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Authors: Susan Irene

A Beautiful New Life

BOOK: A Beautiful New Life
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All rights reserved
. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form,
or in part
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This book is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, places, and dialogue are from the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or to actual events or loca
les is entirely coincidental.



To my friend, who knew when I started writing this book that I would be starting a new chapter in my life and that the stars were aligning to bring you into that chapter?  Thank you for
coming back into my life and awakening me in ways I have not been in so long.
Though it seems we will always be star-crossed lovers, you have a special place in my heart
well maybe just “a little bit”.  Special thanks to Linda, the most amazing woman I know. Thank you for accepting me into your writing class
into your life. You are truly an inspiration. Thank you to Sylvia for being brave enough to read my first completed rough draft.
To my best friend Tammy, thank you for all the support you have given me through the years.
To my three boys, Andy, DJ, and Jesse, thank you for putting up with my need to read those many pieces of work to you and for pushing me to put those pieces together to complete this book.  I would also like to thank you for being the best kids a mom could have. You made parenting easy. Always know I believe in you and support you in your quest to achieve your dreams. 



We could see the guarded exit
below us as we stood in the parking lot overlooking the road to freedom wind down the mountain.
That was when he drove up in
It is now or never, he had said
, adding that s
tanding here every day watching the exit is not going to get us home.
We all climbed in and were just about to take off when she came running over, threatening to tell if we did not take her along
but t
here was not enough room for one more
. I decide
to stay behind after making the others promise to
come back
me. They headed off and I watched from a distance, praying harder with each mile they got closer to freedom.
Would they come back for me? Had I just lost my chance at freedom?
As they approached the gate,
I could sense something was wrong. The gate did not open
, but they did not stop.
hey crashed the gate and the pursuit began.
as the truck tried to maneuver the sharp turns down the mountain road. I cried out as he lost control
and went off the embankment,
the truck
exploding on impact. I sat up in my bed, my chest expanding as I tried to catch my breath. It was just a dream.

Chapter One


The road was like
heaven and hell.
Jagged mountains
the north side
, reaching high into the morning sky, almost daring anyone to try
conquer it but warning
there will be no escape if they did. To the south was a valley rolling off into the distance until it spilled over the horizon. Louise was sure in the summer
an endless variety of wildflowers
would fill
it. N
, on this cold Saturday morning, it was
draped in a blanket of white
Louise found peace and calm
and in it perhaps a little
Louise pulled the
over at the next scenic view pull off and got out.

Arlin had insisted she take the
car, even though Louise wanted to take the truck. The unpredictable weather
this time of the year
she argued it would be best to
have something with four-wheel drive
. She was also uncomfortable with taking the car
; it seems the car was in the repair shop for one reason or another.
e countered with the fact that he would have the kids all weekend and did she really want them stranded somewhere because the car broke down again. He knew how to play her. She would never want anything bad to happen to the boys and she gave in and took the car.
Despite their seemingly endless disagreements,
wished he had been able to come with her and enjoy the view that was
taking her breath away
.  She pulled her jacket close to her wishing she did not have to leave
ut she still had an hour or so
the resort.

Arlin had surprised her on her birthday by getting her a weekend spa package to a very secluded resort. It did not surprise her that he was the one to init
iate the trip.
In the beginning of their relationship,
romantic getaways and after the children were
he would arrange for his mom to sit with them for
weekend every few months. When the children were older
was the one who
would encourage Louise to call in sick and they would pack a bag and head off to a local inn for the day
returning home just in time to pick up the kids from daycare and school.

They had met when t
he company
was remodeling and he had won the contract.
Arlin walked in with all his manly glory. He was six feet tall, dirty blonde short hair and rippling muscle under his t-shirt with the sleeves rolled back and a pack of cigarettes tucked neatly underneath. She soon found out it was an empty box, a reminder of one of his greatest accomplishments at quitting. His jeans were tight enough to give a peak at how manly he really was
and e
ven his work boots told a story with the many layers of dirt, concrete, sweat
and yes
even a hint of blood she was sure.


“Good morning, Mr. Gilab, please have a seat and I will let Mr. Anderson know you are here.” Louise pointed to a chair in front of her desk.

“Please, call me Arlin. We’ll be seeing a lot of each other now that I won the contract.” He smiled showing his perfectly
straight white teeth. Louise could not breathe.

She cleared her throat. “Very well then, Arlin, please have a seat.” She wished he would just sit down but he did
t. He kept looking at her with those gorgeous deep blue eyes.


A wind gust brought Louise back to reality. She pulled her jacket close to her, fighting back the tears that were on the verge of appearing.

“Boy I need to get away more often. One small trip and I’m a wreck.” She
to herself as she wiped away the tears that a moment earlier only threatened to appear.

She turned to go back to the
but caught a glimpse of something fluttering in the breeze
, t
rash perhaps caught on a bush but it was pulling at her to have a look. She plodded
across the
and reached what was a black ribbon tied to a stick.
With her bare
he dug in the snow to have a better look. It was a cross that read in faded print, R.I.P. Jordan. If there was a last
it had faded too much to make out any of the letters. Shaken by this forgotten memorial, she said a prayer for the departed soul then
walked back to the car

She got in, started the
and continued west looking for the sign to the resort. She knew she had a right turn coming up and was getting worried she may have missed it when a flock of quails huddled under the sign took flight
startled perhaps by the sound of the
. The flock made her
aware of
how alone she was; she had not seen another vehicle for more than an hour. She turned onto the road and made her way through the narrow canyon. The wind had blown
across the road
now wished even more that she had brought the
She continued to plow her way down the road and
breathed a sigh of relief when she noticed the mountains tapering off and the
sun coming
into view
as did a valley nestled among a thick grove of trees. She was not sure if it was
wishful thinking
or did she actually see a wisp of smoke creeping up from a hidden chimney. The only other hint of life was the river she had been following. It continued on meandering through the trees as she made her way down the winding road. She reached the valley, slowing now looking for the building.  The tires crunched on the frozen dirt road. Trees lined both sides
boughs arched over the road like a canopy. A man stepped out onto the road ahead and she pulled to the side and came to a stop. When she did
she coul
d barely make out the building. If unaware that the resort existed, i
t would have been invisible to anyone driving in the area. The man came to the driver’s side and opened her door.

“Mrs. Gilab, I presume.” He extended his hand for her to take.

“Yes, I’m Mrs. Gilab.” She took his hand as he helped her out of the

“Welcome to Genesee. We hope your stay will be a pleasant one.”

“Thank you
I’m glad you stepped out when you did; I would’ve missed the place otherwise.”
She made small talk with the man while they walked to the entrance.

“Our clients do expect privacy
nd what better way to ensure that if no one can find them. You are very fortunate to
have been invited
in. Not many people are.”

His comment did not sit easy with her but he was right, how often does someone like her get an opportunity like this. What did the brochure
’s tagline read
, ‘experience a beautiful new life’? The brochure
what the spa had to offer
and promised a “new life” when you left. As they stepped through the heavy wooden
she could immediately see that the outside appearance was deceiving. The lobby was huge with hardwood floors leading up to the front desk. The pine support logs exposed
allowing the eye to wonder to the top of the ceiling where lights
twinkling like stars
. They walked to the front desk.

BOOK: A Beautiful New Life
4.6Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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