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Starting Over at 55 (A Buzby Beach Novel) Chapter 18

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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...


Picnic Dinner


Picnic Dinner

The calzones Jack brought were of a size that one easily sufficed for the two of them.

“We can put the second one in the cooler and save it for later,” Georgia suggested.

“That’s a good idea,” Jack agreed, silently wondering, I wonder what she means by later: later tonight, later this week

Jack cleaned up the table while Georgia returned the cooler with the uneaten calzone and the unfinished iced tea to her car. Jack met her next to her car.

“Ready for our walk?” he asked, gesturing toward the trail running alongside the road around the park.

“I’m ready if you are,” Georgia replied, taking Jack’s hand tugging him toward the trail.

A Walk Along the Beach


Halfway around the park from the picnic area, a spur trail led out to the beach. Georgia pointer toward the spur, saying, “Let’s walk along the beach for a bit.”

They stopped at the end of the trail where the pavement they’d been walking on gave way to the soft sand of the beach and took off their shoes.

“I love walking barefoot in the sand,” Georgia said, her Nikes dangling in one hand while she took Jack’s free hand with the other. She led Jack down to the edge of the water, close enough that the last bit of the waves breaking on the shore could wash over her feet.

Jack laughed at the childlike way Georgia kicked at the water when it played over her feet. Georgia just shrugged and smiled but didn’t stop.

“There’s something magical about the beach, don’t you think?” Georgia asked. “Especially this time of year when the sun stays up so long. You can stay out and enjoy the sand and the surf half the night.”

“I’ve always loved being at the beach,” Jack told her. “I always dreamed of living here someday. My favorite time of summer as a kid was when we’d come to Buzby Beach.”

Jack heaved a melancholy sigh. “I just never imagined I’d wind up here alone.”

You’re Not Alone, Jack

Georgia slipped her arm around Jack’s waist and pulled him close. His arm went around her shoulder, and she rested her head against his shoulder.

“I know it’s hard, but you’re not alone,” Georgia assured him. “She’ll always be with you in your heart, the way Henry is in mine. And, if you’re lucky, you’ll find someone new to share all this with.”

“Maybe I already have,” Jack said, tightening his arm around Georgia’s shoulder.

Georgia eased her arm from around Jack’s waist. “Maybe,” she said. “But we shouldn’t rush things, Jack. Today has been something special, and I hope we have lots more days like it. I hope you feel that way, too.”

Hiding his disappointment, Jack lowered his arm and took Georgia’s hand. “You’re right, of course. We’ve started something good here. We should let it grow at its own pace so it will grow strong.”

“I’m glad you understand, Jack,” Georgia said. “Because I like you and I don’t want to rush into anything that would ruin what we’ve got started between us.”

Say Goodnight, Jack

They walked back to the picnic shelter, each lost in their own thoughts. At her car door, Georgia said to Jack, “This was nice, Jack. We’ll have to do it again soon.”

“Yes, we will,” Jack said, unsure of what else to say.

An awkward silence enveloped them, until Georgia said, “The Knights of Columbus Lady’s Auxiliary is hosting an ice cream social at the church Wednesday night. I’m helping out. It’d be nice if you could come.”

“That sounds nice,” Jack said. “I love ice cream and definitely need to work on being more social.”

Georgia chuckled. “I think I can help with that. I know just…everybody!”

“It’s a date, then,” Jack said.

“It’s a date,” Georgia agreed.

Georgia turned and opened her car door. When she turned back, Jack put his arm around her and placed his hand at the small of her back, pulling her toward him. He lowered his head and gently pressed his lips to hers.

Georgia responded by parting her lips just enough to show him she was okay with being kissed. Jack allowed his tongue dart between his own lips just enough to taste of hers before pulling back. Jack sensed that if he’d pressed further, Georgia would have let him go as far as he wanted to go.

Jack paused to catch his breath before saying in a hoarse voice. “Good night, Georgia. I’ll see you on Wednesday.”

“Yeah, Wednesday,” Georgia echoed. “I’ll see you then.”

Starting Over at 55 continues in Chapter 19.

© 2019 DW Davis

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