I wake the next morning in, of course, Bobby’s room and Bobby’s bed, feeling more confused than ever. Last night was everything I’d ever dreamed– slow, tender, cherished loving. In fact, I could feel my cheeks heating as I remembered just how many ways Bobby had cherished me last night!
I lay still and opened one eye to see if he was awake and realized I was alone in the luxuriously big bed piled with soft white pillows. Why couldn’t I just be happy about us getting back together? Or even just about sharing a passion-filled night? What was wrong with me? Bobby was still as wonderful as I remembered from when we were teens, but it just felt like something was missing. Obviously it was my problem, because he was perfect. Well, as perfect as the boy who’d knocked me up as a teenager and then left for college without a word could be. Yes, yes, I knew that was unfair and even to me it felt like beating a dead horse, but I just couldn’t shake those feelings of abandonment and it was gonna take a lot of time and a lot of talking for me to change.
I stretched and winced as some sore, little used muscles protested, but I got out of bed, searching for something to wear as I did the walk of shame back to my room. Okay, fine, I’d just have to put on one of his tee shirts over my panties and hope it looked like I was dressed for the pool if I ran into anybody in the hallway. I was searching for the stationery note pad to leave Bobby a message and found it propped up on the desk.
“Baby,” Bobby had written, “you looked so sweet and worn out that I didn’t want to wake you. I know we didn’t get much sleep last night.” (Sleep is underlined twice, just like a guy!) “I went to grab us some coffee. Come down to the beach when you get ready, there’s something I want you to see.”
I run to the patio doors and push aside the curtain so I can go out on the balcony and gaze at the beach. Oh, no, no, no, how could he? I hastily scribble a note and leave it on the bedside table. Grabbing my dress and purse and shoes from the wedding, I blindly rush out the door toward my room. By the time I get my room key out of my purse and open the door, tears are running down my face.
I take a quick shower, throw my clothes into my suitcase and call a car to take me to the airport. I manage to get on an earlier flight back to the mainland, damn the cost. All I know is I have to be by myself to think, away from Bobby. He’ll try to change my mind, I know he will. He’ll be all sweet and loving and understanding and…rational! Damn him, I just can’t think straight when he does that.
God, I must be crazy, who wouldn’t want someone like him? But, I’ve kept these feelings inside for so long, I just can’t — I don’t know, give up myself, maybe? If I let myself even think I might be able to love him, won’t that make everything I’ve felt all these years wrong? So I send Bobby a text:
I’m boarding my plane to go home. I need some time to think. I’m sorry, I really am.
All I know is, I’ve got to run…
After the first hour, Bobby suspected she wasn’t coming down to the beach. After nearly two hours had gone by, he sighed and walked back up toward the hotel, dumping the now-cold coffee cups into a nearby trash can. He looked again at the text message Gina had sent him and shook his head, trying to make sense of it.
What did she need to think about? She hadn’t even come down to the beach to see and hear his proposal. He jammed his hands into the pockets of his board shorts and his fingers found the small velvet box. How could he have been so wrong?
Walking slowly back toward his room, his mind wandered to the previous evening. He knew there was still an incredible electricity between them. She’d been soft and warm and perfect in his arms. She looked incredible in the long, flowing blue dress she’d worn for the wedding, but even more beautiful as he’d inched the zipper down and she let it fall to the floor in a silken pool around her feet.
He shook his head to clear the delicious memories and willed the tightening in his groin to ease. He tried to subtly adjust his board shorts and when he looked up he stopped in his tracks. The drapes to his room were open and so was the patio door. He could see the drapes blowing in the breeze.
He knew he hadn’t opened the drapes when he left, so Gina must have gotten his note and gone out on the balcony to look for him on the beach. Dammit. How could he have been so stupid? Of course she’d seen the words in the sand and panicked.
Bobby squeezed his eyes closed in frustration. He should have taken things slower. He should have waited till they’d had more time together. Bobby rubbed the ache that had started right above his left eye. There was a way to fix this, he couldn’t lose her a second time. Smiling just a little, he shook his head and went up to his room to pack.
He should have known she’d run…