Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

SUMMER PLANS AND OTHER DISASTERS
Friday, July 5, 2019 by KARIN BEERY

PLEASE WELCOME

KARIN BEERY

TO

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY

 

EXCERPT FROM

SUMMER PLANS AND OTHER DISASTERS

She sat on the grass pouting, her eyebrows pulled together over a crinkled nose. It was adorable. Ryan loosened his tie as he walked straight to the side yard. Changing could wait. He put his laptop case on the chair across from Callie and sat down in front of it. She picked at the grass.

“Long day?”

“No.”

“Hard day?”

“Sort of.”

“Looking forward to tomorrow?”

“Not really.”

He leaned toward her. She smelled like fabric softener and antiseptic. “Want to talk about it?”

She glanced over at him. “I spent the afternoon at the hospital.” Callie held up her arm. “Five stitches.”

“What happened?”

She sighed and looked away.

He bit back a smile. “We don’t need to talk about it.”

She looked at him again. This time she batted her eyelashes and smiled. “How was your day?”

“Pretty uneventful. Spent hours in front of my laptop trying to please my clients.” He nodded at her arm. “Not nearly as exciting as your day.”

Callie cocked her head. “If you do all of your work on your laptop, why do you have to go into an office? Can’t you graphically design stuff from home?”

Ryan smiled. “Sometimes I do, but it’s good motivation to keep regular work hours.”

“I can appreciate that. I live and die by regular work hours.”

“Planning everything out?”

“Lesson plans don’t write themselves.”

A piece of hair dropped down over Callie’s eye. She tried to blow it out of her face, but the wind worked against her. Ryan watched her until she noticed his attention. Her cheeks darkened. He gently wrapped his fingers around Callie’s wrist and pulled her arm towards him. He brushed his finger over her bandage. “Should I assume you’re taking the rest of the night off then?”

 “I, uh …” Goose bumps popped up on her skin. He rubbed the spot again. She shivered. He liked it. “I’m, ah … I’m off for the rest of the night, possibly the week.”

“What are your plans?”

Callie leaned against the chair. “I … I don’t know yet. Right now, I’m stuck at the end of the peninsula with seagulls, tourists, and a throbbing arm.”

“It’ll get better.” Ryan pulled off his tie with one hand. “Soon enough it’ll be too hot for a shirt and tie, and you’ll be lounging on the beach while you decide what to do.”

Callie watched his hand as he worked on his top button. As he popped open the second button, her cheeks flushed. Ryan stroked her bandaged arm again. She yanked it from his grasp and tucked her hair behind her ear.

“I don’t really want to sit on the beach all summer. I want to work. I need to.” Callie attacked the grass again.

Ryan bent over, leaning close enough that his lips brushed Callie’s ear. “Whatever you decide to do, I enjoy having you here.”

She shivered.

“Life certainly would be boring without you.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.” Neither of them moved. The afternoon sun baked his back. Sweat beaded on his neck, but Callie’s nearness kept him rooted to his spot. “I hope you stay.”

She leaned back, looking him right in the eye. “I … I …” Her eyes flickered down just before she jumped up, stepping away from him. Thankfully, she was able to do what he couldn’t—put some space between them.

Ryan stood, stepping toward her. Despite her apparent discomfort, Callie never moved. Maybe she was feeling it too. He reached for that piece of hair that kept blowing around.

A horn honked.

They both jumped. Ryan snapped out of his haze and away from Callie. He looked at the car in the driveway, immediately recognizing the coupe.

Callie’s gasp suggested she did too. Jack stepped out of the garage, wiping his hands on a rag before stuffing it in his back pocket. He looked at Ryan and shrugged.

The car door opened.

Callie stepped beside Ryan. “Kyle.”

 

ABOUT SUMMER PLANS AND OTHER DISASTERS

Elementary school music teacher Callie Stevens thinks she’s finally figured out God ’s plan for her life—she even made a list to keep her on track. Moving in with her brother and reconnecting with her ex-boyfriend are at the top of the list. What ’s not on the list is running into her childhood crush, Ryan. God wanted her to connect with Kyle, right? Trying to figure out God ’s plan is hard enough. But a dating-averse older brother, the young blonde who adores him, a pregnant best friend, and Callie ’s continual mishaps make her wonder whether her best-laid plans were truly God-inspired. “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men, Gang aft a-gley, And leave us naught but grief and pain, For promised joy.” —Robert Browning

ABOUT KARIN BEERY

Born and raised in Michigan, Karin Beery wrote her first novel in high school (mostly during government and psychology classes - sorry Mr. Winkle). Today she writes contemporary stories with a healthy dose of romance. When not writing fiction, she's editing or teaching others at conferences and through the PEN Institute. When not engaged in writerly pursuits, she enjoys time at home in Northern Michigan with her husband and fur babies.

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