Not again! Why does this keep happening to me? I’m a nice person. I go to church, I pay my taxes, I even recycle! Why do I keep having such awful luck? That’s it! I give up! I can’t afford to buy new luggage every time the airlines damage or totally misdirect my stuff. What am I supposed to do in Hawaii for a week wearing this stupid “I heart N.Y.” tee shirt Steve bought me last year?
Bewildered, Gina looked around the airport wondering where to find the lost and found department. ‘Take a vacation’ they said. ‘You work too hard’ they said. ‘Hawaii’s great; you’ll love it!’ So far it was not love at first sight.
With an exasperated sigh, Gina found herself settling into the back seat of a dingy taxi on the way to her hotel. I guess I’ll just go shopping in the morning before my snorkeling excursion she thought, dreading the idea of trying on racks of ill-fitting bikinis. The driver pulled up to her hotel and Gina handed him his payment, mumbled “Thanks” and stepped out into the tropical night.
“Well, at least the room is nice” she said, letting herself into the suit her friend Karen had booked her. The flight and subsequent events had taken their toll on Gina. She slipped off her shoes and pulled back the covers of the king sized bed. Maybe tomorrow will be better, she dreamily thought as her mind drifted into a deep sleep.
“He-hello?” she managed in a dry throated whisper, as she placed the receiver to her ear. “Aloha! This is your wake-up call Ms. Carlyle. We hope your stay with us is a pleasant one!” A quick shower and Gina was on her way bikini shopping.
Entering the nearest mall, Gina’s eyes glazed over at the site of the tiniest swim attire she had ever seen. “Why did I skip the gym for the last six months?” she groaned beginning her search for something that wouldn’t totally show off her flab. As she reached for the only one piece in sight, Gina noticed her watch and realized she was running out of time.
She was in such a rush to try it on that she nearly knocked another customer off his feet. “Oh I’m sorry! Here let me get that!” Gina knelt down and picked up the young man’s bag that was now lying on the stores glossy white floor. Looking up, Gina noticed the pair of deep blue eyes staring down at her. “I’m not usually such a klutz,” she stammered as she handed him his bag of clothes. A faint blush swept across her pale cheeks as she felt his eyes continuing to stare at her. “I’m just in such a rush this morning. I’m supposed to be on a boat in twenty minutes and the airlines lost my luggage, again, which they always seem to do lately and now I’m trying to find a new suite and . . .and this is totally not your problem. I’m sorry, I’m just babbling here aren’t I?”
“That’s okay.” Gina now had a voice to go along with those eyes, which felt as though they were actually looking past her rambling and less then graceful assault and seemed pleased with her. “Hi, I’m Jeff. It’s a pleasure running into you. Hey, I’m actually headed to the dock myself; it’s not far. Why don’t you finish up here and I’ll wait for you.”
All Gina could manage was a slight nod and “Okay, I’ll be right back.” The last guy to make her feel this excited was Steve. She wasn’t expecting to ever feel this way again. They were almost married last year. He had proposed after he got back from his trip to New York and the silly tee shirt she was still wearing from yesterday had been one of the gifts he’d bought her, along with her engagement ring. Since he left her out of the blue five and a half months ago, men had been the furthest thing from her mind. That’s when she became a workaholic.
As she tucked the receipt into her purse she heard Jeff say “Ready?” She couldn’t believe that he had waited for her and now wanted to take her to the dock. They headed down the street together and he said, “Don’t you just hate airlines?”
“Not as much as I used to.” Gina said with a smile.
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