This month I will be participating in the “Blogging from A-Z Challenge”
What is it?
I will be Blogging everyday beginning on April First with a topic themed on something with the letterA, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until I finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z. The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.
My theme will be short fictional (well mostly fictional) stories about women. Each woman’s name will begin with the appropriate letter of the alphabet for that day.
All of the women will have the common life experience of a loss of some type.
I invite you, Dear reader, to comment on how you interpret the loss.
Josie frantically threw her clothes into her duffle. She was frightened.
She couldn’t stop herself from pulling the curtain slightly away from the corner of her third floor window to peek out. She gasped and dropped the curtain. She thought she saw him walking up the street towards the motel. Was it him? She had only spent a brief amount of time with him, so she wasn’t sure she would recognize him from this far away.
She had to get out of there before he showed up.
Josie was 19 years old. She was a pretty petite girl with large hazel eyes. Her light brown hair was shoulder length and she usually wore it loosely tied back with a scrunchie.
She had just finished her freshman year up in Boston.
Was it only four days ago that she had arrived at The Viking Motel in Wildwood Crest?
Josie and her family had been coming to the Viking every summer since she was a child.
But this year, Josie’s mom was caring for her dad. He was recovering from a recent knee replacement.
Her sister had just started a new job and couldn’t take a vacation.
Still, Josie decided she wanted to come to Wildwood, just like she did every year.
She was looking forward to having some alone time, especially since her break up with Nat.
It would be nice to have this week off before she started her summer part time job, waitressing at the Pub back home.
She was excited to be on her own. It was the first time she had ever been away by herself.
Her parents cautioned her to be careful as they waved goodbye.
When she checked in at the motel office, Betty and Charlie, owners of the Viking, welcomed her warmly.
“Josie, we’ll take good care of you while you are here, sweetheart,” said Betty.
“How’s the family?” asked Charlie.
“It’s a beautiful day.” Betty said. “Still time to get in some sun and a swim, you know.”
“As soon as I get settled, that’s just I’m going to do.” Josie replied.
She fell into a routine. In the morning, she’d take the short walk to ”Sam’s - Serving Breakfast 24 Hours”.
She liked sitting at the window, watching the day unfold. Families heading to the beach to stake out their spots. Dads pushed beach carts loaded down with picnic coolers, blue chairs, and matching umbrellas. Moms carried babies in their arms, the little ones wearing yellow sun bonnets to protect their pale young skin. The older kids carried red sand castle pails and blue shovels with long wooden handles.
She felt a pang of nostalgia, wishing her family were here with her.
After breakfast, she would go back to her room to call her mom.
“How’s Daddy?” “How are you, mom?”
“I’m doing fine,” Josie would re-assure her mother.
“I’m having a nice relaxing time.” she said. “But I miss you guys.”
Then Josie would change into her suit, grab her chair, a towel and her Kindle and walk the short block to the beach.
She liked to sit close to the water, but not by the life guards. It was too crowded there.
It was much quieter at the other end of the beach.
After a few hours, she would go back to the motel for a quick snack and a swim in the pool.
She’d have dinner at the same places that she used to go with the family.
In the evenings, she would sit in the white plastic chairs outside of the office and chat with Betty and Charlie, late into the night.
That’s the way it was for the first three days of her vacation.
She wondered what it would be like to spend the whole summer this way.
The fourth day, Tuesday, started out just liked the other three.
Once she got to the beach, though, that’s when everything started to go wrong.
Josie was engrossed in her book and didn’t notice him until he startled her by dropping down onto her towel.
She looked at him with a puzzled expression.
“Hello,” he said.
She was so taken aback that she didn’t answer him.
She probably wouldn’t have been as leery if he were dressed in swim trunks. But, he was in jeans, a long sleeve tee and wore red and white striped hi top converse sneakers.
“I see you here every day. Well, for the last three days anyway,” he said.
Still not sure about him, she said nothing.
“What are you reading?” he asked.
“Uh, oh, um, a mystery, actually,” she said.
She looked at him closely.
His hair was long and shaggy. Like he needed a haircut.
She caught him glancing at the motel room key that she had foolishly left out on the towel.
“You’re here by yourself, aren’t you?” he asked.
“I mean, I haven’t seen anyone else with you,” he said.
“Hey, what are you doing, later?” he asked.
“Maybe, I’ll come by,” he said.
“You’re staying at the Viking, right?”
Josie got up, wiped the sand off her chair and folded it up.
She told him that she had to get going.
He stood up, gathered up her towel and handed it to her along with her key.
She quickly walked away, her heart beating fast.
She kept looking back to make sure he was not following her.
When she got to the Viking, she went into the office.
“What’s wrong?” Betty asked.
The older woman could tell by the look on the young woman’s face that Josie was upset.
Josie told Betty what happened.
“I’m leaving,” Josie said.
Betty tried to assure Josie that she would be perfectly safe.
“If this guy even tries to approach the Viking we’ll call the police,” Betty said.
“I’ve a good mind to call the police right now!” Charlie growled.
Josie told the couple that she didn’t want to cause a scene.
“Anyway,” she said, “he hasn’t really done anything.”
Josie wanted to go home. It just wasn’t the same for her here now.
She realized that it hadn’t been the same from the very first day.
Yes, she thought she was having a nice time, for the most part. But something had been nagging at her the whole time. She couldn’t figure it out, until now.
Josie was lonely.
She missed giggling with her sister as they whispered about what the girls on the next blanket were wearing.
“How can that girl possible think she should be wearing that?” her sister would say.
The first night, as she ate dinner alone, she felt very grown up.
But, after that, it was kind of depressing, sitting there, eating dinner, dinner for one.
She packed up her car, looking over her shoulder the whole time.
She turned in her key at the office and said good-bye to Betty and Charlie.
“Are you sure you won’t stay?” asked Betty.
“Yes,” said Josie.
“Maybe you will come back again next year, this time with the whole family,” Charlie said.
No, Josie thought to herself, things would probably never be the same.
She and her sister were already moving in different directions. Her sister had gotten engaged last Christmas and was planning a wedding for next summer.
She was relieved when she got on the parkway. In a few short hours she would be home.
When she thought about that guy on the beach, she shuddered.
While it was probably a good thing that she had had this experience, she also understood that she had a lot more growing up to do.