For Peace of Mind
Jocelyn now looks at her watch, it's close to nine thirty on a rainy, miserable March evening. Jocelyn has been working late at the library. She will never call it work, just useful enjoyment that is brand new each day. Jocelyn Frame and niece, Marly Johnson live in an apartment that is only a few streets away from their work place. Marly is the manager at a popular fitness centre, it's where she spends most of the time. Her boyfriend, Ryan Gainer moved out of town to further his law career. He met Marly at bowling and they've been dating for two months. They look forward to the end of the month when Ryan has time off. Marly is busy with work, she doesn't miss him too much. If she isn't peacefully doing paperwork at the centre, she helps out at her parent's new inn, Cozy Content. Marly's folks surely enjoy looking after their recent, relaxing inn on the lakeside. On the twenty eighth, Marly will celebrate Dad's birthday at the inn. Marly has a special sign for him.
Now at the library, the phone rings and student Amy answers it. Jocelyn stops arranging the books, she is expecting a call from Marly. They had planned to have Chinese food shortly. Amy now turns.
"Jocelyn, it's your neighbour Fran. She sounds worried." Wondering Jocelyn takes the phone, she clears her throat.
"Hello Fran, is something wrong at the apartment?"
"No, but a man is waiting at the stairway, he seems very patient."
Jocelyn is puzzled about this, it's rather late for company.
"Fran, what does he look like?" She thinks it's a bowling friend.
"Well, he has brown wavy hair, cute face and he is wearing a gray, red jacket with an eagle crest on his arm. He is holding a gift too."
She goes on about security. Jocelyn immediately knows that this is Marley's ex boyfriend, Greg Matheson, a junior high teacher. She and Greg were close until his sister Rachel tragically passed away from a car accident. Greg left town four years ago, he wrote a heartfelt letter to Marley telling that he desperately had to leave. Now, Jocelyn chuckles.
"Don't worry Fran, he is very nice, peaceful. I'm coming home soon, I'll explain when I see you." Jocelyn thinks of Marly and how she will react seeing him. Now, she calls Marly at work. Moments later, a truly stunned Marly gazes at the wall. She wonders why Greg would be there. Anxiously, she grabs her coat, purse and umbrella by the door. She is nervous as special memories come to mind. Once Marly now opens the umbrella, she suddenly thinks of that lovely first time meeting Greg. The event was a May wedding, the rain poured heavily. Someone at the church must have taken Marly's navy blue umbrella by mistake. Greg soon noticed as she frantically looked in her purse.
"Oh, where's that silly rain kerchief?" Greg chuckled.
"Hello, I'm Greg Matheson, the bride's cousin. Ah, we can share my umbrella, if that's alright with you?" She slowly turns, there was a peaceful look about him. She smiles with contentment.
"Sure, that would be nice." Later at the reception, they enjoyed chatting and dancing. Marly knew he was the one and she deeply understood when he left after his sister's death. Greg needed to grieve, clearly think things out. He called Marly one fall evening to say he was seeing a therapist, Dr. Seaward. And at Christmas, he sent Marly a snowflake necklace, a wreath pin and a pretty Christmas card. She hadn't heard from him for awhile. When Marly started dating Ryan, she sent Greg an email but he didn't respond. She thought it was over.
Now, Marly is at her apartment and a perfect moment is once she sees handsome Greg on the steps. She loves that jacket, he proudly wears the eagle crest that was a birthday gift from his boy scouts. When they now look at each other, Marly can see, hear fireworks. He smiles.
"Hi Marly, I know this is a huge surprise but I had to tell you my news! I actually wrote a book about Rachel, Never Far My Little Dove. It'll be out this summer! It surely gave me peace of mind. I just couldn't wait to see you, wow, you look great! Ah, my relatives are having their fiftieth anniversary in April so I had to be here for that. I'm staying with them'till I find work. Marly, I have missed you so much. I'm feeling better, excited!" Marly places the purse, umbrella down. She gleefully yells then she hugs him tightly. It's sweet comfort, she is delighted to see him. Greg certainly enjoys this tender embrace, being close again.
"I can't believe this, congratulations Greg! Come in, I have cake. I can't stop shaking!" He grins as he picks up the pretty wrapped box. They chuckle at the welcome mat. Marly's heart is beating as she turns the key in the lock. They enter, Greg instantly notices a birthday card he sent and there's a picture. It's of smiling Marly and Greg, Jocelyn and Marly's parents snuggled at a ski resort fireplace. They look so content, peaceful. Jocelyn's friend Lily took the photo. Greg admires it.
"Hey, great picture, I'm anxious to see them!" Marly nods, she quickly changes into a fleece outfit. Greg is looking around, he gets comfy. Now, Marly brings out the cake, this is warm, familiar times.
"Here's a gift, I thought of you when I saw it!" Marly blushes, she thinks this is all wonderful. Anxiously, she opens the box. She now sees a figurine, an adorable boy and girl under an umbrella. She sighs.
"Oh Greg, it's beautiful, precious! Thank you!" She places it on the coffee table. They stare at each other. A splendid moment is theirs as they warmly gaze. Greg now gets closer to kiss, it's heavenly. This is the kiss that Marly had lovingly dreamed of. She didn't want to stop kissing but the nearby phone rings. She answers and it's Ryan at a loud place.
"Hi babe. Listen, I can't make it down for your dad's birthday. We have projects to do and besides my tires aren't good for travelling. I'm at a pub's grand opening, it's packed! I won the door prize, a pitcher of beer. Ah, this girl Carrie plays terrific pool!" Marly is surprised.
"Well, it sounds like you're having fun. Did you get my parcel?"
"Can't hear you. The band is starting, bye now!" Marly grins.
"That was strange, nothing can ruin this sparkling evening!"
Greg affectionately takes her hand. Blissful Marly feels at peace.
"I have to say, I've never stopped loving you, never!" He stares.
"Me too, we have lots of kissing, catching up to do!" They smile. This is one gloriously, special time for Marly and Greg.