By Susan Brown
With a little hard work,
With careful attention, she maneuvered the rental truck into the alleyway behind the brownstone. It was too close for comfort.
“I need some wide open plains,” she muttered
For a few seconds, Gina rested her forehead on the steering wheel. “It could be worse,” she told herself. “I could be stuck on the highway…I could be stuck at home!
Gina gasped. Before her lay a garden, as luscious and alive and hidden as was possible in the
As her eyes strayed over the color and contrasts, she began picturing the same colors on drapes of fabric,
It was then that she saw him. A man, tall, lean and almost Italian looking leaned on a shovel and with a sardonic smile, watched her.
“Um…sorry,” Gina stumbled. “I’m trying to move in…”
The man’s eyes, intensely brown, lit up with laughter. “I don’t remember advertising for a
“One of the city’s best-kept secrets.” He leaned his shovel against a tree winding upwards against the wall and came forward, hand extended. “I’m Dave Marcus, clearly your next door neighbor.”
Gina wiped her hand on her jeans and clasped his. So warm and firm with callouses giving a sense of strength. For a moment she simply stood, electricity seeming to jolt up her arm, into her heart. Their eyes held a few seconds
“So, neighbor,” he said finally. “Do you need a little help moving your belongings?”
“I should say no,” Gina confessed, “but I only have three hours before the truck has to go back, and maybe I’m a little bit desperate.”
Dave laughed. “And here I am, short on my damsel in distress quota for the week. It was meant to be.”
With the summer heat and dust causing rivulets to run down their faces and backs, they got Gina’s bed, dresser and precious cutting table and sewing machines up to the second floor apartment. When she forced open the bedroom shutters, Gina saw that her window overlooked Dave’s garden.
“This is so perfect,” she breathed.
“Yes,” he murmured behind her.
She turned and looked up into his face.
He cleared his throat. “I happen to have a very nice Chianti that needs to be tasted…and there are some fine take out restaurants around here. Can I interest you in dinner…in a welcome to the
Dave grinned. “Then I’ll see you around seven?”
The truck returned, the shower blissfully functional, Gina ransacked her suitcases for
At two minutes to seven, she rang Dave’s door. It opened promptly as though he had been waiting for her.
“I thought you might enjoy eating in the garden,” he said, leading her down the long, perfectly appointed hallway. His kitchen was a masterpiece of design, and through the French doors, the garden with its colors and scents formed a
The table on the flagstone patio was already set with linens, wineglasses, and a selection of take-out food containers.
Gina laughed in pure delight.
“Another evening,” Dave said, taking her hand gently, “I’ll cook a feast for you.”
Gina squeezed his hand in return and gazed around her. When Dave uncorked the waiting bottle and poured the wine into her glass, she held it up. “To new neighbors,” she toasted.
“And to the promise of so much more,” Dave replied.
A breeze stirred the foliage, a bird chirruped a song, and Gina sat back, feeling that she had at last come home.
About The Author
I love to write! And I love to write for teens. Since I was a kid, bored with school, I’ve been making up stories. Eventually I became a journalist, got married, had kids, adopted dogs and started writing books in earnest. Three followed, plus two more co-authored with Anne Stephenson.
I’ll be publishing a half dozen new books in the next year or two, some fantasy and some realistic which I hope will appeal to teen readers – I’ve had quite a few kids read them and gotten a thumbs up! Check out my website at www.susanbrownwrites.com