Annie was leaving for a road trip for the first time of her life. Being a full time momma and wife kept Annie busy; much too busy to have any time for herself. Annie received a call from her aunt inviting her to join her and cousins for a road trip to California. As the gang traveled to California, they decided to rent a motel in the out skirts. To anyone the motel was just a building to check in, but to Annie it had a charm of its own. The motel felt like home to her. The girls were talking about hitting into town to browse around. Annie decided to stay behind and catch up on some reading. Reading is Annie’s way of relaxing, something that she hasn’t done in a long time. When the girls left, Annie found a cozy chair in the lobby to read in.
After reading for awhile Annie heard the sound of a motorcycle coming. There were plenty of motorcyclists that came and went. Annie loved motorcycles, but never rode on one before. The door opened and there stood a man with a little girl. The man stood well over six feet tall. He held an military stance but it softened when his little girl hugged his waist.. Annie couldn’t help but notice how beautiful the little girl was. She had her daddy's eyes and the same dimple as well. The little girl noticed Annie and smiled a shy smile. Annie returned with one of her biggest smiles. The man took his daughter to the room that they were assigned to. The girls came back from their little trip into town. Her aunt was talking about the motorcycle outside and how she wouldn’t mind meeting the owner. Annie knew that her aunt always loved receiving male attention..
The man and his daughter emerged from their room, refreshed and ready to tackle anything. Annie saw her aunt's mouth drop and knew right away that her aunt just found another victim. The little girl ignored the other women and let go of her daddy's hand. She slowly walked up to Annie and held out her little hand. Annie looked at the father and he too had a puzzled look. So Annie took the little girl's hand and they both walked outside. Annie led the little girl to one of the front porch swings. Then the little girl curled up next to Annie and just smiled. "You have such beautiful eyes ma'am, "said the little girl. She introduced herself as Sam. Annie told Sam that she had beautiful eyes too. Sam blushed and giggled which warmed Annie's heart. The door opened and out came the dad with her aunt following closely. "Annie can you watch Gary's little girl? Gary is going to take me out for a ride." Said Annie's aunt. Annie couldn’t say no, she couldn’t help but notice the way Gary looked at her and his daughter.
It was late when Gary came back from the ride. Gary didn’t like leaving Sam alone with a stranger, but the woman known as Lily assured him that Annie would be perfect. Seeing Sam and Annie together on the swing made his heart ache. He couldn’t forget the way Sam's mother walked out on then. But as time passed he learned to forgive and focused his attention on Sam. As he came near the door to his room, Gary heard the most beautiful song. It sounded like a lullaby that he sang to Sam when she was a baby. He slowly opened the door and gasped. There he saw Annie cuddling Sam into her arms. Sam laid their with a dreamy look on her face. Gary saw the smile Annie gave to Sam. They looked like they were in their own little world. Annie looked up and saw Gary standing there. She tucked in Sam and gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Rest well sweetheart and know the angels are always watching over you". Sam smiled and closed her eyes and before long fell into a deep sleep. Annie walked out of the room with Gary following her. "How was the ride?" asked Annie. " It was ok, but I didn’t want to leave Sam alone too long, but Lily said that Sam was in perfect hands with you and not to worry," said Gary. Annie shared with Gary the time that she and Sam were together. She explained to him about Sam being sad and that she never knew who her mother was. Gary could feel the heartache return, but being with Annie it didn’t hurt as much.. Annie had such a warm and sweet personality that Gary for the first time felt himself being shaky. He hadn’t felt this way in such a long time. But from what he gathered from Lily he knew that Annie was married and was also a mom. They walked outside and Gary couldn’t help but notice the way Annie's eyes sparkled.
The stars in heaven didn’t compare with Annie's eyes. Gary can see so much love and passion, but mostly he could see devotion. He asked about Annie's husband and children. Annie told Gary about the road trip that was planned and how much she was enjoying herself. "Tomorrow will be our last night here. I'm going to miss this motel though. There's so much peace here, I hate to leave it," said Annie. Without even thinking Gary invited Annie for a ride and dinner. Annie was surprised, but asked about who was going to watch over Sam. Then out of the blue came Lily. "We can watch over Sam if you want us to Gary," announced Lily. Both Gary and Annie looked surprised, but didn’t argue. The next day Sam helped Annie get ready. "Do you like my daddy?" asked Sam. Annie smiled at the little girl and said yes, but stressed to her that Gary and her were just friends. Sam smiled and told Annie that she looked beautiful. Annie looked at herself and didn’t think she did. Dressed in jeans and boots complete with a red silk shirt. Sam dabbed some perfume one herself and went to find her daddy. Gary stood outside the motel pacing; feeling like a teenager going out on a date for the first time.
When Annie emerged, Gary stopped breathing for a moment. Annie looked so beautiful and elegant. He led her to his motorcycle and handed her a helmet. He got on and Annie followed. Gary's heart raced when he felt Annie wrap her arms around his waist. They rode to a little diner and then rode to a park.. The park was beautiful with so many trees surrounding a sparkling brook. " Would you mind if I held your hand Annie?“ asked Gary. Annie smiled and said she wouldn’t mind. "I know you are already spoken for and I know I won't see you again, but may I dance with you?" asked Gary. Annie looked into Gary's blue eyes and smiled. "Yes Gary I would love to dance with you." answered Annie. Gary held Annie and with the bird's chirping and the soft wind blowing, it became a song to dance to. Holding Annie and smelling the sweet fragrance of roses just made Gary feel so at ease. "I'm going to miss you Annie and I know that Sam will too. Will you promise not to forget us?" asked Gary. "How can I forget about you and Sam? This has been the most wonderful time for me. I got to meet a beautiful, energetic little girl. And I got to meet you ." At that moment Gary leaned in and kissed her. Annie’s lips were like velvet to the touch. Annie knew that this moment will always be etched in her heart. As they rode back to the motel, Gary could feel his heart breaking. But at the same time he knew he won’t ever forget Annie. With her belongings packed Annie stood outside. She gave Sam a big hug and slipped Sam a necklace. The necklace was a locket that was passed down from mother to daughter. Since Sam was like a daughter to her she passed it down to her. Gary was choked up with so much emotion especially the story behind the necklace. Sam smiled and told Annie that she loved her. Annie replied with an I love you. Gary held Annie in his arms and knew that it was time to say goodbye. As Annie and her family left, Gary knew that she will always have his heart..
Annie and the girls arrived in California in record timing. Of course with Lilly you can get anywhere in record timing. Annie had fun with the girls and had bought some souvenirs. As the girls were driving back home, they passed the motel they had stayed previously. Annie still can feel Gary's lips on hers and felt Sam's hand in hers. This trip has been the best trip ever for Annie. She prayed that Gary and Sam would have a blessed life. Arriving home at last, Annie resumed her regular routine. Ten years had gone by, Annie couldn't believe how fast the years flew. Her children were grown and in college. Annie's husband had left her a little less than a few months ago. He claimed that he needed more excitement in his life and Annie wasn’t exciting enough for him. Although it broke her heart, Annie moved on with her life. Her children always kept in touch with her.
Sam had grown to be a beautiful woman inside and out. She still wore the locket Annie had given her when she was a child. Sam was the youngest resident at Santa Monica Hospital. Gary was so proud of his daughter. Although he worked two jobs in order to put Sam through college, he never had any regrets. There were times when Gary would walk along the beaches of California. His mind would always return to the summer he met Annie. Annie had taken a piece of his heart. He had dreams of and how they had found each other. From the moment he kissed her, Gary knew that Annie was a special person. Sam took it hard when he and Annie went their separate ways. She always kept that locket around her neck. In some ways, Gary felt that Sam flourished because of Annie's love for her. Everyday he thanked God for putting Annie in his path and he prayed that she would have a blessed life.
Annie walked inside her home where her children grew up in. She decided that it was high time that she moved. Wanting to start a brand new life somewhere else; Annie called her children and asked them to come home for a few days. As Annie met and spoke with her kids, they agreed and told their mother that they would help her in anyway. With her children's blessing, Annie knew that she had to get her business in order. The kids helped Annie by trying to find a home for her. They would practically interrogate her and asked her about what place mattered the most. Annie had told them that she loved California. One of her sons found a listing that read about a home off Zuma beach. So he and the rest of the siblings went to California to investigate the home. As soon as they walked into the house they knew that their mother would love it. Especially with the view of the beach. As a present to their mother, the children bought the home. Everything that she can ever need from furniture to linens. They knew that their mother sacrificed everything she had to make sure they never were without.
Sam was taking advantage of her day off. She had been working double shifts at the hospital for a few weeks now. Walking along Zuma beach, Sam noticed the people who bought one of the homes. They seemed so excited with their purchase. Without even thinking she went toward the people. Annie's children were making sure everything was set up for their mother. She was to come in a few days when the other home was sold. One of Annie's sons spotted Sam coming. Sam had introduced herself as well as Annie's children did to her. They told Sam about their mother and how this home was a special gift to her. " So your mother is coming in a few days?" asked Sam. "Yeah mom has been through a lot especially with our father. But our mom always had strength to carry on. So this is our way of saying thank you." replied the eldest son. "I hope that I will run into her one day. She sounds like a lovely person," said Sam. " Where did you get that locket? It looks familiar to me," said the other son. "When I was eight years old, my mother left my father. He was so heartbroken by what she did. So he decided to take me on a vacation on his motorcycle. We had stopped at a motel located in the outskirts of California. He and I met a lady there who was vacationing with her family. She made me feel so loved and before she left she had given me this locket. She told me that she didn't have any daughters to pass it to. So she gave it to me. Ever since then I hadn't taken off the locket." Annie's sons couldn't believe their ears. They knew that the woman that Sam was talking about was their mother. Somehow it all fit, their mother had come home without her locket. She had told them that she had given her locket to a little girl that she had grown to love the short time she was there. Sam was the little girl that their mother had talked about. "Do you remember the name of the woman that gave you that locket?" the sons asked altogether. Sam was taken back by their reaction and told them that Annie was the woman's name. One of the sons fainted and Sam helped him. "What's going on here? Why did you ask me for the woman's name?” asked Sam. "This is going to shock you, but the woman that you told us about is our mother." Sam's mouth dropped open and her heart started to beat faster. How can this be possible thought Sam. It had to be a mistake or maybe could it be fate thought Sam.
"Do you have a picture of Annie?" asked Sam. The eldest took out his wallet and showed her a picture. Sam was in complete shock. There was Annie, smiling the same smile and wearing the locket. "Oh my God!" exclaimed Sam. The sons each hugged Sam and were so happy. "Our mother will be so happy to see you Sam." Sam thought about her father and how much joy this was going to bring him. " My father had never stopped loving Annie. I knew that he missed her. We need to get them together," said Sam. "We are heading back to get our mother, why don't we try a way to get them to see each other." As Sam and Annie's boys plotted, Annie had finally sold the house and was waiting for them. They had told her that they had a surprise for her and that she would love it. Annie was so excited especially the way they sounded over the phone.
"Dad do you remember what Annie was wearing the day you and her took that motorcycle ride?" asked Sam. Gary looked at his daughter with a faraway look. "Oh Sam I will never forget the way she looked. She had on boots, jeans and a red silk shirt. Her soft curly hair flowing with the breeze. Dark brown eyes always sparkled. Why do you ask honey?" asked Gary. "No reason dad, I just miss her that’s all. Who knows maybe someday we will see her," said Sam. "You never know honey, the world is a big place. If its meant to be I will see her again," replied Gary. Annie was picked up by her boys and they began the drive to California. They had contacted Sam and told her that they were on their way. Annie and her boys had stopped at the motel that held precious memories for her. The boys and Sam decided to surprise Annie with her meeting Sam at the motel. The boys had checked on their rooms and made sure that Annie was napping. Sam had arrived a few hours later. "Does she have a clue that I'm here?" asked Sam. "No she doesn't know, don't look so nervous sis," replied one of the sons. They looked at each other and they knew that Sam had become a big part of their lives. In fact they had accepted her as their sister the day they found out who she was. "Ok mom is awake and freshening up. Wait by the front porch swing ok Sam. We are going to bring her out." Sam agreed and waited outside. She was so nervous and wondered if Annie will be disappointed to see her. Or worse maybe she had forgotten all about her. The door opened and Sam saw Annie. The guys had blindfolded her and led her to the porch swing. Sam tried to blink back the tears. Annie still looked like the same woman all those years ago. She still had the same laugh and smile. "Can I take this blindfold off now?" asked Annie. "Yeah mom go ahead." Annie took off the blindfold and couldn't believe her eyes. She saw the young woman standing in front of her. The gorgeous blue eyes and the dimple was so familiar. "Sam is that you?" asked Annie. Sam stepped forward and tears started falling down. "Yes Annie its me, Sam." Annie embraced Sam and started to weep. Her sons were overwhelmed and shed tears of their own. They decided to leave the two women alone. Sam told Annie about her job and about her father. Annie listened and also spoke about her life. "Dad is doing good, he still remembers what you wore the day you guys took your ride. He misses you terribly Annie. Will you be willing to see him again?" asked Sam. Annie looked into those pretty blue eyes and smiled. " I haven't forgotten about Gary. I still remember the day we danced in the park. But do you think its a good idea? What do I wear? I already have butterflies in my stomach," laughed Annie. The sons had joined the women and decided to give Gary a surprise. Sam was in Annie's room. " I think you should wear what you first wore when you went out with dad," said Sam. Annie chuckled and said," I don't think I can pass that look again. I'm a little bit more older honey. I am not as young as I was back then. Sam went to the closet. She pulled out jeans and boots. Sam also had pulled out a gift wrapped box. " I want you to wear this and don't tell me no okay." Annie smiled and took the box from Sam. Inside was a beautiful red silk shirt. It looked exactly like the one she had on that day. Annie got ready and like that day, Sam had dabbed on her perfume. "I'm going to go get dad. Believe it or not he still rides that same motorcycle. I am going to tell him to come here. Your sons are coming back with me. Everything will be ok Annie. Dad will be so happy.”
As Annie's sons followed Sam back to their mother's new home. They decided to go with Sam and meet the man that made their mother so happy. Gary was putting up dishes when Sam walked in with four guys. He thought they were her coworkers and didn't think much of it. "Dad I want you to meet this men." As the men were introduced to Gary, his mouth dropped to the floor when they told him that they were the Annie‘s children. "No that can't be possible. Not my Annie, the one that danced with me. She can't be here, is this a dream?' replied Gary with unshed tears. "Its true dad, Annie is back at the motel where you two met. She's waiting for you," said Sam. Gary couldn't believe it, the woman who took his heart is waiting for him. As he got ready, he bid Sam and Annie's sons goodbye and jumped on his motorcycle. Annie was sitting in the front porch swing. Her nerves were getting worse. What if he didn't share the same feelings that she has for him. All these thoughts disappeared when she saw Gary on the motorcycle. He still looked so handsome just like the first day they met. Gary placed the helmet back on the bike and looked up. There was Annie, so beautiful and real. As she came up to him, Gary still saw those beautiful eyes sparkle. They embraced for what seemed like forever. Then took her hands in his own. Looking deep into her eyes he gave her a gentle kiss. Her lips still felt like velvet and the fragrance of roses lingered on her. As they parted, Gary felt tears falling from his eyes. "Oh Annie how I dreamt of this moment every single night. You always had my heart. I loved you then and I love you now." Annie looked up at Gary and also felt her tears fall. " I have never forgotten about you Gary. You always held a special place in my heart. I love you always." Gary and Annie rode to the park and danced in each other's arms. The love that was separated came together at last.