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Dedicated to Those left standing at the altar
Submitted by Vickie
As I sit on the lovely beach of Kauai, staring out at the blue green waters, I revisit the helicopter trip I took this morning. Instead of enjoying Hawaii with my new husband, I was alone. Staring down at the lush canyons and breathtaking waterfalls, I think of what could have been. Dean and I should have been celebrating our wedding, instead, I was left standing at the altar. My parents encouraged me to go on my honeymoon alone and try to have fun. Yeah, right.
As I exit the helicopter, my heart ricochets in my chest. The pilot hops out of his seat and removes his helmet. Thick dark hair lifts up drops down in an unruly mess. He shakes his mane like some wild creature and smiles a smile guaranteed to make women swoon. I tighten my grip on the door frame lest I become his next victim.
"Hawaii is too beautiful a place for you to look so sad."
I blink, and reality slaps me upside the head. What does he know about the pain I'm feeling? I grab my purse and stride off.
"Hey, I didn't mean to upset you." He hurries to catch up. "I just wanted to talk to you."
I glance up, and his coal black eyes remind me of lava rocks. My body quivers with an intensity it never felt for Dean. I always believed love at first sight was a myth. Now, I'm not so sure.
"I—uh—don't normally accost my customers, but I just couldn't let you get away. You're Melissa, right?"
I narrow my eyes and wonder now if he's a stalker, though my heart says no.
He grins again and holds up his hand and a clipboard I hadn't noticed. "It's on the form you filled out. I have another flight now, but was wondering if you'd have lunch with me afterwards." His hopeful gaze made the pain of the past days shrivel and fall away like dried winter leaves.
Dare I take a chance so soon after being burned? But I'm only here another three days. Would it hurt to have some companionship?
Taking a breath, I nod.
"Yes!" He pumps his fist in the air.
I smile back and tell him to meet me on the beach behind my hotel at noon.
The sound of the waves pull me back to the present. Children squeal as the waves wash in and then they chase them with their short-legged gait back out to sea.
I glance at my watch. He's fifteen minutes late. I sigh. Was I destined to be stood up twice in one week?
Not for the first time in the past hour, I realize I didn't even get his name. As I contemplate, what to do, a tall shadow crosses my path. I look up…and there he is. In his gaze, I see the same insecurity I feel.
"Sorry I'm late."
My heart sings. Maybe, just maybe, there's life after being dumped.