I have sort of hit a wall with my detective story. I think the fact that it takes place during winter and I’m over being cold is part of the issue. It’s also becoming extraordinarily long and bogged down with details, and I’m not having fun with it. If I’m not enjoying writing it, you will not enjoy reading it, so I have put it on the back burner for now. I have started a new story, though, and will be sharing it.
I don’t know if any of you will remember, but a couple of years ago, I collaborated with my blogging buddy and dear friend, Mathew, aka “The Wolf Boy.” I have had a few people request that I continue Serena’s story, so here we are; two years after Mitch’s accident. I am leaving the link for the collaboration post Mathew and I did, but you don’t need to read it first; it’s just there if you want to.
I hope you enjoy!
When it Rains, it Pours – A Collaboration
Serena rested against the front door as soon as she closed and locked it. She released a frustrated sigh before she threw her keys in the dish that sat on the windowsill. She stripped herself free of her red, cotton sundress and the lingerie she wore beneath it, just in case the date went well. Needless to say, it didn’t.
“Alexa, play Serena’s shower mix on Spotify,” Serena instructed the AI as she started dancing before Stevie Ray Vaughan’s guitar filled the room. She walked into her pantry and pulled a lever in one of the shelves, which opened a trap door that led to a weed pantry.
“What shall it be tonight?” She thought aloud as she eyed the joints, blunts, pipes, and bongs. She decided to treat herself after the night she had and made herself a cocktail. She picked her favorite blue swirled glass bong that looked like galaxies swirling when the smoke rose through the mouthpiece. She packed the bowl with ground Sativa flower, and topped it with some THC crystal and kief. She sat on the edge of her tub and smoked two bowls before she walked in the shower and washed the last few horrible hours away.
Feeling more relaxed and having lost the urge to break every dish in her house, Serena decided to video chat with her grandmother. She set up her tablet on her kitchen island and opened the app; She grabbed a bottle of wine she had chilling in the fridge and a large wine glass before she hit the dial button and hoisted herself onto the island’s countertop. The phone rang. Serena sighed as she realized she forgot the dried mango sitting next to the sink on the counter across from the island. She laid on her stomach and slid herself over to the edge of the island, and reached for the bag of dried mango.
“What on earth ya’ doin’ dearie?” Grandma’s sweet voice inquired.
Serena chuckled. “Thank God for long limbs!” she turned towards the screen, holding up the bag of dried mango so her grandma could see it.
Grandma shook her head. “Just like your father. Always have to find the most complicated way to do things.”
Serena shrugged her shoulders, “Laziness,” she admitted.
“Are you wearing underwear?” Grandma asked as she titled her head to the side, arching a curious eyebrow towards her granddaughter at the sight of her long, oversized tee shirt.
“What!?” Serena’s voice rose an octave as she released a high-pitch chuckle along with the question. She lifted her shirt a little to reveal the blue, cotton shorts beneath the shirt. “I wouldn’t talk to my grandmother naked,” Serena stated matter-of-factly.
“Well, speaking of naked,” grandma retorted.
Serena almost choked on the piece of dried mango she had just put into her mouth.
“I’m assuming since you’re video chatting with your grandmother at 9 o’clock on a Friday that things didn’t go well tonight?” Grandma continued.
Serena gave her a pointed look as she popped another piece of dried mango in her mouth. She picked up her wine glass. “Let me tell you about the man you set me up with, grandmother.”
“Oh, my. I thought this one for sure would have been the one.” She sighed and took a sip of her Lapsang Souchong before continuing. “Welp, I guess I’ll just have to keep looking.”
“No!” Serena abruptly replied. “I’m sorry,” she caught herself. Serena closed her eyes and lowered her head as she gathered her composure. “I know you mean well,” she said as she opened her eyes and met her grandmother’s gaze. She nodded her head as if to reassure herself as much as her grandmother, “I know you only want what’s best for me, gramma, but no more set-ups, I can’t do it.”
“Well,” Grandma sighed, “What happened?”
Serena swallowed half of her glass of wine in one sip and poured herself another glass before she answered her grandmother’s question. “Well, where should I start?” She wondered aloud. “The part where he informed me I was going to hell because I don’t attend catholic church.”
“Oh, dear.” Grandma brought her hands to her face.
“Or the part where after lecturing me about how much of a sinner I am, he asked me if I wanted to come home with him tonight?”
A few moments of silence passed between them. “Gramma, he buys into conspiracy theories and believes that President Obama is actually a Lizard.” She shook her head in disbelief. “Where do you find these weirdos?”
“Hey now, Simon was a nice boy.”
Serena pursed her lips together and raised an eyebrow at her grandma. “If you call belittling the wait staff nice, then yeah, sure.”
Grandma rolled her eyes. “He was Aunt Aly’s grandson; I thought he’d be nice.”
“Yeah, well, he’s proof that the nut sometimes does fall far from the tree. Aunt Aly’s a gem.”
“Yes, she is.”
“You tell her I’m fully expecting blueberry muffins when I visit in July.”
Grandma chuckled. “You got it, sweetheart.”
Serena sighed. “I miss Mitch, Grandma.”
“I know you do, honey.”
“I just hate this digital age of dating,” Serena admitted. “I want a man who puts forth some effort, ya know?” She looked at her grandma for a moment before continuing. “I put forth an effort. I just want it in return.” Serena played with the hem of her shirt. “Mitch used to leave me little notes to find, and pick me wildflowers, and play my favorite songs. It’s little things.”
“One day, a man is going to recognize your worth, just the way that Mitch did.”
Serena sniffed as she wiped her tears from her cheeks. “You really think so, Gramma?”
“Of course I do, my dear. Your old soul shines bright and is surely going to light someone’s darkness. He’ll recognize you instantly. Maybe he’ll write poems about you.”
Serena chuckled. “It would be the first time I was anyone’s muse.”
“There’s a first time for everything.” Her grandma reassured her.
Serena talked to her grandmother for a few more minutes, mostly the usual topics, which cousin is doing what, grandma’s latest doctor appointments, and upcoming events happening in Serena’s life.
Serena cleaned up the kitchen before getting comfortable in bed and checking out her favorite blogger’s website to see if he posted any new content. Much to her delight, he had.
A few days later, Serena walked into her favorite cafe. She scanned the room as she spotted Isabella running up to her. Serena opened her arms and embraced her friend in a hug. As soon as Isabella let go, she noticed Katarina, Michael, and Cara approaching. Katarina and Isabella have been close friends with Serena since middle school. Serena met Michael when they collaborated on a few writing pieces together for a journal in Seattle. They became fast friends, and Serena and Mitch attended Michael and Cara’s wedding. After Mitch’s accident, Michael and Cara opened their hearts and home to Serena on the nights when she couldn’t bear to be alone.
“What is going on?” Serena asked as she threw a stern gaze in Isabella’s direction before crossing her arms across her chest.
“An intervention,” Katarina interjected.
“Excuse me?” Serena asked, making sure she heard her correctly.
“It’s for your own good,” Michael informed her.
“We’re concerned for you.” Cara placed a reassuring hand on her arm.
Serena looked down at Cara’s hand and jerked her arm away. Suddenly, she felt the weight of the world crashing down around her, and she just wanted to run.
Recognizing the error of her mistake, Isabella stepped in front of Serena and held her hands up, instructing the remaining three friends to give Serena some space.
“I’m sorry.” Isabella turned and gazed into her friend’s eyes. “I thought you would be happy to see all of them.”
Serena’s heart fell at the sadness in Isabella’s eyes, and she knew her friend only meant well.
“Oh, Izzy,” Serena pulled her friend into a hug. “I am happy to see everyone. I just don’t like being cornered.”
“It wasn’t my intention-“
“I know.” Serena interrupted. “Let’s go chat.”
After ordering coffee and breakfast, the group of friends found an isolated table in the corner of the cafe. “Alright,” Serena stated as she took her seat in the booth next to Michael, “Let’s hear it, what I am I doing too much of or not enough of now?” She asked.
“It’s been two years.” Michael grabbed Serena’s hand.
“You think I don’t know that?” She asked him.
“I know you know.”
“Then Why mention it?”
“Because in that time you haven’t done any traveling, and you’re a travel blogger, so surely you can understand my concern,” Michael replied defensively.
“Michael,” Cara interjected.
“No, it’s okay,” Serena reassured her as she wiped a tear from her eye.
Michael’s heart broke at the sight. He hadn’t meant to make his best friend cry.
“He’s right.” Serena continued as she squeezed Michael’s hand before releasing it.
The group sat in silence for a few minutes after their food was served.
“Did you see Kent’s new show last Wednesday?” Isabella asked Serena.
Serena scoffed, “Do you even know me?”
Isabella laughed, “Yeah, well, I thought you might call me about his photography tour in Glencoe.”
Serena stared at her for a few seconds before she smiled. “You know me so well.”
“We all do,” Isabella replied as she pointed around to everyone.
“That’s why we all pitched in on a trip for you.” Katarina retorted.
Serena had barely swallowed her Belgian waffle and began to cough as the comment caught her by surprise.
“Michael has agreed to take us to the airport,” Isabella explained. “Katarina and I are going to fly into Glencoe with you. We’ll spend a couple of nights having girl time and hyping you up, and then we’re going to leave you alone with Kent to tour and photograph places around the village.”
Serena swallowed thickly.
“I think the first weekend there are other people on the tour with you, but after that, it sounds like it’s just going to be the two of you.” Katarina informed her.
Serena was trying her best not to make herself look like a fool in front of Cara. She and Michael had shared a kiss during a dark and vulnerable time in both of their lives. Cara and Michael weren’t dating at the time, but it took Cara a while to trust that Serena didn’t have romantic feelings for him. Cara and Serena had only recently developed a friendship of their own, and Serena didn’t want to lay on the weirdness too thickly too quickly.
“I think he purposefully kept the remainder of the trip just the two of them,” Isabella whispered to Katarina, loud enough for Serena to hear it.
“I doubt that,” Serena whispered back.
Isabella and Katarina chuckled.
“So, how many days am I going on this photography tour?”
“Ten days,” Isabella replied.
“When do we leave?” Serena asked.
“Next month,” Katarina responded, “July 15th. I already checked with your people, you have nothing going on.”
Serena couldn’t contain her excitement any longer, and she let out a squeal of delight, “OH MY GOD!!!” She exclaimed. “I’m going to meet Kent Walker!”
“There she is!” Michael replied, lifting his cup of coffee to his friends before taking a sip.
Serena looked around at her friends, and she was so thankful for their love and support. She knew no matter what life threw at her or them, that they would always be there for each other. Serena finished her coffee and allowed her thoughts to wander to Kent. She couldn’t wait to spend a week with him in the Scottish mountains, just the two of them and their cameras.
To be continued……