At this point it might begin to seem as though I'm merely suspending action to maintain a false series of cliffhangers in order to maintain return visits to "see what happens next." This is not entirely false, but it has nothing to do with why I'm suspending the action yet again. This time, I'm suspending the action to talk about another suspension, that of disbelief.
You see, once the reader knows what Andrew does, they’ll begin to wonder how it was that Lara stayed so calm. To understand that, you need to know a little about Lara.
Firstly, she is not a native of the prairies. She’s from the coast. Now before anyone jumps to conclusions about the level of alteration in her state of consciousness, it must be noted that not everyone from
The reason I mention her coastal roots concerns the reason she moved to
When an alcoholic decides to stop drinking, it’s often helpful to get a new community to immerse oneself in, since the community you embraced up until that point is not likely to be sympathetic to your choice to dry out and stay away from the one thing you all crave nearly as much as air.
So Lara went tree planting. Now, I know what you’re thinking; tree planters drink like fish. This is again, a stereotype. They are more likely to smoke dope, because it’s easier to carry a baggie out into the middle of nowhere than it is to haul a case of beer. And Lara knew the crew she was joining was alcohol free, because she’d met the crew leader at AA. His name was Josh, and he was hot.
Good sex can be a great placebo for one’s addiction. However, like most placebos, if the substance one replaces the formerly addictive and harmful substance with is equally harmful and addictive, then it completely defeats the purpose. Unlike alchohol though, a bad relationship can take a hell of a lot more time to exact it’s toll from you.
When the tree planting season ended, Josh moved to
But Lara didn’t mind. Because he was hot.
And so Lara moved to
Luckily most of the people in the town didn’t know what Lara meant when she said she was Wiccan, and since a lot of the local teenagers were expressing their adolescent angst by dressing in faux-emo (the kind that results from having to get your clothes at a SAAN or Work Wearhouse), no one minded Lara’s choice in noir-wear. Besides, she made a hell of an apple pie for the community bakesale.
Just when she was settling in to becoming the little Goth on the prairie, the world caved in. In an impulsive moment of romantic inspiration, Lara decided to catch a ride with one of the rig workers headed up to
She’d stopped in the lobby’s bathroom to touch up her makeup, make sure her hair looked fabulous, long dark locks falling past her shoulders; she adjusted the neckline of her shirt for maximum cleavage (now that she wasn’t in the cab of a pickup with a 50 year old rig pig) and went up to Josh’s room.
Getting the key to the room had been easy; she’d simply shared the details of her plan with the giddy and romance-starved girl at the front desk, who confided that she shouldn’t really give her a key…but…
She swiped the keycard. The light on the door flashed green. She opened the door.
For a moment, she’d assumed that the front desk girl had given her the key for the wrong room. She’d laughed with embarrassment and covered her mouth and then eyes, apologizing and turning to go…and then she did the double take.
There is little in the universe that can equal the shock of walking in on your boyfriend already engaged in the very thing you came to surprise him with. It completely inverts your world, turns everything upside down. You lose your center of gravity. Now, you’re not only thousands of miles from the place where you have roots, but you’re stuck in a city where you have nowhere to stay…a city known for easy access to drugs, alchohol…whatever.
Suddenly, you want a drink. Worse than you have in a long time. All because...Josh is hot. Too hot.
She nearly fell completely apart in that moment. Later, she had difficulty remembering how she got back down to the lobby. She knew she was crying, because she could hear someone sobbing…and she assumed it was her. The girl at the front desk turned out to be more than just a helpless romantic…she was also a bit of a Samaritan. Lara had crashed at her apartment that night.
When your life gets that messed up, finding a massive ash tree in your new place of work on a Saturday morning doesn’t really seem all that earth shattering. Even if said tree seems to have tore it’s way into the walls of the building, smashed the second-level balcony to kindling and completely obliterated over half of the coffee machines.
So when Andrew whispered ““This definitely trumps having the covers ripped off,” Lara’s cherry red lips curved ruefully into a smirk and said, “Not really, no.”