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Authors: CS Patra

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BOOK: Roses in the Sand
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God, this sucks.
She thought as she lounged around on the balcony. There were too many happy couples walking by the shore. She wished she was in their shoes at the moment. It would make things so much easier for her. She was kicking herself for not talking on a cowriter for her song. The other band members told her that they would help her, but she turned the offer down. She wanted to write a song on her own. She had written plenty with other people but this needed to be her effort. This needed to be something that she did alone.

 

I’ve got to come up with something soon. The others are counting on me.
She thought. She had hoped the ocean would stir up some inspiration, but it did no such thing. It was just beautiful to look at. She hadn’t even gone to swim in it yet. Not that she really liked swimming in oceans. They were always filled with so much junk and gross things floating around. The closest she was going to get to the water was standing there while the waves washed over her feet. She had stood a few times and let that happen. It was nice, but there needed to be more. She needed something to stir up the creative juices inside of her.

 

Then it hit her that there was a bar nearby. One of her favorite places to hang out in was a bar. That was where she did most of her songwriting and the creativity usually came from it. She was also craving a drink right now and really could use one. Maybe she would meet some people over there. She hadn’t had a chance to go out on her own and talk to someone. This would be just the perfect moment to do that.

 

She grabbed her leather jacket and her suite key off the counter. Her jacket was probably one of her most cherished items in the world. She had several jackets like it, but this was the one that she liked the most. It had silver studs everywhere and it wasn’t too long or short. It fit her like a glove and she felt most comfortable wearing it. She looked like a rock star, but felt like a normal person out on the streets.

 

The rest of the band was going to be out doing things together. They had asked her to come along but Johanna felt better staying behind. She threw it over her shoulders and headed out. Something inside told her that things were going to be good. There was something that was around the corner and she was looking forward to finding out what it was.

 

She was in paradise after all. Only good things happened in paradise.

 

 

Chapter 3

 

Lily met Johanna the next evening when she came down to the bar for a drink. Once again, she had opened up her laptop and once more, she had come up with nothing. The cursor just stared at her and blinked. She wrote a few sentences, but they weren’t inspiring very much in her. Staring at the ocean wasn’t helping her either. It was a beautiful scenario but she didn’t know of any story that she could set to it. Everyone out on the beach looked so happy and they were enjoying themselves. They certainly seemed to be in a better mood than she was. Feeling stressed out, more so than usual, she decided that this was the time to go and get a drink. Maybe some alcohol was what she needed to clear her mind. It could also inspire her if she wanted it to.

 

Johanna was having the exact same problem. Songs were not coming to her this time around. She listened to the demos that everyone else had taped for inspiration. She didn’t know how anyone else could write under these circumstances. The air was wonderful and the sun was bright. The weather just wasn’t inspirational. She looked at all the happy couples and hated them. She hated that they were probably having a better time than she was.

 

Lily ordered a beer and began to drink it while watching some sports on TV. Even though she didn't know much about sports, this was much better than staying indoors and growing more bored in her suite. Darlene had a nice place, but Lily only wanted to use it when she wanted a place to sleep. She looked up at the TV screen and watched some football players do something that had the entire place erupting in excitement. She pretended that she was also excited by clapping with everyone else.

 

“You have no idea what’s going on, do you?” A female voice piped up from behind.

 

Lily turned around to find a beautiful young woman dressed in a leather jacket. Though she looked familiar, she couldn't figure out who this was. Her pink streaks were absolutely beautiful and she had deep brown eyes that could look into anyone's soul. She also seemed out of place in this bar and she was drinking the same beer that Lily was.

 

On the other end, Johanna was highly amused by this redheaded woman. Her hair was almost purple thanks to the low lights in the bar. She could tell that the woman didn’t give two craps about the sports that were on the TV. She was just joining in because that’s what everyone else was excited about. She didn’t want to feel out of place. Not that Johanna could blame her. Earlier, she was also cheering for random teams even though she didn’t know what was happening. She had been watching the TV until she caught this woman cheering. She decided to see what the whole deal with her was.

 

“Not a clue,” the young woman admitted. “I’m just cheering cause everyone else is cheering.”

 

“That’s what I was doing too,” Johanna said. “I have never played any of these games before and I’ve got no interest in them. I just joined in the party.”

 

“Me too,” Lily said. “It’s a change of pace, that’s for sure. I came here because I felt rather lonely back at my room. I thought I would find someone to talk to but so far, I’m out of luck.”

 

“Didn’t find any guys out here?” Johanna asked.

 

“I’m not a fan of guys that much,” Lily said, taking a sip of her drink. “I didn’t really come here to pick anyone up anyway.”

 

“That’s too bad. This place is perfect for finding the right mate.”

 

“Well, it’s not all vacation and fun for me. I came here to do some work. I’m a writer, you see. I figured this was the best place for a writer to be in.”

 

“Are you working on anything new?” Johanna asked.

 

“Not at the moment, no. I’ve been struck with writer’s block and it’s hard to get around,” Lily said. “I just came over here because I needed a break from the whole world.”

 

“Oh, tell me something I don’t know! I’ve been stuck with writer’s block as well and I can’t seem to get around it. I was hoping that this vacation would help me out. So far, I don’t think it's done anything.”

 

“Yeah, it’s a great place but I don’t think I’ve gotten much work down. I’m Lily, by the way. Lily Ballentine.” Lily shook her hand.

 

“Jo,” Johanna didn’t dare mention her full name. The moment that Lily Ballentine would find out the truth, then everyone else would be after her. Being plain old Jo would get her around anywhere she wanted to be. Lily didn’t seem to recognize her so all was good so far.

 

“What do you do for a living, Jo? Do you write?”

 

“Yeah, I write. I haven’t published a thing though,” Johanna said. “I’m trying to get that Great American Novel out on paper and I haven’t done that.”

 

“Same here. I have my computer and I’ve published books, but this new one is bothering me. It’s like I can’t write down my thoughts. I have so many of them and I have a lot of work to do. I just can’t seem to get anything written. My fingers aren’t going to do the typing without any inspiration.”

 

“Have you gone anywhere to get some inspiration?”

 

“Oh, I’ve been walking up and down the beach and taking in the salty air,” she sighed. “I love the atmosphere, but it isn’t doing much for my writer’s block.”

 

“I don’t blame you. I thought that I would get something from here but it’s just lovely scenery,” Johanna sighed. “Want to go for a walk on the beach? I need some air to clear my head.”

 

“Sure!” Lily exclaimed. “I could use some company out here. I’ve been lonely for the last couple of nights. I might get some inspiration from somewhere else for a change.”

 

“Yeah, same here. My mind is all dried up,” Johanna shook her head. “I’m glad I feel a little better after meeting you. I like you.”

 

“I like you too,” Lily said. “I know this is going to be very bold of me, but I was wondering if you would like to go have dinner. It depends on if you’re free though.”

 

“Dinner is good. I eat dinner.” Johanna nodded.

 

“What a coincidence! So do I!” Lily laughed awkwardly. “Anyway, I saw a great Chinese place that’s a few blocks away. You like Chinese food, don’t you?”

 

“Oh, man, I love Chinese food!” Johanna exclaimed. “I’m so glad you mentioned that! I’ve been hankering for some good Chinese food for a long time.”

 

“Then let’s make a date!” Lily didn’t mean for the words to come out like that but it happened. “I’m sorry. Let’s go out for dinner sometime. In fact, do you think you’re free now?”

 

“I’m plenty free, yes. Let’s go get something to eat!”

 

The two of them left the bar and headed down the street for some Chinese food. Lily told Johanna everything that she liked to eat there. “I don’t know if you’re a fan of crab legs but they have some of the best crab legs I’ve ever eaten. They also have amazing egg rolls and wontons. Oh, and their hot and sour soup is also amazing! The best part is that it’s made with chicken broth, not beef. They also have plenty of vegetarian options if you prefer those.”

 

“Oh, good. I don’t eat beef so this works out perfect for me,” Johanna said. “I can’t wait to try it out!”

 

“I can’t wait for you to try it either.” Lily said.

“Me too,” Johanna exclaimed. “I’ve been aching for good Chinese food for a while. It would be much better to have someone to eat this with.”

 

 

Together, they arrived at the Chinese together and spent some time. Lily was feeling excited beyond anything. She had finally found someone. She had found someone to spend time with.

 

She couldn’t wait to find out more about Jo.

 

 

Chapter 4

 

This was how everything started between them. Johanna and Lily loved getting to know each other. After their date at the Chinese restaurant, they made a date to have breakfast at a coffee shop that was close to the hotel. It turned out that Johanna loved coffee just as much as Lily did.

 

The two of them spent every morning walking down to the beach and talking about everything they could think of. Sometimes, they would run into the water and spend some time down there. Johanna was a fantastic listener. She had no problems listening to Lily’s stories from the restaurant and all the bad customers that she had over the years. She was also in awe at how Lily told the stories. She seemed to have every single detail down pat. She knew about all the people that had spilled food on the floor, the people who screamed about their bills, and people who came in with children that wouldn’t behave properly. She also knew details about the stoners that would come in the middle of the night and order about eighteen pies. She had mountains of stories that she could tell anyone.

 

“I make it sound more exciting than it really is,” Lily finished off. “Working in a pizza parlor has taught me a lot of things that I didn’t know before. I got burned accidentally once when trying to cut someone’s pizza,” she showed her the tiny burn mark. “It wasn’t too bad, but still annoying to deal with.”

 

“I admire you,” Johanna said. “You are able to deal with all kinds of people and you haven’t lost your mind yet. I really don’t know how you do it.”

 

Lily had always wanted to be a writer, but she also knew it wasn’t the most stable job out there. She knew that she would have to earn a lot in order to live comfortably. That was why she had taken a few odd jobs here and there. In those jobs, she would get her health insurance and other things that she needed to survive. It wasn’t the greatest job, but it was something and it still gave her some time to write. She had succeeded with the first two books, but this next one was becoming a problem.

 

Johanna showed her some of her music and allowed her to borrow it. “Just make sure you give it back to me when you’re done with it.”

 

“Sure thing,” Lily agreed, taking a few of the discs with her. “I didn’t know you had so much music lying around.”

 

“Well, it comes with the job,” Johanna shrugged, wondering if now was the time to tell Lily the truth. “The music industry is tough.”

 

“You work in the music industry?”

 

“Yeah, but it’s nothing special. I do mostly paperwork and boring office things,” Johanna lied. “I know I’ve got a lot of leather in my wardrobe, but that’s all part of the work. I don’t have a really interesting job.”

 

“It’s probably better than the job I have. I wait tables. It’s not too bad, but it’s not exactly what I wanted to do either,” Lily sighed. “I always thought I would have a much better future than this. I thought that I would be earning billions with my writing and end being the next JK Rowling. I guess you could say that I was aiming a little too high.”

 

BOOK: Roses in the Sand
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