She had nothing better to do, so she went with the others to the book signing. The nurse said it would be only a short walk from the bus stop to the bookstore, but it was windy, which exacerbated the chill. By the time they stepped inside, she was too cold and achy to care about a book, even one written by a famous writer.
“Aren’t you buying one?” her friend asked. “Jim Warren will sign it himself!”
She picked up a copy from the stack and stood in line with the others. At least it was pot pie day. That would warm her up. She smiled thinking of the delicious flaky crust and bubbling chicken and veggies tucked inside. Hopefully it would be ready as soon as they returned from this outing.
“You have a beautiful smile.”
She realized she was at the front and it was her turn to pay and have the book signed. The writer was old, much more ancient than he had appeared in the flyer she’d received. His face was a map of lines, and when he smiled they radiated out to the ends of the earth and beyond. His hair was a puff of snow, haloing his head. But his eyes! They glittered like aquamarine jewels, as if an ocean bubbled beneath his skin.
“Thank you,” she said, handing her credit card to the bored-looking cashier.
“To whom shall I dedicate this book?” the ancient writer asked.
“To Daisy.” She felt herself blush for the first time in thirty years as he studied her face and repeated her name. When he handed the book back, their fingertips touched briefly.
On the bus ride home, she opened the jacket to see what he wrote. She turned in her seat so no one else could see.
Dearest Daisy, you have brightened up my morning with your lovely smile. Let’s meet again in these pages and have a wonderful adventure. Yours, James
Daisy skipped lunch and went straight to her room to begin reading the book. Within a few pages, his words swirled her through the mists of her imagination to the beach of his dreams. She was young and beautiful with long golden hair and a body that had no pains. Her pillow was sugary sand; waves of aquamarine flowed over her like a blanket. When a villain materialized from the rocks, a hero galloped out of the clouds on a steed made of fire. He swept her away to the ends of the earth and beyond.
“I hoped I would find you here,” she said.
“Our adventure is just beginning,” he told her. And he kissed her as they headed into the wind.
Image credit to Google via Sadje
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