|A chance meeting with a stranger could change your life forever.|
Summer Mitchell wasn’t known for taking shortcuts, breaking the rules, or doing much of anything really outstanding. Maybe she was known for her good looks, but like so many other things in her life, they were fading. At least she felt so.
She’d largely spent her prime years being a mother, wife, and physical therapist. The latter fell by the wayside after she lost her daughter Amirah. After that, she just couldn’t seem to get it together. However, she was a really good physical therapist. At least that’s what her patients always told her when she was practicing.
It was tragic that she’d seemingly let it go forever. Although she sat with many regrets she chalked it up to the sacrifices of being a mother. Her kids loved her at home, and even her husband Darius didn’t want things to change. But, at some point, he realized if he wanted to see his wife smile again he needed to do something different. Little did he know all that had transpired as a result of his pushing and prodding her back into the workforce. They both knew it wasn’t because they needed the money, it was because he hated seeing her mope around all the time. The spark that drew her to him so many years ago had faded and he didn’t know how to get it back. Lately, it seemed like his efforts to get Summer motivated had worked too well. Ever since she went to that basketball game with Stephanie, she’d been a different woman. She was working longer hours and hanging out with her friend way more often than he could stand. Darius knew better not to question her or she’d blow up in his face and threaten to leave. He knew he was largely responsible for her outbursts, but he wondered if would it get better or was she gone forever.
Summer and Rob stood in the parking lot next to her truck after his game for what felt like the tenth time. It was a cool night, and she was not dressed for the weather. Most nights they stood staring at each other next to the car door or holding hands over the hood. This time was no different except, she was looking to make it come to an end. Every time she looked into his eyes, or he said her name, she felt like running away with him but–something kept stopping her.
“Talk to me,” he said. “Are we just going to stand here or are we going to my house? Talk to me. Or at least stand closer to me.”
His face was illuminated by the lights that hung overhead. Despite her best intentions, they were outside and out in the open. The energy was palpable, and they weren’t hiding.
“You want honesty?”
He nodded slowly and licked his lips. Summer felt dizzy.
As she was about to speak a gust of wind blew her hair into her eyes.
He stepped forward and carefully moved the strands from her face.
“I should pull your hair right now,” he said.
“I think I would love it,” she smiled.
They laughed. Clearly, they caught each other off guard with their honesty.
He squinted at her and folded his arms.
“What do you want? Summer? Do yourself a favor and be honest for once in your life.”
“I want you,” she said stepping closer. “I know I am horrible for it but, I think what I want is to love and support you forever. I want to be led by you. I want to do what you say and follow you around this world forever. That’s what I want. That’s what I feel when I am next to you.” She couldn’t believe she was talking like this; it just wasn’t who she was.
His face grew intense. She saw his fists tense up against the hood. Something about those words leaving her mouth made him want to take her with him forever. She could forget her life, she wasn’t happy anyway. Unfortunately, he couldn’t do that. Despite what it seemed like to the few people he told about Summer, he had a code of ethics. He would never take a man’s girl. He would just force her to leave him.
“You really mean that? You think you want all of me Summer?”
“I don’t know if you are ready.”
“I don’t know either, but trust me, I could handle whatever you put me through.”
She could hear him breathing. He reached out and pulled her closer.
She shook her head no.
“Because if I take one step closer to you, I won’t leave. Rob, I meant what I said, but I also can’t do anything about it.”
“F-it then, stay with me. Why deny how you feel?” He pulled her closer and tried to give her a kiss.
Summer put her hand on his chest in a weak effort to create space. Not that she could stop the electricity passing between them. Was this love? No, not like this.
“Rob, I have kids.”
“Ok, ok, I get it” he sighed letting go of her waist. “So, you’re done with me?”
He kept trying to catch her eyes. If she was done, he wanted to see it. But she kept looking away. All of it was too dangerous.
“Yes,” she whispered. “Let’s go.”
They entered the car and drove down the road in silence. Every now and then she could feel his fingers gently graze her wrist, or timidly reach forher shoulder, all of which sent shivers down her spine. When he reached over and wrapped his fingers around the back of her neck, she couldn’t resist the desire to lean in and offer him full range.
“You know can’t run from me forever, right?” he smiled. “I don’t really like losing and I don’t plan to.”
“No, I can’t run. I don’t want to run I think I want to just stop.”
He laughed, moving his fingers up to the back of her ears. “You think or you know Summer?”
He clearly enjoyed seeing her flustered. She pushed his hand away.
“Honestly Rob, why me? I’m almost a decade older than you. I am your therapist and I have already crossed way over the line.”
“Why not you?”
“Why are you pressing me so hard? Slim pickings on the playground?”
“Bro, there you go with that again. I already told you age is a number. Plus, you’re still young enough to have a kid if you wanted to. Not saying you do but…”
“No. I don’t want to.”
She could feel him still staring at her as they rode in silence. Was he really thinking about babies? She couldn’t think about kids especially being such a horrible mother right now.
She prayed a silent prayer in her head. Please take this from me.
As much as she knew she should turn away, she still wanted to be his therapist.
Stay tuned for more and you can read the entire novella soon on Amazon Kindle.