Jennifer headed back to the Satellite. She needed to call work and explain she would be gone a few more days than she had planned on. When she pulled in front of her room, she saw Ron working on the courtyard. His shirt was off and sweat slipped down his chest. Jennifer tried not to stare. She caught herself licking her lips. Get a grip.
“You have a couple of messages,” Ron yelled at her. "I taped them to your door."
"Thanks." She grabbed the messages and with shaking hands unlocked her door. She threw the notes on the table and pulled the blinds back to look at Ron. His muscles rippled under the fading sunlight. Madam Lucinda's words came flooding back. "There is another in your life from the past you should consider."
Jennifer wasn't about to take him back but she realized she had been rather rough on him since she came here. Maybe it was time to let bygones be bygones. She poured a glass of water and left her room.
"Kind of hot out here for late fall." Jennifer lifted the glass of water toward Ron.
He ran his hand over his forehead to wipe the sweat. "Yeah, it is. Thanks." His fingers brushed hers as he took the glass. A shiver ran through her.
"So what are you doing?" Jennifer looked around the area.
"Well, originally this was a court yard with nice shade trees, chairs and a small play area for kids. The weeds have taken over and the ice storm last year took out most of the trees. I'm trying to restore it as best I can. That's one of our plans."
"Yeah, me and Susie's husband. We want to make the Route 66 landmarks in town as close to original as possible."
Jennifer felt a drip of sweat come off her forehead. Was it the actual heat of the day or something else? "No pool?"
"That was not a staple at most of the roadside motels during that time. It wasn't until the sixties and Holiday Inn starting putting mom and pops out of business that some tried to bring people in with pools. Plus I really don't want to fool with the maintenance and insurance."
Silence fell between them as he took another gulp of water.
"Thanks, that was just what I needed." Ron handed the glass back to her.
"It's my way of apologizing."
"Oh, you know, the cold shoulder I've given you since coming back to town." Jennifer shielded her eyes with her hand from the sinking afternoon sun. "It was, you know, a shock seeing you after all these years, I guess." She sounded like an idiot the way she stammered.
Ron leaned on his shovel. "It's okay. I understand completely. It was a shock for me as well, but maybe in a better way."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, you were coming here for a sad occasion, with a lot on your mind. I only had one thing on my mind … seeing you again."
He held up a hand to stop her. "I better get back to work while it's still daylight. Thanks again for the water." With that dismissal, he turned his back to her and started digging again.
I really hope to get this finished soon and in print. I have a Pinterest board up for it if you want to check it out. https://www.pinterest.com/wandaspage/coming-home/