The sequel toArrivals and Departures (A&D)has begun. All the characters from A&D will return. The new book will be called For the Love of Block Island.
The title works on many levels as each story in the book will show love in all its forms, platonic, romantic, familial and love of place.
Unlike A&D, For the Love of Block Island will follow one story line straight through, more novel than short stories as A&D was.
This is a scene from the first story in For the Love of Block Island called Closing a Door. In it we se Sean returning to the same beach where Kate, his first girlfriend was last seen:
The wind whipped around, blowing his hat off. It rolled toward the water, and Sean raced after it. Being one of the last gifts Kate had given him; he couldn’t bear to lose it. Although he knew he should let the hat go, especially after coming to terms with Kate being gone, it had been a struggle.
He had found love again, with Heather. It took him a while to realize he loved her, and he knew that letting Kate go would only bring him closer to Heather. He placed his hand in the pocket of his khaki shorts, happy now that he’d chosen to wear the shorts instead of long pants. He gripped the small black box that he’d been carrying with him for the past three months.
Sighing now, with the hat back in his hands, he stared off in the distance, praying, perhaps hoping Kate would come walking out of some other dimension and give him the answer he needed. Continuing to play with the box in his pocket, he knew that wouldn’t happen. They already said everything that needed saying two years earlier. Still Sean kept returning here. He wore this hat when he came because he thought it might be a key to unlocking the doorway to that other dimension. He often wondered what Heather would think if she knew why he spent so much time at this part of the beach. Seems as much as he tried to convince himself he put Kate aside, he still couldn’t completely let her go.
No one meant more to him now than Heather. He’d come to have deeper feelings for her than anyone he’d ever known and sometimes that frightened him. He feared that by having such feelings, he discounted the love he once felt for Kate. But Kate assured him that night on this very beach, that by loving someone else, she felt all the love he had for her.
The box in his pocket continued to press against his thigh. “Oh, Kate,” he said into the wind, placing his tattered and worn hat back on his head. “I do think it’s time.” And he reached inside his pocket and withdrew the box. Opening it, he exposed a diamond ring. Showing it to the horizon, he said, “what do you think?”
He closed the cover and put the box back in his pocket. Strolling closer to the shore where the ocean met the beach, he stuck his Teva covered feet in the warm water, then with some apprehension, Sean took his hat off, stared at it for a long moment, wondering whether he could finally let this last vestige of history go. He continued to stare into the water and finally with some final unease, he kissed the hat, then flung it as hard as he could into the pounding surf. A final goodbye to the past.
This next scene is from the second story simply called Flicka.
Flicka was the name of my German shepherd I had for a brief time growing up. Ester is my maternal grandmother. And Teagan is one of my nieces. As you can clearly see, I’m using real life experiences to help me love writing again.
In A&D we discover that Teagan and Ester have developed a close relationship over the years and that relationship has only grown stronger.
Here’s a scene further along in the story where we discover that Ester has done something for Teagan:
Ester took the chair beside Teagan and looked out the window. Gathering her thoughts, she reached down to pet Flicka who decided to lay between her new friends. Turning back to Teagan, she said, “Flicka and I took a walk after you left earlier and when we reached the hill before the Spring House, I realized the hill has become my nemesis.” She laughed here. “I started thinking about my age and how when I reach the top of that hill, I always have to stop for some time to catch my breath.”
“We all do,” Teagan said. “It isn’t just you. That’s not an easy hill for anyone.”
“I understand that,” she said. Growing quiet again, Ester took a bite from her food. “I don’t know how to start, Teagan so I’m going to plow ahead. Let me finish before you say anything, because if I’m interrupted with questions and stares, I won’t be able to start again.”
Teagan raised a brow. “Are you okay?”
Smiling, Ester said, “Oh yeah. I’m not planning on going anywhere for a while yet, but interesting that you asked about this because this conversation has to do with that.” She put her fork down and rubbed her leg.
Teagan saw this and smiled.
“What?” Ester said, clearly unaware of the tell. She pressed on. “So, I don’t have any family left, Teagan. You’re really the only family I have. A few months ago, I saw my lawyer and spoke to him about my will.”
“Wait,” Teagan said. “What about Thomas?”
“Uh, uh,” she said, wagging her index finger in humor. “You promised not to interrupt, remember?” Taking a breath in, Teagan nodded.
“Anyway,” Ester said. “I had my lawyer change my will. I want you taken care of, Teagan. So, after I’m gone, all this,” she spread her arms wide, “will be yours. I love you Teagan and you’ve been the second-best thing that’s happened to me. And do you see Thomas here? He and I have talked about this several times.” She reached across the table and held Teagan’s hand. “Thomas agrees with me. And he’s so happy that you’ve been such a help. He has no desire to live here anyway. His life is in Connecticut.”
Tears streaming down, Teagan took her hand back and wiped them away. She learned long ago not to argue with Ester. “You didn’t need to do that.”
“I know I didn’t need to, Teagan. But there’s no one else I want to see live here after I’m gone. You understand how important this place is to me. I don’t want a stranger living here. I want someone I love here.” Flicka moved aside as Ester stepped out of her chair. Walking the two steps to Teagan, she gave her a hug. Squeezing her tight, she smiled. “It’s done.” Ester stared intently at her.
Teagan knew that look. It meant don’t argue with me.
“I have one other question for you,” Ester said returning to her chair. “Can you stay tonight?”
Teagan glanced down at Flicka. “I suppose one more night won’t hurt us. It might be a good thing. Flicka will get used to us together.” She seemed to have realized her sematic error and smiled. “I mean she will feel more comfortable if she stays with both of us, not that we’ll be here indefinitely.”