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Starting Over at 55 (A Buzby Beach Novel) Chapter 22


DW is 55 Plus & married for 30 years. He once nearly lost his wife in a horseback riding accident. He wondered if he could start over if...


They finished their breakfast. Jack over tipped Skyler. When Skyler asked Jack to make sure to ask to sit in Skyler’s section next time he came in, Nancy chimed in and warned Skyler that Corie might have something to say about that.

Their visit to The Crabby Stack left Wanda convinced that the only thing going on between Jack and Corie the waitress was related strictly to his visits to the restaurant.

That just leaves this Georgia person. I’ve got to find out what her story is.

Not wanting to push things after her misstep in the restaurant, Wanda hadn’t tried to take Jack’s hand or walk arm-in-arm with him back to his house. She became concerned when he stopped out front next to her car.

“You can leave your car parked here if you want,” Jack said. “If you don’t mind a short walk back to the beach.”

Jack doesn’t really think I came all this way just to go to the beach, does he? Oh God, he’s trying to get rid of me.

“I wouldn’t mind some company,” Wanda said, trying to sound like she wasn’t about to panic.

Jack pulled out his phone and checked the time. “I’ve got to hang around here and wait for the delivery truck. No point in you wasting half-a-day sitting around here when you could be catching rays on the beach.”

Wanda licked her lips. If I leave now, that’ll be it. All Jack will remember about me is how I poured salt on his wound at the restaurant.

“I can catch rays out by your pool if you’d like me to hang around,” Wanda suggested. “I’m sure you wouldn’t mind the company.”

“If you really want to,” Jack said, giving in. “Just remember, after the TV gets delivered, I’m heading to town to do some shopping.”

I forgot about that. “I could go with you and help you pick out something appropriate,” Wanda offered. “No man should ever pick out his own clothes.”

She cringed when she heard herself say that afraid it would remind him of Cheryl again but Jack didn’t react as if he took her remark that way.

“Yeah, that’s okay,” Jack said. “I’ve got some other things I might want to pick up while I’m over there. I’m sure you don’t want to spend your whole beach day at Old Navy and Bed, Bath, and Beyond.”

Wanda began to realize how she was starting to sound, practically begging not to have to leave him alone.

“All right,” she said. “But don’t ever say I didn’t offer to save you from your lack of fashion sense.”

“I promise I won’t hold you responsible,” Jack said, holding up three fingers like a Boy Scout.

Jack walked her around to the driver’s side of her Escape and stood there while she dug her keys out of her purse.

“Just let me get my beach bag out of the car,” Wanda said. Then an idea came to her. “Uh, Jack, could I go inside and change into my bathing suit?”

“Sure,” Jack said, not seeing how he could refuse her. “You can change in the spare bedroom.”


Wanda wasted no time changing out of her blouse and shorts and into the vibrant blue form-fitting one piece bathing she’d bought from Lands’ End when she’d met her goal at Zumba class. She looked hot and she knew it. Now she just had to show Jack.

When Wanda walked into the kitchen wearing her bathing suit, Jack almost dropped his Tervis cup.

“Wow,” he said. “I mean…just…wow.”

Wanda smiled. It was just the reaction she was hoping for. “Does that mean you like it? It’s new. I wasn’t sure it would look good on me.”

“Um,” Jack said, feeling a stirring he knew he shouldn’t be having, not about Wanda. “Um, no worries about how it looks on you. It looks great. You look…hot.”

“Hot enough to hang out by your pool and improve the view?” Wanda asked, a coy smile on her face.

Jack found he was having trouble breathing. “Yeah, sure,” he managed to say. “You can even jump in for a swim if you want.”

Wanda walked over close to Jack and ran a finger down the front of his shirt. “Why don’t you put on your swimsuit and come join me?”

She left Jack standing wide-eyed at the counter and walked to the back door. With her hand on the door handle, she turned and raised her brow, silently asking if he was coming.

“I don’t think I packed a bathing suit,” Jack said.

“Too bad,” Wanda said as she turned the handle. “Of course, you could always jump in in your birthday suit. I promise I won’t look.”

She turned her back on Jack’s stunned expression and walked through the screened room and out to the pool deck. Finding a spot in the sun, she glanced at the kitchen window to be sure Jack could see her if he looked out, Wanda spread her towel and made herself as comfortable as she could on the concrete deck.

Oh, he’s gonna look, Wanda told herself. No doubt he’s gonna look.

Jack's story continues in Chapter 23

© 2020 DW Davis

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