then stopped and stared as the two of them. He bent down and nibbled on some blades of grass, and then bounded over the ridge.

They chatted and snacked as the remaining sun disappeared below the horizon. Occasionally, deer would wander by and birds would flit and land on the truck bed saying hello.

The skies turned dark, and the moon and stars lit up the meadow. She climbed up onto the mattress and relaxed into blankets and pillows in the truck bed. She motioned for him to join her.

He climbed up and leaned back. She pointed up to the skies. “There’s a meteor shower tonight.”

A few streaks lit up the night sky. “Make a wish” she whispered in his ear, “and I’ll do all I can to make it come true.”

He pulled her closer, then softly swept a curl from her face. Then he kissed her gently. Slowly, they stopped and he heavily breathed out “You already have.”

“Here, I have a gift for you.” She outstretched her hand to the skies and then the magic happened.