A few years ago, I tried writing a couple of short stories. Here is one of them. Let me know what you think!
Lilly Andrews rolled her luggage onto the train platform in Meridian, Mississippi. At thirty-years-old, you’d think she’d have enough sense to buy a decent vehicle. Smoke spewing from the hood of her SUV on the side of the road said otherwise. Artists weren’t always known for their business skills. Good thing her canvases had shipped to the gallery in Atlanta already. After the car fiasco, taking the train the rest of the way to the Georgia metropolis sounded like fun.
Except now muggy air swarmed her as she waited her turn to board. Long and silver, the Crescent rolled into the depot majestically and seemed to whisper stories of a bygone era. Lilly’s imagination buzzed with ideas as she took in the backdrop. What great scenery they might pass along the ride. She had her sketch pad, and her fingers already itched to get to work.
But like a bulldozer set on destruction, one thought collapsed her budding enthusiasm. It’d happened not too many miles from here… Had it been ten years? The only man she’d ever loved had said goodbye and walked away.
Her heart had never recovered.
Warren Matthews grabbed the ticket at the reservation window, his hand still shaking from the near miss. He’d had a lot of close calls when he was in the Marines, but the small plane’s crash landing he’d just escaped had his life flashing before his eyes. As the plane plummeted toward the ground and he relived moments from the past, one face stood out. Lilly Andrews. But he’d burned that bridge ten years ago. When his father had skipped town leaving his mother owing multiple creditors on a failed business, joining the military had been his only option to help. He’d left college hoping to serve his time and come back to get a degree with government dollars. But he couldn’t ask Lilly to wait for him. She’d come from money, and she deserved to move on with her life.
The sun blinded him as he stepped out of the station onto the sidewalk, and he slipped on his aviator sunglasses. Steamy heat billowed up from the ground. Talk about hot. He’d been all over the world between the military and his consulting business, but Mississippi still claimed top spot for highest humidity on the planet.
Let’s go, already.
Taking the train seemed like the perfect way to relax on his way back to the office in Atlanta. He wasn’t in the mood to rent a car and drive. He crossed under an awning and out onto the wide concrete platform. The train waited, but they still hadn’t loaded. What could they be waiting on? Didn’t they see people were melting? He scanned the crowd, but his eyes stopped when they reached striking red hair. It couldn’t be. But so few people had hair that color. He could only see her back, but the height, the frame, they all looked right.
Without permission, his feet started a path toward the one woman he’d never been able to forget.
Lost in thought, the tap on her shoulder made Lilly’s heart skip. When she turned, her pulse stopped altogether. Along with her breathing and ability to reason. Warren? Was she dreaming?
“I saw your hair.” His voice still held the same light Southern drawl. He blinked hard and shook his head. “I mean, I thought it was you from behind. No. Wait. I mean it looked like…” One side of his mouth lifted into a smirk. “It’s good to see you again.” His brown eyes held hers.
Lilly couldn’t stop a chuckle despite the ache in her chest. “Good to see you, too.”
Now they’d have to catch up, and she’d no doubt have to hear about his wife and kids. Then tell him she was still single, leaving him to figure out she’d never found someone else to love.
“So, how are you? What are you doing now? Got family?” His gaze searched her face. “Answer any of the above.” He grinned. “I seem to be having trouble communicating.”
Oh goodness, he was still adorable. Lilly returned a smile. “I’m an artist, on my way to a showing. No family. Except my parents.”
His eyes widened. “Me, too.”
“You’re an artist?”
“No.” He laughed. “I’m still single. You see, there was this girl I never got over. Her name was Lilly. You might know her?” His voice held a question.
Her heart sped up. Could this be real? “I do know her. She’s still here, pining over the one guy she ever loved.”
The whistle blew. Warren’s fingers brushed hers. This time they’d board the train together and maybe...just maybe…come out safe at the end of the line.
I hope you enjoyed :) Let me know how you're doing and if you have a prayer request. I'm working hard on my next book, meanwhile, all my titles are still discounted for the time being.
Here's the Amazon link: Amazon
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Under the Southern Sun
Janet W. Ferguson