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from Return to Sandy Shores by Shirley Holder Platt

Copyright © 2019–2021 Shirley Holder Platt

Chapter 22 - Trent

Having been away from my little sister for a few years, I was surprised to find that she was not a morning person. Our family had always been early risers, so it annoyed me to watch her stumbling around the kitchenette trying to figure out how to make coffee in the tiny pot the condo provided. I eventually shoved her to the side and made it for her.

“I hope this is strong,” she said as she blew across her mug.

“I thought we’d be leaving by now.” I paced back and forth with my hands in the pockets of my jeans. I’d been ready for an hour and she wasn’t out of her bathrobe.

“Oh, go sit down and cool your jets. I’m on vacation, in case you’ve forgotten. I get up at five-thirty in the morning, five days a week, in order to work out before leaving for work. I am on this beach at your request. I’ll be damned if I’ll let you guilt me into getting up and running around this place like a chicken with my head cut off.” She sat down and sipped her coffee, not in the slightest bit of a hurry.

“You’re right,” I said, but I still wanted to jiggle the keys to the rental car in my pocket to see if it would help her get going. I resisted. It was something our dad always did to Mom. I had sworn off several behaviors I’d picked up from him along the way, and this was one of them. Instead, I poured myself a cup and sat down across from Tessa.

“Thanks. I know we need to get going, but I’m dreading seeing Mom in a hospital. It’s so weird to think of her being incapacitated in any way.” She shook her head and drank the last of her coffee. “I’ll get dressed. Why don’t you go get us something for breakfast that we can eat in the car? Bernacki’s is still in business. I passed it the other day, but didn’t pay much attention. Hopefully the kolaches are still as good as I remember. Get me two. Will you?” She started digging around in her purse. I put my hand on her arm to stop her.

“My treat. It’s the least I can do for trying to nag you into hurrying.”

“Thanks.” She put the purse down and sank back down into the chair at the little table. “What do you wear to visit someone in the hospital?”

“Are you asking me that for real?” I said. I indicated my clothing, jeans, SaltLife tee-shirt, Dockers. My usual wardrobe.

“Yeah. What was I thinking?” She winked at me and smiled for the first time that morning. The coffee must be starting to work on her system.

“You’ll figure it out. I’ll be back in a few. Take your time. I promise not to push you anymore. It’s just weird that you’re not a morning person.”

“Haven’t been for a long time. You need to come visit more often. I was surprised to see you wearing your hair as long as it is. I still think of you with it military short.”

“It has been a while. I will try to be more vigilant in future,” I said. I ruffled her short hair as I passed by to get my wallet out of the bedroom. “Be right back with your order, ma’am.”

I took my time walking to Main Street and the bakery. The clouds were gathering, and I wondered if I’d make it before it started raining. It looked likely, so I turned around and got the car.

My thoughts were on my parents. When I was a kid, I thought...

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