Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chapter nine, page three

Once we were settled in the car and on the road Quinn gingerly attempted a conversation.

“Did you like my sister a little?”

“Oh Quinn, I loved her.  Please do not think I left because of her.”

“Well, it is unanimous then.  She loved you too.  She made me promise if I found you that I would bring you back again before you fly home.”

“Oh.”  What would I say to her?  I was so rude to run out and she’ll want to know why.  That is something I cannot look forward to.  I just smiled sheepishly at Quinn hoping he would change the topic.

He bobbed his head back and forth.  “Or maybe not?  Let’s not focus on that now.  I need to get you back to your hotel for a rest.”

“I’m fine.  Really I am.”

“Uhhuh.”  His sarcastic response was nearly drowned out by the ring of his cell phone.

He scrambled in his back pocket for it.  “Allo.”

“Ay, oui.  Je suis Quinn.”

“Oh, bonjour Detective.  Je conduis dans la rue d'Ulm.”

“Ma maison?”

As soon as I heard the word ‘house’, my head shot to my left.  “It was your house?”  The image of the burning home came back to me.  I had forgotten all about it in my own personal turmoil.

Quinn looked at me as he listened to the cellphone at his ear.  Then he flicked on his signal light in a fury.

“Merci, Detective.  Je serai là.”  He closed his phone and tossed it onto the console between us.  Without a moment’s pause he whipped the car in a frantic u-turn and sped down the street in the opposite direction.

He remained speechless as we flew through the afternoon traffic. He took deep, slow audible breathes as my head hurt from trying to sort it all out.  There were no words that came to my mind that seemed appropriate.  Was that really his house, Lord?  What is happening?

Finally Quinn spoke as he darted in and out between the fellow drivers.  “Sorry Cherie, but we need to make a quick stop before I take you back.”

“That’s fine.  What did the detective say?”

“There seems to be a little trouble at my house.”

“A fire?”

He turned to look at me.  “Did you overhear the conversation or ...?”

“I saw it.”  I felt horrible almost as if I had caused the fire.  “I’m so sorry that I didn’t tell you.  I didn’t know it was your house.”

“When did you see it?”

“In Anna’s room, while you were meeting with the doctors.”

“Is that why you ran out?”

“No.”  The guilt and shame mounted upon me like a heavy backpack.  Quinn stared straight ahead as he drove and I feared he would not be able to overlook this.  Perhaps he would not forgive me.  So I sat there, brewing in all the toxic emotions consuming me.

There was nothing said after that until we turned down a residential street lined with trees.  Ahead of us was several fire trucks parked perpendicular in the street blocking our access.  Quinn parked his car in the middle of the street and turned off the engine.  

He reached for the door handle but paused.  His face turned to me as he squeezed my trembling hands on my lap.  “Don’t worry Cherie.  From what the detective said on the phone I would have needed to know hours ago in order to do anything about it.”

I saw his worry or fear building in the corner of his eyes before he fled the vehicle.

Quinn walked briskly around the back end of a fire truck and out of my line of sight.  He hadn't invited me to join him so I stayed.  Somehow, I felt responsible for this new tragedy in his life.

  NEXT PAGE is here.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chapter nine, page two

My heart could not find its next beat.  My lungs were gasping for air more than Anna’s were.  My eyes felt swollen and the floor warped.  I was drowning somewhere between a vision of a burning house and my deceased husband.  The emotions raging in me were taking over my rational thought.  

I needed to get out of this room before I exploded.  I released Anna’s hand just as Quinn entered the room uttering something about two beautiful women in one room.  It didn’t matter.  My dream had transfigured into a nightmare and I wanted out.

I shoved past Quinn, through the door into the hallway.  Which way was the elevator?  To my left?  Thankfully I was correct and I did not have to wait for it to arrive.  I even managed to get the elevator doors closed before Quinn’s hand could snake its way in.  Once the doors closed me in, my eyes flooded with tears. 

"God, what are you doing to me?"  My head fell to the metal panel in front of me.  "Can it be true that Mitch and Quinn were childhood friends?"  Then my feet began to kick the elevator walls.  "I want out God!  You never asked me if I wanted to do this.  Let me out of this nightmare!  Please.  I’m done."

I heard the ding of the elevator and desperately tried to wipe my face.  Deciding it didn’t matter, I bolted through the doors as soon as there was enough room to squeeze through. I nearly ran over a woman with a walker, but I kept going.  In the lobby by the main doors was a phone.  I scrambled for some coins in my pockets and grabbed the receiver.  The operator came on speaking in French. 

“I need ... un taxi.  Je m’appelle Cathie.”

She needed more information asking me for the address of where I was.

The desperation I felt drove me to bend over still trying to access more air.  My free hand supported my shaking body over my knee.  “Je n’est ce pas l’addresse.  I am at, um ... l’hopital.”

Then she asked which hospital.  That question forced me to straighten up and begin searching for a sign.  My stance was wobbly and my eyes seemed unable to focus.   I probed the walls in front of me as best as I could.  Looking then to my left still with no luck.  “Which hospital?  I don’t know where I am.”  I said.

In a panic I swung to my right hoping to find a sign naming the hospital near the elevators.  Instead the only thing in my view was a worrisome Quinn.  I froze.

He slowly reached out for the phone handle.

I couldn’t escape.  He caught me.  My thoughts were so mixed up I could not tell if I was disappointed or relieved that he was here.  I reluctantly handed the phone to him, hearing the woman calling out for an answer.

Les portes principales à l'Institut Curie, s'il vous plait.”  Then in a moment he responded to the woman on the other line with ‘merci’.  With a deep slow breath he reached over my shoulder to hang up the phone.

As the scent of his cologne came over me I melted.  What am I doing?

He responded to me collapsing against his chest by holding me tight.  I needed his strong arms as my knees were weak.  I sobbed into his shirt.  “I’m sorry.  I’m so sorry Quinn.”

He stroked my hair and just held me so close.

After a few moments I was able to slow the torrent and gain my composure.  I pressed my hands against his chest to separate our bodies.  “I’m sorry.”

“Please do not apologize, Cherie.”  He gently wiped away a stray tear from my cheek, while he kept his other hand on my waist.  “What happened in there?”

If I thought telling him my husband died was too hard, surely telling him his best friend died would rank slightly higher.  “Nothing.”

“Really?  The kind of ‘nothing’ that would cause one to run for cover?”

He made me smile.  “Yah, I guess so.”

He tipped my chin up to see into my drippy eyes.  “Cherie, if you want to go somewhere I will take you.  Please don’t run from me.”

I don’t want to.  I grabbed the flanks of his shirt and squeezed them.  The thick weave of his cotton shirt warmed my trembling hands.  His voice soothed my frayed nerves.  His touch made me feel special.  His attention made me want to stay.  “I don’t want to run from you.”

He pulled me close again while he reached out for the phone.  He called and cancelled the taxi and then confidently led me out the front doors.  “Are you able to walk back to the car?”

“Of course, I can walk.  I am fine, actually.  You don’t need to fuss over me.”

“It would be my pleasure to fuss over you.  I propose driving you back to your hotel, feeding you and putting you down for a rest.  You are taking this all too seriously.”

I’m begging you Lord, for another way to process this.  It feels far too serious.  

Then with his arm around my waist, holding me close, we walked the few blocks back to the car without much said.  All I could do was silently pray for God to bring a reprieve from all the drama.

NEXT PAGE is here.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

chapter nine, page one

When we entered the hospital room, Anna was asleep.  The room was decorated in a soft and warm shade of peach.  It felt uplifting, instead of sterile for a change.  Anna had flowers and cards along a sunny window sill.  Across the foot of her hospital style bed laid a hand knit yellow blanket.  It shone as bright as the afternoon sun.

Quinn headed straight for her bed without hesitation.

“She’s resting, Quinn.  We can come back later.”  I whispered.

“Non.  She is always sleeping.”  He bent over her and softly spoke into her ear.  “Bonjour, Cherie.  It's Quinn.”

It tickled my heart that he called her 'Cherie' as well.  It confirmed that I held a special place in his heart.  That is unless he says it to every woman he sees.  Where’s a cute nurse when you need one?

Slowly Anna started to wake and turn her head towards us.  Her eyes took a long time to open fully, attempting to adjust to the light.  I moved to close the blinds, but Quinn captured my hand in his.  He encouraged Anna to open her eyes further to be introduced to me.

“Anna, there is someone special I want you to meet.”

Anna tried again to stretch open her eyelids to take in the two of us at her bedside.  When her eyes rested on me, her expression became exaggerated.  

“She`s here.”  She said.

Quinn spun his head to his left where I stood.  “She knows you too?  Am I the only one who did not swallow the red pill?”

I shrugged my shoulders, shocked at her comment myself.

Anna’s hand moved slowly to Quinn’s wrist.  “She is from my dreams.  She is an angel, Quinn.”

Should that comment make me feel better?  It actually only threw a whole new spin of confusion on our relationship.  Quinn just transferred his glance from me to Anna and then back again.

Then, in the doorway of the hospital room appeared a man in a long lab coat.  He addressed Quinn in French asking for his attention to some paperwork.  Quinn excused himself quickly, leaving Anna and I alone in her room.  For a moment, I wished I could have gone with him.  Then Anna spoke to me, relieving my fears.

“I prayed that God would send you into Quinn’s life.  I am so glad you came before my time here is done.”

“You prayed for me?”  Something felt very backwards about that.

“Yes.  I know my time is short and the only unfinished business in my life is Quinn’s salvation.”  She closed her eyes and gasped for a deeper breath.  Her face was dusted in a pale shade.  When her eyes opened they danced lively in that butterscotch colour I have grown to love.  The vibrancy was short lived, as the dark circles encasing her eyes soon drown it out.  

“I love my brother but he can be very stubborn you know.”

A slight chuckle was all I could muster.

Her breathing was so shallow, it unnerved me.  Working in a senior’s home I am familiar with the signs of a life that is ending.  In my case, all the people I have watched die are seniors that have lived a full life.  Now my eyes are moist at the sight of a young and once vital woman in her twenties, grasping for air.

“Tell me your name, Angel?”

I cringed at her reference for me.  “Cathie.”

“Where are you from Cathie?”  She reached for my hand.

“Canada.”  I shifted my position shortening the distance between us.  Her hand filled mine with a cold and bony touch.  “Well, A small town near Montréal to be exact.”  I added with nervous chatter.

“God is so good.”  She closed her eyes and a deep satisfied smile covered her pale lips.  “Cathie, will you do me a favour?”

“Yes.  Anything you need.”

Her lungs reached for more air.  “Promise me you will take Quinn back to Canada with you when I am gone.”

“Oh, I am only here for a week.”

“Me too.”  She said without the tiniest hint of sorrow.  Her voice carried confidence as if she was heading home in a few days just like me.

Her peace was intoxicating.  Lord I want to know Your hand on my life as much as she does.  I squeezed her hand.  “Anna, I cannot promise that he will come with me, but I will ask him.”

“Thank you”, she whispered.

“Can I ask you why?”

“There are two people important in his life that he needs to reconnect with.  They both reside in Canada.  First is a dear, dear friend from his childhood that moved to Canada when Quinn was thirteen.”  She wheezed for air again.  “He has talked incessantly about finding him.  However the fool has never had the courage to search for him.”

“When did they lose touch?”

“Very shortly after he moved away.  I think Quinn's letters started to be returned only months after?”

“Like I said, I will try.”

Anna’s weak hand feebly squeezed mine.  “He needs to find him to heal fully from his past.  Please do what you can to help him.”

“I will try.  Quinn has never mentioned his friend to me.”  Yet.  I hoped that he would confide something like this to me.  It would show a marker of his trust.  Considering all of the details I mysteriously know of his life now, I lacked a few key milestones from his past.  I guess the same could be said for me.  My greatest life marker so far still remained an unmentionable between us.

Anna's eyes closed and her head tilted back.  I gasped for my own breath as I feared she was fading.  After a very long minute, she spoke quietly.  ““What was his name?  It seems to have escaped me.  But Quinn will know.  Ask him.”

“Okay.  Who is the second person in Canada?”  Just as the words left my mouth a vision of a fire consumed my thoughts.  It was a raging inferno, blurring most of the image behind it.  Squinting my eyes tighter I could almost make out the image of a window and a door behind the flames.  If only I could see around the fire.  Then I might have an indication of where the fire was.

Then Anna’s voice broke through in a jubilant but frail announcement.  “Mitchell.  His name is Mitchell Bellamy.  I can’t believe I remembered his name.  Praise God.”  She closed her eyes and whispered another thank you to God.  I think she continued to talk but there was no longer any comprehension on my part.

NEXT PAGE is here.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Chapter eight, page three

Quinn steered his vehicle into a parking lot on his left and I realized I hadn’t been paying attention to where we were going anymore.

The parking lot was large and very few open stalls.  Across the street towered a large building with old style character.  The sign out front was carved out of stone and etched the hotel name in fancy script.  A long cobblestone driveway graced the front of the beautifully crafted building.

“Um, Quinn?  We left one hotel just to visit another?”

“Non, Cherie.  We are only using this parking lot.  We still need to walk a little ways to our destination.  Are you alright with that?”  He parked the car in an open space and turned to face me.  “The parking is poor in this part of town.  This is the best place to leave the car. Ready?”

“Sure.  Although I don’t know where we are going.”

“I know.  Isn’t this fun?”  Quinn whipped around and out his car door.  So I followed his example.

As we started to walk, he reached for my hand.  “D’accord?”

“Yes.”  Sensing the warmth and tenderness of his hand enveloping mine felt perfect.

“Tell me something, Cherie.”

I nodded.

“Why does God always tell you what you should do next?”

“He doesn’t normally do that.”

“But He did.”  Quinn said.

“Yeah, I guess so.”

“Why did He do that then?”

I shrugged, offering my best guess.  “Because He can.”

“But He doesn’t usually?”


"So how do you usually know what you should do next?"

"Sometimes you have to just try several different options.  Most of the time you will feel peace about one way and not another."

"But you have to fumble about with it?"

I half laughed.  "It does feel like that sometimes."

“And you still call him a loving God?”

Suddenly I felt crowded.  Casually, I managed to talk myself into a corner.  The walls of my doctrine started closing in around me.  How do I begin to answer his doubts?  “Yes, He is loving.  He guides us through things in many different ways but usually He is not as obvious as He has been lately.”

“So let me see if I get this.  God has a plan for you but He wants you to grope around for it?  But every once in awhile he shakes things up by throwing in a few visions?”

“No.  Not exactly.  God can speak to our hearts and direct us through our conscience.  But mostly believers use the Bible to judge what step is next.”

Even saying that felt weak.  I know what I believe about God; He is always there and He will never leave me or forsake me.  Yet, there are so many times in my life when I feel like I do have to guess what God wants from me.  Many people I know say they wish God would just speak out loud to them or leave a big flashing sign for them.  Or even send a vision of which step is next.  Either way this is one of the mysteries of God.  Why doesn’t He do those things?

“The best answer I can come up with, Quinn is that He wants our devotion.  He wants us to want to follow Him.  So instead of leading us through direct methods, He prefers that we seek Him personally.  It is like a friendship.  You don't sit down with someone you want to befriend and write out all their likes and dislikes.  Instead you discover truths about each other by spending time together and talking from your hearts.”  I watched Quinn for a moment as we walked hand in hand down the sidewalk.  He seemed unmoved.

“It is the concept of free-will.”  I continued.  “If everything was laid out for us we would be like robots moving along a pre-determined plan.  God doesn’t love robots.  He loves people.  So He has given us all the chance to choose to follow Him.  Does that make sense?”

“As clear as muddy water."

"Well, I don't know.  Then what would make it clearer?"

"Could you explain it with an example?”

“Do you mean an example of how He directs me?”

“Yes.  Tell me of one of the hardest things you’ve had to sort out lately and tell me how He helped you.”

I am certain the sidewalk tilted and the buildings warped at that moment.  Everything shifted in my head giving the sensation I was falling.  All I could think of was the deep dark pit I had spent months and years in after Mitch’s death.

Surely that experience would qualify for an example of the hardest thing I've had to sort out lately.  Only, it wouldn't suffice in explaining feeling God's help and guidance.  After Mitch's death I felt lost.  I still do really.  Time often stood still while I tried to figure out which foot to move.  Then once I had the foot patterns worked out it seemed a mystery which direction to head.

Naturally, I am not a fighter, so I decided it was easier to just stay home.  I could usually manage to find my way around my own floor plan no matter what condition I was in.  Besides, if there were days when I couldn't  - nobody saw me.

I remember, long after Mitch's passing, kind-hearted people would tell me I should feel blessed that God has given me a trial that He can use.  ‘Just think of how you can help others now’, they’d say. They tried to help me see a way to use the pain.  Only I didn't really want to help others deal with their grief.  I had enough of my own to handle.

In fact, how can I be qualified to help Quinn see that God leads us through our trials and our pains when I have felt lost inside a torrent of sorrow for three years?  If God did lead me through it, I was blinded to His hand.

My silence after his question must have made Quinn feel uncomfortable.  “I am sorry Cathie, if I have upset you.  You do not need to tell me anything.”  He squeezed my hand.

“It’s okay.  I just wish I had a better answer for you.  All I know is what I believe to be true about God.  He loves me and He has a plan for my life.  It is not His plan to hurt me or cause me pain.  However life is painful.  Life is just naturally filled with yucky things.”  I stopped walking momentarily and turned Quinn to see his expression.  “I would have pain in my life even if I didn’t have God.”

Slowly his head nodded.  “I see what you mean.  It is always nicer to have someone to help you shoulder your burdens though, isn’t it?”

Then Quinn steered me off the sidewalk up a few steps to a building with endless windows.  We entered the front doors briskly and straight through the lobby.  When we reached the elevator, Quinn turned to me.

“I want you to meet Anna.”

I had an inkling that was where we were headed when we entered the building.  There were folks walking in every different direction.  Some dressed in scrubs and lab coats, while others looked like patients.

The elevator door opened before I could answer him.  Once inside I asked, “are you sure she won’t mind?”

“Anna?  Not a chance.  She loves people.”  He turned to select the third floor button.  “Besides I have a strange feeling that she is going to adore you.”  He squeezed my hand.  The sensation ran the length of my arm right into my heart.

NEXT PAGE is here.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Watch for a new movie coming out!

In case you haven't heard there is a Christian based film coming to theaters in April called Soul Surfer.  It is based on the real life story of Bethany Hamilton.  We are excited in our home because we knew of Bethany Hamilton several years ago.

She is a Christian teen who is was a competitive surfer.  She was rocking the surfing scene with her ability at a young age but gained world wide attention when she lost her arm to a shark attack. She was surfing with friends one day when a shark bit her entire arm off.  She managed to paddle to shore and was rushed to the hospital.  Amazingly she survived the attack.  However, truth be told - that is not the truly amazing part.  She rallied all her strength and courage and decided to surf again.  Now this young teen not only surfs again against great odds - she continues to compete!

If you ever wanted to read or watch a  story to encourage you - this is it!  I have no idea what Hollywood will do with the story but it is claiming to still be a story of great faith.  Here is a quote from a News Anchor required to cover the story.

I left the movie feeling like I can't complain about any small issues in my busy life after seeing what Bethany went through and how she confidently goes on with one less limb. 

Walking out of the theater with my arm around Addy, I felt like we experienced a story that empowered us both, me as a Mom who wants the best for my kids but feels the pain of their struggles and Addy with a new found belief in pursing what you love no matter what curve ball or tiger shark life throws your way.

So, here is my soap box.  JUST FOR A MOMENT!  I promise.

We are a movie-loving family.  We watch them often; both together and separately.  Naturally I am very careful and selective which movies my kids can view.  My oldest daughter gets real tired of me telling her the reasons why she can't watch the new movie her friends are talking about.

In fact I cannot remember the last time we went out to the theaters to watch a newly released movie.  Generally it is safer to wait till it comes out on video so you can preview it before the kids do.  Or sometimes we will allow a questionable movie to be seen if Mom or Dad can fast forward certain scenes.

A great resource for knowing what is good in movies and what isn't is a website called Plugged In (dot) Ca.  It is a part of Focus on the Family and they rate all kinds of movies breaking down the positive and negative components.  They don't just do movies either - TV, games, and music too.  Fabulous site!

I once inquired why Hollywood doesn't make more Christian based films.  I figure there are a lot of believers out there like us that enjoy movie watching.  So why not?

Here is the reason I found:

Because many Christian, bible-believing families do what we do. They don't go to the theaters to watch the movies.  They wait till they are released on video.  I am sure the reasons why vary as much as the individual families do.  But the fact of the matter is this - box office dollars is the only measuring stick that counts!

What a conundrum.

So, I have decided that I need to take a stand.  I want Hollywood to make more Christian or family friendly movies so I need to support the ones they do make.  I have started purchasing Christian movies once they are on DVD.  (Don't get too excited yet - I rent them first and then if there are good I go buy them.)

Now I get a chance to take it one step further.  I am breaking open the piggy bank (ouch!) and loading a van full to go to the theater to watch Soul Surfer.  Shine FM is listing Calgary's release date as April 8th.  Wanna come along?

I found a trailer for you to view in case you hadn't heard about it.

Other great Christian movies we have tried and enjoyed:
No Greater Love
In The Blink of an Eye
Love Comes Softly Series   And here. And here.  And here.  And here.  And here.  And here.  And here. There are seven so far! P.S.  Walmart in Olds (and maybe other locations) has the Love Come Softly - THREE BOX SET (!!!!!!) in their $10 Movie Madness bin!  I paid close to $20 per movie.
Faith Like Potatoes
Fireproof  There is a new Sherwood Pictures-Kendrick Brothers film coming out.  Trailer here.
Facing the Giants
Narnia Series (no actual Christian content - but allegorical)
One Night With the King
Dial-tone: Who would you call? - not the best movie quality but very thought provoking storyline.
The Way Home - in the movie stores right now.  Very Christian content - they actually pray on the film.  It is based on a true story.  Again, if you are all about quality - this one falls slightly short.  But I can never refuse a true story and a movie that prays openly and without prejudice to the Almighty Lord of Lords on camera!!

I'm sure there are more but I can't think of them just now.

Please let me know if you have found a good movie that carries Christian values or a family friendly film that doesn't resort to the typical Hollywood faux-pas (language, sexuality and violence). Let's do our best to support the film industry when they get it right!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chapter eight, page two

We stood staring at each other in the elevator.  Obviously in my haste to close the doors on Quinn I had neglected to push the floor button.  So there we stayed, watching intently the tension melt away between us.

Then in a flash, Quinn extended his hand to me as if in a handshake.  Shielding the disappointment I felt over his choice of reconciliation I joined my hand with his.  Only he didn’t shake it.  He tipped my hand over and kissed it.  Then in a whirl, he turned me on my feet in a sway of rhythmic movement and somehow my hand ended up draped over his opposite arm again.  It was so fluid and precise I had no idea it happened until it was done.  He clicked the ‘ouvrir’ button and escorted me out of the elevator.  I was floating on a cloud.  It felt like I was walking off the stage in a Humphrey Bogart movie.

 “And your sister said you cannot dance.”  He said with a wink.

“I can’t.”  I added softly.

“So, Cherie, may I take you somewhere special this afternoon?”

“I- uh ...”

Quinn paused and faced me.  “Unless your quick departure to the elevator was a in fact an attempt to return to your room and not just a decoy to avoid facing me.” 

I am sure I blushed red again.  “Hmm, busted.  Sorry Quinn.  I would love to go somewhere special with you.”

He smiled big and bright.

As we drove through the streets of Paris, I couldn’t help soaking all the sights in.

“It sure is beautiful here.”  I said to the window that my nose was nearly pressed to.

“So what attractions and sights have you seen already?”  Quinn asked.

I thought for a moment.  “I’ve seen the airport, the hotel, a pub and a broken down bakery.”  I offered my best sympathetic smile.

“That’s it?”  Quinn reached over and touched my hand on my lap.  “Well, I intend to add to your list then.  I may even improve upon it.”

As his hand gently caressed mine I felt the desire to fill in some of his hurting places.  To offer him a balm that could heal his pain.  Although I did not know what it was, aside from Anna’s condition, he certainly alluded to a hidden reservoir of pain when he spoke of his Father.  It is not uncommon for people whose earthly father failed them to find it extremely difficult to love a heavenly Father.

“You know Quinn, we cannot know what God has willed and planned for our lives.  Or the lives of the people we love most.  But, ...”.

I paused.  How could I offer hope?  I wanted to more than anything else, but I lacked my own.  God had been silent in my life for years since Mitch’s passing.  I tried questioning Him.  I tried worshipping Him.  I even tried ignoring Him.  There was no response.  I don't believe God was ever really gone – just silent. 

“But, what?”  Quinn asked.

“But ... someone used to tell me something over and over again when I felt hopeless or confused about what God wanted to do in my life.  He would say,” I took a deep breath before reciting Mitch’s words.  “Nothing is impossible with God.”

We were stopped at a red light at the moment and I could feel Quinn’s prolonged gaze.  His eyes penetrated through my wall.  For the first time since I’d known him I wanted to hide from his eyes.  He could see through me and there were places inside me that I wasn’t ready to share with him.

His fingers glided effortlessly over my left hand.  He caressed my fingers one by one from knuckle to nail. When he reached my ring finger I could feel the unspoken question emerging beneath his touch.  Why is this finger bare?  Surely there is a man that loves this woman?

Now I know I am not a spinster yet.  However I am not a young vibrant woman facing a future that is bright either.  I am trapped somewhere between those two entities.  I’ve had my moment in the spotlight and I often wonder what happens now to a thirty-two year old widow that is childless?

Finally the scrutiny of his touch became unbearable and I pulled my hand away.

The light turned green and the car lurched forward.  Quinn spoke softly above the hum of the motor.  “Those are powerful words.  They must have come from someone you cared about.”

I could jump from the moving car I suppose.  I would likely be hurt but I would invariably survive.  But would I survive the pain of saying the words out loud?  My husband is dead.  No, I am not ready yet.

It is not a secret.  In fact I longed that Quinn knew already because then we could talk about it.  There is just something so gruelling about saying those four words out loud.  So I nodded my head instead.  Thankfully Quinn left the conversation there, hanging in the precipice between his seat and mine.

NEXT PAGE is here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Chapter eight, page one

I heard Quinn’s slow approach to my side before he spoke. 

“Cherie, I am sorry I said that.  I am trying to see things from your perspective but it is hard sometimes.”

I asked, “Do you remember what you said to me in my hotel room last night?”

Quinn swivelled me around to be face to face with him.  “I said a few things.  Was it before or after I kissed you?”  His eyes twinkled with mischief.

I felt my cheeks warm from his reminder.  Then quickly I averted my eyes from his intensity.  “Right before.  You said you do not remember me by looking but you feel like you’ve known me.”

“I remember saying that.  It is the truth.  Yet, I cannot explain how or why.  Unless you consider an explanation such as reincarnation.”  He grabbed me around the waist pulling me to him for a hug, whispering in my ear.  “Perhaps we were star-crossed lovers in an earlier life.”

“Put me down, please.”  I said as I shoved against him.

“Sorry.”  He released me instantly.

I began to cross the street towards my hotel.

“Cathie?”  Quinn said before he took a step across the street as well.

“I don’t believe in reincarnation.” I said.

He quickened his step to keep in time with mine.  “What do you believe in then?”

I waited till I reached the curb before turning towards him.  “I believe with all my heart in a God who is all powerful and all knowing.  He not only has our todays and tomorrows figured out, He has an infinite number of creative ways to get our attention.  Including miracles.”

Quinn straightened up and a look I could not name covered his face.  It wasn’t exactly a smile.  It was more a curiosity marbled with disbelief.  “That’s actually sounds intriguing when you say it that way.”

“Well, He is.  You should try getting to know Him a little.”

Quinn shook his head with an anguished grin.  “So, why would God want to do a miracle for me?”

“Because He loves you.”

His hands shot up in surrender.  “Whoa.  That is precisely where your argument loses all its merit.”

“What does that mean?”

“You want me to believe that an all-powerful Deity cares about me and the pathetic little things in my puny life.”  He seemed to ignore my head nods.  “Those two qualities are mutually exclusive Cathie.”

“That’s not true, Quinn.  He really is both things at the same time.  He is a God who cares about even the number of hairs upon your head.”

Quinn instinctively ran his fingers through his hair.  His head shook from side to side.  It took a moment before he conjured up his response.  “You know what I think?  I think that’s a woman’s hope.”

“A what?”

“Women hope and long for relationships even where none exist.  Men, on the other hand choose to follow the logistics of something.”

All the feminism within me went onto high alert.  Even though my head instinctively cocked to one side, I tried to hide my shock and disgust over his comment.  “Really?”

Quinn nodded in agreement without hesitation.

So I walked away.

Quinn caught up to me as I entered the hotel doors.  “Look, Cathie.  What I mean is that it might be easier for you to believe that God would want to help me.  Maybe because of your own feelings for me, you are hoping it to be true.”

To slow every ounce of fury from bursting forth I took a deep breath.  However, the breath did little to deter my next response.  

“So, let me ask you this then.  Are my feelings for you real or are they just a symptom of being the weaker sex?”  That was enough for me.  I didn’t even need to hear his response to that.  I turned and power walked to the elevator.  Thankfully it was ready for me.  Once inside I frantically hit the ‘fermer’ button. 

He managed to sneak his hand in between the closing elevator doors before I could escape.  “Cherie, you are not playing fair.”  He stepped into the elevator and let the doors close behind him.  He stood in front of me studying my face.  “Can we start that over, please?”

“I don’t want to.  Let’s just drop it, okay.”

“Then let me close off this abomination of a conversation with this.  If God really cares about the things in my life and about me, then I can think of a much better way to spend a miracle than paying off Dean.”

It took me a moment to register his meaning, but the lights came on and I felt his frustration with God.  He wants a miracle to save Anna’s life – not his.

NEXT PAGE is here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Settings adjusted!

I want to apologize to all of you who have tried to put a comment on here and have been unsuccessful.  Unfortunately, I had the settings set incorrectly.  My wonderful husband showed me where the error was and fixed it.  Thanks Hon!

So, now anyone should be able to leave a comment.  If you do not have a gmail/google account, then your comment will come up as anonymous.  Feel free to leave your name if you wish.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Chapter seven, page three

After a much quieter meal than I expected, Stacie rose to leave.  “I’m worried about leaving you.”  She leaned over offering me a hug.

“I will be fine.  Call me tomorrow morning.”

Quinn piped in quickly.  “When you call the hotel, ask for Leslie Caron’s room.  And you will need-“

“Who’s Leslie Caron?”  Stacie budded in.

Quinn paused and gave her an incredulous look.  “Who is Leslie Caron?  What rock have you been living under here?”

Stacie shrugged.

“Not only is she a famous French actress but she is one of the best dancers to ever grace the stage.  She has danced with the likes of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.”

“Oh.  Why did you pick that name?  Cathie can’t dance.”

Quinn turned his eyes laced with intrigue to me.  “Then I’ll teach her.” 

It was nice to finally be noticed in the conversation but his look unsettled my heart again.

“Whatever.”  Stacie stated as she headed for the door.

“Wait.”  Quinn called out.  “You will need more than a name to reach her.  We have a password set.”

Stacie turned tail with one hand on her hip.  “And it is?”

“You might want to write this down, Stacie.”  He said with a hint of mockery.

Her other hand came up to the opposite hip.  “Try me.  I have an amazingly good memory.”

“Okay.  Fourteen, fourteen, nine, twenty-one, seventeen.”

Stacie stood frozen for a moment and then stepped back to the table.  She plunked down her handbag and rifled through it looking for something.

Quinn gave me a knowing wink and pulled a pen out from the folder enclosing the food bill.

She reluctantly but aggressively snatched the pen from him.  “Say it again, please.”

“Would you like me to recite it in French?”

She glared at him without a sound.

He smirked and then spoke slowly.  “1...4...1...4...9...2...1...1...7”

After Stacie wrote the numbers down on the palm of her hand she turned to Quinn.  “Does that mean something special to you?”

Quinn nodded.  “It is my name in numbers spelled backwards.”

Stacie closed her eyes for a moment and her lips mumbled through something silently.  I wondered if she was spelling out her a,b,c’s to see if he was truthful.  Suddenly her eyes popped open and she waved.  “I don’t have time to figure that one out.  Bye.  And please stay out of trouble.”

I waved back as she strutted out the front door.  I turned to Quinn.  “You just have those numbers figured out off the top of your head?”

“No, it’s the password to practically everything I own.”  He shook his head as if to dislodge something.  “I can’t believe I just told that to a perfect st ...”

He stopped himself from finishing his thought.  So I finished it for him.

“A perfect stranger?”

Quinn ducked his head in disgrace.  “Sorry, Cherie.  I-“

“Never mind.”  I said as I stood.  Quinn tried to stop me but he missed as I marched out the front door of the cafe.

As I let the warm air outside fill my lungs I tried to slow the emotions down that flooded my body.

Quinn showed up behind me after a minute.  “Please wait for me.  Do not go.  I need to go back in and retrieve my credit card.  Please do not go anywhere.”

He disappeared back in the restaurant only after I gave him a weak nod.

THE NEXT PAGE is here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Good day readers!

Three days until Spring and this morning in our corner of the world there is white everywhere.  Again.

I just wanted to chat with you for a few minutes.  Today's page (below) and the next one coming are my favorite scenes in the book so far.  I hope you enjoy them too.  The banter between Quinn and Stacie makes me laugh.

Not to mention, things are going to start to get more complicated between Cathie and Quinn now.  Their characters are going to be faced with new decisions and opportunities to change. As we all know, change can be hard.

The same is true for authors.  The time in a story when your characters begin to change is challenging.  First you want to stay true to who the character is while showing their inner struggle.  Secondly, I  find it challenging not to let the character change too much too fast.

I am currently writing a section of this story where I am knee deep in these challenges.  I don't want to give it all away to you, but I will tell you this ... things are going to change for each of our main characters.  Cathie is faced with a major glitch in her plan to save Quinn.  She will be stretched to determine where she is in her grieving process and how much she is willing to give up for a new future.

Quinn on the other hand is going to wrestle with the biggest questions of all.  He is moving past the 'is this girl for real' and onto 'is God for real'.

Thanks for joining me on this journey.  Grab your seats and hold on because things are going to get a little different around here.

Happy reading!

Chapter seven, page two

Sitting at this little round table with Stacie’s probing questions and Quinn watching my every move I couldn’t help feeling nostalgic.  What if this was the beginning of a future with Quinn?

The waiter arrived at our table with menus.  Stacie whipped hers open in a flash.  “You’re paying right?”

“Stacie!  How rude.” 

Quinn patted my hand gently.  “It’s alright.”  Then he turned to face Stacie as she perused her options.  “I would be delighted to treat you to this lunch.”

“Good.  I only think it's fair.  After all, if I am going to be shot at because of you, then I’d like to be compensated.”

I wanted to be crawl under the table, but Quinn only smiled deeper at her.  “That is a great life’s mantra, I’d say.  I think I’ll adopt it too.”

After a slight giggle from Stacie she continued on with her interrogation.  “So, you’re a baker?”

“No.  I am a business man.  My sister is a bakery chef.”

“Right, the sister who is ill?”

I kicked Stacie under the table but it deterred her none.

“How ill is she?” 

“Why don’t you ask your sister some of these questions?”  Quinn said with a hint of cynicism.

It caught me off guard.  “I-I don’t know much.  I...”

Stacie leaned over the table towards Quinn.  “Look we both know she knows things but she doesn’t know things.  I mean, she doesn’t know things but she thinks she knows things.  You know what I mean.”

Quinn watched her closely.  His elbow sat perched on the table and his chin in his hand.  He rubbed at his cheeks as if he was really trying to make sense of her babbling.

“I think I know what you mean.”  He finally added.  “What should we do about that?”

Stacie straightened in her seat, crossing her arms across her chest.  “For starters, you need to come clean with us.”

“I do, do I?”

“Well, yes.  The way I see it, you’ve put my sister’s life in great jeopardy.  And I don’t know if you realize that starry look in her eyes or not, but I think she likes you.”

 I cleared my throat.  “Excuse me, I am sitting right here.  Don’t talk about me.  Talk to me, please.”

Quinn and Stacie remained unnerved by my interruption.  They never took their eyes off of each other.

“You think she likes me?”  Quinn said animatedly.

The showdown had begun and I was powerless to stop it.  Stacie leaned back towards the table again, resting her chin on her folded hands.  The two of them sat intently squared off.



“Raised there?”

“No.  At the age of three my father moved us to the Bedfordshire area.  Remained there until I left home at sixteen.”

“That sounds young to leave home?”

“I’d have left years before if it wasn’t for Anna.”  Quinn let out a disappointed breath.  “She’s five years younger.”


“My mum died when I was twelve.”

“Dad alive?”

“Don’t know.”

Stacie gave him a startled look.

“Don’t care, either.  Are we done yet?  I would like to order.”

“Me too.”  I said hoping to relieve the tension.

THE NEXT PAGE is here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Chapter seven, page one

Quinn’s car was neat and tidy.  There was a single picture tucked under the corner of his visor.  I recognized the young lady he was hugging right away.  It was Anna.

“Quinn,” I asked cautiously.  “How is Anna doing?”

The smile left his lips immediately and he kept his eyes straight ahead of him.  “I keep forgetting you know about her.”

“I don’t know if I‘ve ever meet her though.”  I said.

Stacie sat quietly in the back seat as Quinn began to talk about his sister’s health.  “She has stopped responding to the treatments and medications.”  He said.

Then he paused for a moment and let a large lump slide down his throat.  “The Doctor’s say she is still relatively strong considering but that without the treatments working we have little to hope for."

Stacie piped up from the back seat.  “Don’t say that.  There is always hope.”

Quinn nodded graciously but he did not respond.  His eyes tightened and I imagined him trying to shrug off her words before they melted into his heart.  Lord, there is always hope.  Please allow Quinn room in his heart to feel it and embrace it.

Quinn had chosen a small eatery across the street from my hotel.  It was a sweet gesture considering it was after one o’clock.  Stacie had to be at work by three. 

The restaurant had a very quaint, French appeal to it.  The aroma that filled our senses as the door came open was glorious.  My stomach began to covet immediately.  Quinn pulled out a chair for Stacie and then me before he sat down.  He’s very good with my sister.  He seemed to know how to soften her and win her over slowly. 

Stacie has always been very protective of me even though she is three years younger.  In fact, if my memory is worth anything I can almost picture the first time she met Mitch.  It was very much like our lunch today.

It was in the food court of the University I attended in Montreal.  It was particularly busy at lunch in there and that day I needed to find two seats.  Stacie had come along with me for the day to see what college life was like.  She was in her senior year of high school and really could not decide whether to study at home or abroad.  So, this day, she was my shadow.

We had walked the perimeter of the tables twice and still had not located two seats together, until a dark haired young man stood and waved to us.

Stacie nudged me with her elbow.  “Is he waving at us?”  We both did an about face to see who was around us and then back at him.  He was now pointing towards us with two fingers.  Carefully without tipping my food tray all over me, I pointed to myself inquisitively.

His rumbled hair fell over his eyes as he emphatically nodded yes.  He pointed down to his table that had two empty seats now.  Stacie began to march over to him before I had decided what to do about the situation.

She spoke forcefully to him demanding answers as to why he was motioning to us.

Cautiously he spoke.  “I am nearly done my lunch and I thought you might want my table.”

“Yes.”  Stacie said confidently.  “But that is all we want.”

The man seemed unnerved by Stacie’s abruptness and he turned his dark, enchanting eyes on me.  We all sat together for about ten minutes talking about all kinds of things.  Stacie would often answer the questions he directed to me but he didn’t seem to care. 

Just before he excused himself, he reached his hand over to me and introduced himself as Mitch.  Then he rose with his tray and trash.

“By the way,” he said.  “I eat here every Tuesday and Thursday at this time if you ever need another table to sit at.”  With that spoken, he winked and walked away.

With her mouth full of food, Stacie leaned over to me and spoke.  “That was a lame pick-up line.  With practice, he might find a nice girl someday.”

Without her consent, I realized he had.  That was the beginning of my courtship with Mitch, as we met for lunch every Tuesday and Thursday from that day on.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chapter six, page three

At one point, the guns paused from their rapid release of bullets.  Within that moment of silence we heard footsteps above us in the bakery.

“We should have gone out the back door when we had the chance.”  Quinn muttered aloud.

“Trust me Quinn.”  I said.  “This is the right place to hide.”

“I have no weapon down here.  If they find the trap door we are sitting ducks.”

“God will keep us safe.”  I said.

“God?”  Quinn’s sarcasm sent a tingle of concern running up my spine.

Obviously Stacie felt a similar reaction, as her head popped up from my lap.  “Yeah, what do you have against God?”

“Nothing.  Forget I said it.  I would just rather put my trust in the police.”

“Police!”  As soon as his words reached my ears another picture popped into my head.  It was a French police car with two Officers in it.  They were in a car accident with ... no, it can’t be.  They were in an accident with a hiked up red truck.

“What about the police?”  Quinn asked.

“They are on their way.”  I said.

“You called them?”  Stacie asked before Quinn could.

“No, they are coming for ... donuts, I think.”

Quinn chuckled.  “That would be Gregor and Jeneau.  They usually come in once or twice a week.  They come for the chocolate croissants, though, not the donuts.”  Quinn winked at me adding his wonderfully calming smile.

“Are you sure they will get here in time?”  Stacie asked.

“I see them getting into a collision with the red truck at the corner where we stood earlier, Stac.”

“An accident?”


Within a matter of minutes we heard the footsteps leave and the red truck rev away.  Following that was the unmistakeable sound of squealing tires.

“That should keep Dean and the guys busy for a little while.  Ladies?”  Quinn motioned for us to follow him up the ladder and out into the bakery kitchen.

When we stepped out of the cupboard, we were overwhelmed with the sight of broken glass and shattered dishes everywhere we looked.  It was obvious the men had come all the way into the kitchen and had pulled things off of shelves and dumped out flour and sugar containers everywhere.  The air was thick with a white haze.  It was like a bag of flour blew up.

It didn’t take long for one of the Officers to enter the beat up Bakery.  Stacie and I stood by the back door while Quinn talked to him.  Quinn addressed him as Juneau.

Stacie was amazingly quiet watching Quinn and the Officer go through the bakery discussing the property damage and any possible missing items.  Her shoulders were slumped low and she had a dark, fearful expression on her face.

I had always seen my little sister as stronger than me.  She was more adventurous and seemed able to tackle anything thrown her way.  For years I had wished I could handle Mitch’s death the way I thought she would have, if she was me.  I never imagined anything would stop her.  Not that I didn’t think she wouldn’t mourn the loss of her husband.  No, it was more as if I imagined her able to get on with her life sooner.  She wouldn’t be hiding out in her little house three years after.

Now as I watch her cowering by the back door I am shocked.  I don’t knock her for it.  It is the opposite actually.  I respect her more because of it.  She seems more realistic to me now and I won’t hold her on that high pedestal anymore.

Quinn approached us and spoke to Stacie first.  Just as soon as he began to question how she was holding up, a picture came across my mind’s eye.  It looked like a small metal safe in a wall somewhere.  Inside the safe was a blue 5x9 envelope.  I couldn’t read the name on the front before Quinn nudged me.

“And you, Ma Cherie are you alright?”

I nodded.

“Good, then let’s get out of this mess and I shall take you both to lunch.”

“Finally, someone is talking my language.”  Stacie said as she flickered to life.  “What are we going to eat?”

Quinn winked at me secretly.  “I know this great place that chops all their meat up so tiny it is unrecognizable.  You just never know what you might be eating.  You’ll love it.”

It took a moment for Stacie to join our laughter.  But soon we were all feeling better as we loaded into Quinn’s black and shiny Passat parked behind the Bakery.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Chapter six, page two

Stacie and I took a seat at one of the quaint little tables in the bakery before I noticed the valances along the top of the wide picture window.  They had red and white checkers.  I turned to speak with Quinn but he was talking in French to another man.  I overheard him sending the man home for the rest of the day.  How impressive that Quinn took my word so freely – even to risk losing money for his business.

After the man left out the back door, Quinn came back to close the blinds on the large window.

“So, what happens now, Cherie?”

“I’m not sure when he is coming.  All I know is that it is light outside in the image in my mind.”

Stacie’s hands came down hard on the circle table between us.  “There go my afternoon plans.  You haven’t forgotten I have to work at three, right?  I hope the doom hits sometime before then.”  Stacie added with her sarcastic flair.

Suddenly the loud rev of a truck roared down the street.  It screeched to a stop in front of the shop.  Quinn motioned to us to follow him into the kitchen.  He headed towards the back door, grabbing his keys on the way.

“No!”  I said.  “The cellar.  Do you have one?”

“How did you know about that?”  Quinn said just as the gun shots rang out and the glass windows shattered.
Stacie screamed and grabbed onto me.  We both ducked low by a countertop in fear of the noise and chaos.  Quinn quickly opened a cupboard door on the island in the middle of the kitchen.  Quickly, he tossed several large metal bowls out.

In the floor of the cupboard there was a trap door.  He swung the heavy wood door open and then nudged at Stacie’s arm. 

“No way!”

“Go Stacie, we will be safe down there.”  I said amidst the barrage of gunfire.

“From what?  Not from him!”  Stacie pointed to Quinn. 

“You would rather be shot then take your chances with Quinn?”  I said.  Then in a huff I pressed passed her and started to climb into the cupboard.  It was roomier than I thought and it was easy to climb down the wooden stairs. 
“Cathie, when you reach the last step, the rope to trigger the light is on your left.”  Quinn said.  “Reach out your hand and you should feel the string.”  It was hard to concentrate on his words with my fear rising from the noise.

I groped in the dark for a split second until my wrist felt the dangling string.  I pulled and the room came to life.

“Stacie, please come down.  There is lots of room.”  I said as I looked around me.  There were wooden shelves surrounding the entire perimeter, even under the stairs I had just descended.  Nothing seemed out of its place.  It reminded me of my pantry.  Neat and tidy to a fault.

“I assure you that I won’t kill you down there.”  Quinn said half mocking.  “It will make a mess and likely draw too many vermin.”

I stifled my giggle and waited for Stacie’s response.  It didn’t take long till I saw her navy striped flats coming down the ladder.

The sound of the gunfire was still filling my ears, but after Quinn was halfway down the steps, he pulled the wooden trap door closed above his head.  It drowned out a lot of the gunfire and shattering sounds above.  However the loud thud of the door shutting brought Stacie to tears.  As she cried I held her tight but my eyes were locked on Quinn’s standing a few steps away.

NEXT PAGE is here.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chapter six page one

Surprisingly, Stacie had decided she didn’t want all the nitty-gritty details from last night.  She would rather leave it all behind us. 

I was completely honest with her though, when she asked me if I knew where he was or how to contact him. I said no.  In fact, it seemed to give her a sense of relief to believe that Quinn was gone and that he would not be back.  Now we could just concentrate on each other and enjoy our day as sisters on vacation.  I figured it wasn’t fair for me to be the only one living in a dream world.  So we ate my breakfast together and prepared to leave the hotel.

“I thought we should take a trip over to see the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower and then stop for lunch at a little bistro I know near the River.”  Stacie said.

“Sounds nice, but I was really hoping to walk.  Is there anything worth seeing in close proximity?”


“Yes, it is beautiful outside today and I feel like I want to experience the essence of Paris, not just the tourist traps.”

“I hardly think the Eiffel Tower is a tourist trap.  But I suppose we could walk today.  Tomorrow is supposed to be cloudy so we’ll drive then.  Sound good?”

“Perfect.”  I said.

So we headed off out the front doors of the hotel to gallivant through the streets of Paris.

There were many quaint little shops we visited.  Laughter and teasing fun filled our morning perfectly.  Although Quinn was never far from my mind, we did not discuss him or the events of last night at all.  It was almost like they never happened.

Eventually the rumble in our tummies signalled it was time to find a place to eat.  Stacie recommended a little cafe she knew a few blocks north of us.  As we walked, the streets began to change their look.  The buildings were not as touristy and fancy.  They had an old-style charm as everything turned aged and rustic. 

We began to cross the street at a quiet corner when I was suddenly bombarded by an image.  It was a street just like this one and Dean’s thugs were racing down the street in their red truck.  As it neared me in the image I saw Dean sitting in the passenger seat.  Then I saw Quinn’s face in a shop window with red and white checked curtains above him.  The truck stopped.  Next the men pulled out their weapons and began firing bullets into the checked windows of the shop. 

All this time, Stacie had been rambling on about something before I stopped in my spot.  She finally realized I wasn’t beside her and came back to me.  I stood motionless in the center of the crosswalk. 

“What are you doing Cathie?”

I held my hand up to quiet her while I let the image play out fully.

“Are you crazy?  You are standing in the middle of the street.”

“Stop talking for a minute Stacie.”

“I’ll only stop talking if you start walking.”

“I am seeing Dean and his red truck again.  He is after Quinn.”

“Where?”  She asked as she looked down the quiet street.

“I’m not sure but on a street like this.  It’s in my head.”

Stacie grabbed my wrist and tried to pull me off the street.  “You aren’t going to stand here until they show up, are you?”

“I don’t know what I am going to do.  Just let me think.”

“While you are thinking, you should pray that Quinn is far from here.  Because then the red truck won’t come here and shoot at us.”

“No.  I will pray that he is safe somewhere that we can find him to warn him.” 

Stacie spun around in disgust.  With a stomp of her foot, she raised her voice.  “Cathie, this is absurd.  This guy is not someone you should be hoping to see again.  What if when you find him, he kidnaps you and dismembers you and then scatters all your body parts around the French countryside.”

“Don’t be ridiculous.  Quinn wouldn’t hurt me.”

“How do you know that?  Do you see that in one of your crazy visions?”  Her loud voice was sure to draw some attention.  I looked around to see if I was right and there behind me two doors down the block was Quinn standing on the step in front of a glass door.  He was wearing a smile and a white apron.

Grabbing onto Stacie's arm, I began to run towards him.  As we got closer I could see smudges of flour on his cheeks and a dab on his chin.  “Do you work here?”

His smile tightened.  “Well, yes I guess I do.”

“Well, may I suggest you go ask for the afternoon off because Dean is on his way.”

“Or so she thinks.”  Stacie said.

Quinn gave her a friendly smile even if she didn’t deserve it.  I wondered if he had heard her dismembering comment earlier.  He motioned for us to enter the establishment and then he locked the door behind us and flipped the ‘ouvrir’ sign.

“Shouldn’t you ask the owner?”  Stacie said with disgust. 

“I am the proprietor.  Well half way anyway.”  Quinn turned to me.  “It is Anna’s shop I bought for her, but since she is unable to work anymore I am learning to make scones and donuts, of all things.”

It touched my heart.  His compassion runs deep.  I had seen signs of it all along and now it was truly evident.  

NEXT PAGE is here.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Chapter five page three

Stacie’s frantic voice rang in my ears.  “I have been calling and calling.  Where did you go last night?  You better not still be with that man.  Where are you?  I am coming to you right now.”

“Stacie, I am fine.  Please relax a little.”

“Relax?  How can I relax when you were threatened by gun point in a bar, with a strange man and then you disappear?”

“Well, I am fine now.  I am still at the same hotel, but I am not registered under my own name.”

“You’re not registered ... what?”

“Just come to the hotel.  Stop at the front desk and tell them your name and they will direct you to me.  Now, what are you wearing?”

“Wearing?  Are you insane?”

“No.  I need to tell the front desk who you are and I thought it would help if I described what you were wearing.”

“Cathie, this is so far past normal.  You know that right?  I have to register my outfit with your hotel before they will tell me which room you are in?”

“Stacie, listen carefully to me.  And please do not freak out.”  I took a deep breath knowing this might be a mistake.  “Those men with guns came back last night and broke into my hotel room.  They didn’t hurt me.  They just gave me a message for Quinn.”

“You were in the room when they broke in?”

“Well, yes, sort of.”

“What do you mean sort of?”

“I was in the shower.”  Opps.  I shouldn’t have said that.

“Oh my goodness Cathie!  Are you alright?  Where was Quinn?”

Think before you speak now!  “How about you tell me what you are wearing?  Then I can let the hotel staff direct you to my suite.  We can talk more then.  Okay?”

“Your suite?”


“Oh yes.  Sorry I am wearing a chartreuse blouse with a Cerulean skort.”

“A what?  Never mind, I will tell them yellow and blue.”

“Yellow and blue does not even come close!”

“See you soon Stac.”  I hung up the phone and retreated to the bathroom to clean up.  I couldn’t help wondering what has happened to me.  I was the one who taught her all the true names of colours.  Now it seemed so irrelevant and time wasting. 

After washing my face I went in search of an outfit for the day.  That’s when I realized I had neglected another tell-tale Cathie quirk.  My clothes were still folded in my suitcase.  That must be a first for me.  Usually I rescue my clothes from the tight-cramped space of my suitcase before I even check out the room. 
Pulling out a creased cotton blouse and a pair of denim capris I noticed how off kilter my whole existence was here in France.  Almost like I had done more than cross an Ocean, I had crossed into a different dimension of reality.  The things that would have messed me up and spoiled my mood were now inconsequential.  

Even my dream of Mitch, though it was disturbing at the time, held no entangling magic over me.  I felt free.  I felt safe.  I felt certain I would hear from Quinn tonight.