With one phone call, she was free for a few days. She decided as soon as her alarm went off. It had been a restless night, and she couldn’t face what the day was going to bring. So, she got out of bed, made a cup of coffee, and then dialed the phone. It wasn’t hard to convince her boss she had the flu and request a few days off. She wasn’t one to call in that often. And, it wasn’t really a lie. She was sick; sick of the weather, sick of her job; sick of her fiancé.
Jackson hadn’t left until yesterday morning. He usually left on Monday’s, but he had some personal business to take care of. He had wanted her to take the two days off as well. Anna didn’t want to. She liked saving her sick time for when she needed the time off. All he was doing was going to his lawyer’s office and the bank, as well as a few other things he didn’t need her for. After all, it was his aunt that had passed away and left him the inheritance. She went with him to the funeral a few months ago. Anna would not have been able to help with any of the paperwork.
The two of them had gone to dinner Monday and Tuesday nights. The dinner conversation was mainly him complaining. He complained about the lawyers. He complained about the bank personnel. He complained about Anna not going with him to these meetings. She began to feel more and more boxed in. Was this what the rest of their lives were going to be?
Last night, she had her daughters Jill and Casey over for dinner. She needed some time to spend with them and put things into perspective. Thankfully, Jill’s husband took care of the kids, so they had some time to themselves to have a little girl time alone. After some good food, good wine, and good conversation, she felt a lot better. She was seeing things a little clearer, about Jackson, at least.
After she made the call, Anna threw a few things in a bag and headed out the door. She set her internal GPS south. Her mood began to lighten within ten minutes of leaving her driveway. The further south she drove, the clearer the weather became. Gone was the cold rain and dreary skies. Her mood became as bright as the sun she was now following. At noon, she stopped for a fast food fix and bathroom break. She figured she had about another four hours to drive before hitting the sandy beaches of Daytona. She would call the girls when she checked into a hotel.
Around six-thirty, she pulled into the parking lot of a non-descript major chain. It was off season, and she got a good rate for the next three nights. She would have to leave no later than Sunday noon if she were going to be sitting at her desk Monday morning. She had eaten at a diner just on the other side of the bridge of Daytona, so she went up to her room and unpacked. Her room was an ocean view, overlooking the pool with a couple of chairs on the balcony. She made reassuring calls to the girls and thought about calling Jackson, but decided she wasn’t in the mood to talk to him. He wasn’t the jealous type and if he called and she didn’t answer, he would think she was with her mother or out with friends. He wouldn’t be home that weekend since he didn’t go out of town until Wednesday morning.
With a glass of wine in hand, she headed out to the balcony. She sat in one of the chairs for a couple of hours, listening to the sound of the waves and enjoying the warm breeze. Here she was, she thought, fifty-three years old with one bad marriage under her belt, and another relationship on the rocks. At 5’2, she was about twenty five pounds overweight, but she wore it well. She chose her clothes carefully and kept her hair dyed and styled in an attractive cut. She had clear green eyes, a straight nose, and generous lips and almost no wrinkles. Most would consider her pretty. She had a decent job, making a decent living. She had two beautiful daughters and three amazing granddaughters. But, something was missing. She just couldn’t figure out what it was.
She decided to take a long walk on the beach. She could feel the sand shift beneath the sandals she wore. The spray of the water was like a healing shower. The feeling of homecoming washed over her. She knew this was because she was a Taurus. Earth signs crave water like a bird craves worms. She headed back to her room, soaked in a hot bath, and then slept better than she had in weeks. All the tension just melted from her.
The next morning, Anna picked up a local paper while heading to the hotel’s small restaurant for breakfast. She was looking through the want ads just for fun when she came across an ad that caught her eye:
MOVE – IN SPECIAL
BEAUTIFUL APARTMENTS WITH BEACH VIEW.
One, Two and Three Bedrooms
Community Pool and Walking Trail are just a few of the amenities.
Ten Minutes from the Boardwalk in Beautiful Ormond Beach
Anna knew she would never be able to afford anything like this, but she was on vacation. Why not have a look just for fun. She could always dream about the apartment when she returned to the cold February she left behind in Atlanta. She called the number listed and got the directions.