Bud walked back to his cabin with a smile on his face. Despite the manure incident, the date had gone very well. Natalia genuinely seemed to enjoy his company. They talked about safe subjects–the weather, food preferences, movies they liked, etc. After about two hours, they parted company with plans for another date in a few days. Deep down, Bud knew trouble never presented itself early on in his previous relationships. He shrugged. What was he to do? Never date again? Even he had to get lucky sometime.
Natalia was in her cabin, feeling like a school girl on her first date. She was surprised at how much they had in common. Bud was so easy to talk to. He didn’t roll his eyes like other men she had dated. He didn’t care that she loved cats or had 30 pairs of shoes. She was looking forward to their next date on Friday.
Her cell phone rang; it was her mother. Natalia didn’t want to talk to her. She didn’t want to even think about the life she left. How would she explain things to Bud? They would eventually have ‘real’ conversations. What would Bud think of her and the life she was running away from? Natalia flopped on the bed. She could just hide out at The Point and never explain anything. Natalia rolled over and growled. Her conscience would never allow that. She knew eventually the truth would reveal itself.
She stood up and opened up the cabin door. It was sunny; but breezy. Such a lovely day! She could smell the peonies and roses from Tina’s garden. Natalia pursed her lips thoughtfully. Maybe she could confide in Tina.
Friday morning seemed to jump out of nowhere. Bud was sure it was only Wednesday…..but, no, it was indeed Friday. He and Natalia had decided to meet for dinner. They both liked Italian; so he made reservations at Luigi’s. This time, he carefully laid out his shoes and socks to be certain there would be no wardrobe malfunctions!
Bud was on his way to the tennis court. Arthur agreed to give Bud some tennis lessons. It was a weak gesture at best, since he had two left feet; but he hoped it would show Natalia he was interested in making a go of the relationship.
Arthur waved at him from the court.
“Hey Bud! Come on over!”
Bud reluctantly picked up a racket and watched Arthur closely. It didn’t look too difficult….someone hits the ball to you and you have to return it. Preferably over the net. When Arthur served him the ball, Bud took a swing–and missed. How did that happen? The racket was big enough.
“Don’t worry about it, Bud,” Arthur reassured him. “This game takes a lot of practice.”
But, after 63 attempted swings with no hits, even optimistic Arthur had to concede that tennis probably wasn’t Bud’s game.
“There are other games,” Arthur said, slapping Bud on the back. Bud had to laugh. He was sure he looked pretty comical wildly waving a racket at a bouncing ball. He wasn’t deterred; he’d find something else he could impress Natalia with.
Natalia glanced at her watch. It was almost 6 p.m. Bud would be there soon. She had met with Tina earlier and was advised to talk to Bud as soon as possible. Tina was more than certain Bud would be understanding.
Natalia’s phone rang again. She ignored it and got ready for the evening. She wasn’t going to talk to any of them until
she first talked to Bud. She saw Bud coming in her direction; he had a big smile on his face. Natalia wondered how long it would remain there.