Act III

Most of this was written last night until a sentence found itself on the page and I said, “What? What am I supposed to do with that?” So I slept on it. (Not literally.)

Thanks to Kristi at @ Confessions of a YA Reader for the second day in a row for her song suggestion of “Hands Down” by Dashboard Confessional.

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

Act III

Amelia has watched the door open and close for the past hour, admitting all types of patrons to the Seaside Café, but not him, not Luke. The waitress comes by and asks Amelia if she wants a top up of her iced tea, Amelia shakes her head, smiling.

She puts some bills down on the table, more than enough to cover the tea and tip, slides her purse strap over her shoulder and stands up just as the door opens. Luke waits in the door way, his eyes scanning the tables until they find her. The smile that curves his lips is just as sweet as she remembers.

He limps toward her, his progress slow as he leans on a cane.

“You were just about to leave?” he asks.

She shrugs. “I’ve been here awhile.”

“I guess luck was on my side, again. Can you stay a little longer? I’m sorry I was late.”

Her cheeks have flushed with pleasure. A dimple appears as she smiles at him.

He sighs. “You’re just the way I remember you.”

“It’s only been a year.”

After sitting, he stretches his leg out. “It feels a lot longer.” He wants to say that it feels like he’s been to hell and back but doesn’t want that to be their first conversation after a year. He’s too pleased that she actually showed up.

“You graduated?”

“I did,” she says. She doesn’t say cum laude. It doesn’t mean anything considering where he’s been.

The waitress reappears to take his order. Amelia notices a scar above his eyebrow, a pink puckered angry area.

“I didn’t think you’d be here,” he admits, his voice softens, tinged with vulnerability.

“I didn’t think you’d be here either,” she says.

“I told you I fell in love the second I saw you.”

She rolls her eyes.

He laughs. “You don’t believe me?”

She shakes her head. “No. It’s me. I’m not the kind of girl any guy falls in love with at first sight.”

“It’s the quality of guys you met before me.”

“Maybe.” She waits her finger tracing the perspiration on her iced tea glass. “Are you done?”

“Yep. Getting my leg torn up was pretty much my ticket home. I’m still doing rehab, still learning to walk again. I’ll probably never ice skate again though.”

“You were an ice skater?”

“No.”

She grins and then shakes her head. This is too much, she thinks. Too much hinging on a conversation, on a few minutes. “We don’t really know each other.”

“Now that I’m back, we’ll date. Do all the date things like movies and miniature golf and, well, maybe not dancing. I’ve thought about you all the time, Amelia. All the time. I didn’t need a picture of you because I memorized everything about you. The way your hair comes over your eyes, that dimple in your cheek, your sweet smile.” He grabs her hand and squeezes. She squeezes back.

He interlaces his fingers with hers and then kisses the back of her hand.

“Cut. That’s a wrap, boys and girls. Good job, Amelia, Luke.”

Luke drops Amelia’s hand immediately before striding away without a word or a backward glance. No nice working with you or see you. She turns toward the ocean, watching the rhythmic waves. She feels a hand on her right shoulder.

“That Luke guy is a real charmer,” Mac says sarcastically. “That script. Those were pretty much the things we said to each other. How did you remember?”

As she turns to face him, her eyes taking in his smile, the laughing blue eyes, the man she wakes to every morning. She stands on her tiptoes, brushes her lips over his. “How could I ever forget?”

end

Sascha Darlington

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