Oh it's you! GREAT! So many things have happened here the last few weeks. I recommend reading earlier chapters if you like to know how it all started and how we did up to now. We left off where Elderberry and Evan were getting to know each other, or rather where Evan got to know Elderberry.
“What’s wrong Elderberry?” said Evan. He sensed her contradictory nature. He had been a psychiatrist for so long now that this was clear as crystal. He knew this was Elderberry’s awakening. She was seeing the light in herself. He didn’t have to analyze her at all. She was figuring it all out by herself. He only needed to listen and be there. The array of expressions on EB’s face said it all. It was painful and joyous at the same time. Evan knew he had to take this one small step at a time. “Why don’t we go outside? It is such a beautiful day Elderberry.”
“Oh, yes… Let’s!” Now here was a man who felt immediately she wasn’t all that comfortable with the situation. Being outside would at least make her feel better and would buy her some time too.
“Go for a swim? Or… race you to the deck chairs?”
Elderberry felt like talking. Now that she’d opened the door and started to talk it was like she could never stop again. “I will race you to the chairs!” she laughed. Evan had never heard such a sweet sound. It sounded like a fresh mountain spring.
Elderberry admired Evan’s back and how his muscular body moved. How come she was thinking about such things? Elderberry scolded herself. But on the second thought, why not? Why was she holding herself back?
He watched her run over to win this race he was letting her win anyways. She was delightful. Staying at the Inn became more and more enjoyable by the minute come to think of it. He felt good. He felt young and vibrant. Wait a minute… He WAS young and vibrant! He hadn’t noticed that for the longest time!
Evan was handsome, he was smart, he understood, he had the most amazing smile she had ever seen and the way his eyes twinkled when he looked at her... But no, she must be dreaming. No man would ever like her, not in –that- way. Elderberry was much too prudish and spinster-like for men. One could hardly call that attractive. Whereas Evan... well, Evan was everything Elderberry found attractive. "
“….. Oh yes, my mom is French, and she doesn’t like my brothers fiancée that much I have to tell you. Boy, you should see them go at each other. Really…I die the vicarious shame. Do you have pets Evan? I think I would like to have dogs, or cats… or both. Can’t really decide.”
Elderberry babbled on. She wondered if Evan was perhaps already taken. He had come to the Inn by himself, and he had no rings on his fingers but that never told much. Perhaps he had some pretty young thing, waiting for him to return to their comfortable bliss. But Elderberry couldn’t ask, not yet. It would seem too silly, considering that Evan probably saw her just as vacation-company, two people thrown together by the force of random events.Evan was listening and enjoyed.
“Yes, as a matter of fact I have a cat. My lovely next door neighbour is feeding it during the time I’m here. Ah, I should get her a little present for helping me out before I go home next week.”
All of a sudden Elderberry was quiet. Had he said something wrong?
Not too far away, that same morning, Wesley Damen was up. So was his old buddy
Klaas “Dutch” Gaastra. Dutch was one of his biker buddies. They would meet every now and then, when and where motor lovers get together. They all had a special antenna for those kind of gatherings. Last week they had been at the Greasy Burger Restaurant and like magic, their group swelled from 2 to 12. Dutch stayed at Wesley’s right now.
As the sun slowly rose, the men had been up for a while. As fishermen do. Wesley was making a pretty good living for himself, thanks to the business proposition Bubbles Bluewater had made him. He’d be out fishing in the mornings and in the evenings and during the day he took some courses in business and marketing. Yes, he even had time to ride his bike. Dutch was from a land called Holland. They were all born with fishing rods in their hands Dutch said. Wesley doubted that. “You’re not going back then Dutch?’ Wesley asked without turning around.
“Neh… I am getting too old. I think I will just go here and there and lend a helping hand if I can. Like here… doing some fishing for your profit.”
“But I give you a bed to sleep in and food to eat? I would not call it for free Dutch.” Wesley knew also why people called Klaas Dutch--he was cheap with a capital C. "I am hungry. Let's go in."
The sun was now up. And with the sun rising, a plan rose in Wesley’s head as well.
He didn’t have that much space to have Dutch around for much longer. Dutch was awfully tidy but two men in a small one bedroom shack was not good for the both of them. Wesley needed to feel free again.
‘Dutch, please… leave it. We can wash up after we eat these. Wait… Let me put them in the oven. Sit… for a minute.’ Dutch did not have a suitcase. He had a pouch with a toothbrush his drivers license and some other stuff. He washed his Dutch shirt every single day though. A tidy man indeed, who didn’t need much. ‘Any plans for today Dutch?’
‘No, not really. I should read up on fishing or watch that bloody fishing program on TV when I want to be of more help to catch you anything bigger than my thumb. I really should move to a place where there are gardens. That’s my thing you know.’
‘Hmmm, well then. Maybe after we eat you can come along and help me deliver the fish we caught this morning at the Bluewater Inn.’
‘Sure, why not?’ Dutch happily turned off the TV
After they had some of Wesley’s amazing herring waffles and Dutch cleaned up, the two men were on their way. A big bag of Anchovies and two lobsters. Bubbles would be happy. ‘Wesley! Good friend! Who’s your friend? Let me call Bubbles, oh and put the fish in the storage room, you know where. Come , let me make some coffee.’ Barry was glad to see his old friend Wesley back. Wes came once a week, maybe twice to bring them the best of the best fish. ‘Hey Barry, this here is my friend Dutch. He is staying with me for a while. He is a gardener. Weren’t you still looking for one?’
‘You’ll have to ask Bubbles. I have to say that I don’t have enough time to keep up with all the weeding and fertilizing. I barely have time to harvest. So, ask Bubbles.’
“Ask me what? OK guys, grab a plate. The salad is not the way I would like it really. I need some extra stuff. Barry, If you go downtown tomorrow, please pick up some key limes and acorn squash at the market. I wrote you up a list. It’s on the counter in the reception.” Bubbles was worrying a bit. Ever since Kenny had been here to visit Barry was distracted. She needed to talk to him. Poor baby. She wanted him to be happy. But as Evan so delicately pointed out, she had to think about stuff too. Vincent hadn’t left her mind since Evan brought him up the other day. It as such a long time ago. She was over him, wasn’t she? Now. Here back to today, she told herself. Wesley’s face made her smile. ‘You are such… * scrump scrump* … a good… *gobble*… chef Bubbles.’ I should’ve never left the B&B…*scrump* ….Hahaha, just kidding!’
‘Mind your manners Wes’, Dutch kicked him under the table. ‘A delightful salad Bubbles. I think you are right about the extra ingredients though. Did you grow these in your own garden?’
‘What was it you wanted to ask earlier Wesley?’ Bubbles was looking at Wesley who put on his most happy face. She knew he wanted a favour of her.
‘See, my friend Dutch here has a green thumb, and I was wondering… if, well..’
‘In my young days I went to school for that Wes. It is more than a green thumb. I have a green thumb diploma mind you!’
Bubbles put on her quasi serious face. ‘Yes? Ah, could it be you heard me talking to Barry last week about the garden and its maintenance?”
Wesley sighed with relief. ’Yes! That’s why I thought of my friend Dutch here. He wouldn’t need much, just a bed really. Wouldn’t you Dutch?’ Wesley kicked Dutch back under the table.
‘Let me think it over Wesley, Dutch.’ Bubbles looked at Dutch who picked up his plate to wash it up. Now there was a possibility.
‘ Come on Dutch, let’s be on our way! We’ll talk soon Bubbles. Anything special you would like me to catch you this week?’
Bubbles thought about the garden. It could really need some experienced help. Dutch looked around the kitchen. My… it could really need a good clean up.
‘We’ll need salmon and trout Wes. Before Sunday. We have a new guest arriving then.’
Bubbles walked the two men to the door.
‘My best regards to your brother Bubbles. He gave us a heartfelt welcome. This is a beautiful farm you have here.’
‘Thank you Dutch. It is a very old Dutch Farmhouse, so you have a nose for that too.’
‘My great aunt was Dutch you know. I inherited the farm from her. Oh… and do give me a call next week. I might have some work for you. I need to figure out where to put you and not lose my Guest rooms, but I might be able to figure something out.’
‘That would be very interesting Bubbles. I think I could do some good work here. It is in need of a green thumb. I can tell right away.’ Oh, sorry if that came out all wrong. I mean, It’s such a lovely place, it can be even lovelier.’
Bubbles was thinking about Dutch. They really needed an extra pair of hands around the house. And if that man was as tidy as he appeared to be, she wouldn’t need to pick up after yet another person. It was an interesting idea. Really interesting. After such a delightful start of the day and later, the uneasy feelings about the harsh truth that they were only here visiting, Elderberry went to the vegetable garden. Evan went to help Bubbles and she was just by herself again. She had never quite experienced anything like this, this feeling of carelessness, light-heartedness. Even when Elderberry had been happy, it had been a serious kind of happy, but with Evan Elderberry felt like she could laugh without being judged. Now why did she feel so uneasy? When Evan found Elderberry in the garden, he was wondering what made her so quiet and silent all of a sudden. He looked at her for a minute and decided he had to move forward. She would not slip through his fingers like sand on the beach. He felt he lost some grip, and realized all of a sudden that if he wanted to stay in this moment of time for ever, Elderberry must too. Aha… Yes it was time for the next step. He hoped it wouldn’t scare her away from him. ‘Ah… such a lovely day Elderberry. Mind if I join you some more and enjoy these last hours of today?’
Elderberry smiled. Her eyes all big and anticipating. Her heart skipped a beat when Evan sat right next to her. She was being silly again. This was a wonderful vacation. This was a wonderful man. She was in love. She knew it for sure. For the first time in her life she was in love.
‘So tell me, what’s with the silence all of a sudden since this morning? If it is something I said I would be very grateful if you would tell me, because I haven’t got a clue.’
Elderberry turned red. And looked at her foot. She should stop being so stubborn and pessimistic about everything. Here was a man she was in love with and all she did was push him away.
‘I really don’t know Evan, maybe because you did mention you are leaving next week… and well, so am I and …and, I don’t want you to, erh, I want …’
‘I think I know what you want Elderberry. I think it's the same thing as I want. Don’t you ever stop talking to me you hear? If there is one to shut you up, it is me.’ And with that Evan shut her up before she had a chance to say anything. Elderberry forgot everything she had ever read in her grandmothers medicine book about how babies are made and all the gross things she saw on the pictures in the book now filled her with joy and excitement. The day that was not supposed to end at all ended when they fell asleep in each others arms. It was Saturday. Elderberry and Evan had spent most of their first day together in the tent. Away from the farm and now she found some time to be alone. She needed to be. She had to sort out all of these new feelings and emotions, give all a place. She had found the love of her life, just to leave him again. That hurt. That hurt really bad. She wasn’t able to look at Evan without bursting into tears. That’s when Evan found her. ‘EB, my lovely EB. What’s the matter? Remember you have to talk to me. Are you homesick? Do you want to go back to Galaad?’
‘NO!’ Elderberry knew that THAT was the last thing on her mind right now. ‘Evan, I... I just wanted to thank you... for being who you are.. you have been great to me these days, and I’m sad that the vacation is coming to an end... sadder than you can imagine. I just want to freeze time, and “ Elderberry cried big salty tears.
‘Come here my sweet woman. You know you can’t do that.’ ‘I... I think I love you Evan... I just wanted you to know that before we say goodbye... You have awoken a whole new side of me, a side I never knew was there. You’ll always be in my heart, and I will never forget you. Gosh I hate goodbyes! Why are there such thing as goodbyes?’
‘I KNOW I love you Elderberry. I knew from the first day. And I want you to come with me. There will be no goodbye if you don’t want that.’
Elderberry’s heart skipped few beats as she listened to Evan. He loved her too! And he wanted her to come with him! She was thinking about her career. Her family back on Galaad... I couldn’t... no, I just couldn’t, there would be so many questions... what would they think? But... oh heck, I don’t even care what they think...
‘I want to come with you, Evan, and I will.. I will come with you.’ Jeremy Captain’s back felt sore from driving all these hours. Now he had reached his destination for the next few days. The Inn looked promising. It was a very different habitat than what he was used to, but change of air would do him some good. As he walked through the big doors into the inner court he was welcomed by a young man.
That must be Barry Bluewater, the man he had emailed with.
“Ah, Mr. Captain, Sir… haha… sorry, that are three titles in one, hahaha. Welcome to the Bluewater Inn.’ I will show you the room in an instant, please follow me. I will show you the kitchen where we usually gather for meals. How was your ride over here?’ As Jeremy walked in he was pleasantly surprised. This was really nice! Oh my! Yes, A really nice ambiance. He couldn’t wait to see his room. He was already feeling at home. Yes, it had been a good decision to go and book here. The start looked promising. “Would you need anything from the market Mr. Captain,…erh.. Captain Sir?”
“No thanks Barry, and please call me Jeremy.”
...To be Continued...
I absolutely have to thank some people. Spladoum for all her help with the language and for Kenny's character. YrS92 for her charachter Elderberry Garden from the Garden Legacy and Martoelle for Jeremy Captain from her story Under the Same Moon. Thanks so much dear friends!!! Thanks Baufive for your CC. I really use a lot of it! Thanks Haagje for Bubbles Barry and Wesley. A big thanks goes to all of TSR's artists. Last but certainly not least: THANKS to you dear READERS!!!
Bubbles - Chapter 5
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