Doggie Dreams

Stream of consciousness Saturday

Once I had a dream of dogs and they were frightening, a whole pack, about to attack and kill me, circling around. It was mixed in with driving and my ex… I posted about it, I think, but we aren’t supposed to go look things up in our SOCS. Yesterday or the day before I dreamt of dogs again. It’s not a theme that recurs (npi) frequently, so it’s significant, imo. I don’t dream about cats either. Animals simply don’t inhabit much real estate in my dreamland. Anyway, I did look up the meaning of doggie dreams, not that I necessarily believe in any of that woo. Supposedly, dogs represent fidelity, loyalty, protection, and self-defense. But those would be nice dogs… my old dream wasn’t about nice dogs and my recent dream was about two huge, scary dogs jumping on me, one at a time, putting their paws on my shoulders, and staring into my eyes. Each time, I was sure I would die. Their owner, a mean horrible man I don’t know, stood to the side and did nothing. But the dogs didn’t hurt me, despite the fact that he didn’t call them off. I was terrified though.

The dream interpretation site said that a dog in a dream could be a self-protective emotional barrier, so maybe the doggies that put their paws on my shoulders weren’t dangerous. They could have been guarding me from something. The man may have been irrelevant. There were two dogs. One was brown, which may mean I feel out of control wrt to a relationship or may be starting a new one. And the other doggo was white, symbolizing friendship and happiness. I guess this doggie dream was a much better dream than the first one, where the dogs were aggressive and chasing me ~ symbolizing anger with my ex. Even though these last two doggos were huge and put their paws on me, there was no actual threat.

Sometimes a dog is just a dog. 💖

Adorable golden retriever puppy

~*~

Images credits Shelley Krupa and Diane K.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Sun in the Fun

Bitmoji in shades

A lovely new follower I suggest you check out, Chaotic Blonde (what a fabulous name!), has gifted me the Sunshine Award! Thank you so much, CB! 😍

These days, I’m not much into posting awards and tagging others, but I will still answer questions people have taken the time to compose (when I have the time).

1. What made you want to create a blog?

This blog was created in March 2011 as an outlet to post song lyrics, poetry, etc. that related to my emotional distress at the time. It changed as my circumstances did.

2. Do you prefer writing at night, or in the day?

Whenever the mood strikes, but mostly at home, at night. 🌙

3. What was the last film that made you cry?

Hmm, I can’t remember. It’s been a while since I’ve seen anything good/moving.

4. What’s an interest that not many people know you have?

People were surprised recently when I expressed interest in going to a reptile farm, but snakes are fascinating. 🐍

5. Describe yourself in three words.

Funny, reliable, neat.

6. If you were a cocktail, what would you be?

Irish coffee. ☘️

7. Do you believe in astrology?

No.

8. Name three things on your bucket list.

Travel by train; finish all my WIPs; learn to crochet.

9. Do you think happiness comes from within, or that it’s something to be shared?

Within.

10. To you, what is love?

Chemicals.

11. What’s changed the most about your writing style since you first started out?

I quit writing “poast” because it annoyed Fandango.

~*~

Image credit to the Bitmoji app.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Friday Dance Cha Cha Cha

Disco bitmoji

Hey peeps! Join in Larry’s fun Friday night music bloggery by posting a dance video!

~*~

Image credit to the Bitmoji app.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

More About Meeee

It me bitmoji

Rory continues his Really You game with a second round of questions today…

1. Do you hoard clutter or constantly de-clutter?

As Melanie noted, clutter and hoarding are two separate things, though of course one can be a hoarder with a cluttered house. My mother, forex, was extremely neat and clean, and her homes were always free of dust and clutter, but she did hoard some weird stuff in the back of the closets. Some men I’ve known have been messy with a lot of clutter around, but I wouldn’t call them hoarders. They’re just too busy or lazy to clean up. I’ve also known messy hoarders who would literally freak out at the idea of tossing away any of their precious garbage. Ughhh. Impossible to date these people. Can’t even imagine what would happen if two of ’em ended up together… 😱

As far as me, I am neither a clutterer nor a hoarder ~ in fact, I’m notorious for throwing things away. That’s how I relieve stress. Delete delete delete! Ahhhh… Right now, I’m in the process of moving and have tossed a ton of things away and also have donated some stuff to Goodwill. It makes me feel fantastic to lighten up! I only wish I could afford to dump everything and start over completely! Well, not everything. I do have some sentimental attachment to photo albums and books, etc. But clothing and furniture and useless knickknacks bought on a whim? Meh.

Love empty clean space…

Empty clean room hardwood floor

2. Do you enjoy cooking – if so what is your ‘special dish’  and if not what is the dish you wish you could create?

This is a complicated question. I loved cooking when I was young, but it was also a form of control for me. I wanted to know exactly what I was eating and how much in order to count calories. Later, I lightened up about that, but at the same time became more adept in estimating the calories in restaurant foods (pro-tip: always higher than you imagine), plus there are a zillion guides and charts now. I was happy to cook for my family and figure out ways to create meals we could all enjoy. I never forced anyone to eat anything they disliked cuz I hate when people do that to me.

But now I’m alone. It’s not fun to cook for myself and have to clean up a sink full of dishes after. I dislike buying in quantities I know will go to waste, eat the same meal 5 times, or freeze it in blobs. Occasionally, I’ll make something for a potluck, but with so many people now vegan or gluten-free or paleo… meh. It’s just easier to stop at the store for a fruit bowl or whatever. I keep careful track of my finances, and I’m not spending more now that I’ve quit bothering to cook for myself.

When I was dating (barf), I thought it would be romantic to cook with someone, but things never progressed to that point. I kept running into these man-babies who were looking to be coddled and nurtured by having someone prepare hot meals for them when they came over. Welp… I work full-time same as they do. I am totally not into slaving away over a stove for some dude while he watches the game. It’s not 1950, hello!

June Cleavage costume cherry pie

3. What are we likely to find in your condiment cupboard?

I just threw everything away! 🤣🤣🤣

~*~

Rory’s Question Fun Directory

Image credit to the Bitmoji app, Google, and Amazon.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

PFF24: Cold Feet?

Ephemeral time

Welcome to my Friday Flashback! This is a post from a little over 2 years ago. I stripped out the prompt links because some of the bloggers have 404’d.

Selling Points

“This is a very special property,” Bob the broker told the prospective buyers. “You’re basically sequestered with lots of privacy. Only a tiny percentage of homes have such a large back yard.”

Henry the husband nodded enthusiastically. “I can definitely imagine taking a snooze back here by the tranquil koi pond. Why does the owner want to sell?”

Bob made a sad face. “She decided to move back to Japan. Her husband died suddenly and she wants to be with her family.”

“I love it!” Wendy the wife exclaimed. She walked around the back yard and stopped at the pond to peer into it. “Oh look, Henry. Their Halloween display must have fallen in. It’s a man with a knife in his back.”

~*~

Image credit to Pexels.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Kevin’s Tangled Saga [fiction 1721]

[This is a multi-part story. Lexi Brown is trying to escape her past and create a new life for herself in Otter Village, 500 miles from where a traumatic event occurred 6 months ago. In our last episode, we read that Lexi was trying to figure out how to get a ride to find Dan, who might have become stranded or injured on the way to Otter Village.

Here are the posts in order so far:

Falling
Sisterly Chat
Smoothies
The Angry Brother
Trust Issues
Something You Don’t Know
Moonlight
Who Needs Drama?
Entanglement
Dan Drives North
Geolocation
Lexi Needs A Ride]

Coffee shop

“Please stop thanking me.” Kevin smiled at Lexi as they waited for the to-go coffees she insisted on paying for. “This is what friends do. And…” he whispered in her ear, “I hope by now we’re more than just friends.”

Blushing, Lexi felt the warmth of his words permeate across all her nerve endings. “We definitely are. At least I’m not asking you to help me bury a body.”

He rolled his eyes and hugged her. “Not yet! With you, there’s never a dull moment.”

The java jockey yelled out Lexi’s name even though they were the only customers in the downtown Coffee Shop at 9pm. Kevin and Lexi fixed up their coffees and returned to his car. After buckling up, Lexi unlocked her phone and showed him the coordinates that Nick had texted to her earlier.

Kevin plugged them into his GPS. “One hundred eighty-eight miles. Three hours and thirty-five minutes. Let’s crank up the tunes!” He handed her his phone with the music app open.

“Ugh, what’s all this Rush and Metallica?” Lexi frowned as she scrolled through his playlists. Who knew sweet Kevin had such horrible taste in music?

“Sorry. Those are my workout jams.” He pulled onto the freeway. “Keep going. There are some mellow oldies in there.”

Lexi selected a Beatles mix. “This is nice. Takes me way back. My dad is a huge fan.”

“Mine too. Though my mom is more of a country fan.”

“I love country!” Lexi said. “Vicky and I saw Blake Shelton last year in Dallas on his Freaks tour and he was incredible!”

Kevin looked at her. “Country music, huh? I have a feeling we’re going to learn a lot of interesting things about each other tonight.”

Lexi picked up her coffee and sipped it. “Yeah… and speaking of that, weren’t you going to tell me more about yourself, Mr. Mysterious?”

“I was, but I thought we agreed that would happen tomorrow on our beach picnic.”

“We’ve got three hours to kill now.”

“True.” Kevin grinned at her in the dark. “I will confess my last name isn’t Mysterious. It’s actually Caruso.”

“I already knew that! It’s on the business card you gave me the day we met.” She put her coffee back in the cup-holder. “You were going to tell me why you left Chicago.”

He sighed. “All right. Let’s start at the beginning then. I come from a big Italian family, just like in the movies. Not a mob movie!”

Big family

Lexie laughed. “I hope not!”

“Just big and close and in each other’s face all the time.” Kevin drank some coffee. “I have three older sisters. Then my dad was excited to have a son he could mold into a mini-him. I always knew I was destined to major in business and take over his property management company. He made that clear. He was always proud of my achievements as long as they aligned with his goals.”

“I bet. Not so great for you though?” Lexi only had the one sister, whom she loved dearly, but even they’d had their tense moments. She watched the expressions on Kevin’s face as he talked about his past and saw both love and pain as he discussed his family.

“It had positives. I knew there were always people around to care about me and support me.” Kevin glanced at her. “Like you and Vicky, I imagine, just a lot more of them.”

“Right. But we were always free to pursue our own interests. Our parents didn’t pressure us.” Lexi knew she’d led a relatively charmed life until her marriage fell apart. “It’s hard to accept heartbreak when you’ve only seen people acting good and loving.”

“True. Isn’t that ironic? A stable, happy life doesn’t necessarily prepare us for adversity.” Kevin hummed along to the next song for a minute. Then he said, “I never questioned this system though. I was a sheep, baaaa.”

Sheep

Lexi laughed. “Until…?”

“Until Emily.” He grimaced. “Need a rest stop?”

“No.” She checked the time. “Maybe in an hour, when we’re closer. Who is Emily?”

“My ex-fiancée. And now married to my former best friend.”

“Yikes.” Impulsively, Lexi reached for his hand. “I’m sorry.”

“Thanks. It really sucks. And there’s a lot more to it. She’s a family friend, naturally. From the neighborhood. Her parents owned a store there. Everyone was so happy for us, and then her parents got killed in a car wreck. A kid lost control on the ice and slammed into them. That was almost two years ago now. Emily blamed herself because they were on their way to pick her up from the airport. I should have canceled my meeting and gone to get her. It was a bad day, even for a Chicago winter.”

“Oh no! Oh, my God. How horrible.”

“It was. Devastating. We were all in shock. Emily took it the worst, of course. She got more and more depressed as the months passed. We put off the wedding because she didn’t feel like planning anything. She never returned to work and watched TV at her grandparents’ house all day and night. Then she told me she didn’t want kids because she couldn’t bear it if something happened to them. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. She accused me of not being supportive, of only wanting her to, quote, pop out babies, unquote. Which is not true.”

“Of course not!” Lexi rushed to his defense. “But that’s a big commitment to make for a lifetime when you’re grieving…”

Kevin nodded. “The thing was… after that big fight, I began to question if I did love her or was just doing what was expected of me. Being a good boy. Majoring in business. Working for my dad. Dating the nice girl from the neighborhood. On and on. Did I even want this life that had been mapped out for me by other people?”

Lexi squeezed his hand, so sad for his pain, yet so glad he was with her right now. She made a mental note to tell him that later.

“Anyway,” he continued. “Before I had a chance to sort that all out in my own head, Emily slept with my best friend. She didn’t make a secret of it either. Everyone saw her drunk and throwing herself at him at a local bar.”

Lexi shook her head. “Not much of a best friend if he couldn’t say no. She might have been acting crazy with grief and despair, finally coming back to the world. She might have hoped he’d say no.”

“Maybe.” Kevin shrugged. “But he didn’t. I ended it with her the next day and felt relief, until my family began hounding me nonstop. They were angry with me. With me! They thought I should forgive her. Just pretend it didn’t happen and keep going with the wedding plans.”

“Okay, now that’s crazy,” Lexi said, annoyed with these people she’d never met.

“Right?” He laughed. “What a joy to get an amen on that. Thank you! I thought I was going out of my mind. But the real truth was… I wasn’t even that angry with Emily for sleeping with Scott. It only made me see I didn’t care enough. But I couldn’t say that.”

“Haha, what a dilemma!” Lexi finished her coffee. “I can’t marry her, but not because I’m mad that she cheated on me, but because her cheating made me realize I don’t love her.”

“Shouldn’t I have been at least a little jealous?”

“At least!”

“If you slept with someone else, I’d really be pissed off, and we haven’t even had a real first date yet!”

Lexi turned to gape at him. “Wait, what?”

“Well, I would.” He looked at her. “Why? Are you planning to?”

“No.” She felt all warm and smiley from his strange comment. “Not at all.”

Sexy redhead

“Good.” Kevin kissed her hand. “Oh, to finish the sad saga… Emily stayed with Scott, got pregnant, and married him. I attended their wedding as did everyone I knew since I was born.”

“Eek, awkward.”

“The awkwardness was only beginning. My sisters badgered me constantly about how that could have been me, and they told me so, I should have waited, forgiven her, on and on… one of them literally told me I had deprived our parents of a grandchild with Emily.” Kevin glanced at Lexi. “Can you believe this insanity?”

She blew out a breath, trying to see it from their point of view. “From all that you’ve said, I have to think that they were just being honest. They probably assumed you loved Emily and had given up without a fight, and in their annoying way were counseling you not to do that again. You didn’t actually tell them you never loved her and were just going along with other people’s dreams, did you?”

“You’re right. I didn’t say that. I wouldn’t have.”

“It seems unnecessarily hurtful.”

“Yes. Let them believe I’m an idiot instead.” They both laughed.

“Siblings tend to think they know best for us,” Lexi said. “I am guilty of a bit of this.”

That’s very kind and diplomatic of you.” He nodded. “I’m going to try to look at it that way. I haven’t broken off all contact with them, but it’s minimal, and I know they’re hurt by my abrupt departure. And to be fair, all three of them apologized in a group chat recently for being so hard on me, begging me to come home this Christmas.”

“Aww, see… they still love and care about you!” Lexi was glad the sisters finally came around for Kevin, even if late.

“Yeah, though I could have used their support at the time.” He shook his head. “I hung around for a while after the wedding and baby, but then I… found a headhunter and she got me the hotel manager job out here.”

“I can’t say I’m sorry about that,” Lexi said softly. “I don’t know what I would have done without you tonight. I’m so glad you’re here.”

“Me too.” Kevin checked the map. “We’re getting close. There’s a rest stop in five miles. It’s almost midnight.”

“I hope… I don’t know what I’m hoping,” she confessed. “That we find him or not.”

“I know what you mean.”

Dark deserted road

[to be continued]

~*~

Image credit Pexels and Pixabay.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Thursday Inspiration 30

Welcome to Thursday Inspiration! This is my weekly prompt post and hopefully it will inspire you to write something creative, perhaps a poem or a piece of flash fiction. If you’d like to share your writing with the community, please indulge me and tag your post with #p0eticlicense and/or #lightm0tifs, and of course link back if you wish. I will try to visit everyone who participates. 🙂

This week’s theme is river and the picture is below. Here is the song snippet from “The River Cried” recorded by Patty Smyth in 1987:

And the river cried ’cause I lost your love
The river cried, oh
The river cried for my lonely soul
The river cried

Raccoon on a branch in the river

~*~

Image credit to the Happy Color app.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ48: Like A Surgeon

Fandango’s provocative question

Fandango provocatively asks…

“Do you believe the government of a country has a responsibility to provide universal, affordable (if not “free”) healthcare for its citizens? If you live in the United States, would you favor a Medicare for all/single-payer health plan? If you live outside of the U.S., does your government provide universal healthcare? If so, how do you feel about it? If not, what kind of healthcare coverage do you have?”

Okay, first, this type of healthcare is not “free” ~ nothing is free. It is paid for from the monies collected from taxes, as are all government programs, benefits, military spending, foreign aid, etc. I’m an American, btw. Rah. 🎉

Second, I don’t believe that what we have now is good. I don’t think that our health insurance should be tied to our jobs. I realize it’s a “tradition,” like turkey, and Americans hate giving up anything that’s traditional, but it makes no sense. We don’t get auto insurance through our employer, so why should our employer have info about our medical coverage/needs? Why are they involved at all? This is my “big thing.”

Third, relating to the above, when we leave a job or are an independent contractor, we’re usually stuck with some expensive medical insurance plan, since we must be doubly punished for not having that traditional paycheck. Yeah, that makes sense… our income has declined, so now we have to pay more for healthcare. The American Way. 🙄

Fourth, I used to be on board for single payer, but now I’m not so sure. Competition is healthy, though it doesn’t always make sense in the context of medical care, does it? If I need new tires, I can shop around, but if I break my leg, I kind of am at the mercy of the first hospital an ambulance dumps me off at. If they charge $5,000 or $25,000… welp, what can I do? Not to even mention what the ambulance charges…

So, to ramble back to my own argument that I just defeated… maybe competition isn’t the best thing for healthcare? There should possibly be some oversight and enforced limits. Who should be in charge of that? Our corrupt gobblement? Lol! 🤣

Fifth, Fandango was careful to use the word “residents” in his post, but I’m not PC and will go right ahead and use the word “citizens.” Yep, I do believe that whatever healthcare benefits we give out to those who can’t pay and don’t have insurance should be reserved for our own citizens. It would of course be lovely to give everyone medical care and housing and all the things, kumbaya, but as I said at first… none of that is actually “free.” Taxpayers pay for it all.

On the otter hand… it seems really wrong to pretend that our country as a whole doesn’t benefit greatly from the labor of the “residents” here illegally, who work for less than minimum wage and no benefits. There’s a reason why illegal immigration never ends and it’s because there are jobs waiting for these peeps… if there weren’t, they wouldn’t come. If someone gets sick after working in a meat-processing plant for 10 years so we can enjoy cheap wings while watching the big game… who should pay for his hospital stay?

See, no one has to argue with me in comments; I do it all here upfront. Just another service from Light Motifs and you don’t even have to buy me a coffee. ☕️

So, to sum up: I don’t have a fucking clue what we should do about healthcare in our screwed up country… and neither does anyone else, no matter how loudly they screech about it, nor how many trillions (trillions!) of dollars they want to throw at it. There ya go.

~*~

Image credit Fandango himself.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon

321 Quote Me ~ My Colorful Imaginations

3 Quotes ~ 2 Songs ~ 1 Picture 💙💚💜

Miley Cyrus pink

Green is the prime color

Van Gogh yellow

Joyful girl with bubbles

~*~

Rory’s Quote Me Directory

Rory’s Current 321 Post

Beckie’s 321 Quote Me Post

~*~

Image credits House Beautiful, Harmonic Arts, Pinterest, and Paula Light’s Personal Library.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Lexi Needs A Ride [fiction 1195]

[This is a multi-part story. Lexi Brown is trying to escape her past and create a new life for herself in Otter Village, 500 miles from where a traumatic event occurred 6 months ago. In our last episode, we read that Vicky informed Lexi of Dan’s intent to drive to Otter Village and how he seemed to have disappeared along the way.

Here are the posts in order so far:

Falling
Sisterly Chat
Smoothies
The Angry Brother
Trust Issues
Something You Don’t Know
Moonlight
Who Needs Drama?
Entanglement
Dan Drives North
Geolocation]

For the first time since she’d moved to Otter Village, Lexi regretted giving up her car. She’d had a cool metallic blue Mazda with the personalized plate BLUWAVE. It had not been her intent to be political, only whimsical, and after Jim’s infamous death, the plate made her easily recognizable to those who liked to snap her picture. As soon as she’d arranged for accommodation here, she sold the car and her furniture, booked a flight, and ubered to Carolyn’s. When she needed a ride, there were Uber drivers here, though you could wait a half-hour or more, unlike the city where one would pop up two seconds after you texted.

Uber app

Tonight, after Vicky’s call informing her that Dan had apparently disappeared en route to Otter Village, Lexi really wished she had her own car available. She felt trapped, having to rely on Ubers or the kindness of people like Carolyn to drop her off when she wasn’t feeling well. She paced across the porch, trying to decide what to do.

Her first impulse was to call Kevin, but no. Their romance was only just starting and it wasn’t right to impose upon him. They had already planned a fun event tomorrow and she didn’t want to ruin everything with a Saturday night drama. This ongoing Dan problem had nothing to do with Kevin. She needed to deal with Dan and make him understand that she’d tried to help Jim, but he hadn’t wanted help. She’d already told Dan that at the funeral, but he’d tuned her out that afternoon. She didn’t blame him; grief did strange things to your brain. Yet, she hadn’t wanted to restart the discussion again either.

Cemetery flowers

Lexi stayed outside a few minutes longer, worrying about Dan… stranded? Hurt? The victim of a crime? Where was he now? What had happened to him? Finally the cold was too much and Lexi went inside, grateful for the warmth of the boarding house. She hadn’t eaten dinner yet, so she wandered into the kitchen.

Peering into the fridge, she wished Carolyn hadn’t left for the weekend. Her landlady would probably be willing to help look for Dan. She was a very kind person. Lexi shut the fridge, deciding she wasn’t hungry after all. She went into the great room where the TV droned… an old James Bond movie was playing.

“Hey Lexi,” said a guy on the sofa. It was Mike, the newest resident. “Whassup?”

Lexi forced herself to sit on the opposite end of the sofa, even though her nerves were still jumping. “Mm nothing. Was wondering if maybe I could get a ride…”

“Now? I’m a bit wasted.” He grinned. “How about in the morning? In the meantime, I’ve got a fine selection of party favors in my room, if you’d like to join me. When the landlady’s away, the cats will play. Isn’t that what they say?”

Ugh! That’s not what they said! Lexi felt utterly disgusted, though she usually didn’t care what the other housemates did. Calm down, she admonished herself, this isn’t Mike’s fault. “I’ll pass,” she said. “I have to go out.”

“Bummer,” he said, turning his attention back to the screen, where Bond had begun to play cards with a bad guy.

Lexi left the room and went upstairs to her own. She pulled up her Uber app and was just about to request a ride to the airport, in hopes of renting a car and abandoning her promise to Vicky and Nick, when her phone buzzed with a call from Kevin.

“Hi! How are you?” Too late, she realized her voice was jittery and over-bright.

Kevin laughed. “Good! You sure sound peppy for having worked all day. I’m tired, I confess, but I did sneak in a five-mile run before sunset.”

“Nice! I should do that.”

“We’ll get plenty of exercise tomorrow on our beach walk,” he said. “It’s supposed to be another gorgeous day. Cool but sunny. We could have a picnic…”

“Sounds fantastic!”

“Lexi, is everything okay? You seem a little on edge.”

She didn’t want to lie. “Oh, the usual. Haha, you know. My sister! All that.”

“Hmm.” Kevin paused, the silence making Lexi more nervous. Finally, he continued, “Did your sister call with more news about Dan today?”

“Yes.” Lexi sighed and picked up the otter beanie baby on her night table. It was still as adorable as the day Kevin gave it to her at the festival, back when they were friends “light,” before their kiss, before she’d begun confiding in him.

Beanie baby otter

“And?” Kevin prompted. “You can tell me, Lexi. I really will understand. I know it’s not your fault this stuff happened. I too have had…”

“What?” She eagerly seized on that morsel. “What brought you here, Kevin? Why did you leave Chicago?”

“Whoa,” he said. “Actually, I’d like to tell you about all that, even though I won’t be doing myself any favors. It’s not a pretty picture of me, but fair is fair, since you’ve been honest with me. How about tomorrow though, in person?”

“Sure.” Lexi sat on the edge of her bed, still holding the otter. “But for now, I have to go. Want to meet here at noon?”

“Sounds good, but… what happened with Dan?”

“You’re so persistent! Are you sure you’re not a reporter?”

“Just tell me. I’m starting to imagine awful things.”

“It is awful.” She stood up and began pacing again. “He was driving up here and, well, vanished.”

“What do you mean vanished?”

“Vicky said he called her Friday, implying he was coming up here to talk to me. Then in the middle of the night she got a missed call from him with a garbled message like he was in trouble. He won’t pick up now or return texts from her or Nick. Nick traced the last call to coordinates about two hundred miles south of here, but his car GPS was still moving back to the city.”

“He could have changed his mind.”

“Right, but that message…” Lexi shook her head. “No, I think he got in some kind of trouble.”

“I can see why you’re concerned, but isn’t it more logical to assume he lost his phone and turned around?” Kevin sounded so sensible and comforting.

Lexi didn’t want to argue. “Yes, Kevin, that would be more logical.”

“Soooo, you’re going to get a good night’s sleep and I’ll see you at noon? We can stop at the market for picnic goodies on the way to the beach.”

“I’m going to get an Uber to the airport and rent a car to go look for Dan,” she told him. “But the rest of your plan sounds perfect.”

“You can’t do that, Lexi.”

Immediately irritated at being told what she couldn’t do, Lexi said, “And why not?”

“Because rental car places are all closed by now.”

Tears welled up in her eyes. How could she possibly sleep tonight or enjoy herself with Kevin tomorrow when Dan might be lying injured on the road somewhere? “Okay, thanks.”

“I’ll be there in ten minutes to help you go look for that idiot,” Kevin said and clicked off.

Dark deserted road

[to be continued]

~*~

Image credits Pexels, Pixabay, and Google.

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