My dear friend, blogging buddy, pen pal, and soul sister, Laura Beth, author of Hot Shot Headlines shared a prompt about apple picking and asked us to participate if we wished. The only rule is to write about apple picking, so I thought I would give it a shot.
You can read the original prompt that Laura Beth created below:
Don’t Ruin The Moment
Amanda chuckled when Kate approached her at the apple orchard, wearing a plaid shirt and overalls. “You always dress the part, don’t you?”
Kate flipped her hair over her shoulder, “You know it’s adorable.”
“Thanks for helping us, the more hands we have, the quicker it goes.” Amanda hugged her friend.
“No problem, you know I enjoy this kind of thing anyway.”
Kate had just about filled one basket of apples when a rogue bee started flying in her face. “Go away,” she tried shooing the bee, but the bee wasn’t having it, he kept landing on her head, and she kept trying to shoo it, almost falling off the ladder. She climbed down, frustrated, deciding it was time for a coffee break, anyway, but the bee followed her, and onlookers watched as Kate ran around the orchard, flinging her garden gloves through the air like a lunatic as the bee just kept chasing after her. In her haste, Kate tripped over the ladder, falling face first into her basket of apples.
“We usually bob for apples after they’ve all been picked.” She heard a voice call out from behind.
“Well, I usually am two steps ahead.” She retorted.
A man knelt down beside her, helping her gather the remaining apples that had fallen out of the basket.
“What was all of that about anyway?” He asked.
“I was being attacked by a bee.”
“Oh, right.” He laughed.
Kate grunted before grabbing an apple from his hand and throwing it in her basket. “Thanks for the help.” She turned on her heel and started to walk towards the house.
The man ran in front of her to stop her from walking away.“Aw, c’mon, I was only teasing, Grace. My name’s Max.”
“Grace, right because of….” she trailed off, turning a shade of red before waving her hand towards the latter. “Clever.”
“He smiled at her. So what is your name, really?”
“Grace.” She replied matter-of-factly.
Max arched an eyebrow at her and Kate couldn’t help but let out a chuckle.
“Kate,” she finally introduced, extending her hand.
Max shook it, “It’s a pleasure.”
“I don’t think Amanda’s ever mentioned you.”
“I’m a distant relative, Amanda’s grandma and my grandma are sisters.”
“Oh, I see.” She paused.“Well, I’m going to go grab a cup of coffee before I get back to apple picking. I’ll talk to you later?”
“Uh, yeah, sure.” Max replied, scratching the back of his head, a habit he tended to do whenever he felt nervous.
Kate, Amanda, Max, and the rest of Amanda’s family spent the entire day picking apples, only breaking for lunch and to refill their water bottles, or cups of coffee.
“I saw you getting acquainted with Max.” Amanda said.
“Yes, why have you never mentioned him?”
“Well, I don’t really know him all that well, to be honest.” Amanda replied, “I only see him once every two or three years when my family decides to have a reunion, and we don’t really talk all that much.”
“Oh, and he decided to come help out at the orchard this year?”
“He recently moved back from Virginia. He’s the new English teacher at Southern, he replaced Miss Spiker after she retired.”
“Ah, I see.”
“And he’s single, you know, in case you were wondering.” Amanda winked.
Kate blushed again.
Kate walked out of the room she was staying in for the night with her makeup touched up.
“Not interested, huh?” Amanda asked sarcastically.
It was a tradition every year, Amanda’s family took a weekend to pick apples, and then the next day they made jars of apple butter and gallons of apple cider. The night of apple picking they would have a bonfire and her grandfather would spend all day smoking various different meats while her grandmother made all of the side dishes. They were both old and unable to pick apples anymore, so it was their way to thank the family and friends that came out to help. Kate had been like a member of the family since her and Amanda were little, and it was something she looked forward to every year.
Amanda and Kate were sitting at a table at the top of the hill so they could watch the sunset when Max took a seat next to Kate. “Hi ladies.” He greeted them.
Kate went to say hi, but inhaled too quickly and choked on a piece of chicken. She turned away from Max while she coughed up the meat into her napkin before taking a sip of water to wash it down before shyly looking to Max.
“Are you alright?” Amanda asked, genuinely concerned.
“I’m fine,” Kate replied, looking at her feet.
“So choking on chicken and tripping over ladders. Are there any other talents of yours I should know about?” Max asked, breaking the silence.
Kate chuckled. “Well, I’m a good misjudge of distance and run into door frames, I can barely touch anything and it will inevitably fall, knocking various other items off of shelves, and I am always the one who will find the creaky spot in the floor in a quiet room. Especially during funerals or moments of silence when it’s completely inappropriate.”
Max started laughing, hysterically, which in turn caused Amanda and Kate to join him.
As the night carried on Max and Kate kept noticing how people would suddenly have something they would need to go do, leaving the two of them alone. Max finally took the hint.
“Walk with me?” He asked, extending his hand to Kate.
Kate took it and Max led her through the Orchard to a trail in the forest behind Amanda’s grandparent’s property.
“Where are you taking me?” She asked him.
“To my favorite spot whenever I visit.”
They walked for about ten minutes when Kate saw a clearing, they walked out of the forest into this gorgeous field of wild flowers, there was absolutely no ambient light to dim the light from the stars and Kate gasped at the sight.
“Oh, wow. Max, it’s beautiful.”
Max smiled, unable to take his eyes off of her as she let go of his hand, walking a little further and looking up at the glittery sky.
Max walked up behind her and whispered in he ear. “I’m proud of you.”
She looked at him quizzically.
“We walked through the forest, and you didn’t trip over any sticks or walk into any trees.”
She narrowed her eyes at him, playfully. “Don’t ruin the moment.”