A Memory Unchained by Gloria Graham - HTML preview

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“I

wonder how mother is getting along with Aunt Lydia?” Jill looked at Grant with her baby

 

blue eyes.

“Your Mom can get along with anyone!” he answered quickly.
“I really appreciate your taking me sightseeing, when I know how concerned you are for Rex.”
“I want to,” he said softly.
“Thank you anyway.” She smiled.
Grant made sure she saw every tourist attraction Paris had to offer. The morning was full of walking up and down long lines of steps and endless museums. Jill sank into the car seat exhausted.
“Hey, we are just getting started,” Grant laughed.
“I’ve never walked up so many steps in my life! Can there be more?” She said reluctantly.
Grant thought for a moment.
“How would you like to ditch this city stuff and take a ride in the Paris countryside?”
“Sound terrific,” she sighed leaning her head against his arm.
“Now that’s better,” he said and he put his arm around her as they drove out of the city traffic.
“I know a nice tearoom. It has all the flavor of Europe.”
“I’d love that,” she smiled.
The afternoon passed rapidly. They were amazed at how much they had in common. After lunch, Grant suggested a walk along the banks of a small stream behind the tea room.
Jill quietly took in the crisp, clean air as Grant watched her every move.
When she paused to pick a wild flower, Grant couldn’t resist helping her up. Right into his waiting arms.
They kissed softly – then again. Jill caught her breath. Her mother’s warning about Grant echoed in her ears. She wanted her to be wrong about him.
Grant started to say something when Jill stopped him.
“Please wait,” I feel I must be completely honest with you. I do feel special about you, but I have to be sure you understand something. I am not a one night stand. I…”
Grant anticipated her, “Neither am I, regardless of what you have heard or read on the gossip column. That is not me. I want the same thing you want. Love with the right person, the one God has chosen for me.” He paused.
Jill smiled. “I have been saving myself for that one special person too.”
Then Grant smiled. “Just one question,” he said. “Will you recognize him when you meet him?”
Jill smiled coyly at him and said, “I think I already have.”
Grant gathered her into his arms again and they kissed.
“I hate to break up this moment but we’d better get back to the hospital, your mother will be concerned about us.” Grant said reluctantly.
Jill sighed. He seemed to sense her feelings. She couldn’t take her eyes off his handsome face as they drove to the hospital in each others arms.
When they arrived at the hospital, Pamela was seated in the waiting room.
“Is he …?” Jill paused. Her mother looked tired and drawn. The trip and all the trauma showed on Pamela’s face.
“The doctor is due out now. I’ve waited all day to speak to him,” she said soberly.
“Have you seen Rex at all?” Jill questioned.
“Yes, they have been most kind. I’ve spent hours just holding his hand and praying for him.” Pamela wiped her eyes again.
Jill put her arm around her mother.
“You are much too tired. Why don’t we go back to the hotel and you can rest.”
Pamela quickly disagreed.
“I’ve got to see the doctor first. I couldn’t rest anyway.”
When the doctor broke the news, Pamela whispered, “Thank you God.”
“He’s regained consciousness. You can go in and talk to him. But just for five minutes.” The doctor was pleasant but firm.
Grant hugged Pamela. A tear rolled down his cheek. “You go in first,” he demanded. “I’ll wait.”
The room was still dark, the heart monitor still made its beeping sound but this time it was a beautiful sound to Pamela’s ears.
Rex turned his bruised head toward her as she entered his room. He blinked his eyes when she spoke to him. He recognized her.
Pamela held back her tears. Her heart ached as she looked into his blank, unreachable eyes, so different from his usual intensely happy look.
She sat silently, holding his hand, hoping he would speak.
She whispered in his ear, “You are so special to me. I love you so.”
She couldn’t help remember the beautiful weeks they had spent together in Paris.
“How short life is,” she thought. “How little time we have to make things right in our lives. Okay God, give him back his life,” she prayed.
Pamela stayed as long as the nurse would allow. Then Rex’s words came softly. “I have felt your prayers Chéri. Your strength is with me.” He hesitated. Pamela squeezed his hand.
“You must model the blue chiffon for me.” He whispered though the pain made it hard for him to speak.
“But darling, don’t think of that now, you must rest. Besides, I’m not a model. Are you sure, it’s going to be the biggest show of the season. I’m not sure I would do it justice.”
“Please,” he gasped. “You must promise me.”
“Of course, I promise. For you I would do anything.”
She thought how much she owed him. What a small request. Their relationship had been short, but the depth of their friendship was real. They had experienced something between them that was beautiful.
Rex motioned her close again. He whispered a name, “Jeff – the meeting…?”
Pamela finally caught all his words. He was still so weak and incoherent.
She thought before she spoke. She could still see the hurt expression on Jeff ’s handsome face when she left so abruptly. She shivered.
“Everything’s fine,” she answered. “Don’t worry. We have everything under control. Aunt Lydia has helped.”
Rex seemed to relax with that assurance. He closed his eyes. Pamela kissed him softly and left the room.
Grant visited with Rex for a short time, then they left for the airport.
In the taxi Jill couldn’t contain her excitement any longer. She bubbled over with all the sights Grant had taken her to see.
Pamela watched their faces closely. They hardly took their eyes off each other. She laid her head back against the seat and said another “Thank you Lord for everything. And especially for my Jill.”
She smiled as she watched as the two young people sitting in front of her falling in love. Next stop, New York, she thought, and a new job awaiting her. She shivered.
New York bustled with people all in a hurry to get somewhere, anywhere. The sign atop the building flashed “Desmonds.” Pamela walked into her new office. She had the uneasy feeling that all eyes were on her.
She sighed as she looked at all the unpacked boxes awaiting her personal attention. They would have to wait, she thought.
She felt a need to get acquainted with her new staff. She hated being the outsider, the new boss.
Pamela called Mrs. Clarey, the oldest member of the staff, into her office.
Mrs. Clarey was on edge, nervous and obviously disturbed by Pamela’s new authority.
Jeff had given her a free hand with the office. But Jeff had said “It’s your baby, do what needs to be done. It needs a strong hand.” Pamela thought how very businesslike his proposition had been. It was to be temporary, just until the showing, unless she liked the job. In that case – it was hers.
Jeff had made accepting the position easy.
“Please, do sit down, Mrs. Clarey.” She began by saying, “I want to be your friend as well as your boss.” Pamela smiled and reached out her hand to greet her warmly.
Mrs. Clarey began with an attitude, “You know, Mr. Desmond always separated friendship and business. He said…”
Pamela interrupted, “A man thinks a little differently about running a business than we women do, don’t you think?” Pamela smiled. “Most men really don’t give us credit for knowing how to make a business really good!”
Mrs. Clarey smiled. “Oh, I agree. For years I’ve felt that way!”
“Good,” Pamela said. “We should be great partners, don’t you agree?”
“Oh yes, Mrs. Thornton, Great!” She smiled nervously.
“Calm down. I want us to become very good friends.” Pamela placed her arm around her. “I will need your help!”
Mrs. Clarey seemed to relax.
Pamela smiled as she listened at the door as Mrs. Clarey began shaping up the staff.
“Now, when Mrs. Thornton needs anything, you will promptly…” Mrs. Clarey continued. Pamela shut the office door. She felt better about the job now. Things would work. It was another instance that a few kind words worked she thought.
She had to get busy. The show was not too far off and she had everything to do.
When she remembered promising Rex she would model his blue chiffon, she felt nervous inside.
She was not a model and the idea of walking in front of all those people made her shiver!
She had promised her friend and she would keep that promise no matter how she dreaded it.
Pamela began her plans for the “show.” Her first contact was Janice Monroe. Pamela knew she was the key to the social world of Boston and New York. If she could acquire her help, that would be a big step forward.
“Darling,” Janice drawled in her own special accent. “Of course I will do it! All I want in return is one of those scrumptious designs of Rex Dupar’s!” She laughed. “Something very special darling.”
“Fair is fair, you have it,” Pamela agreed. “Come in tomorrow and I’ll take all your measurements and we’ll get our list together at the same time.”
Pamela knew Janice pretty well. For all her brassy manner, she had a heart of gold and Pamela liked her. It was also a well know fact that anyone receiving one of Janice’s gold engraved invitations would be there!
Jeff stuck his head in her office, “I’ve been calling you all morning. Don’t you answer your messages?” he said. “How about lunch, you know, all work and no play, etc., etc.,” he smiled.
“Can’t today, too much going.”
“How long are you going to put me off?” His mouth tightened his tone not quite so jovial.
She had been avoiding him, she knew it. He had shaken her protective walls once; she couldn’t let him do it again. It would be so easy she thought as she watched him walk toward the door.
“Maybe tomorrow?” she called. He closed the door without answering.
Her face dropped. Why was she so afraid of Jeff Desmond anyway? It was hard for her to get back to business. He always managed to upset her equilibrium.
The next time she looked at the clock it was 11:45 AM.
“Jeff will be lunching at Jason’s like he usual does,” she thought as she quickly tidied up her desk. Her heart pounded as she left a message with her secretary and started to leave, anticipating surprising him.
The phone rang. Pamela frowned as she looked toward her desk. It rang again. She tried to ignore it, and then decided she had better answer it.
It was Agatha, head of the dress assembly room. “You gotta see this, Mrs. Thornton. It’s a real mess!” she said in her abrupt, untactful way.
Pamela rushed to the sewing room. “So much for surprising Jeff,” she grumbled.
Agatha flew into a rage. “It can’t be done. It just can’t be done!” She was in a tizzy.
“Come on now,” she patted her on the arm, “What can’t be done?”
“This ..?” She held up a piece of fabric and laid it sternly on top of another. “See,” she said, “I could design clothes better than this myself!”
“Now Agatha,” Pamela pampered her. “Let’s see what we can figure out!”
Agatha calmed right down. She admired Pamela’s knowledge of the business and soon the problem was solved. As she left Agatha was spitting out orders as if there had never been a problem.
Pamela went straight home and fell into bed exhausted. When the phone range she muttered, “Oh no, what now!”
It was Jill. Pamela sighed
“How’s the new job going Mom?” she questioned.
“I need eight more hours in the day,” she answered wearily! “It’s good to hear from you anyway. You’re an answer to my prayers!”
“Can I help?”
“You could, but school is more important.”
Jill paused.
“How’s Grant?”
“He’s working as hard as I am to get this show together! I haven’t talked to him...” her voice trailed off.
“Why don’t you come down this weekend? I’ll take care of your ticket. I could use your help. That is if you aren’t busy.” Pamela added.
Jill didn’t wait for a second invitation. She burst in with, “Great, I’ll be there Friday, to help!”
Pamela laughed to herself after she hung the phone up. Jill just might be in love, she thought. She didn’t even ask about Pamela’s love life for a change. She definitely had something else on her mind.
When Jill arrived, she dug right in to help her mother with the schedule for the show but when Grant arrived, they disappeared together quickly.
It was the first time Jill really didn’t want to go back to school and Pamela was concerned about her future. Was Grant really right for Jill? She knew it was out of her hands and in the Lord’s will. Jill was a big girl now, she thought, but Pamela prayed for Jill’s wisdom in her life.
The plans for the show were going well. Grant and Jeff worked hard together. They seemed to be forming quite a nice relationship.
Pamela noticed how distant Jeff had become. He practically ignored her when she was around.
“Probably has another girlfriend,” she grumbled. She couldn’t keep her eyes off him though she made sure Jeff didn’t catch her looking!
When Jill arrived the following weekend, she noticed how depressed her mother seemed.
“What’s the matter? Is the show getting you down?” she questioned.
Pamela admitted she was tired and concerned about everything, but that didn’t seem to Jill to be the whole problem.
“What about Rex?” Jill asked.
“He’s so much better. I talked to Aunt Lydia; she’s so pleased with his progress.”
“Now, the biggy, Mom. What about Jeff?” Pamela’s expression changed, her smooth forehead showed frown lines and her soft blue eyes looked watery.
“It’s him, isn’t it? Are you in love with him Mom?”
Pamela sat down, shrugged her shoulders in despair. “I don’t know. I’m so mixed up. Besides, he’s not even interested anymore. He ignores me completely!”
“Have you been ignoring him?”
“Well,” Pamela paused. “Yes, I guess I have.”
“What are you afraid of Mom? Is it Dad?” Jill had never been quite that bold speaking of her late father. She had matured a lot the past year.
“I suppose so; he’s still very much in my thoughts.”
“He’s gone, Mom. You can’t live being chained to those memories. Jeff is in love with you, it’s written all over his face!”
“I thought so once,” her voice faded.
“What changed that?”
“Have you read the gossip columns lately? He is linked romantically with a different new model every week.” “Really, Mom. You don’t believe that trash do you?”
“I guess that’s really why I don’t trust him, or myself. I’m a one man woman, and I want that in reverse.”
“You owe him a chance to tell you whether it’s true or not!” Jill sounded disgusted with her mother.
“Maybe, after I get this show over, maybe then.” Her expression hadn’t lightened. She looked tired and nervous.
“You’re working too hard Mom,” she scolded, (obviously concerned about her Mom).
I know, darling, you are right but this is a chance of a lifetime and I must take it and give it my all for myself and for Rex.

chapter thirteen

Everything was done. Rehearsals went well and finally the big night had arrived! Pamela’s heart raced as she watched the spotlights flash across the sky above the theater. She had worked hard for this night. Rex had been very much on her mind. She missed his reassurance, his way of making everything seem right. This night was her gift to him. Pamela had given up her own personal life to make the showing of his line of ‘Fall Creations’ a success.

Jeff had been present but always in a frenzy of business. Their stolen glances kept a small uncertainty burning inside her. Grant had been wonderful. His expertise showed in every preparation for the show. He had a lot riding on its success.

When Jill arrived she got involved immediately. Her training at college added a helpful touch that Pamela was grateful for.

As their black limousine pulled up in front of the theater Pamela smiled nervously at Jill and squeezed her hand. “This is it baby,” she said.

“It’s going to be great, I just feel it!” Jill answered excitedly.
The spotlights flashed across the sky advertising the big occasion. Jeff had seen to that. Pamela blushed as she walked the red carpet and the crowd cheered. All the television stations were represented and she was overwhelmed by interviewers trying to talk to her.
Jeff was in charge of all the publicity for the show and her name had become well known in Boston and New York as entrepreneur for the Rex Dupar ‘Fall Collection.’
Pamela and Jill began feeling the pressure of the crowd closing in, when Jeff and Grant rescued them and whisked them backstage. “Thank heavens you came when you did. I can’t believe this crowd,” Pamela whispered in Jeff ’s ear.
“It’s going to be the biggest show of the season. I predict a hit!” He leaned closer. “By the way, you look beautiful!”
Pamela smiled and squeezed his arm tightly. She immediately thought how handsome he looked. “This is it,” Grant said. “Now we go to work!”
Jeff and Grant disappeared instantly taking charge of the complex details backstage. Jill and Pamela went directly to the dressing room. The room bubbled with excited models, makeup artists and hair stylists. Pamela made sure each girl looked perfect. Jill helped check each original design to make sure there were no slip ups, or slips showing.
The last hour before show time was exhausting! By the time the opening orchestra strains were heard, she was ready to get out of the dressing room, if only to keep her sanity!
Pamela caught her breath when she looked at the stage. She had been much too busy with the models and designs to see the stage in its final lighting. She felt pangs of pride as she stared at the colored lights of orange and gold shimmering across the magnificent stage. A cascade of crystal teardrops and mirrors hung in vertical streamers from the ceiling, each reflecting the dazzling colors and projecting them on every wall in the huge theater.
No expense had been spared. Jeff had seen to that too.
“Where is Jeff?” Pamela asked.
“Haven’t seen him Mrs. Thornton,” the stage manager replied.
“Have you seen Jeff?” she asked Jill as she hurried by on her way to the next dressing room.
“Nope, not for a while. I’ve been pretty busy though.” Jill smiled.
“I can’t tell you how much help you’ve been to me!” Pamela kissed her quickly.
“See ya – gotta go –” she yelled back. “Tell Grant, if you see him, I’m in room 2.”
Pamela smiled, but a quick concern crossed her mind for Jill’s happiness. It was becoming more evident that Grant and Jill were taken with each other. She thought about Jeff again. Where was he? Her eyes searched the backstage area. He had disappeared after he escorted her backstage and she hadn’t seen him since, nor had anyone else.
She heard the music cue. The show was beginning. The auditorium was filled to capacity! Pamela’s heart pounded. She said a prayer for a calm spirit, but it didn’t come quickly. She said a quiet prayer, “Lord be present and glorified.”
She noticed Janice peeking at the crowd from backstage. Her expression was one of sheer delight! Her gold invitations had helped pack the house.
“You’ve done it again, my thanks to you!” Pamela smiled and blew her a kiss.
“My gown is elegant. It was worth it all!” Janice pressed her chubby hand over the shimmering jewels around her bodice.
“I love it! I just can’t wait until the after party to show off my Dupar original!” She hurried off to entertain a few very important dignitaries with backstage privileges.
Pamela smiled. She really did like Janice! She had done so much to make this night a success. Pamela made sure she said “Thank You” to the Lord with every breath!
Pamela didn’t have time to think about Jeff again. Her hands were full. She had to make sure that each design was replaced in their individual locked cases after they had been modeled. She knew full well that by the time the morning reviews came out there would be a dozen copies on the market!
“That’s the name of the game,” she sighed.
“Mom,” Jill motioned to her. “Time to get dressed. Where’s your gown?”
“I haven’t even seen it yet. It’s locked up, Rex’s surprise for me.” She laughed. “I hope I haven’t gained any
weight!”
“Come on, I can’t wait to see it.” Jill was as excited as
Pamela was.
When Pamela opened the case, there was a note attached to the door. Pamela opened the envelope. “This dress is an expression of my deep love for you. It
represents all the moods you are; soft, exquisite, shining
and elegant. It’s my gift to you Chéri. Love Rex.” “Don’t cry, you’ll wreck your makeup!” Jill scolded her
as she placed the note on the dresser. “Let’s see the dress,”
she urged.
Pamela carefully eased the blue chiffon from the locked
case.
It was more beautiful than she ever dreamed it could
be. Rex had added his loving touch to it’s elegance. “Oh,” she sighed. “It’s beautiful, look Jill.” “Put it on. It’s so, so yummy. Hurry! Let’s see how you
look!” Jill’s excitement was electric.
Pamela stood gazing in the mirror. Every curve of the
dress matched hers. Each panel slimming and elegant. The
color was a blue she had never seen before. It was iridescent,
reflecting a silver blue at times and violet blue at others.
A rope of diamonds and sapphires crossed the front and
draped across the back, dipping to the waist.
“This had to cost a fortune!” Jill remarked. Pamela
turned slowly gazing at herself in the mirror.
“It’s the most beautiful gown I’ve ever seen,” she sighed.
“Rex must really love you!” Jill was almost speechless at
it’s beauty.
“It does look elegant, doesn’t it!” Pamela sighed.
“Rex knew, that’s why he wanted you to model it!” Jill’s voice echoed the pride she felt.
Pamela twirled around, watching the shimmer in the mirror.
“Oh Mom, you look beautiful.” Jill hugged her mother. Pamela felt so special in Rex’s blue gown.
“Don’t cry Mom,” Jill reminded her, “your makeup!”
A very special stage had been prepared for the introduction of Rex’s blue chiffon gown. The lights changed to a blue and silver as she stepped on the turntable which would elevate her to the winding staircase fifteen feet above the stage floor.
Jill did a few last minute adjustments on her mother’s dress.
“Have you seen Jeff around?” Pamela questioned again.
“I saw him just a minute ago across the stage.”
Pamela sighed in relief. “Good,” she said. “I’m ready now.” She nodded to the stage manager.
The turntable started it’s acsent. The blue lights flickered against thousands of hollow tubes filled with water, making the stage look like a living waterfall. Pamela said a silent prayer. She prayed that she would be able to show off Rex’s gift to her in a very special way. She felt an instant calmness overcome her. She was ready.
The orchestra’s rendition of “Blue Moon” echoed softly as the turntable reached the top of the stairs. The spotlight was on Pamela and the blue chiffon gown as she started her walk down.
Oohs and aahs murmured across the room, then tremendous applause. Her throat felt like it was closing up. She fought the tears that were just a fragment away. She swallowed hard. The applause continued.
As she reached the stage, blue fountains of water danced in time with the music. Pamela smiled, as models are not supposed to do, but the audience loved it. They stood up as she glided down the staircase onto the stage.
She felt an assurance as she had never felt before. “This is for you Rex,” she whispered as she smiled and dipped ever so slightly so the chiffon would bellow softly. As she turned again, she gasped! Jeff wasn’t alone.
“Rex!” She almost yelled it out loud. He was on crutches and Lydia was there too. Pamela’s heart filled with joy as she blew them a kiss. Now she really put on a show. Her graceful ambulation across the stage showed off the blue chiffon to the utmost. The audience went wild.
She walked slowly to center stage and motioned for the orchestra to stop. The applause died down as she held her hand up. She spoke softly. “Ladies and gentlemen,” she began.
“Louder!” came a voice from the back of the auditorium. She began again, much louder. “Ladies and gentleman, as you all know, or have read about, the famous designer of these marvelous creations was injured in an auto accident in Paris. To my surprise, and as a special treat for you all, he is able to be here tonight.”
Pamela walked slowly to the wings. The applause was overwhelming. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she reached Rex. She gathered him into her arms.
“My Chéri,” he whispered. “You are a credit to me and to my gown.”
The crowd’s applause begged for Rex. Pamela turned to face Jeff. Her mascara streaming down her cheeks and smiling, she said, “You planned this, didn’t you?”
“Surprised?” He smiled.
Pamela kissed him quickly on the cheek.
“Get back out there,” Jeff patted her. “And take this man with you!” Jeff laughed.
Rex held onto Pamela’s arm and they walked together on stage. Pamela squeezed his arm. She whispered to Rex, “Do you think we’re a success?”
“Oui, Chéri. I think we have a hit on our hands.”
Pamela squeezed his arm again as they neared center stage. The audience went wild. It took minutes before they could be calmed down enough for Rex to speak.
Words of thanks spilled forth in his very French way. He had the audience in the palm of his hand. It had been the end of a perfect show.
Backstage it was bedlam. Photographers grappling for a shot of Rex and Pamela together. Jill hugged her mother with pride. Both she and Grant had been close by for a long time. Then Pamela noticed they had disappeared.
The crowd backstage had finally dwindled to a few small groups in the wings. Janice’s laughter could be heard echoing through the now empty auditorium.
Pamela paused and looked around.
“We are finally alone Chéri, but where is Jeff?” Pamela paused and looked around.
“Perhaps he could see what I have been blind to,” her voice cracked. Their eyes met squarely for a moment. Rex’s smile turned to a look of question. “Let’s talk about us – you and me.” She moved close to him.

chapter fourteen

 

T

 

he houselights were dim as Pamela and Rex stood alone off stage. She had not taken her eyes off him. “I love you,” she whispered.

Rex looked into her eyes and answered, “And I love you Chéri.”
“I want to be with you, take care of you,” she hesitated. “I have been searching for someone like you; kind, loving, like my Tom was. You have been right here all along.” She paused, suddenly feeling very embarrassed.
“And what about your Jeff?” he questioned lovingly.
“I was mixed up about him, but seeing you again made things clear. I’ve missed you terribly and I need to be with you.”
“Do you know Jeff made this trip possible; to surprise you, Chéri?”
“I know, it was wonderful of him. He is a very special man.” Her voice tightened in her throat.
“Chéri, I still see a gleam in your eyes when you speak of him!”
She was silent.
“You and I, Chéri, we love each other, it’s true, but I don’t bring that gleam in your eyes. We are so lucky to have such a friendship of love between us!” Rex tucked his crutch deep under his arm and placed his arm around her.
“I do love you,” she said.
“Chéri, you are deceiving yourself. You are not ‘in love’ with me! You are searching for a dream, someone who will fulfill a memory.”
Pamela’s face winced. Tears began their relentless trip down her cheeks.
Rex caressed her firmly.
“Chéri, love is written all over your face. But it is not me. You are in love with Jeff. He can be all the things you dream about. If you really love him, don’t let him slip away because of a memory you want him to live up to.” Rex’s voice was full of conviction.
Pamela’s shoulders shook. Her tears had turned to sobs. She laid her head on his shoulder.
He patted her softly.
“Now, now my pretty. It is not all bad. Your Jeff, he loves you too. Go to him now. Don’t waste any precious time!” Rex held her back to look into her eyes again.
She smiled faintly. The truth was evident.
“I do love him, you are so right, as always,” she sighed.
“Is he worth putting out some effort?” Rex asked. “Oh yes, yes,” she sobbed.
`”Then go to him now. And God keep you,” he said wistfully.
She hurriedly hugged Rex and kissed him on the cheek.
“I do love you so,” she whispered.
“I know Chéri, and I you.”
“Will you be alright now? What will you do?”
“Janice has many plans for me, and I shall enjoy every minute. I love my public you know.” He smiled his most special, enticing, mysterious smile as Janice came closer to them.
“See, Chéri, my public awaits!”
Pamela turned around and disappeared out the stage door.
Rex whispered softly as she walked away, a sentence she would never hear, but one that echoed through the empty auditorium, “I had the world in my hands with you Chéri, and I lost it!”
Janice took him by the arm and they walked slowly off stage to the awaiting clamor of the after party.
Rex turned back and glanced again at the empty stage where he had held Pamela in his arms.
Pamela’s heart pounded as she ran away from the auditorium. Her thoughts reeled. “Where will he be? Where should I start?” She calmed her thoughts and said a silent prayer. “God, where shall I go?”
At that moment, she opened her car door and a note was taped to the steering wheel. She read “Mom, Grant says he has a serious question. I think he loves me Mom and I know I love him. Talk to you later.
PS Saw Jeff leaving, he said he was dreaming of Back Bay. He looked sad Mom. Love you, you were a smash, Jill!”
It hit her like a bolt from Heaven. Thank you Lord. Back Bay, the restaurant on the ocean front. It was as if God had given her the answer, right there and then. She remembered the place Jeff took her that special night. He had to be there. It was his favorite place. She held her breath.
“I must find him. I must,” she whispered. Her heart beat faster with anxious feelings. “Help me stay calm, Lord.” She prayed.
It wasn’t easy, fighting all the frustrations she was feeling. She had been so enthralled in finding Jeff she hadn’t even noticed she still had on the beautiful blue chiffon dress Rex had made for her.
Pamela felt a bit overdressed as she entered the small oceanfront restaurant. Her eyes searched the room quickly. She didn’t see him. When the maître d’ stepped up and addressed her, she jumped.
“Welcome again,” he said. “Mr. Desmond is at your table.” He motioned for her to follow him. Pamela was overjoyed. Her heart skipped a beat as she walked behind him toward the table.
He was sitting alone; handsome, solemn, but alone. She motioned for the maître d’ to be silent.
Pamela slid into the booth next to Jeff. He turned in surprise. “Pamela,” his words came slowly.
She looked at him with love in her eyes.
He stammered, “Where is Rex?”
“He sent me to you,” she smiled.
He pulled her close to him. “I thought I’d lost you.” His voice cracked with emotion.
“I can’t let you go,” she said.
Jeff looked deep into her eyes.
“I want to kiss you,” he said.
She smiled.
“Let’s go out on the terrace,” he whispered.
She held his hand as they walked to the patio. Her heart was filled with happiness.
The terrace overlooked the ocean and the lights of Back Bay glistened across the bay. Jeff held back his desire to kiss her long enough to say, “Can I be what you want? What you are searching for, my love?”
Pamela sighed. Can I learn to like fishing?”
Jeff laughed and pulled her close. “I have to much to learn about you, my complicated lady.”
“I love you,” she whispered.
Jeff held her face with his hands and looked full into her eyes.
“You must know I met a friend of yours last Sunday?” He said softly.
Pamela looked surprised.
“My friend. Who?” she questioned.
“I visited that little Church on the hill over there.” He pointed.
Pamela’s looked surprised.
“Who was it?” She said.
“Your God,” he said.
Pamela sighed. Her heart filled with questions.
“And what did He say to you?” she said quietly.
“I don’t understand all the feelings I had, but I prayed He would lead you to me to give me a chance to love again.”
“Jeff, my love,” she whispered.
“Don’t get me wrong. I’ve got a lot to learn about Him. But I love you. I want things to be right between us.” Jeff ’s face showed his concern.
He continued. “I have so much to be forgiven for, for all my...” he paused, “Can you forgive me?”
“God has forgiven you, surely I can.” Pamela sighed. “I haven’t been an angel either, can you forgive me? Will God forgive me?”
Jeff smiled and pulled her close. He whispered into her ear, “If you can learn to like fishing, I can surely learn more about your God.” He smiled.
As they stood together, Jeff kissed her softly on the lips. The still calm was suddenly disturbed by a swift breeze billowing her blue chiffon gown, tossing her hair and lingering sweetly on her cheek. Pamela froze for a moment.
She felt Tom’s presence, kissing her softly as he said farewell my love. When she kissed Jeff again, she felt unchained, released, and free to love again without the feeling of guilt. Her memories of Tom would never be forgotten, but cherished in their proper place. She looked full into Jeff ’s face.
“I love you,” she whispered.
“And I love you,” he said.
They stood embraced in each others arms while the sound of crashing waves broke endlessly against the rocks below. “Our love will be everlasting, like the ocean,” Pamela smiled.
“Forever,” Jeff echoed. And God smiled.

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