Updated date:

Setting Friday Free (a Buzby Beach Novel) Chapter 32


DW is a veteran, a father, a husband, and a teacher. He's published 9 YA/NA novels thus far. The story you're reading might be next.


The first time you see your father cry

Garrison stood rooted to the sand as he watched his father crying. Part of him knew he should try and comfort the man, but Garrison had no idea how to go about doing so. Finally, not without some awkwardness, he moved close enough to rest a hand on his father's back between his shoulder blades. Garrison knew it wasn't much, but it seemed to help. In short order, Mr. Kaylor got himself back under control.

"Who would have guessed thinking about Friday could affect me so strongly after all these years?" Mr. Kaylor said as he pulled a handkerchief from his pants pocket and wiped his eyes and nose. "I think the whole idea of her somehow coming back, showing up, still being there, even as a ghost, overwhelmed me. I mean, we were only together for a week, Garrison. How could I still miss Friday so much?"

Garrison didn't know what to say, so he said nothing, letting his father do the talking.

"Since we've decided to accept what happened this afternoon at face value," Mr. Kaylor said, getting back on track, "it is up to us to figure out what I need to do to help her move on from here." He raised his eyes to meet Garrison's gaze. "Do you have any ideas?"


Did you ever tell her you loved her

Garrison pondered what his father recently revealed about his feelings for Friday.

"Did you ever tell Friday you loved her?"

Mr. Kaylor's eyes narrowed. He rubbed the back of his head and turned to stare out at the ocean. After several seconds, he turned back and looked down at the sand.

"I never did. We never did. It was too soon. We hadn't known each other long enough. We both felt it. I know I loved Friday. I feel sure she loved me. We never said it, though. I wish we had. I wish I had. I'm sorry I never did."

Garrison felt a chill. "I think we know what you need to do, Dad."

Mr. Kaylor cocked his head and eyed his son suspiciously. "You do. What do you think I need to do?"

"Think about it for a minute, Dad," Garrison replied, wanting his father to come to the right answer on his own.

Mr. Kaylor put his hands to his face and rubbed his cheeks. He looked up at the thickening clouds and out at the ocean. The breeze quickened into a steady wind. The waves grew larger as if the sea was getting angry at the shore. Then he smiled.

"You're right, Garrison," Mr. Kaylor said, patting his son on the back. "I know just what I need to do."

Even as the two Kaylor men realized what needed to be done to set Friday free of her bonds to Buzby Beach, the growing tempest released its first bolt of lightning over the ocean, and the first rumble of thunder shook the dune upon which the two men stood. No sooner had the rumbling begun to subside than the first fat drops of rains, exploding against their skin and clothes like miniature water bombs, started falling.

"We need to run for it, Son. Are you up to a little sprint?"

"I'm about to find out, Dad."


Out of breath and soaking wet

They turned in unison and, with Mr. Kaylor taking the lead, ran as fast as their feet would carry them over the sandy trail in their not-made-for-running shoes as the rain pelted them. The lightning came so quickly it lit their way. The cracks of thunder threatened to knock them off their feet.

Out of breath, soaked through, with shoes full of sand, Garrison and his father finally reached the shelter of the resort building.

Thirty minutes later, having taken turns in the shower, Mr. Kaylor and Garrison were sitting with Trina and Laurel in the newlyweds' suite's living area. Mr. Kaylor has changed into shorts and a golf shirt with his firm's logo on the left breast. Garrison wore one of the resort bathrobes. The concierge was having the boy's clothes washed and dried. Outside, the storm raged on.

Trina regarded her cell phone screen and frowned. "From the looks of things, this storm is only the first of many."

Mr. Kaylor patted his stomach. "Dessert is starting to sound like a good idea. Is anyone else in the mood for something sweet?"

At Trina's suggestion, they all ordered ice cream sundaes. Laurel chose hot fudge to top hers. Trina decided on strawberry syrup. Butterscotch was Mr. Kaylor’s desire. Garrison's pick was caramel. Room service told Mr. Kaylor the order would be delivered forthwith.


An oddly apt movie choice

While they waited, Mr. Kaylor suggested they watch a movie.

"The resort offers all the premium channels," he boasted. "What are you in the mood for?"

"Why don't we see what's playing on TCM?" Laurel urged. "I love classic movies."

Trina spoke up in support of Laurel's vote. "A classic movie sounds good to me."

Mr. Kaylor inquired of Garrison's choice by looking at his son and raising a brow. Garrison answered with a one-shoulder shrug.

"Let's see what movie they're showing."

Mr. Kaylor consulted the laminated card by the television and discerned how to tune the widescreen TV to the Turner Classic Movie channel. When he saw what was about to begin showing, Mr. Kaylor laughed.

"Talk about irony, eh, Garrison."

"Why is The Ghost and Mrs. Muir ironic?" Trina asked as she settled into one of the two comfortable armchairs in the suite's living area.

"Uh, my dad and I were just talking about some of the ghost stories told about Buzby Beach," Garrison replied.

Laurel, seated next to Garrison on the couch, leaned her head close to his and whispered, "Nice catch."

Room service brought the sundaes. The two couples settled in to watch the movie. The storm blew itself out when the Captain returned to take Mrs. Muir with him to the other side.

Garrison's story continues in chapter 33.

© 2021 DW Davis

Related Articles