Waves, Part Four

Waves, Part One

Waves, Part Two

Waves, Part Three

 “I hope your friend doesn’t mind me stealing you away?” Justin inquired as he and Karmen made their way towards the shore.

Karmen chuckled, “She had four margaritas,” Uncle Pappy put her in the guest room, “I guarantee you she’s already sound asleep.”

“Oh, good,” He chuckled. “So, I have lots of questions.”


“Well, I guess the main subject circles back to you,” he paused, turning to gauge her reaction.

She arched an eyebrow but remained silent, waiting for him to continue.

“I must know,” Justin continued, “Why do you call your Uncle Bob, Uncle Pappy?”

Karmen giggled. “Well, my Aunt Mary got pregnant with their oldest daughter Tabitha, at sixteen. Tabitha got pregnant at nineteen, so my Aunt Mary was a 35-year-old grandmother.”

Karmen paused as she looked out at the moon reflecting on the water.

Justin couldn’t take his eyes off her.

“Tabitha’s daughter, my second cousin, and I are only about a year apart, so growing up, she would call Uncle Bob ‘Pappy,’ and I don’t know, I guess I thought that was his name, so I called him Uncle Pappy, and it just stuck.”

Justin smiled at her. “That’s cuter than what I was thinking.”

Karmen giggled again, and Justin loved that he could make her.

“What were you thinking?” She asked.

“I don’t know, but not that.”

Karmen slightly nodded in understanding.

They walked in comfortable silence for a few moments while Karmen kept her gaze on the waves, and Justin kept his gaze on her.

She turned to look at him, and Justin didn’t look away. Karmen blushed.

They walked and talked for a while, and the more she spoke, the harder Justin fell, which terrified him. He hadn’t felt those romantic feelings in a long time. Sure, there were dates with women and passionate nights that always ended with the rise of the next morning’s sun, but Justin had found himself smitten with Karmen since he read her first blog post. They only started talking over email about two and half weeks ago, but he had been reading her blog for months. He wasn’t sure how one person could be so talented. He was in awe of her.

Karmen loved the way Justin looked at her. It made her feel as if she were a rare find, something he was grateful to have the opportunity to look upon.

“I loved the ‘Die Hard’ Reference in your latest story.” She smiled at him.

“I was hoping you would catch that.” He returned her smile.

She continued to sing his praises for the next few feet, filling him in on all of her favorite aspects of the story.

“We’re going to become real friends if you don’t watch it.”

“You say that like it’s a warning.”

“Oh, it’s a warning.” He winked at her.

Karmen blushed and brushed her hair behind her ear.

He walked her to the porch of her beach house.

“Could I see you tomorrow?” He inquired.

Her face fell, “I promised my friends I’d go with them to the concert on the beach tomorrow.”

“My sister mentioned something about that. I think Anna and your aunt are going.”

“I can’t believe they’re friends.”

“Just one more connection,” he smiled.

She wasn’t exactly sure what he meant by that but decided against asking him.

“How about breakfast?” Justin asked. “There’s a diner in the next town that has the best eggs benedict I have ever had.”

“I love eggs benedict!”

“So, will you go with me?”

“Yeah, I’d love to.”

“I’ll pick you up around 9:30?”

“That’s perfect.” She smiled at him.

He kissed her cheek, “Goodnight, Karmen.”

Justin took Karmen to Capitol Diner.

Karmen wondered why the diner was called Capitol.

As if he could read her mind, Justin offered, “The original diner opened in Harfield, across from the Connecticut State Capitol, but business boomed, and they were always packed, so they started a franchise. Other locations are mostly in neighboring towns, but I heard one is opening In Boston.”

“Makes sense,” Karmen nodded in understanding. “Well, good for them.”

She fell in step with him as they walked to the building.

Justin held the door open for her, and Karmen’s adoration for him grew.

“Even better for us.” He flashed her a closed-lipped smile.

Their conversation over breakfast was lighthearted. Justin encouraged her to talk about herself, made her laugh, and found himself falling in love with her. The rate at which he was falling petrified him. She had somehow captivated his heart before Justin even laid eyes on her, and piercing his heart wasn’t easy to do in person, let alone from a stranger on the internet. It was different with Karmen. She not only managed to knock down all of his walls, but she hooked him before he had the chance to protest. It was easy to talk to Karmen. She felt familiar. Often, he would read her stories and poems and find pieces of himself in them. It was as if he had known her his entire life. She was a juxtaposition of old and new. Nostalgia and modern all weaved through the most beautiful and unique woman he had ever met.

Karmen stole glances at him as he sat across the table. She could tell his mind was elsewhere, and she couldn’t help but wonder if she had said something to make him lose interest.

Justin walked into his sister’s house. Anna was in the kitchen brewing iced tea, and Harrison was sitting at the table reading the newspaper.

“Where were you?” Anna required.

“I took Karmen to Capitol.”

“Just friend’s my ass,” Harrison peered at Justin over his paper.

“I like their eggs benedict,” Justin retorted. “It’s not like I took her to The Ritz.”

“C’mon,” Anna tsked, “I saw how you looked at her last night.”

“Yeah, and I know that look,” Harrison interjected. “I give it to your sister all the time.”

Anna feigned embarrassment. “Oh, stop.” She playfully batted her hand.

“What’s up, baby?” He blew her a kiss.

Anna chuckled.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Justin continued to deny his feelings.

“You’re forgetting that I’m your sister, and I can see right through you,” Anna informed him. “I know you better than you know yourself.”

“Yeah?” Justin shifted his weight to one foot as he leaned across the kitchen island to look at her.

“Well, if you really knew me, you’d know to stop pressing this.”

Anna looked at him, “She gives you the same look, ya know?”

Justin sighed, “Why do you never listen to me?”

“Because I’m your sister,” Anna stated matter-of-factly. “It’s my job to annoy you.”

“Karmen was very quiet in the car on the way home. I don’t know. I think she just wants to be friends.”

“You are insane!” Harrison and Anna responded in unison. Anna threw her hands up in the air.

Karmen walked out on the back porch where her three best friends were having salads.

“HI!” Miranda squealed, “How was it?”

Karmen shrugged as she flopped down on the egg chair. “Fine. It was just two friends having breakfast.”

“Girl, puhlease!” Cee scoffed. “Just friends?” She arched her eyebrow, her voice laced with

sarcasm. “Not the way Justin looks at you.”

“Not the way you look at him.” Jarrett pointed his fork at her.

“How would you know?” Karmen inquired.

“I saw you two when he walked you home.”

“Awww, he walked you home?” Miranda gushed.

Karmen held her hands up to stop her. “Don’t get too excited, my friend. He was in another world at the diner.”

“What?” Cee asked in disbelief.

“He seemed very distracted and disinterested at breakfast, but he was so flirty last night. I’m confused.”

“Karmen.” Cee placed a hand on her knee. “I have always wanted a man who looks at me the way Justin looks at you. He struggled to tear his eyes away from you. Every time you moved, his eyes would follow. I swear, when you sat close to him, his heart stopped. He turned blue. Almost fainted. Held his breath….”

Karmen laughed, “I get it. I get it. He was infatuated.” She smiled before she remembered him sitting across from her at breakfast. “Not today.” She shrugged.

As the girls took a cab to the inlet, Karmen put the breakfast behind her. A well-known local band was playing an eclectic mix of song covers, and the girls thought it would be fun to go dancing on the beach.

Justin and Harrison were sitting on a bench. Harrison was checking out the women. He was a happily married man and would never do anything to betray his wife, but he thought there was no harm in looking. He was always known as a ladies’ man in college, but since meeting his wife, Carrie, Harrison truly was a one-woman man. He simply appreciated the beauty of the female species. Carrie was aware of this fact and was perfectly okay with it because whenever he caught the eye of one of them, he always made it very clear he was not interested, and that’s all that mattered to her. Plus, it wasn’t as if she didn’t appreciate the handsomeness of men.

Justin, however, was scanning the crowd for the woman who had been living rent-free in his mind for months. He wasn’t sure how long he could keep lying to himself that he hadn’t fallen completely head over heels for her.


As they approached the stage, Miranda, Cee, and Karmen were surprised there weren’t many people dancing. The band started playing “Wipe Out” by The Safaris, and Miranda squealed in delight. She grabbed Karmen’s hand and pulled her closer to the stage and right in Justin’s line of sight.

The three ladies had smoked some cannabis before they left the house, so they immediately let go of any inhibitions and let the music flow through them.

 The small, private beach community was cannabis friendly. It was part of the reason Karmen’s Aunt Mary and Uncle Bob moved there. Karmen and her brother bought the house next door and split their time there in the summers, until recently, when her brother bought her out, and she decided to move there full time. Her friends always came to see her for a week every summer, and now, they could visit more often if they wished since the house was entirely hers and she didn’t have to schedule things with her brother.

Justin’s jaw dropped to the ground as he watched Karmen move her hips to the beat of the drums. He found her incredibly sexy. He then noticed the drummer was also watching her, and he found himself growing jealous. Justin wondered what was wrong with him. He wasn’t usually a jealous man. It wasn’t so much that Justin was jealous of the drummer’s staring. He couldn’t blame any man who noticed Karmen, but he was jealous that he wasn’t the one making her move in rhythm.

In the movie adaptation of Justin’s life, this would be the part where he rushed up on stage, pushed the drummer off the chair, and started playing perfectly in time without missing a beat. Karmen would be so impressed that she’d take off her panties and throw them at him. Then the screen would fade to black with the edit cut before the next scene would reveal that the entire scenario played out in Justin’s mind, and he was still just sitting on a bench, angrily staring at the drummer.

Justin broke free from his reverie just in time to see Karmen laughing with her friends. It made him happy to see her let loose. The more he saw of her, the harder it was to deny his feelings were more than friendly. Her views on life intrigued him. She was a genuine lover of life and didn’t take herself too seriously. She had a rapier wit, intelligence, and inspiring wisdom. Karmen had hooked him with the very first line of the very first blog post he read.

However, as the months went on, he found himself thinking of her all the time. She was the first thing he thought of in the morning, and she flooded his mind with all kinds of thoughts as he drifted off to sleep each night. He tried to direct his thoughts to other subjects, but every thought seemed to lead back to her. He weighed his options.

He could keep torturing himself by never knowing her feelings. She did flirt with him sometimes, but she hadn’t been windowed long, and he didn’t want her to think he was taking advantage of her vulnerability. He was well aware that she would eventually see the dark side of him, even if they continued as only friends, but especially if she returned his feelings by some miracle. As much as he bet against the latter, he couldn’t help but hold onto some hope for it. Still, he wasn’t ready to reveal his dark sides to her just yet.

Or he could confess his feelings to her. If he did, the worst thing that could happen is she would let him down easily. He knew her well enough to know she would be kind in her rejection and still want to be his friend, and he already considered himself lucky just to have her friendship and some of her random attention. On the other hand, his every wish could come true, and she could return his feelings. The thought had him floating on cloud nine, and although he didn’t allow himself to float for too long, he couldn’t deny how good it felt.

As he looked up at her one last time, he knew exactly what he had to do.

To be continued…

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12 Responses to Waves, Part Four

  1. Brad Osborne says:

    Wow! I can feel for Justin and his hesitation to divulge his feelings. Even knowing that any rejection would be done in kindness does not change the fact that a rejection would be the end of the hopes and dreams he had envisioned in a life with Karmen. A scary place for any man. Well written, my dear friend! Can’t wait to see where this goes. The Harrison character in this chapter adds a bit more male perspective and balances the scene wonderfully.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jessica says:

    Bookmarking for now

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jessica says:

    I was worried, then I was relieve to feel wrong and now I’m agitated because it’s a cliffhanger. I caught up! Yes! Yay! *dance* slap myself. No! I want the next chapter!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Waves, Part Five | Life Lessons From Around the Dinner Table

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