January 14, 2014

January 14th, 2014 StoryStarter prompt: The heart knows nothing of distance when it decides to fall for someone...

My best friend Melody and I boarded the plane in Ft. Lauderdale, headed back home to the cold winter weather awaiting us in St. Louis. We'd spent two, too short weeks at her aunt's condo on the beach in sunny southern Florida. It was a vacation we'd both needed, and I didn't even mind that I hadn't been her first choice as traveling companion. The trip was supposed to have been her honeymoon. A Valentine's Day wedding that didn't happen.

The first couple of days, I listened. I held the tissue box while she poured out her heart. "I'll never find anyone to love as much as I loved Adam," Mel sniffled.

I'm a patient woman, but by the morning of the third day I woke, determined not to sit around cooped up inside that condo for one more minute. "Come on, get up. We're going to the beach for breakfast," I suggested.

"I can't. I couldn't possibly leave the house. You go, Violet. I'll just stay here," she moaned.

Exasperated by her refusal to rejoin the living, I yanked the covers off of her, and issued my best 'you're not getting out of this' ultimatum. "You can and you will," I ordered. I pulled her from her curled up position and walked her toward the bathroom. "Now, are you going to take a shower willingly, or do I have to throw you in there, clothes and all?"

One glimpse of the stern look on my face was all it took for her to know I wasn't kidding. "Fine. I'll take a shower. We'll go get breakfast. But then we're coming right back here and I'm not leaving again until it's time for our flight back home. My good times are over for the rest of my life," she told me, a bit over-dramatically.

I think fate plants little seedlings in our brain and sends us off in the direction we need to go, when we need to be there. That morning, while sitting at the outdoor cafe enjoying our fancy over-priced, over-sweet coffee drinks...I saw him. He was beautiful. His blonde hair was sweat dampened and when he smiled, oh God...when he smiled.

My eyes followed his lazy run up the beach and my heart stuttered as he approached our table. He stopped, cocking his head to the side, he stared at me. "Don't I know you?" he asked.

"Oh God, please. If you're going to use a pick-up line, at least make it a good one," Mel chastised him.

I nudged her with my toe and gave her my best "shut the hell up" scowl. "You'll have to excuse my friend. She's on a strict man-hater regimen at the moment."

"Sorry to hear that. I hope you don't share those sentiments?" he beamed a blindingly bright smile at me. It lit up his green eyes. Uninvited, he dropped to the chair beside me and offered me his hand. "All lame pick-up lines aside, you really do look familiar. I'm Blaine."

"Hello Blaine, I'm Violet. This is my best friend, Melody," I said and returned his smile, doing my best to ignore the daggers Mel sent slicing my way as God's gift to Ft. Lauderdale continued to heat up my space. "Unless you're from St. Louis, I don't think we've met."

He tipped his head back and laughed. "As a matter of fact...I attended SLU for a couple of years. Until I decided I couldn't take the Midwestern winters anymore and moved back home to Ft. Lauderdale."

Maybe I should have been ashamed by the way I spent the rest of our vacation soaking up the positive vibes radiating from Blaine. But, honestly, I don't think Mel minded. She was content to mope around the condo, her way of healing her broken heart...and I was more than content to spend the remainder of my time there wrapped up in Blaine's arms. 

It was impossible not to fall in love with the man I'd met on the beach that one winter in Ft. Lauderdale. But the heart knows nothing of distance when it decides to fall for someone...  

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Lori L. Clark

Lori L. Clark currently resides in Hazelwood, MO with three rescue dogs. When Lori isn't listening to the voices in her head, waiting for the next creative inspiration to strike, she also loves to read, run, paint pet portraits and save dogs. Email Lori at

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