Natalia – Bud Story (Point)
A chirping bird caught his attention. Bud found himself daydreaming again. He couldn’t fathom why he started this annoying habit lately. Old age? He shook that thought off quickly. Thirty-two did not equate to ‘old age’. He sighed. The persistent robin hopped closer. Bud realized he had a half eaten bagel still sitting next to him on the bench.
“Is this what you want? Not my sparkling company?” The robin cocked her head and chirped. “Okay,” he said, breaking the bagel into tiny pieces and throwing it on the grass. Soon, Mrs. Robin was joined by a bouncing blue jay, three tiny chickadees and a hungry squirrel.
In the distance, he heard the laughter of a young lady. He almost turned to look; but shrugged instead. When he first came to The Point, Bud was filled with insecurities and suspicions. Over the past five years, most of them had melted away. He made real friends here. John Biebe, Captain Jack, Max, and Cort were a few that he had grown to trust.
Women were a different story. Some of his Point brothers had found wonderful women. Some were still unattached; but that was their choice. Bud had been through a few relationships since coming to The Point. All ended with him wondering what he had done wrong.
He wasn’t sure anyone really understood how much he and Lynn had loved each other. Or how perfect they were for each other. It was a ‘rule’ of The Point that your movie life ended when the credits rolled. There was no Lynn in this life. That made him very sad sometimes.
“Excuse me,” a voice cut through his musings. He ignored it. “Hello?” the voice started again. It was beginning to sound like Mrs. Robin. Better find out what it wanted. Bud slowly turned his head.
“I’m sorry,” he looked up. “I was off in La-La land.”
The woman smiled broadly.
“I’ve been there many times. It’s a nice place.”
Bud felt his lips tug upwards. A perky sense of humor wasn’t the worst way to exit La-La-Land.
“Can I help you?”
“Yes. I think I’m kind of lost.” Bud could sympathize with the feeling. The woman turned her head from left to right. “I left the resort to take a walk.”
“And now you can’t find your way back?”
“I feel kinda silly.”
“Don’t. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been sitting on this bench and visitors have asked the same thing.” Actually, he could–this was the first time. It made her smile again; and Bud found that pleasing. He stood up.
“I’m sorry, I’m Bud.”
She removed her blue shades.
“Why are you sorry? It’s a nice name.” Her green eyes sparkled mischievously.
Bud found himself chuckling–something he hadn’t done in many months. She extended a small hand.
“That’s a mouthful.”
“You may call me anything you like.”
Bud raised his eyebrows.
“I’ll have to give that one a think.”
“You’ll be judged on creativity, originality, and whether I like it or not.”
He was feeling pretty good when he realized this is how his other relationships with women started. Lots of smiles, jokes, dinner dates….then the women left. Natalia noticed a shadow fall on his face.
“Did I say something wrong?”
“Oh, no, not at all!” What could he say to her? No, it was best to just direct her back to the resort and forget her smile. He pointed to a road at their right. “If you follow that dirt road about half a mile, you’ll be at the place you started.”
“Well, Bud, thank you. I’ll see you around, then?”
“Sure,” he said, waving. He returned to the bench. He had to get back to the resort himself; but didn’t want to follow her. He was certain Natalia had a cute walk; and he didn’t want to think about it.
“Hey, Bud!” It was his brother, Colin. “What are you up to? I saw you talking to that pretty girl. I think she just arrived here two days ago.”
Bud had to smile. Colin was one of those guys who didn’t always come off as the brightest; but, in reality, he saw everything clearly. His movie life had been hard. There was a part of him mentally that had been affected. In his case, it was a good thing real life ended with the movie.
“Yes, her name is Natalia. She was lost.”
“A lot of people that visit get lost. I guess it’s so pretty here, they forget to pay attention.”
“That’s probably it.”
“So, do you like her?”
“Sure. She hasn’t done anything to make me not like her.”
Colin rolled his eyes.
“You know what I mean. Could you really like her…as a girlfriend.”
“I just met her. Besides, that never works for me. I’ve had girlfriends here before.”
Colin bowed his head in contemplation.
“You want a girl, don’t you?” he asked.
“Well, yes, of course,” Bud replied. He shrugged. “I don’t know how to make it work, I guess.”
“Avoiding the issue won’t make it work either.”
Bud knew his brother was right. He sighed. Maybe he would think about a nickname for Natalia. What could it hurt?