Packed into the taxi shuttle aka, minivan, carry-ons perched on our laps, I observed my two best friends; glaring at me. Sandi looked ready to spit nails, and Ray was chewing on her bottom lip the way she always did when nervous. Any confrontation between the three of us made her nervous.
I thought the air in Honolulu was almost heavy enough to see, but the tension in the minivan was just about as thick.
“Mary McFadden, I can’t believe you didn’t rent a car!” Sandi, (Sandra Dee Williams on her birth certificate), only used our full names when she was trying to sound like an angry mother; ironic since she wasn’t married and didn’t have any children. Her voice was loaded with disgust and I was glad we were the only three in the car so no one else would witness my embarrassment.
Swallowing my dismay, I licked dry lips, realizing I should have known they weren’t going to be happy with the situation.
“How did you expect us to travel around the island while we’re here?” Sandi continued. “Find one of those bike rental shops?”
I sighed; tired, frustrated and getting angry myself.
“I’ll explain it when we get to the condo,” I told her in a low firm voice, the one usually reserved for my children. It generally worked on everyone, and to my relief, Sandi clamped her mouth into a thin line and looked away.
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The view from the large tinted window was awe inspiring. The late afternoon sun glinted off the office buildings below, and a hawk lazily floated on a thermal as the Wasatch Mountains dominated the scene.
It was what I’d spent the past ten years working for. To think I’d almost lost it due to the actions of a coworker...my teeth ground together at the memory, darkening the edges of my vision.
Much as I had worked at forgiving him, bitterness still colored the memories of that experience. At the end of a vacation in Hawaii, I’d arrived at the Honolulu airport to discover my receptionist had been trying to call me. For several hours she’d been trying to let me know what had been happening at the office during my vacation.
The new VP in sales had panicked about a presentation, despite my preparation. He’d blown the whole meeting due to his nerves and lost the client. Not satisfied with how things had gone, he’d then informed everyone it was my fault due to lack of planning and I’d had to prove myself. Again.
I swiveled in the leather chair to face my desk, a lovely cherry wood piece that made me want to run a finger over it every time there was a spare minute. But my gaze was pulled to the large glass vase sitting to one side, full of roses of every color. It was big enough to block my view of the door, and I wanted to toss it in the trash.
So much for the latest dating prospect, I thought with a sigh, wishing I could just enjoy the beautiful flowers. Unfortunately, they reminded me too much of the man who’d sent them. Hopefully Samantha, my receptionist, would like them.
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The sunset over the mountains was glorious mix of red, yellow and pink as I drove along the highway. Heading toward Fish Lake National Forest, I was nervous. It had been a long time since I’d driven this way, and never alone.
Brad hadn’t been happy. But, as the girls would say, Brad was never happy when I went on a trip. This one wasn’t the best timing, but then he would probably say none of them were good timing. We had children, a life that didn’t stop when I left home, and it was never convenient.
However, after 20 years of marriage, he was finally coming to grips with the fact that it saved my sanity and probably the children’s hind ends. He surprisingly admitted it probably benefitted him as well. It had made my day when he’d uttered those words.
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