First there was Chapter one, then Chapter two, wouldn’t you know it, that was followed by Chapter three and now… It’s time for Chapter 4 & 5, because I love you and I’m taking pity on you. And well, because Chapter 4 was really short.
“Sadie! Is that really you?” He reached down and scooped her into his arms, surprised by the overwhelming need to hold her close. She hadn’t changed much over the years. Her hair was still as crazy as he remembered and she had the exact same smile, right down to the dimple in the right cheek. He hugged her hard before reluctantly setting her back on the ground. “It’s good to see you too. What brings you to Ha… OOF.” He swooped down to pick up the little girl who had just careened into his legs.
“Emily, can you say hi to Daddy’s friend, Sadie?” In response she nuzzled her face into his neck, whimpering quietly. Typical. Emily was always bouncing off the walls, except when he wanted her to be sociable. “She’s shy,” he apologized. “And she needs her nap. Are you staying in the hotel? Can we have coffee later and catch up?”
“Sure thing! I’m here for the whole week, Room 704. Just give me a call.”
He watched Sadie walk away, slight hop in her step, and wondered what had brought her to Hawaii. He hadn’t seen her in years. He let himself wonder if maybe, just maybe, she wasn’t here alone, but Emily’s shrill “Who dat?” interrupted his train of thought.
“Dat, was an old friend of Daddy’s. An old, old friend.”
“Hawow!” Emily called out to Sadie a second too late. The shining elevator doors had just engulfed her and Sadie never saw the small fist open and shut in a wave.
“Let’s get you to bed kiddo.” Andy said to his daughter, “we have lots of swimming and fun waiting for us when Hunter gets back from camp.”
Jo jammed the flimsy plastic key into the lock over and over again, but the red light stubbornly refused to turn green and she finally had to admit that it just didn’t work.
“Damn. Damn. Damn. Damn.” She rested her forehead against the wooden door and tried hard not to cry. How on earth was this happening? This was her big week. This was her dream wedding. It was supposed to be perfect. There’s no room for closet skeletons in perfect, no room at all. There’s room for flowers, and cake, and pretty dresses. There’s room for friends, and fun, and wine, lots, and lots of good wine, but there’s. Just. No. Room. For. Exes. Who. Broke. Your. HEART! Jo banged her head against the door in time with her thoughts until her forehead started to hurt. She looked down at the hotel key still grasped in her hand and stifled a shriek.
Jo threw the offending piece of plastic on the floor and stomped on it for good measure. She knew she was acting like a brat, but just couldn’t stop herself, this was all just so damn unfair!
Voices at the other end of the hall quickly put an end to the escalating tantrum. Jo picked up the card sheepishly and wondered what she should do. Did she dare head back to the lobby for a new card? What if Andy was still down there? And where the heck was Sadie? She’d have another key to the room, no?
Just as the voices came closer, the elevator, so conveniently located in front of the door to Sadie and Jo’s room, opened. Jo jumped behind the potted plant right next to it seconds before the sliding door came to a stop. She held her breath, waiting to see if anyone would come out, pulling her carry-on bag a little further out of view. She didn’t think she could handle another chance encounter.
Jo chided herself silently. Was she really going to spend the whole week hiding from people? This was so not OK. So not OK at all.