Gray stood on the end of the dock, swaddled in her grandmother’s quilt. Her eyes closed under her wild morning hair and her lips spread into a smile. Through her eyelids she saw the orange glow of the sun rising on the other side of the lake. Midst was rising off the calm waters. She was up before the morning birds started to have conversations in the trees around her cabin. But her lips smiled for another reason.
She took a long sip of the coffee from the “I’m sorry” basket left on her doorstep last night. This was the second time her chainsaw carver apologized for making so much noise, and interrupting her plans to write quietly in front of an open window. Maybe his gourmet apology dinner around the campfire last night was enough. No, she laughed to herself, the fancy coffee tasted pretty good this morning. He didn’t know she was an instant coffee drinker of brand on sale.
A small part of her still felt guilty for giving him the full experience of her firey temper but the other part loved the way he tried to make up his afternoon of constant buzzing. He was at the end of a commission, and on deadline. He offered to call his customer and explain that his order was going to be delayed. But she said a few choice words and, “No, just finish it quickly!” She felt his eyes on her back the whole way back to her cabin. He probably heard the door slam too. She laughed again.
“Well, that’s a better sound to hear.” His deep voice startled her and her heart jumped.
The no nonsense woman in her who didn’t care what other people thought finally grew conscious of her wild hair and no makeup. She pulled the blanket tighter around her.
“Probably.” She took another long sip of coffee as she felt his body stop right behind her. Her back tightened. Her head turned slowly and she looked out of the corner of her eye. He was in flannel pajamas and his hair was messier than hers in the morning. “You’re up early.”
“Well, I’m here because of mornings like this. It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”
“Hmm.” She nodded. “So, you do like the quiet too.”
“When I’m not working, yes. I’ve been lucky. After my agent discovered me, I’ve had the freedom to move out my shop in the cities.”
She saw his hand run over his hair in an attempt to keep the ends from standing up. They just sprang back up and she laughed again. His white teeth laughed softly with her.
“Yes, well now you know what I look like when I wake up.”
She turned all the way toward him. “Well, I’m not picture perfect either.”
His eyes went over her hair and face. “I would disagree.”
Those large brown eyes were killer and she felt her cheeks blush. She never blushed. “Thank you.” Her own eyes took a long time to go over his red and black pajamas. His black frame glasses made him look more like a model than a nerd. “Well, it’s not that bad.”
Another smile flashed over his soft lips.
“Well, I hope we can wake up together like this again. Your aunt Carol and uncle Jack said you would be up here for a month.” He tilted his head. “I have to say you look different than the yellow duck photo.”
Her eyes closed and she shook her head. “They showed you the ugly duckling photo!”
He laughed softly. “I think it was more darling than ugly duckling.”
“No.” She shook her head and looked back up at him. He was staring quietly at her again. His attention never seemed to waver away from her since she arrived. She shook the thought from her head. She was confident not full of herself. “Well, I’ll have to have a conversation with them about that. The last time they showed that was when Bob was here.” The name slipped out with a frown.
“Bob?” His eyes waited.
She sucked in a breath and look over at the sunrise. “Yeah. He was all city and never appreciated mornings like this. My aunt never really liked him. She almost cheered when I told her we split up.”
“Well, that’s his loss.”
Her head looked up again. “You know you, you’re polite but I can’t tell if the rest is real or too good to be true.”
This time he frowned. “I’m also sorry to hear that. I wouldn’t be anyone else but myself. But I did move up here to get away from memories in my own studio. I bought it thinking I would propose to my childhood sweatheart and we would move in together. She told me she was dumping me for a rich doctor. Apparently, she didn’t believe artists could make enough to live on or start a family.”
“Ouch. Well, good thing she was wrong.” Something in his eyes told her that he didn’t completely believe her. “Well, I did google you. You seem to make a decent living off your talent.”
His fluffy hair shook. “Well, I had motivation. I thought I could win her back by proving her wrong but she married the other guy. They have two kids now. I guess she started dating him before I proposed. She didn’t know how to break it off.”
“And there’s no one else in the picture?” She just blurted out the question and he laughed.
“No.” His eyes never left hers. “I’ve made myself too busy. Then, I just got used to being alone.”
“Yes, well I hear you there. I have my own deadline, and I seem to be having writer’s block. I thought coming up here would help.”
“Well, I googled you too. A while back. You’ve done well for yourself on the best seller list too.” His eyes smiled again. “Too bad for Bob.”
This time she smiled with him. Writing is one thing but having conversations with other humans is another. Talking with him just came naturally. Maybe what she needed wasn’t a quiet month at a cabin. Maybe her next writing prompt was going to be her new next door neighbor. She could picture him on a few romance covers.
Well, that’s my writing exercise for the day #2. Yes, this is raw and unedited. Let me know how you’re doing. Write a scene on a dock – morning, noon, or night. Share with me if you want. We’ll continue tomorrow.
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