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Authors: Kristy Phillips

Strawberry Wine

BOOK: Strawberry Wine
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Contents

May 27, 2011

June 20, 2014

July 5, 2009

July 7, 2009

July 8, 2009

July 1, 2012

July 12, 2009

July 10, 2015

July 17, 2009

July 11, 2015

July 22, 2009

July 23, 2009

July 12, 2015

July 25, 2009

July 12, 2015

August 7, 2009

July 12, 2015

August 8, 2009

July 13, 2015

August 11, 2009

July 14, 2015

August 20, 2009

July 15, 2015

August 22, 2009

July 17, 2015

August 31, 2009

July 17, 2015

September 4, 2009

July 20, 2015

September 12, 2009

July 20, 2015

September 14, 2009

July 20, 2015

September 21, 2009

July 20, 2015

September 26, 2009

September 27, 2009

July 21, 2015

September 27, 2009

July 24, 2015

September 28, 2009

July 24, 2015

October 3, 2009

July 25, 2015

October 23, 2009

October 24, 2009

July 25, 2015

October 25, 2009

July 25, 2015

October 25, 2009

October 26, 2009

July 26, 2015

Epilogue

June 8, 2021

 

 

 

 

“I’m sorry sir, but you didn’t meet our application criteria.”

Jason stared intently at the nervous desk clerk. He so wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt.

“Can you tell me in what area I am lacking?” His voice was deep and smooth, as if he were hosting a hypnosis session. His calm demeanor only seemed to fluster the silly woman even more.

“It doesn’t say sir. Most likely it’s a credit check glitch. You should check your credit scores.” She was having a hard time meeting his eyes.

“I have impeccable credit.” He said softly.

The woman was literally fidgeting by this point. She shifted her weight uncomfortably and stammered an answer. “I’m sorry, sir. There’s nothing else I can tell you.”

Jason decided to spare her further embarrassment. They both knew why he was being denied. It wasn’t legal for them to discriminate against him like this, but he couldn’t see the point in taking out his frustrations on this innocent desk clerk. Why shoot the messenger? Besides, he wouldn’t want to take up residence in such a hostile environment anyway.

“Thank you for your time.” He said, giving her a curt nod and turning on his heel to leave. As he pushed through the revolving door, the crisp spring morning greeted him cheerfully, in stark contrast to his now sullen mood.

 

 

 

 

“Congratulations, Baby.” Greg kissed Alli, knocking her graduation cap off her head, but catching it before it landed on the ground. “I got you a little something...” He pulled a small velvet ring box from his jacket and opened the clamshell to reveal a platinum ring, set with a single round star sapphire. It was modest and elegant, like Alli herself.

Alli was speechless. Rather than delight, the beautiful piece of jewelry struck dread into her heart. She finally managed to draw a breath. “Oh, Greg. It’s beautiful... But it’s too much. I can’t accept it.”

“Now, now, don’t get upset. I’m not proposing or anything.” He squashed her refusal before she could get too worked up. “I just wanted to honor this special occasion. My pretty girl should have pretty things.” Greg took Alli’s left hand and settled the ring on her fourth digit. As he was commenting on the perfect fit, Alli’s parents and sister joined them.

Bill Wilson’s voice boomed over the hum of the milling crowd. “What’s this Gregory? Are you making an honest woman out of my daughter?” He laughed heartily and slapped Greg on the back.

Greg was a summer associate at Alli’s father’s law firm. The plan was for him to become a junior associate once he passed his bar exam. Bill was of course joking with Greg, but it was no secret to anyone that he was looking forward to the day that Greg did officially propose to his younger daughter.

“Not yet sir. A man should be able to provide for his bride before he makes that particular commitment.” Greg flashed Alli a playful wink. Greg came from old money, and providing for anything would never be a problem for him. Alli just gave him a weak smile and hoped he didn’t notice it didn’t reach her eyes.

Margot gave Alli an enthusiastic hug. “Congrats Li-Li! You’re an educated woman!” She squeaked. “Lemme see it!” She grabbed Alli’s hand and studied the star sapphire. “It’s grey.” She said in surprise. “I’ve never seen that color in a stone before.”

Greg’s voice cut in to their conversation. “It’s a highly sought after color, Margot. I find it sophisticated.”

“I’m sure.” Margot placated. “It’s unique to say the least. It’s not a color you see often in jewelry, is it.”

Alli scrutinized the gem stone on her finger, not liking all the attention she was getting. It was a strange color choice for a ring. Strange, but beautiful. Alli liked the way the light glinted off it, causing a six point star to form inside. Suddenly it dawned on her where she had seen this shade of grey before. It was the exact same grey as the eyes that belonged to the most beautiful man she had ever seen; the eyes that haunted her to this day.

 

 

 

 

Allison Wilson could recall her first and only kiss in great detail. It had been awkward, messy, and unwanted. Being back on her grandparent’s farm for the summer brought the humiliating experience to the forefront of her mind.

Josh Saunders. Ugh.

Josh was a nice enough boy. He had always been polite and respectful. When he had asked Alli to a movie, she felt obligated to say “yes” because she couldn’t come up with an excuse not to, and she hadn’t wanted to hurt his feelings.

He had insisted on walking her to her door afterwards.

They had stood on the porch, awkwardly shifting their weight from one foot to the other, avoiding eye contact. Alli kept waiting for Josh to leave.

“Well, thanks for the movie. It was fun.” She had said, hopefully prompting his “goodbye”.

She watched in dreaded slow motion as he leaned toward her.

Oh please, God, don’t try to kiss me!

Alli squeezed her eyes closed and tried not to flinch as Josh pressed his wet mouth against her lips. She was frozen with a mixture of revulsion and disappointment as she waited for him to step back. She dodged sideways when it looked like he was going in for another try. It was all she could do not to wipe the spit from her lips with the back of her hand.

“Uh, ok, goodnight!” She chirped. Grabbing the door knob, she had practically fallen into the entry hall before shutting the door in Josh’s surprised face.

It wasn’t that Alli didn’t want to be kissed. Like most sixteen year old girls, she spent a great part of her day thinking about just that. Her frustration had more to do with the lack of suitable kissing partners.

Bernard’s barking brought Alli back to the present. She watched as all fifteen pounds of brown fury launched himself off the porch to raise the alarm. She shook off the memory of that unfortunate kiss, and hopped down the porch steps to see who was coming.

Alli had spent every summer here since her grandparents bought the place four years ago. The farm lacked wifi and decent cell reception, but Alli loved it. Alli’s older sister, Margot, felt differently.

“I don’t know how you’re going to
stand
it.” whined Margot, as she wandered the kitchen with her phone held out in front of her. “No bars. This is ridiculous!”

Margot meandered into the living room, knocking into a side table as she focused on her tiny screen.

Margot was a social butterfly. Going without Facebook for Margot, was like going without oxygen. Alli didn’t understand the appeal of social networks. Why would you want everyone knowing your business? She couldn’t care less what you had for lunch.

“Mag, you’re only here for the night. I don’t think the internet will crumble without you for twenty-four hours.”

Margot gave a half smile. “Said the bookworm.” She teased.

Alli took no offense at the label. She
was
a bookworm. She read any and every thing she could get her hands on. Mysteries, the classics, even romance novels, much to her mother’s disapproval.

“I don’t think it’s suitable for a young lady to be reading
erotica
. It encourages irresponsible behavior.” Her mother had said.

Ironically, it was Alli’s love of romance novels that had kept her from acquiring a boyfriend this long. When compared to the dashing, heroic men in her favorite stories, high school boys always came up wanting.

The whole melodramatic high school romance sagas were over rated in her opinion. It was all she could do to keep up with who was hooking up with whom. Couples that had been together for mere weeks, and pledged their undying love for each other, seemed devastated when they caught their partners cheating. Never mind that they themselves had cheated too.

Alli couldn’t understand why so many girls were eager to find themselves in some boy’s basement, making out after watching him play video games, and getting drunk off of wine coolers he stole from his parents alcohol stash. She would much rather be curled up with a good book.

The following morning, after saying her goodbye’s to Margot, Allie packed a messenger bag with a few snacks and some books. She grabbed a bottle of water and headed out the back door, letting the screen door smack shut loudly behind her.

She wouldn’t be missed until dinner. Her grandparents kept themselves busy with gardening clubs and golfing. This left her free to do what she pleased most days.

Her favorite reading spot was down by the back creek, but on sweltering days like today, she liked to hole up in the neighbor’s hay barn. It sounds counter-intuitive, but the hay barn wasn’t nearly as stuffy as you might think. The hay was a great insulator against the sun, and the doors were so tall, they allowed for a nice cross breeze.; all in all, an ideal location.

BOOK: Strawberry Wine
4.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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