by meredith sage kendall
Sissy’s bags were packed, and her ride was already five minutes late. She wasn’t sure she could handle another letdown. Recognizing the unique sound of his truck, she wished she hadn’t asked him for a ride, but in her small farming community, she had exhausted all other possibilities.
She stormed down the stairs and out the door, threw her bags in the back, and jumped in the cab. Glaring at Eric, she didn’t wait for pleasantries, but instead blurted out, “You’re late! If I miss my flight, it’s your fault.”
Their breakup was still the gossip of the town, and she was ready to leave everything behind, if only for a week. At the airport, Sissy calmed down and thanked Eric for the ride. Being a gentleman, Eric got her bags out of the back of the truck. She grabbed the handle of her suitcase, and when their hands touched, her heart skipped a beat with the memories they had shared. He was making her doubt her desire to be mad. She jerked her bag out of his hands and marched toward the double doors.
She breezed through security, only to find Eric waiting in the gate area.
“What are you doing here?”
“Well, it was supposed to be my honeymoon, too, you know,” Eric said with a grin.
How could he? Wasn’t it enough he had called the wedding off? Now she had to spend the next week in an exclusive resort with him close, watching her every move.
Her section was called to board, and with every step, her anxiety increased her stride to the point she wasn’t able to slow herself when the line abruptly stopped. Eric caught her before she fell. Her heart fluttered as his grip lingered.
Sissy was angry that her emotions threatened to push past the wall she had put up. No, he doesn’t get the satisfaction. Running her hands down her outfit as if to iron out wrinkles, she straightened. With all the confidence she could muster, she walked to her seat. Doing a double check of her ticket, she was surprised to find someone else sitting in the seat that was supposed to be Eric’s. Scooting past Sissy, he told the older lady to take care of his girl. Sissy turned to glare at him, but his smile caught her off guard.
After an uneventful flight, Sissy hurried off the plane and found the closest coffee shop. She took her time getting to baggage claim and was surprised to find her bags waiting for her, along with Eric and a driver who held a placard, “Welcome Mr. and Mrs. Franklin.” Sissy stopped in her tracks, unsure of whether to cry or laugh. Fortunately, the limousine picked up four other couples, so it was easy for Sissy to appear preoccupied amid all the talk and laughter.
At the check-in desk, when Eric reminded Sissy that the resort still had them in the honeymoon suite as a married couple, she couldn’t hold in the tears.
“This is all your fault, Eric! You’ve ruined everything! You’ve ruined my life!” she wailed.
Eric placed his hand on the small of her back and, with his mouth close to her ear, shushed her. The butterflies started. She leaned into him with eyes closed and tried to sniff her tears away. She was tired of her feelings getting in the way of her efforts to blame this man for calling off the wedding only days before. She couldn’t remember what actually happened, but all her memories were of him pulling away in his truck after kissing her and saying goodbye. She calmed down enough to hear Eric tell her that he had attempted to change the reservation, but the resort was at capacity, so the only option was to keep their original accommodations. Not knowing what else to do, she followed Eric like she had done for many years.
When she stepped inside the luxurious suite, there was no controlling the tears, in spite of the amazing view from the balcony. The suite had a kitchen, dining room, and, to Sissy’s surprise, two bedrooms. Exhausted from her emotional ups and downs of the day, Sissy dropped everything, climbed onto a bed, and fell asleep.
She awoke just in time to watch the sun setting over the ocean. The sky was such a breathtaking sight, painted with magnificent colors, that she forgot how mad she was at Eric. When he walked out onto the balcony, she grabbed his arm to enjoy the masterpiece together. In a passing moment, Sissy remembered why she fell in love with him all those years ago.
As she tried to break free from the rushing memories, Eric leaned in and gently kissed her neck. She wanted to pull away, but her body, instead, pushed into his. He then whispered the words she had longed to hear.
“Sissy, I still love you, and when you are ready…”
In that moment it seemed a veil was lifted. Sissy remembered how the wedding stress had caused her to run away, leaving Eric to take the fall.
“I still want to make you my wife,” said Eric.
Sissy was paralyzed. Her heart melted, and her thoughts spun. Eric took the lead, turned her around, and, with his arms tightly wrapped at her waist, kissed her. To Sissy’s surprise, she kissed him back.
For the next six days, they watched each sunrise and sunset. As they talked, Sissy fell in love with Eric all over again.
On their last night in paradise, while walking along the beach at sunset, Eric got down on one knee. Before he could even ask the question, Sissy let out an emphatic, “Yes!”
An island pastor performed the ceremony the next day, and, of course, the couple extended their vacation so they could enjoy their honeymoon.
A beautiful dream come true.