This time I will be writing a serial type of story.
As I meander through my imagination, I expect an episode to take shape in time to be posted each Tuesday.
If you would like to catch up simply click on the “Red Sweater Serial Tab” at the top of the blog.
Part ThreeRachel sat at the white painted desk with her chin cupped in her hands. The desk fit cozily in the windowed alcove of her Inn room. It was barely sunrise. She was exhausted.
As she gazed out the window, she saw Michael, the inn keeper, leading the horses out of the barn into the field.
Rachel was having second thoughts about this visit to the Charington, especially after her restless night. She was particularly questioning her judgement to stay in the White Pine room.
She had tossed and turned, unable to find solace in the oversized bed. Fond reminisces of happy times she shared with Sam turned into taunting nightmarish dreams. She woke several times during the night feeling fitful and uneasy.
Rachel, who struggled with anxiety, had panicked the night before when she thought she had lost the sweater.
It was barely a swatch. The sleeves were pilled from years of stroking. The heart shaped buttons dangled, barely hanging on by a single thread.
Like her life, she ruefully thought.
She still could not figure out how the sweater wound up on the floor next to the bed. It must have fallen out of the tote when she tossed the bag on the bed, she reasoned. She laughed when she spotted it.
That’s what I get for being so careless, she thought.
Sam would have been the one to neatly place the luggage on the bedside rack.
Remembering the scare she had last night, thinking that she might have lost the most precious link she had, her stomach clenched. She could feel a warm flush creep up from her neck and into her cheeks. The palms of her hands began to sweat and her heart pounded in her chest. Only she understood why a shabby faded piece of cloth meant everything to her. It was like the fuzzy pink “blankie” she carried around with her when she was a child.
Pull yourself together, woman! You have to follow through with your plan, she admonished.
Sam was the easy going one. His mild, serene composure provided the stability her chaos required. The shock of the past two months, not having Sam with her, had jolted her into realizing that she should have trusted his love.
Rachel looked at her watch. She had to talk to Evie, but it was too early to call her.
She could smell the aroma of fresh brewed coffee wafting up from the kitchen and decided to go down to grab a cup.
The pot was set up in the dining room along with fresh warm croissents. As she was pouring her coffee, Roz came into the room.
“Good morning, Rachel! You’re up mighty early. Did you sleep ok?”
“Morning, Roz,” Rachel answered. “To tell you the truth, I didn’t get much sleep.”
“I think I understand,” Roz said kindly.
“Roz I need to ask a favor. I’m hoping you’ll be able to help me.”
“I’ll help, if I can,” said Roz.
“I’m trying to locate an old friend of mine,” she said. “I’ve found out through “ findanyone.com” that she may have relocated to this area.”
Rachel reached into her jean’s pocket and pulled out a scrap of folded paper. She opened it flat and read off a name.
Rachel caught a look of recognition on Roz’s face.
But, Roz hesitantly said, “Uh…no. No, I can’t say I’ve ever heard the name. Sorry.”
“Oh,” said Rachel. “Well, I have an address, here. Are you familiar with this area?” Rachel asked, pointing to the address on the paper.
Roz said, “I’ve got to get breakfast ready, my dear. Will you be joining the other guests this morning?” Seemingly avoiding Rachel’s question and not waiting for her answer, Roz went scurrying off to the kitchen.
Rachel left the dining room with her coffee and went out to the wide front porch. The sun was up by then and there was a slight breeze. She sat in one of the red slatted rockers and tapped in Evie’s phone number.
After a brief conversation, Evie promised to call Rachel back in 15 minutes.
While she waited for Evie, she contemplated the path she had been on and what led her back to Charington.
And as she had done every day since the day she finished knitting “ Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Baby Surprise Jacket” in persimmon red, she felt a deep longing and unbearable sadness.