Page 76… in a fiction series
A very bad thing was about to happen. It’s not like fate dropped this on her head, that she was forced to make a poor decision. What Miranda didn’t know that morning, didn’t realize as she slept quietly in Drew’s arms, was that her next move would bring lasting consequence and despair.
Tick, tick, tick… Drew’s alarm clock goes off at 7:30am because in all the excitement, no one remembered to turn it off the night before. Daylight peeks through the window, Drew yawns, kisses her forehead, and gets up. Miranda wishes she had her fuzzy blue sleep mask but settles for the NYU sweatshirt to block the light. Memories from last night linger, she’s still tired.
Tick, tick, tick… The snooze alarm, louder than the first. She smells coffee and bacon. Drew is at the door, handsome, unshaven, wearing flannel boxer shorts. “Room service,” he grins. The tray in his hands holds coffee, bacon, eggs, and a box of Krispy Kreme original glazed donuts, her favorite. He had been planning this all along.
He is clearly happy to see her there, tousled and sleepy under his grandmother’s old quilt. Miranda smiles, one eye open. She and Drew, together at the boathouse, eating donuts after what might have been the most memorable night of her life. That very thought should have been a learning moment, a whack upside the head telling her she should forget about “the list” and stay awhile.
Someone should have called, “Game over!” Should have sent out fancy announcements on fine stationary informing dates 1-28 that a winner had been chosen, and Miranda would live happily ever after in his sweatshirt, in his arms.
Drew thought her dating craze to find a husband was preposterous, simply a way for curious men to waste alot of money on dinner with a girl who’s not going to like them anyway. Drew knew exactly the kind of man she needed, and his name wasn’t on any business card in a recipe box.
“At least you’ll have some stories to tell when you write your book someday, Kitten.” He was shouting over the sound of running water. Some of those guys you went out with… where did you ever find a cartoonist? And the dentist who gave you the creeps? All this nonesense because of you and that stupid weed eater. I told ya, you should have called me.”
Tick, tick, tick…. Yes, that would have been a good idea. But Miranda’s foolishness– and greed– would once again lead her far, far, away from the happy ending she so longed for.
He turned off the water, stepped out of the shower. Wearing nothing but an old bath towel, Drew reappeared in the doorway with more coffee and a grin. But instead of following his lead and staying with him, Miranda’s mind wondered ahead to the business at hand.
One mistake after another, sinking, falling, soon regretting. She was a plane crash in slow motion with no way to avoid the flames, the landing gear that failed, the crash that was about to happen. Miranda tiptoed away from Drew, the man she secretly loved. There, she said it– but sadly, not out loud to him.
A car door slammed in the lot below, the parts he had ordered were right on time. He was not independently wealthy, but had the work ethic of someone who deserved to be. Disappointed, he would be repairing the transmission on an old Chris Craft Cadette before she got out of the shower. While Miranda was still reliving the magic of last night, every nuance, every passionate kiss, remembering the sweetness and laughter erupting between them, she was also aware of the time.
Tick, tick, tick… It was day 30. Just one more date to meet before she picked her new husband. Yes, last night may have thrown off her agenda, because now her heart was involved in a plan that was intended to be strictly business. Maybe it was okay that Drew didn’t have alot of money, that he lived in a modest little place on the lake. How important was it to own a jet, or an island, or a shipping industry in the Port of Miami? She was conflicted and sad.
In spite of her true feelings and her longing to stay, she was determined to finally learn the identity of date #30, the mysterious D.W. Manos.
To be Continued…
*This story is based on some true events, however, has been fictionalized and all persons appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
© 2012, Shoes for an Imaginary Life. All rights reserved.