Thursday, February 20, 2020

The Best Medicine by Dellani Oakes – Part 13

When she wakes the next morning, Tanya finds that Morgan has made her breakfast of French Puffs from her grandmother's recipe.

"How on earth did you even find it? I'd never have seen it there!"
"I was checking everywhere I could think of for flour. The color caught my eye." The recipe card had bright blue border.
Impulsively, Tanya kissed his cheek and hugged him. "Thanks, Morgan! This means so much to me, I can't even begin to tell you!" She sniffled, rubbing her tears away with the heels of her hands.
Morgan took her hands down and handed her a napkin. He kissed the top of her head as he stood up to clear the dishes.
"Want a shower before we go?"
"Go where?" She sniffled again, but couldn't help being curious.
"It's a surprise. But dress warm, it's chilly and we're going to be outside."
She finished her coffee and dashed upstairs to find a clean pair of jeans and a sweater. She was dressed and ready to go in less than twenty minutes. Sliding down the lower part of the banister, she hopped off onto the floor, nearly colliding with Morgan who was coming around the corner from the living room.
"Whoa! You about gave me a heart attack! I guess you're ready, I was coming to see."
"All set! Do you need to change?"
"I keep some spare clothing in the car. Working the hours we do, I never know when I'm going to be called for an extra shift."
Tanya understood, she had done the same thing herself, since her internship. By habit, she took her keys and held them in her right hand while she grabbed her purse and sunglasses. She tossed a jacket over her arm and followed Morgan out of the house. She made sure she had her keys in her hand, then locked the door and pulled it shut. He stood watching her, chuckling.
"Okay, Miss OCD, are you ready now?"
"That's Doctor OCD, I'll have you remember. Yes, I am."
They walked to the car and he got her settled before he sat shut the door and went to the driver's side. He tapped the screen of an iPod.
"It's the one thing I added to this beauty. It wasn't even new enough to have a tape player, but I have to have my tunes when I drive. It helps me unwind."
He started the car and the music started to play as he pulled out of the driveway. They drove in silence for a few moments and Tanya listened to the music wind around her head. It was a blend of Southern Rock and Blues that she found very appealing.
"I love this, what is it?"
"Gov't Mule," Morgan replied as he eased onto the interstate. "Great, aren't they?" He pulled into the right lane and got up to highway speed. "In about twenty minutes we will near our destination! This is too cool. I couldn't have planned this well—ever. I just love coincidence, don't you?"
"Coincidence? How so?"
"That I'd meet you, you'd go all wobbly and faint, and that I would invite you to dinner the day before an incredible event! You're going to love this, and I'm not saying any more about it. It's a surprise."
She giggled at his enthusiasm. "You're just like a little kid, you know that?"
Morgan laughed, raising an eyebrow. "Not in everything, I hope."
Tanya flushed slightly, remembering the night before. "No, not everything. But in your enthusiasm, and how excited you get about things. You were so proud of those French Puffs and now this. It's fun watching you."
"You should enjoy life more, Tanya. You've deprived yourself of too much. First you married a jerk, pardon me for saying so. Then you locked yourself away in a dark room with pictures of other people's pain. You need to get out and be happy, let joy wash over you for a change, not despair!" He gestured wildly with one hand as he drove with the other.
"Okay, okay, I get the point, Doctor. I'll take your advice."
"Not advice, it's doctor's orders. You will enjoy yourself today, are we clear on that?"
"Yes, Doctor. And will I get to enjoy you later?" She winked wickedly at him, licking her lips.
"I certainly hope so! I look forward to that as the climax of the day's events, saucy pun intended."
He zipped off the interstate and turned left, heading out into the country. Farms flashed by, along with the occasional tattered billboard. After a few miles, he slowed and pulled off the road onto a gravel track that wasn't more than one car width wide.
"Almost there!" He glanced at his watch. "We're right on time."
They pulled up into an area that had been cleared of trees and covered in gravel. The narrow, gravel road continued curving back further into the woods. Morgan opened the door and grabbed her hand as soon as she was out of the car. They passed what looked like a log hunting lodge, following a rough path down into a shallow valley. She could hear water running nearby and wasn't surprised to step into another clearing by a river. There was a small dock in front of a massive log building. The sign over the door said, Bide a Wee Inn.
Morgan passed the inn and walked purposefully down to the dock. He stepped into a small motor boat near the dock and helped Tanya get in and settled before untying it. They set off across the river to an island. There was another channel on the other side and it looked as if the water ran a lot harder over there. Tanya was glad they weren't braving that in this tiny, aluminum creature. It didn't seem substantial enough for a white water ride.
© 2020 Dellani Oakes

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