Farewell to Regret  

rm_titsandtires 53M/42F
2973 posts
4/15/2006 10:04 pm

Last Read:
9/5/2006 8:11 pm

Farewell to Regret

She woke up with a start, turned over, and stared in shock. The motor was still running. The radio emenating a steady stream of static, having lost it's oldies station signal hours ago. The AC was off, making the inside of the two tone Ford pickup a sticky vinyl bed with armrests. The sun was still up, but long shadows were a good indicator that it was still Monday.

Gina last remembered heading north on hwy. 89 out of Flagstaff Ar. She remembered swerving to avoid a dog in the road and wondering where it came from, since she hadn't seen a house in miles. She never really liked driving alot anyway, and was definitely not a huge fan of road trips.

The painted dessert was beautiful. The sun's reflection casting a splash of beauty on the landscape that made this place seem as if everyone would want to live here. Tall vertical rock faced ridges in the distance. Foliage that could withstand the sparse annual rainfall. A view that goes on forever in all directions. Untouched nature that seemed to never end. A few days of the intense heat a reminder why it's not the destination one would expect by it's scenery.

She thought back to the dream she had the other night. Not so much a dream really, as it was a memory of her father. She was thinking to herself that she must have been around seven years old when it took place. She thought that because her mother was in the kitchen with the hardwood floors. Her mother was wiping her hands on the blue and white plaid dish towel that she kept hanging on the oven door handle. She could vividly remember the smell of the biscuits fresh from the oven. How they would fill the house with that delightful aroma. The radio played from early morning to late evening in the background, sending out a stream of country western music that seemed to flow together into a day-long song. The shadows dancing on the hardwood slats in unison with the trees in the grassy yard as the wind swept through their leafy branches. The creeky sounds of the screen door as it opened...

Gina's mind wasn't on the scenery though. Right now, the odometer was her focus. She looked at the dash and did some quick calculations in her head to determine her daily progress, and to decide wheteher or not she had time to get out and stretch a bit before getting the truck back on the road.

Not quite so bemused now, she reached for the chrome door handle and exited the truck. She stretched her arms out over her head, arching her back deeply, and standing on her tippy-toes in an effort to get that last bit of blood flowing again. Her dirty jeans and tank top were in desparate need of a change. The ground was dusty, having not seen rainfall in weeks. The air was much cooler out here than in the truck. It would get cooler as the sun set. She welcomed this idea.

Her atlas with its tattered cover was laying on the floorboard on the passenger side in a pile of fast food wrappers, and empty ice tea bottles. Ice tea, lemon flavored to be more precise, had become the new choice for Gina after she quit drinking alcohol. That was eight years ago. And two months. And sixteen days.

She walked around the pickup and opened the passenger side door. She pulled the atlas from the floor and put it on the hood. As she pulled her long auburn hair from her eyes and layed it over her shoulder, she flipped open to "Arizona" which had been bookmarked with a taco wrapper. Stray grated lettuce and tomato stuck to the "Tucson" inset. As she wiped away the day old mexican remnants, she looked at her route thus far, trying to decide exactly where she was. She knew if she could make it to Hurricane, Utah by morning, she would be well ahead of schedule.

Her father came in the kitchen through the screen door, as the rusty hinges announced his entrance. He inhaled deeply and squated down to greet his running daughter as he asked "Did you make those biscuits?"

Gina's mom smiled as she watched her husband pick up their only child and swing her around the kitchen in his clinging arms.

"No, daddy. Mommy made them for you for dinner!" informed Gi-Gi, as her father called her. "They're made from scratch!"

"Oh, they are?" He said, as he winked to his wife, who was setting the freshly made dinner on the table. "What does that mean?" he asked.

"I dunno." said Gina. "I think it means they're good!"

"They sure smell good" he said. "I think you're right. I think that's what scratch means"

"Okay Gina, get washed up for dinner, hun." says her mom.

"Okay mommy"

It was Tuesday morning in Hurricane. The cool night air blanketed the lawn of Ron's flawless yard with a light dew. The dampness made the fence shimmer in the early sunlight. At 6:10 a.m. he walked out his front door and onto the porch with his coffee in one hand and his pen in the other, ready to work on his book of crossword puzzles. It had been a morning tradition for 22 years.

Before sitting down, he gazed out across his perfectly manicured lawn to notice an unfamiliar truck parked on the road in front of his property. Across the street was the Hurricane Valley Pioneer Heritage Park, which didn't officially "open" till 7:30 a.m.

"HHmmm" he mumbles in curiosity.

Ron has lived in Hurricane since the early seventies. His grandfather lived here and his parents would put him and his brothers in the station wagon to visit quite often. They always made it for the Annual Festival of Peaches. Crammed three wide in the backseat of the vista-cruiser, with all four windows down, he always enjoyed the trip to the small town of 3900. He was very close to his grandfather. He spent the entire summer with him once, when he was eleven. That summer, Ron spent several hours with his grandfather painting houses for the elderly in the community who couldn't afford to have the work done or had no family to help them out. His grandfather had negotiated with a paint supplier in Cedar City that it would be a good charitable donation for them, and it would be good for business in the long run. His grandfather was just happy to be able to help out his fellow neighbor. That summer was why Ron had turned out to be so much like his grandfather. Very kind and hospitable.

When his grandfather passed away, Ron was amazed and overjoyed when he discovered he was the only family member who expressed an interest in moving into the family home. As a writer, geography wasn't an important factor in determining where to live. He loved the area and the people in the community. He already knew many of them as well.


Gina sat up, startled at the noise.

"Is everything alright, ma'am?" asked Ron.

She opened her eyes widely and inhaled deeply in an effort to put a quick and unassuming end to her slumber. The morning dew on her windows let a cloudy, filtered version of the morning sun into the cab of the truck. She rolled her head on her shoulders as she again breathed deep through her nose. She rolled the window down and said "Yeah, I'm fine. I'm sorry for...

"No need to be sorry." he said, smiling. "Hi. My name is Ron. Ron Helton. And you are?"

"My name is Gina. Gina McAdams." She said. "I'm in Hurricane, right?" still confused a bit. She never really was a morning person, but after living, and sleeping, in a truck for three days, mornings and evenings seemed to blend together into one long muddle. Time is just that. Time.

"Yes, you are in Hurricane." declared Ron. "Are you just passing through, or is this your destination?" he asked. "Not many people stop here without a reason. Most people passing through usually stop in Cedar City or St.George."

Gina gently rubbed the sleep from the corner of her eyes, and look at the friendly stranger at her vehicle's door. His shirt was neatly pressed, and tucked into neatly pressed trousers. The steam rising from the cup in his hand swirled around in the crisp morning air. His ink pen neatly placed in his left breast pocket. She thought about how strange this all was for someone to look this fastidious at such an early hour when her first deep breath with the window down caught Ron's coffee.

"I'm just passing through." she said, staring at his coffee cup, as if it were the one who asked her the question in the first place. "I'm on my way to Bend, Oregon to see my father" she continued, still staring at the cup.

Ron followed her gaze to his hand and offered "Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a fresh pot on in the house. I even have some leftover breakfast, too, if you're interested." he said, smiling.

It became obvious to Gina rather quickly that Ron enjoyed people. Really enjoyed people. And the fact that it was 6:15 a.m. was of no concern to Ron. The coffee was too enticing.

to be continued

saddletrampsk 55F

4/15/2006 11:36 pm

hurry up..i cant wait for the continuation..

rm_PurryKitty2 49M/51F
9753 posts
4/16/2006 4:55 am

ooooo come on more more!!!

Purry {=}


angelofmercy5 60F
17881 posts
4/16/2006 5:58 am

Great....now I'll be sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for the next segment. Well written!

LilSquirt_4mfm 68M/68F
3394 posts
4/16/2006 7:12 am

ok ... great start

Just thot i'd cum by and say HI .... been a while since i've done that ...

.. but, i dont forget that you were one of our very first commenters to our then embrio blog ... still appreciate that.


wickedeasy 68F  
31152 posts
4/16/2006 12:00 pm

feels like the prologue to a novel - any chance?

You cannot conceive the many without the one.

MamChelle 49F
1443 posts
4/16/2006 11:10 pm

Anticipation...like prolonged forplay.....keeps me looking for the good stuff ahead. *hugs*

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