Friday, January 8, 2016
Only a Kiss ~ Part 26
With the door closed Ana returned to her packing, tears streaking her cheeks. This wasn’t how she wanted things to go with her Mother. No matter how manipulative her mother was, Ana loved her and a part of her wanted her mother’s approval, but she would not give into her mother’s barbaric request that she married for money instead of love.
Ana could not imagine a life without love. Her mind turned to Brett and she felt his warm embrace as her toes tickled the sand. Ana brushed the tears from her cheeks and felt new resolve flow through her body. She would get her happily ever after.
Ana bit her lip as she stood in front of Cindy’s door. She knew that Cindy and Charles were due home that day, but she wasn’t sure she if they were there yet or if she wanted to intrude on their continued honeymoon at home. She looked down at her suitcase and realized she had no choice. She had nowhere else to go and no money to spare on a hotel room.
Ana gently tapped the door with her knuckles and waited. She couldn’t tell if she was dreading them not being home or actually being there. Either way she was in for an awkward night.
Cindy flung open the door and instantly her arms wrapped around Ana’s neck. “Ana! I’m so glad you’re here.” She released the hug and pulled Ana inside. “Charles, Ana is here! I have so much to tell you! The honeymoon was fantastic.” Ana hesitated, causing Cindy to look down and notice the suitcase as Charles enter the foyer. “Charles, honey, please take Ana’s suitcase to our guest room. How about I make us some tea?”
Ana smiled at Cindy who always seemed to know what to say. “That would be great.”
Over tea Ana rehashed the loss of her job and her argument with Tilde. Cindy the always faithful sister and friend let Ana spill out everything without a single interruption.
“So you see,” concluded Ana. “I’m in a bit of a pickle. I really want to go to San Francisco and find Brett and a new job. But I haven’t the money to get there. So I was hoping you’d let me stay with you for a while. I just need to save enough money for a plane ticket.”
Cindy flipped her hand at Ana. “Nonsense, I’ll just give you the money. I mean, you can stay here as long as you want or need to, but if your heart is in San Fran then I say follow it.”
“Really?” Ana sat on the edge of her seat.
“Of course,” said Cindy. “But I do have a condition.”
Ana felt her shoulders slump. “Okay?”
Cindy grabbed both of Ana’s hands. “I want you to go to San Francisco for you. I want you to go there and make a new life for yourself, no matter what happens with Brett. Look at this opportunity as a new beginning.”
“You can stay in our beach house while you get yourself settled,” said Charles.
“Oh no, I couldn’t,” said Ana. “That’s far too generous.”
“Nonsense,” said Charles, “you’d be doing me a favor. Our last caretaker quit and we haven’t been able to find another one. It would be a real relief to know family is there taking care of the place.”
“So how much money have you saved?” asked Cindy, taking another sip of her tea.
“Less than seven hundred,” Ana said softly.
“Well that won’t do,” said Cindy. “San Francisco is a very expensive city.”