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CLICK ABOVE TO ADJUST SOUND * ROMANTIC HEARTBEATS, PART 10, SEPTEMBER 2020
Deb opened her eyes to a breathtaking aerial view of Hawaii. The words from the stewardess about the landing were mere background noise. Rousing herself fully awake, she glanced at her watch. She couldn’t believe she had been asleep for a little over three hours. Gazing at the spectacular view below she felt a surge of excitement rise inside her. So different from the old, familiar fatigued feelings she was accustomed to. Missing also? That nagging little voice that said ‘time to get up’ before she was ready. To which she’d usually respond with a sigh, ‘I’ll try, but I’m tired before I even get started’. But now? She felt for all the world like time had been rolled back twenty years. She pulled out her compact and lipstick and did a quick touch up. She felt empowered. I really did it! I’m here! Inside she screamed, “ALOHAA!”
Everything seemed to go like clockwork. The weather was beautiful. Everyone she came into contact with received her graciously. And instead of feeling blue over Mark and their “situation”, Deb couldn’t believe the thrill and joy she was experiencing.
The hotel room and staff were beyond her expectations. She unpacked and although she had turned her phone off on the plane, she thought now she would check to see if there had been any calls. One. A message from Susan that said for Deb to just enjoy herself and call her if she needed anything. Nothing from Mark. At least not yet. She thought, ‘that’s just like him. About what I’ve come to expect.’ She busied getting settled in and found herself thinking, ‘Good! I’m glad. I really don’t want to have to deal with him right now. I want to just relax and have fun while I’m here.’ A surprising developing attitude after all these years.
She took the pamphlets she’d gathered from the travel agency out of her suitcase. She noticed a quote on one of them, that had been hand written for her by the agent.
“When you go to Hawaii, it’s all about ‘Aloha’. It means hello, goodbye, and I love you.”
Deb smiled and thought dreamily ~ ‘Aloha, Summer. I only have a couple of days to spend here so we’d better get started.’
She went for a leisurely walk along the beach front. She did some sight seeing, trying her very best to take everythng in. And then the next day, she sat down some of her bags from her 2nd day’s shopping spree, all aglow and ready to enjoy a cup of coffee and a pastry.
And then life, as it often does, created an unexpected and shocking turn of events. A tender touch on her shoulder was accompanied by a gentleman’s deep voice, “Aloha, Deborah”.
Deborah couldn’t believe her eyes when she turned to look back behind her. What a surprise! Her hand tapping his, she responded, “Aloha! Dr. Johnson! What in the world are you doing here?”
Her eyes drank him in as he joined her table. “I can hardly believe it myself,” he answered. “I hope you don’t mind if I impose?”
Deb shook her head barely registering that she’d done so.
“I had some time off coming. And when you had mentioned that you might come here on vacation it set me thinking. How long? How long had it been since I had really gotten away from everything? So … I just kind-of threw everything together and, like you, decided they could make it a couple of weeks at the office and hospital without me. But I never expected to find you in the midst of all these people. I hoped. But, I didn’t think it possible.”
Deb felt her heart do a little flutter dance. ‘You hoped?’ She smiled at him.
And as he took a sip of his coffee, he flashed the most beautiful smile back at her. “Well, you know how it is … a romantic place like this. You look around and it seems everybody is in pairs. You wish you knew someone to be with you.” He blushed and an awkward silence followed for both of them.
Then suddenly Deborah found herself raising her cup to him. “I propose a toast. Welcome to paradise ~ where friends don’t let friends drink coffee alone. Aloha, Doctor”. And upon that their cups clinked – like bells.
“Deborah, my first name is David. All my friends call me Dave. And I should add that having been one of your doctors this past year I also have the advantage of knowing a good bit about you. Let’s see if I can balance that out a little now. I thought you were a beautiful person from the get-go. And when I released you over a month ago at your last visit, I found myself thinking, I didn’t want it to end, to be in a position of not knowing what was happening with you.” He kind of chewed at his lower lip wondering if he was going too fast and getting out of line from her point of view.
What a cute habit, Deb thought, as her heartbeat was beginning to really pick up. Her thoughts raced with it. ‘Keep calm. You don’t know how he means this yet.’
He looked up at the waitress who had approached with a refill of coffee and he asked Deb, “Would you care for something to eat?”
She kept staring at him a moment too long. It flustered her. “Well, no, not now, uh, I tell you what though. Um, why don’t we have dinner together? And we can talk some more then. I need to check on a few things.”
Dave readily agreed and asked where she was staying. As she gave him her information, she sized him up even more. Great pair of jeans and a beautiful white shirt. He certainly looked different in them – and more handsome – than he had in his doctor’s coat. His watch was elegant but manly, and expensive. When he leaned over to help pick up her bags the magnetic scent of his cologne went to her head! She’d never noticed what a splendid looking man Dr. Dave Johnson was, she thought. He’d been just her doctor. Her thoughts were interrupted. “I’m sorry, what was that?”
He repeated, “I’ll pick you up around 5:30? I know just the place I want to take you to see.”
Back in her hotel room, Deborah paced the floor. Happy, nervous, scared, everything together all welling up inside her. She began to pray as she moved through the motions of preparing for the evening ahead.
“Lord, what am I doing? Is this right? Is it a date?” It’s not a date she assured herself. No, we’re just going to have dinner and talk. Dr. Johnson? I mean, Dave, she corrected herself. Feelings for me? She looked in the mirror and burst out laughing. Who would have ever thought? I can’t believe it! I must be making a mistake. I’ve misunderstood some way or another. He knows I’m married. Of course he does. She began to calm down immensely. But as she surveyed herself in the mirror, she gave herself a compliment, “Not bad. Not bad at all.”
She had lost the weight! Her skin, hair, and nails, everything was seemingly renewing itself. To be honest she had to admit for the first time in such a long time, she felt like Deb the woman again. Not just “Mark’s wife” or “Mom”. Since right before she left her home to board the plane for Hawaii, she’d felt, well, pretty. God had blessed and all the hard work was paying off.
The hotel phone on the desk rang. That could only be Dave, she thought. Excitedly she picked it up, and with her sultriest voice, (yeah, like I’m some movie star, she laughed to herself) she silkily purred, “Hi, Dave. I’m ready. I’ll be right down”.
Suddenly the thrill was gone, replaced by horror as Mark’s voice responded, “Dave? DAVE? WHO IN THE?” He went completely silent.
Deborah stilled herself. Taking a good forty five seconds or so before she spoke.
“Mark? Mark is that you? Is something wrong? I believe – we have a bad connection.”
Trembling, she hung up. In a couple of moments the phone rang. It was Mark again. He cleared his throat. “OK. I asked you a question. Who’s this Dave? Somebody working there at the hotel or what?”
Deborah thought quickly. “No, no one here. Just an old friend I happened to run into that’s on vacation here. We’re going to get some dinner out instead of here. Is something wrong at home? Is it one of the kids? Oh Mark, nothing’s happened to your Dad has it?”
That caught him off guard! “Oh, no”, he responded, “no, nothing like that. I was just calling to check … I mean, to tell you I loved you, is all. You having a good time?”
Before she could answer he blurted, “You haven’t called me!”
To which she calmly replied. “Well, that’s what this was all about, remember? I told you I needed some time alone. To think.” She paused again and then continued, “Yes, I’m having a very good time! I’ve done some shopping. This place and the beach, oh, if you could see! I’ve got a little sunburn but– wait, someone is tapping at the door. I guess it’s the maid. I’d better go. Talk with you later!”
And she hung up. Relieved. Very relieved. But it was beginning to hit her. Her thoughts quickly turned to anger . ‘Oh, Mark! YOU! Guilty as everything and yet screaming at me!’
Really thinking that it was the maid because she had asked about an extra towel or two earlier in the day, she opened the door without asking who it was. There stood Dave. With a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
to be continued...