Good heavens. The B&B is so busy! You startled me there for a minute.
A lot has happened again since the last chapter. Sit down, have one of my favorite cocktails and read! I will be making some finger food... You will stay for dinner won't you?
April, you are my favorite tutor. Kenny is someone I didn't want to miss out on. And thanks for your help. Senja, Your Elderberry Garden from your fabulous Garden Legacy story, has blossomed here. Thanks for sending her over! Margo, Jeremy is doing the right thing coming to the Bluewater Inn and get some rest. You all are great! Thanks!
A lot has happened again since the last chapter. Sit down, have one of my favorite cocktails and read! I will be making some finger food... You will stay for dinner won't you?
April, you are my favorite tutor. Kenny is someone I didn't want to miss out on. And thanks for your help. Senja, Your Elderberry Garden from your fabulous Garden Legacy story, has blossomed here. Thanks for sending her over! Margo, Jeremy is doing the right thing coming to the Bluewater Inn and get some rest. You all are great! Thanks! It was very early in the morning for most of them. For Jozef it was really late. He should get some sleep. Kenny was in the garage, staring out of the window.
“Kenny, you should get some shut eye bro”.
“Oh.. hey Jozef. No, I’m fine. I just got up. Need to get going.”
“It’s not even 4 in the morning Kenny. What’s the rush?”
He was not really in the mood to share his thoughts about Bubbles, to whom he just wrote an apology note, let alone share his feelings about her brother. It was time he left.
“OK man, see you some day. You’re a real good pianist Kenny. I wish you all the best. I will be on my way too, after I got some sleep, and my breakfast. You OK?”
“… Yea… I think I feel better than I have in a long time Jozef.”
Kenny stepped outside and walked to the lake. The sun was about to rise. He was contemplating about how much had happened over the couple of days he spent here at the Inn. He didn’t need another mother. Bubbles would not be in his life after this stay, so why grow attached? He wished he could say the same thing about Barry… Kenny made up his mind about his future. Music it was. He would be eternally grateful to Jozef for helping him make that decision. He grabbed a plate of the delicious pie Bubbles made the night before, he would wrap it up and he would be on his way, before anyone woke up. Kenny hated to say goodbye. At 8 in the morning all was quiet. Nothing was left to remind anyone at the Inn that Kenneth Steele had been there. Kenny had left the money and a big tip next to the thank-you / apology note on the bar in the reception. Thanks for everything, had a good time. Bye. Barry was baffled to find Kenny’s room empty, his car gone and nothing but a little note for Bubbles. He felt really sad, and had no clue why Kenny would have left without even saying goodbye to him. Had he gone too far by giving him that kiss? He thought Kenny was OK with that last night.
“Jozef?... ahem. I was wondering…Have you been sleeping at all? Did you see Kenny leave?”
“Good morning to you too Barry. And yes and no. I mean, yes I have been sleeping, and No, I didn’t see Kenny leave. I talked to him just before I went to bed though. He was ready to leave. He said he wanted to be on the freeway before rush hour.” “I am not very sad he has left.” Bubbles said.
Barry thought he probably should keep his thoughts to himself at this moment. After all. No one was there when it happened… The kiss.
No need to talk about that. He would quietly do his chores and lick his wounds.
After taking a long, very long shower he went downstairs to the office and checked bookings. There were no new bookings. Just an inquiry about prizes and vacancies by a man named Jeremy Captain, and the one booking they received last week. Elderberry Garden. Barry had to chuckle when he first read that name. Who in the world would name their child Elderberry. Oh well… It was good the B&B was doing good. The ad in the National Traveler had been a good decision. Barry replied to the mail from Jeremy Captain and heard Jozef getting ready to leave. “Oh… Bubbles, before I forget. Our next big gig… I want you and Barry to come and see us. I will send you free tickets later when we have the date. You were there for me when I needed people to be there for me..” Barry and Bubbles were sad to see Jozef leave. In the week and a half he had spent with them he had become a dear friend. He was part of the family.
“What’s with the sad faces guys? I won’t be going to another planet! We’ll see each other again!”
With that last promise they waved goodbye to Jozef and went back to their daily business.
“Hey Evan… You just missed Jozef leave. Did you sleep well?”
Morning Bubbles… Yes, as a matter of fact I did. And I have to tell you, I had the weirdest dream.”
“I got to hear this. You were MY shrink, remember? I feel like I’m yours now” Bubbles said with a grin. “Tell me. What did you dream about?”
“Oh…nothing special, just weird. I can’t remember any details… Bubbles… Have you ever heard from Vincent again?”
Bubbles stared away. She was quiet.
“Bubbles? … Bubbles! I am wondering what is behind that new mask of yours. You are overly cheerful. I know you went through a very hard time after … well, after Vince left. How are you doing? Really?”
“I really don’t want to talk about that Evan. It’s been a long time ago. I am trying to move on.”
“I think you are overdoing it dear. You are trying too hard to be cheerful and you should really focus on being in balance more. It is OK to feel sad at times. You cannot keep sticking your head in the sand and pretend you are not hurt.”
“Evan, I don’t want to talk about… him. But OK, on the other hand you are right. The Inn is growing a bit over my head. Anita is not doing the best job there is to keep the place spic-and-span, and I would really need to get another maid, but hey… where am I going to find one? It would be great if I could focus just on the guests though.”
“Maybe you shouldn’t be focusing on the guests too much Bubbles. It might be your pitfall.”
With that last discussion still on his mind, Evan wanted to breath some of that fresh country air. It was time Bubbles would chew a bit on the thought kibble he had fed her. He took one of the bikes. After a long nice ride through the countryside, Evan was on his way back to the B&B, thinking about how to confront Bubbles with her past. Vincent had left years ago. It worried him, that the name alone was still a no-go item for Bubbles.
Getting closer he became aware of a tiny figure standing there in the front yard.
Elderberry stared at the man in the nice suit, probably another guest. The man appeared very well-mannered and cultivated, nothing like the people back home. But, Elderberry was not here to make new friends, she needed some time to make up her mind about her life. “Hey! Hi there! Are you the new arrival? My name is Evan Enqvist. I’m an old friend of the Bluewaters, please come in! I will call Bubbles!”
"Hi, I am Elderberry Garden, nice meeting you."
Elderberry wasn’t sure if she was going to like this Evan very much, for all that he appeared very nice and charming. Elderberry didn’t have any experience with charming people. She was looking for the stab-in-the-back so to speak…
It was much later that day, and Elderberry sort of relaxed. The reception had been very nice, she was offered a cocktail and the innkeeper seemed to be a nice lady. The brother reminded her a little of her own brother. Both somewhat the same age. She hadn’t seen Evan Enqvist the rest of the day but he turned up at the barbecue. He looked like he had been working out. She just found out that he was a shrink… well. He might be the analyzing type, but Elderberry knew he was not going to do the analyzing on her. That she would make sure of. Elderberry felt a bit strange, sharing information about herself with Bubbles and Barry, and Evan. She had already told them about her home on Galaad, how her father Dill was a famous movie star, her mother a dedicated housewife from France , who loved gardening, and her brother an aspiring musician. Oh, and her brother had just gotten engaged to a local Galaadian girl. That was all Elderberry told them, they didn’t need to know anything else. However, when Evan asked Bubbles if she had thought about the question he had asked her earlier that day, she felt awkward. She was not at all used to people talking about feelings. Bubbles told Evan to put a lid on it. She instantly disliked Evan. She felt a very strong emotion by just looking at him. She felt so uncomfortable around these people talking so openly about personal stuff. It didn’t surprise her a bit that Bubbles got up and excused herself from the party, obviously offended. Evan didn’t seem to be upset at all. Now they were just the three of them. She felt so ill at ease . “So, Elderberry..” Evan began to say… “Tell me, how was your trip over here from Galaad?”
“..err.. Good” was all she could say. She got up and excused herself. She felt so not in place. At the same time she had to remind herself that she had come here to enjoy herself. To get away from the bizarre life she lived at home. The loneliness. Yes, she definitely needed some time to get used to having people around. Elderberry was happy to find some solitude after the hassle with Bubbles and Barry and Evan... She felt sorry Bubbles felt bad, after all her hostess was a nice woman, it was that Evan that made her wonder. But maybe she shouldn't doubt his intentions. He was supposedly a good man and she clearly had no idea what they were talking about, so maybe she should not worry about it. She thought everyone had gone to bed when she enjoyed the final hours of her first day here at the Bluewater Inn. When Bubbles walked in she was, not unpleasantly, surprised.
“Do you like your room Miss Garden?”
“Oh… yes! Very much so! Oh, and please call me Elderberry, or EB. I thought everyone had gone to bed?”
“No… we are all Night Owls here. Evan is reading, Barry is on the phone, and I thought I relax a little in the hot tub. I hope you will feel at home here EB. If there is anything I can do to make your stay more enjoyable, please don’t hesitate to ask.”
Elderberry thought that she probably had worried about nothing. Bubbles didn’t seem to be upset. Maybe she shouldn’t be either. She sat up straight and Bubbles noticed that her new guest seemed to be extremely tense.
“Let’s sit in the hot tub. Tell me about your wonderful Island. About Galaad. I have read about it. Never been there…”
Soon the women were engaged in an avid conversation. Elderberry told Bubbles about her career in business and also about her hobbies, painting, SimFu and fishing. Elderberry found it surprisingly nice to be talking to someone. She decided it must be because she was on vacation. When Bubbles decided to head indoors, Elderberry stayed in the hot tub, enjoying the beautiful night, and the peace it brought her. She hadn’t felt this calm in years. The next morning, before she knew what happened, Barry gave her a make-over. She liked her hair this way. Never knew she had a natural wave. It just needed the right cut. Yes… she started to like it here. This evening she would head into town. Explore some of Bridgeport. She wanted to be alone and enjoy! How on earth was it possible for her to run into Evan here? She had done the city tour, visited the museum and now had come here for a drink. Elderberry thought of the word Kismet ... a predetermined course of events. She really didn’t want to see anyone. Around Evan she felt almost naked. It was as if he could see right through her. Strangely enough, Evan was pleasantly surprised to see EB. He was not at all seeing through her as EB thought he was. He had just been out to see Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and was heading home but had stopped for a night cap. Elderberry had already decided to head back to the Inn when Evan walked towards her. Might she want to join him for a drink and grab a cab to the Inn afterwards? Elderberry felt uneasy. Here was a man who asked her to join him for a drink. What was so awful about that? What made her so uneasy? He hadn’t said anything wrong. What could she possibly say? She felt Evan’s eyes on her back. “I didn’t come here to make any friends Evan. Or any other relations for that matter. I came here to find some peace of mind after my brother got engaged and brought his pretty little wife-to-be to our home. And to make things even worse, my mother and father keep pushing me into finding myself a man and to start a family, to produce a family heir or heiress. Even my brother’s fiancée keeps reminding me of how lonely I really am! So thank you very much, I shall now return to the Inn. Elderberry turned around, biting her tongue. What had she done? She had babbled away about her feelings, her anguish, and to whom? To Evan Enqvist, who looked extremely awkward after hearing what was on Elderberry’s mind. Elderberry mumbled a quick apology to Evan and practically ran to find herself a taxi. “Now… that was smart Elderberry”, she mumbled out loud. Back at the Inn, at the crack of dawn, Elderberry stopped. She felt horrible. Why had she run off? Or actually, why had she blurted all of her most private feelings out to Evan? Elderberry never told anyone anything, but here she had confided to Bubbles last night and now to Evan. What had gone into her? Was she having a middle-life crisis, or a nervous breakdown? While she stood there, sort of feeling sorry for herself and deciding whether she would turn in or take a swim, Evan had returned to the Inn as well. Elderberry turned away, not knowing what to say. Elderberry wanted to explain and tell Evan she was sorry. On the other hand, why did she even want to explain? Back home she would’ve just insulted him.
Without a word she decided to take that swim. The water was soothing. She had turned into her self and thought Evan had gone to his room. Big surprise however. Evan looked like he was planning to take a dip as well. “Why are you following me? I am not your patient! You don’t have to analyze me or do anything else that you shrinks do! I just want some peace and solitude! I am not interested in you, why do you keep on throwing yourself at me?!”
Elderberry was shouting out her frustrations. Evan looked merely surprised, as if he had no idea what she meant. Evan told Elderberry that he was here on vacation as well, and he had no intention on analyzing Elderberry, it was the last thing he wanted.
It had been a rough night. They sat on the loungers and talked. When Bubbles got up that morning and went to clean the bar out she was wondering how these two ended up here.
What had they been up to?
As Bubbles prepared breakfast for her guests, she was thinking about what Evan had told her. Yes, maybe she was too much focused on her guests. She like to be focused on them. No way she would let herself walk down Memory Lane. No way. That book she read, and returned to the library. Let someone else borrow it and read… yes… let THEM write a good review. The wheat cookies smelled just great! Elderberry looked around and was relieved that only Evan and herself were in the kitchen. She dryly wished him good morning and quickly finished her breakfast. She should find her composure… where did she leave it? When she got up to clear the table, Elderberry couldn’t help smiling a bit, Evan was looking so sheepishly at her. So why was this man following her around? She didn’t understand. She didn’t understand either why it didn’t bother her a bit.
“Well... It’s a beautiful day today…”
Elderberry bit her tongue. Had she just started a conversation? Evan looked at her and from the look on his face she knew he was waiting for the rest of that conversation.
“Mister Enqvist, Evan, I am sorry about the way I have been acting around you. It hasn’t been fair, but I’m not used to spending time with complete strangers, especially not men. I do have colleagues, but I never hang out with them after work, I prefer being alone. I hope you understand.. I have nothing against you personally, even though you are a shrink.” And now you might be wondering, why I am such a loner. Well, I don’t know. I have always been like this, preferring loneliness over friends, but over the years I have become more and more like a cranky spinster. It’s not that I couldn’t find a husband. If I had wanted, I could have been married and be a mother a long time ago, but I didn't want that, but I don’t want any of that. See, when my parents told me they were expecting my little brother, no-one told me how the babies are made. Curious as I was, I went to read my late grandmother’s medical school book. She was a famous surgeon you know… Let me tell you that for a little girl, that stuff was simply traumatizing. And it doesn’t help when one has a mother who can’t keep her hands off her husband… my father. They are old already, but still they act like silly teenagers…” “Oh…I’m sorry. Just say if I’m bothering you… I don’t know why I am telling you this… I shouldn’t have done so, you are on well deserved vacation no doubt. You don’t want to be my shrink.”
Elderberry felt more miserable than ever. She felt like crying. Elderberry Garden never cried. She hadn’t even noticed she had placed her hand on Evan’s shoulder.
Elderberry cringed when Evan moved closer. He smelled so manly, it was overwhelming. No-one had ever been this close to her, not in years. Not since she had been a little girl… Elderberry wanted to run away, pack her bags and go back home, back to her paintings and SimFu. But then again… she didn’t. She wanted to stay put. She wanted Evan to hold her… and to KI…ss Help! Did she just think THAT?
Bubbles - Chapter 4
Report this Story:
If you find a problem with this story or wish to report inappropriate content, click here