Hello and welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales. The last week of August already. Where has the summer gone?
Tuesday Tales are a weekly blog hop where a small group of authors add scenes to their works in progress based on a picture or a word. This week’s word is BEAN. I’m continuing with Same Time Next Year, a contemporary romance.
Twyla sat on the veranda of the main lodge, admiring the incredible scenery around her, in many ways astonished by how much things had changed and yet remained the same. The majestic oaks were taller, larger around, and still as green and imposing as ever. The canal hadn’t changed either, and it was impossible to walk along it and not look for him manning the gates, letting boats go up and down as needed. Knowing he wasn’t there and wouldn’t be no matter how much she wished it were different, pained her.
From this vantage point, she could see the old “Liars Bench” still sitting in front of the store, now an ice cream parlor and souvenir shop. The men no longer gathered there to smoke their cigars or pipes and talk about the one that got away, but the bench remained, another monument to times long gone. How often had she sat on that bench waiting for Michael? She hadn’t dared have him come to the cottage to collect her. With Mother busy playing canasta and sipping sherry with her friends, it had been easy to sneak away most of the time. Those days when she’d been forced to babysit another card player’s kids had been spent by the pool, waiting for him to drop by for a swim. Stolen moments, lies of her own, but in the end, it hadn’t mattered.
Their first three days here had been spent settling in, revisiting the area, enjoying the gourmet meals, but in reality, she’d been looking for him, his sister, anyone she might recognize, and was bitterly disappointed. She was fifty years too late. Why had she even considered it might not be so?
Yesterday, they’d rented a small motor boat and had gone through the lock, spending the afternoon putt-putting along the lake, admiring the cottages better seen from the water than the road. There were so many more of them now. This morning, they’d used the tandem bike to drive along the road leading to those private cottages on Indian Lake. In her heart of hearts, she imagined coming across him or his sister, Lydia, tending the flowers planted around the house.
But, when they’d reached his place, a house she’d visited only once, the name on the sign by the driveway had been a knife wound in her heart. How many years ago had it been sold? The young boy they’d met along the way had told her these were new owners who’d purchased the cottage about five years ago. When she asked if he’d ever met the Morrisons, he shook his head. No one with that name had ever had a place along here for as long as he could remember. While it was true he was only fifteen, it was another nail in her coffin of dreams.
“This place is so much more than I expected, Grams,” Lana said, interrupting her thoughts and sitting down across from her once more, reaching for the pickled green bean that adorned her Caesar. “And these drinks are to die for. Who would’ve thought a Bloody Mary made with Clamato juice and pickled bean brine could taste so good?”
“Just take it easy on them, will you. Technically the drinking age in Ontario is nineteen and you are a few months shy of that,” Twyla said, realizing she sounded more like Billie than herself. How had that happened?
Since they’d missed lunch, the two of them had opted for something in the pub, choosing to sit on the deck. Twyla sipped her glass of pinot grigio.
“I’m beginning to sound like my mother or yours,” she said and chuckled.
The waiter arrived and placed a Caesar salad in front of her and a plate of cheeses and cold meats as well as a basket of bread in front of Lana.
“Will there be anything else?” he asked, his gaze drawn to the young woman rather than the old one.
The dance never really changed, did it? The partners might, but the ballet of sexual attraction went on.
“Grams, do you want anything else?” Lana asked, her forehead creased.
“A glass of ice water, please.”
The young man smiled. “Yes, ma’am. Right away.”
Lana leaned forward. “He’s kind of cute, isn’t he?”
Twyla shook her head and chuckled. “I thought Dillon Harding was the man of your dreams.”
“You know what they say. It doesn’t matter where you get your appetite as long as you eat at home. Dillon and I are solid right now, but who knows how long that will last when he’s surrounded by coeds at Berkley? I’m sure he’ll admire the competition, too, and if it’s meant to last, it will.” She reached for the freshly bread in the basket and slathered it with butter. “And before you say anything scathing like Mom would, I’m just being pragmatic. Long distance relationships don’t have a good track record.” She ate the bread, licking her lips. “This is awesome. Are you sure you’re okay with me leaving tomorrow? I can hang around for another couple of days,” she offered, smiling at the young man who delivered not one but two glasses of water. “Dillan won’t mind as long as I’m there by Sunday.”
Twyla forked a bite of lettuce into her mouth, savoring the garlic dressing and parmesan.
“I’ll be fine. You’ve spent the last three days dancing attendance on me. I came up here to write and it’s about time I started.”
“Well, as I live and breathe. Twyla Lancaster. It is you.”
Twyla swallowed and looked up into the one pair of eyes she’d hoped never to see again.
“Mavis Crowder. Fancy meeting you here.”
That’s it for this week! Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on Tuesday Tales.