🙂 Happy Tuesday!! Time for #Blogbattle
#BlogBattle is a weekly short story challenge using a single word for inspiration. Hosted by the talented Rachael Ritchey. This weeks word: Dream
Believe In Your Dreams
“Carol I want to thank you for this opportunity, it’s truly a dream come true.” Nicole says as she clasps her hands over her heart.
“Oh stop,” brushing the comment away with a flick of her wrist. “I should be thanking you for helping me fulfill my dream to travel Europe. If it weren’t for you agreeing to manage our Bed and Breakfast Inn, we would never be able to take such a trip.”
With a deep sigh and a look of longing, Carol says, “Three months in Europe and I finally get to shop in Paris!! Well I’m off to finish packing. I sure hope we get out of here before the blizzard hits.” Carol places her hands on Nicole’s shoulders and says, “After working with you for the past month, I have no doubt you are going to do just fine here. Enjoy yourself…we’ll be in touch.” With a quick hug, Carol is gone.
Nicole smiles to herself, still in awe that the dream of running a Bed and Breakfast Inn has come to fruition. She looks over the reservations to see who will be arriving in the next couple of days. She notices that there will be two new guests, and one that has been a regular for several years now, always the same time of year. Carol has created profiles for all her returning guests, including their preferences and any other information she finds useful. Nicole looks up Anthony Thompson. There isn’t much in his profile. Just that he travels alone and pretty much keeps to himself. Carol notes that there were some odd occurrences during his stays: light bulbs needing to be replaced, clocks stopping in his room, and objects of his, once a book, and another time a sweater, were left out in the main areas, even though he said he didn’t leave his room. That’s odd. Nicole dismisses her ambiguity and continues to prepare for her guests.
Two days later, Anthony Thompson walks in, dressed for the weather in a ski jacket and wool hat. He isn’t overly friendly, as he checks in with the least amount of pleasantries necessary. Nicole doesn’t take it personally, and maintains her friendly demeanor. “So good to see you Mr. Thompson, my name is Nicole, I’m the new manager here. It seems you made it in before the storm hit.”
“Yes, it does seem that way,” he says with little emotion, as he signs for the room.
“Can I prepare a light dinner for you this evening…and will you be requiring your usual breakfast in the morning, pancakes, eggs and sausage?
“Dinner no…breakfast yes, please.” He says as he gathers his belongings.
“Well your room is all ready for you, breakfast will be served at 8 a.m. Have a good night, Mr. Thompson.”
With barely a smile he replies, “Thank you…and, Anthony is fine…Mr. Thompson is my father.” He turns and heads toward his room.
The next morning Nicole wakes up to a raging blizzard. It was predicted, so she’s not that surprised. Before she heads to the kitchen to begin breakfast, she checks the phone for any messages, and turns off the automated greeting. There are two messages. Sure enough both of the new guests had to take lodging elsewhere, couldn’t make it in due to the storm. They will call and make arrangements for another day to arrive once the storm is over.
She turns the radio on quietly the song “Just the Way You Are” plays in the background as she begins to make breakfast. Just then, Anthony enters the kitchen. He pauses for a moment, briefly listening to the music, but he then quickly says good morning, and grabs a cup of coffee. Nicole looks up and notices he looks different this morning, almost like a weight has been lifted off him. He is a handsome man, actually very handsome, something she hadn’t noticed yesterday.
“Good Morning, breakfast will be ready soon, you can have a seat in the dining area. I’m sorry but the newspaper hasn’t arrived, if you hadn’t noticed there’s a blizzard out there.” Nicole says with a smile.
Anthony takes a seat at the table, as Nicole serves the food. She is about to go back in the kitchen when he asks, “Nicole, would you join me?”
Taken aback and surprised he even knows her name, she says, “Sure, let me get a cup of coffee.”
As she sits down, he actually smiles at her and says, “First…the food is absolutely delicious. Second, I did notice the blizzard, therefore I may need to stay a few extra days.”
“Actually that will be fine, the other guests won’t make it in for another couple of days. Did you sleep ok last night?” Nicole inquires.
“Actually I did.” He says with a look of surprised satisfaction on his face. “Since I’ll be the only one staying here for a couple of days, can I talk to you about something?”
“Sure, go ahead.” Nicole replies.
“Please understand, I don’t mean to scare you, and I hope you won’t think I’m insane.” Anthony reluctantly says.
Trying not to sound suspicious, she slowly says, “Ok.”
“Ok,” he mimics, then takes a deep breath. “My wife died 5 years ago. We loved staying here, she loved the snow and loved to ski even more. I don’t enjoy skiing as much as she did, but I did love to see her happy.” He says with pure admiration in his eyes. “Well, we went skiing just after a big storm had hit, one much like this one. We were told of the risks of going out so soon after the storm; but she wanted to go ahead anyway. While we were out there, she went out ahead of me, and she got caught up in an avalanche. As dreadful as that sounds, thankfully she was found and taken to the hospital, but there were complications from the fall and being buried in the snow for a period of time, that she passed away a few days later in the hospital.
“Oh, Anthony I am so sorry.” Nicole says as she lays her hand on his arm.
He nods his head solemnly, and quietly says “Thank you.” Then continues his story. “So, ever since then, I come back to this place, because it seems that she is still here. She absolutely loved this place. Whenever I am here, my dreams of her are so much more vivid, it’s almost like we are sitting down and having a conversation. Each year she would encourage me to continue to pursue my dreams, to live my life and not to be sad, she always reminded me of our most happy times. But last night it was different. This time she told me that it was time to move on, for the both of us. She explained that her time was up, and that she would no longer be able to appear to me in such vivid detail. It was only until I accomplished my career goals, and until I would meet that special person that could help me move on.” Anthony hesitated for a moment, looks directly at Nicole and says, “I think that person is you Nicole.”
Nicole shakes her head in disbelief not sure she heard him correctly, but then inquires, “Why would you think that?”
Because she told me when I heard the song “Just the Way You Are”, that special person would be standing right in front of me.
© 2015 Carrie Ann