Welcome to my A to Z Challenge Blog! Like or comment on this post, or vote at the end of the week for your favorites and I’ll continue the top four stories next month! (For details, see my Theme Reveal.) For the second week, my theme is romantic stories. Come back for Week 3 (Anything Goes) or Week 4 (Non-consent). Without further ado, enjoy I is for Interstate
She took the Interstate South instead of North. Damn. It was not what she had intended to do, and she hadn’t realized it until it was too late. Her GPS on her smart phone wasn’t working, and now she was alone, in an unfamiliar place, and she had been going South for an hour before she even realized.
She hadn’t realized her mistake until she hit Massachusetts. She hadn’t intended to leave New Hampshire, so…
Stopping at the Welcome Center seemed to be the best idea. She hoped she could turn around there and head back North, but at least there might be someone there who could give her directions. Unfortunately, when she got into the Welcome Center, there was no one at the desk. It appeared that no one was there but the tourists.
Sighing, she went to the soda machine to buy a Pepsi. She pulled out her wallet. She had three dollars. A soda was two dollars. Fine. She needed it. She put in the money and watched as the soda got stuck. Damn! Isabelle pounded the side of her fist against the machine, but when the soda stayed lodged against the glass, she thunked her head against it and moaned out loud, “Why me?”
“That machine always gets stuck,” a voice said behind her.
She whirled around. “How would you know?”
“I stop here a lot,” he said.
“Why?” she asked, skeptical.
“Because it’s halfway to my daughter’s house. She and her kids live up on a lake in New Hampshire. I live down near Boston. But I like to stop and break up the drive, even if it is only three hours.”
Isabelle was nearing 50, and the man looked like he couldn’t be older than 45. “You have grandkids?”
“Yep, two of them. I have pictures!” he said, pulling out a smart phone.
She raised an eyebrow at him but didn’t comment. She politely looked as he showed her a picture of a young boy holding a baby. “Congratulations,” she said.
“Thanks!” he said. “I only regret that my wife will never get to hold her first granddaughter. She passed away last year.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Isabelle said, her heart warming to the man.
He waved a hand in the air as though to clear away the bad memory. “She was very sick. I couldn’t stand to see her live that way. But I do miss her.”
“Of course you do,” she paused, and then an idea struck her, “Hey, I wonder if you could help me. I’m sort of lost.”
“Lost? Of course, I can help.” She explained where she was trying to go and how she had gotten turned around. “Oh that’s so funny,” he said, “My daughter lives very close to where you’re headed.”
“Yes, there are a lot of rentals up in that area.”
“Well, I’m looking to move there,” Isabelle admitted. “I have an appointment with a realtor tomorrow morning.”
“That’s wonderful! Where are you living now?”
“California, actually. I took a flight into Manchester, but now I’m lost.”
“Well, I was heading home, but I could go back up North and guide you.”
“Oh that’s silly, you don’t have to do that.”
“Nonsense. My daughter would be happy to have me stay with her another night. I’m only halfway, anyway.”
An hour and a half later, they had arrived at her hotel. They parked next to each other and got out. “There, I got you safely to your destination!” he pronounced.
“You did. I can’t thank you enough. I don’t even think I got your name,” she admitted sheepishly.
“Thank you, Irving. I’m Isabelle,” she said, and she extended a hand to shake. As their hands touched, their eyes met, and Isabelle felt a jolt of electricity go through her. “Can I see you again?” she asked.
“I certainly hope so,” Irving replied.
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