Luis had a nice dinner alone with his mother. Miguel was
at the Bennettís house which was no surprise, heíd spent most of his youth there with his best friend Kay. Theresa
was at her new job, which from what his mother said was a great opportunity for her, giving her access to learn
much about the fashion business.
After dinner was over, Luis cleared the table and did the
dishes for his mother and then told her he was going to bed. Heíd spent a long day at work and was beat.
"Donít stay up too late on your new computer hijo"
Pilar had told him.
Luis laughed. How well his mother knew him. Donít worry
Mama" Luis assured her. "I really am tired. Iíll probably send off an email to Jay and then go to sleep.
She says "Hi" by the way."
Pilar smiled at Jayís name. "How is she?" She
"Sheís great Mama" Luis answered. "Sheís
coming to Harmony sometime soon. Her grandmother needs a hip replacement ad her mother asked if sheíd come home
for a little bit while she recovers.
"Thatíll be very nice Luis. Youíll have to invite
her for dinner while she is here."
"I will Mama" Luis smiled. "Goodnight."
Luis gave his mother a hug and kiss on the cheek and returned to his room to write to Jay.
For some reason, Luis felt better than he had in a week
when he headed for bed this night. Maybe it was he felt good about winning the computer, or maybe it was knowing
that Jay would be coming for a visit soon. He couldnít quite put his finger on it, he just knew he was more relaxed
than heíd been recently. Thoughts of KC crossed his mind, but they werenít the doom and gloom thoughts heíd been
having earlier in the day. Somehow he knew she was ok, but had no idea how he knew.
He settled in to write his note to Jay when he noticed
the flag on his mailbox was up. He couldnít imagine who had sent him mail so quickly, unless of course it was junk
mail and that was always a possibility. Luis clicked on the icon and his heart about caught in his throat when
he saw the name KCGirl in his inbox.
Luis didnít even notice that his heart began beating rapidly
as he opened the email. Everything seemed to go numb as his mind tried to weigh all possible responses he might
I am truly sorry that I have caused you to worry so. I never meant for this to happen. I was feeling so low after
I found out that JL had played me for a fool, I needed to get out of here and fast. So I went to the one place
in the world I knew Iíd be welcomed, the place where I might be able to relax enough to think about what had happened
to me and what my future held, Marbella.
I am staying at my friendís house right now, I told you about
the family here that has been so kind to me. My first few days here I hardly said anything to anyone, I just moped
around feeling sorry for myself. Today was really the first day I got out and I decided to end my day with a walk
along the beach. The sun began setting and I decided to sit down and enjoy it. I just sat there and watched the
wondrous golden light disappear over the horizon and for some inexplicable reason, the only thoughts I had at that
moment were of you. I remembered the post I wrote and your response to me over it leading to our dozens of emails
discussing the peace and tranquility of life in the villas of Spain.
Pezz, I have much to tell you and even more to thank you for,
but I am using my hostís computer right now. I just wanted to let you know I am very much alive and well and will
be returning to Paris in the morning, at least until I decide what I want to do with my life. Now that JL is out
of the picture thereĎs nothing holding me here. For now please know that I was overwhelmed by your emails (I read
all 13) and touched beyond words that you shared with me your own story of your relationship with your ex-girlfriend.
It means more to me than I can tell you and has brought me a sense of comfort. Iíll write more when I return to
P.S. Since youíre now buddies with Godis and BabyShuis, could
you email them and tell them I am all right? Iíd hate to see what an internet search entails! LOL.
Luis felt like a new man when he finishes reading her message.
He was so wound up now he wasnít sure heíd be able to sleep. He quickly emailed KCís two friends and then decided
to email Jay. Boy did he have a lot to tell her!
Boy, do I feel like a different person tonight. Youíll never believe all that has happened! Let me start by telling
you that I am thrilled you are coming to Harmony. I canít wait to get the chance to whip your butt at basketball!
I didnít realize how much I missed our games of one on one until I heard you were coming for a visit. Mama wants
you to come to dinner as well.
Arenít you the least bit curious why or how I am writing to
you at this hour? Arenít I supposed to be at home or sleeping? Well Jay, youíll never believe this one. I won a
computer! I bought some raffle tickets Mama was selling for the church and won the grand prize. She had them set
it up in my room waiting for me when I got home this afternoon. I donít have to work tonight either. Kennyís mother
in law has gotten the best of him and heís back tonight. Iím sure glad I donít have that problem with in laws.
Cripes, the way he talks youíd think he was married to a Crane! Youíll never catch me in a situation like that.
Believe it or not I actually took some of your advice. I took
a chance and emailed KC with some of what Iíve been feeling since Beth left and even before. You were right, I
found myself telling her things Iíve barely admitted to myself never mind told anyone. All I know is I just heard
from her and youíll never believe where she is? Spain. She needed to get away after her break up with JL and she
went to visit some friends there.
Iíd love to write some more, my mind is an absolute whirlwind
right now and Iím not quite sure why. In any event, Iíve been up nearly 24 hours now and I think I need some rest.
Sam offered me the day off tomorrow. I told him no before I left work, but I might just take him up on it now.
Hey, for one thing I need to make sure things at the Youth Center are up to snuff. I havenít been there in a few
weeks with work and everything.
Sheridan re read her letter from Pezz while she lay in
bed listening to the waves crash against the shore outside her bedroom. A sweet smile adorned her face as she devoured
each word. Though she still felt the hurt Jean Luc had brought to her, somehow tonight she managed to bury it deep
within. Enough so, that he was not the main focus of her attention. Her new main focus seemed to be her internet
friend Pezz and the new connection she felt with him tonight. She always knew there was something about him that
was... different. Since the first email sheíd received from him, she felt drawn to him and now she couldnít explain
the closeness she felt to someone sheíd never met.
She rolled over on her side and turned the light out on
her bedside table. She held Pezzís email to her chest as she closed her eyes and fell asleep within seconds.
Sheridan began tossing in bed. The nightmare started the
same way all the others had for the past week.
"Did you really think I loved you Sheridan?"
Jean Luc laughed evilly as he held his wife Renée tightly around the waist. "I was just using you Sheridan"
he said coldly. "I could never love you. No one could ever love you."
Sheridan tossed in her sleep, trying to escape the nightmares
that plagued her. She couldnít get the images of Jean Luc and a very pregnant wife laughing sardonically and pointing
at her as they did. She saw herself huddled in a ball on the floor crying, much as a child whoíd been punished.
"Donít worry, Iím here now" she heard the deep
male voice call out from the darkness. Sheridan saw herself suddenly look up from her position on the floor. She
could still see Jean Luc and Renée and she could still hear their cold laughter, but it seemed to be fading.
"He canít hurt you anymore" the familiar voice
told her. "Iíll make sure he will never hurt you again." Sheridan saw the figure emerge from the clouded
darkness. It was the man from her dreams, the faceless man in the black hat and trench coat had come to rescue
"Who are you?" Sheridan heard herself ask. "I
need to know who you are?"
"You know me. Iím here to help you." The faceless
man slowly approached her and held his hand out for Sheridan to take. Sheridan held out her hand and placed it
into the hands of the stranger who made her feel so safe, allowing him to help her up. As in her previous dream,
Sheridan felt a surge of electricity flow through every fiber of her being. It was a feeling unlike anything she
had ever known.
"I feel as though I know you, yet I donít. Please,
may I see your face?" Sheridan pleaded with the man.
The man slowly raised his head. "You know me KC"
he said, his face still not in view. The tall dark stranger began to fade from the dream.
"No! Please, you canít go! What did you just call
"We will meet again" the stranger said as he
faded into the dark oblivion from where he came.
Sheridan sat bolt upright in bed, drenched in sweat. Sunlight
streamed in through her window as she glanced around the room looking for any sign of the tall dark stranger. Why
do I keep dreaming of this man?" She asked herself as she tried to catch her breath. "And did he just
call me KC? Why would he call me KC?" Sheridan glanced down to her hand. In it still was clenched the email
from Pezz sheíd printed up the night before.
Luis was reading email when he heard a familiar tone signaling
heíd received an IM. He looked at his computer screen and was pleasantly surprised to see it was from KC.
Hi Pezz, how are you?
[PezzMan] Hi KC, are you home?
[KCGirl] I am in Paris, but I am not home. This isnít my home anymore.
[PezzMan] Where will you go?
[KCGirl] I might go home to New England.
[PezzMan] Are you serious? Then we can meet. I would love to meet you.
[KCGirl] I would love to meet you too Pezz, more than you know. I think about you
all the time.
[PezzMan] I think about you too, KC. When can we meet?
[KCGirl] I want to meet you now. Please meet me now Pezz. I donít want to wait anymore.
[PezzMan] I canít wait either. Iíve wanted to meet you for so long now.
[KCGirl] Reach out to me Pezz. Iím right here waiting for you.
[PezzMan] Iíll find you KC. I promise I will find you.
Luis reached out through his computer screen and felt himself
grab her arm. He almost jumped back when he thought heíd been shocked by the computer, but he didnít. Instead of
pulling away from it, the surge seemed to stimulate him and he reached in further. Both arms now completely inside
the computer screen, Pezz pulled her towards him. Closer and closer she was coming towards him. More and more intense
was the energy that filled him.
Iíve got you KC. Come to me. Come to me KC............
Luis woke with a start. He didnít move. He lay there looking
at his surroundings finally realizing he was in his room. He heard a knock on his door and then it opened slightly.
"Luis, hijo, are you all right?" Pilar asked
in a worried tone.
"Yeah Mama, Iím fine" Luis answered.
"Are you going to tell me who Casey is?"
She asked curiously.
"KC?" Luis questioned.
"Yes, Casey" Pilar repeated. This is the second time in a week Iíve heard you
call that name out in your sleep.
"KC, KC" Luis said thoughtfully as if trying
to recall if he knew the name. He was stalling trying to think of what he was going to say to his mother.
"Luis, when you are ready to tell me who Casey is,
I know you will, but please, if something is bothering you do not keep it bottled up inside of you. Itís not good
for you. You know Iíll be here if you need to talk."
Luis breathed a sigh of relief at his reprieve. "Thanks
Mama" he said with a faint smile.
"Go back to sleep Luis. Itís still early."
"I will Mama" Luis answered. "Goodnight."
Pilar quietly closed the door to her sonís room. Luis clasped his hands behind his head, now fully awake. He needed
to know why he kept dreaming about KC and what it all meant.
Sheridan returned to her flat in Paris. Sheíd been feeling
pretty good until she saw the dozens of roses sitting in front of her door. She knew exactly who they were from
and wanted no part of them. Walking right past them on her way through the door, she quickly picked up the telephone
and asked the manager if someone could come pick them up. She didnít care what they did with them, donating them
to a local hospital of convalescent home would be her suggestion, but all she wanted was them off her doorstep.
Sheridan walked aimlessly around her living room, still unsure what she wanted to do with her life. Paris had been
her home since she was a young girl, but she was restless for a change.
She wandered into her kitchen and poured herself a tall
glass of ice cold water. Her mind drifted back to the dream sheíd had last night and the fact that she thought
she heard the tall dark stranger call her KC. She then remembered the email sheíd received from Pezz and her lips
curved upward into a smile. She returned to the living room and retrieved a folded piece of paper from her purse,
which sheĎd tossed on the couch.. She opened the paper and once again read the words that Pezz had written, that
touched her heart in a way she still couldnít understand.
Letter in hand, she walked over to her computer and signed
online. She checked her mail and found herself grinning from ear to ear when she saw a new note from Pezz.
Hola mi amiga,
I am so happy to hear you are well. I was never so relieved in my life as I was to get your email last night. Iím
glad that some part of my ramblings made sense to you. Iíve been trying to figure out my own feelings for awhile
now and making the decision to share my own experience with you helped me as well. Iíve never been one who is easily
able to express what Iím feeling, but I had a goal in mind. Iím just glad youíre feeling better about things.
Iím looking forward to you returning to Paris. I assume this
means we can continue our little game? :) I hope so. Just say the word and Iíll send the next clue out post haste.
I never expected you to get the last clue so quickly, so maybe I should make this one harder. After all, New England
isnít exactly a big area as you well know.
You mentioned in your note last night that you might not stay
in Paris? Is that right? Have you given any thought to where you might go? I know how fond you are of small town
life, so if youíre serious about making a change, why not go home? I know they say you canít go home again and
all that, but if you havenít been home in awhile, you might just find that you like it.
I guess Iím just partial to small town life, but I wouldnít
even suggest it if we hadnít talked about how much you liked the idea of small town life. Think about it. Maybe
you can tell yourself youíre just going on vacation. If you donít like it you can always return to Paris. If you
do go, just for a vacation I mean, I hope you have a laptop! Iíd hate the idea of not emailing you for any length
See, youíre not even home yet and Iíve already written probably
more than you care to read, so I guess Iíll end this now.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon. :-)
"Luis!" Buzzy greeted with a genuine smile. He
was a handsome man, tall, dark eyes and olive complexion. His face was tanned from many hours worked in the summer
sun. Buzzy also worked as a gardener when he wasnít helping out at the Youth Center. "God, Iím glad you stopped
"Whatís up Man?" Luis grinned at the man who
helped him out of more binds than he could count at the Youth Center. Luis didnít know what heíd do without Buzzy,
especially since his job was unpredictable. Whenever Luis wasnít able to work, Buzzy was there to fill in the gap.
Buzzy had been friends with Luis since high school. He was a bit older than Luis, a very hard working and generous
man who would do anything for the kids of the Center. Buzzy grew up in a very poor home, without a father and didnít
know where heíd be today if it hadnít been for the Youth Center. Even today, 20 years later, Buzzy felt a strong
connection to it and spent most of his free time there. His help was invaluable to Luis and it worked well for
Buzzy as well. His wife died several years earlier, which left him as a single father. Having a second job at the
Youth center, allowed him to spend extra time with his son Todd as well as having a place for Todd to go after
school where Buzzy knew Todd would be safe from the elements of society that could destroy a teenís life.
"Things have been crazy here" Buzzy said shaking
his head. "We have been so short handed around here all week."
"Iím sorry about that Buzzy" Luis apologized.
"Itís just that Iíve been working 16 hour days at the station for nearly a week now."
"Iím not blaming you Luis" Buzzy said with a
slight grin. "Besides, itís not that so much as our other volunteers."
Luis frowned. He was talking about Beth. "Yeah, well
Iím sorry about that too buddy."
"I guess I never appreciated all your girlfriend did
"Ex-girlfriend" Luis corrected.
"Sorry Luis" Buzzy said. "I shouldnít have
been so insensitive. Iím sure youíre still bumming. I mean after all she did take off with your best friend."
"Hank?" Luis asked in surprise. "He just
went with her to help her get settled in, thatís all. Besides, it happened for the best. Things hadnít been good
between Beth and me for along time now. Iím over it, believe me. Iím more upset over losing her as a volunteer
than losing her as a girlfriend if the truth be known."
"Well Iím glad to hear it man" Buzzy said with
a smile. "I never thought you two were right for each other anyway. You two didnít have..."
"We didnít have any what?" Luis asked his friend.
"Spark, chemistry, you know." Buzzy said shrugging
"Iím not sure I do know" Luis answered.
"Trust me my friend, one of these days you will meet
the right woman and when you do, youíll remember this conversation. Youíll feel things you never knew existed.
I found it only once my friend with Margie" Buzzy said with a wistful smile. "We had that once in a lifetime
love and I will cherish it always."
Luis grinned. "Iím glad you found that with Margie,
Buzzy, but love at first sight? Me? I donít think so.
"Go ahead Luis, laugh all you want, but when it happens,
donít say I didnít warn you."
"I promise you Buzzy, when I see sparks, Iíll let
you know. Right now, my main focus will be on replacing Beth at the Youth Center. I donít want the kids to suffer."
"Well, you know weíre under budget cuts, so there
is no way weíll be able to hire anyone. Weíll need someone to volunteer."
"Donít remind me" Luis groaned. "Thatís
been on my mind all summer. I think I can get my mother and Grace Bennett to help out in the afternoon for a week
or so" Luis said thoughtfully. Maybe by then weíll be able to find a replacement."
"I hope so Luis. Donít forget we have that big party
coming up in a month for the end of the summer. Itíll take someone who is willing to put a lot of hours in helping
to plan and set up this shindig.
Luis gave Buzzy a friendly pat on the back. "We'll
find someone Buzzy. I know we will."
Luis returned home after spending the day at the Youth
Center. It was his motherís night to work late at the Cranes, something which Luis detested, nevertheless, he was
on his own for dinner. He wasnít very hungry as heíd gone out for a late lunch with Buzzy and was anxious to see
if heíd heard from KC. Heíd spent his spare time during the day thinking about her and couldnít wait to get home.
The dream heíd had from the night before was still haunting him. He couldnít help but wonder what it meant and
of course the obvious never occurred to him.
Luis took the steps to the second floor three at a time
in an effort to reach the computer faster. He still had no idea what was really going on with him and KC nor would
he admit to himself that in his effort to persuade her to move back to her hometown, he might just get the chance
to meet her. Somewhere in his brain he knew Paris was a long way away, but a neighboring New England state was
just a few hours.
Finally reaching the computer he quickly checked his mail
and a slight wave of excitement hit him when he saw he had mail from her. There were other emails there as well,
but for now, only one stood out. The one from the screen name KCGirl.
I am back in Paris after an uneventful flight. Youíd never believe what greeted me when I arrived at my flat? There
were several dozen roses at the door. They were all from that SOB who I refuse to even mention, so I just called
the manager and asked him to have someone pick them up and dispose of them someway. Iím not totally heartless,
I suggested they bring them to a local hospital or something so someone could get enjoyment out of them, just so
long as itís not me.
Please donít ever feel youíve written too much or youíre rambling.
I never tire of reading your emails and what you sent to me the other night was far from a rambling. Much of what
you said to me was exactly how I was feeling. In part I blamed myself for causing him to marry someone else. If
I had been better at certain things or paid more attention to him or not complained so much maybe things would
be different. I know in my head that he is the one at fault. I know he is the one that married another woman and
then asked me to marry him afterwards, but it still doesnít stop me from thinking that maybe I could have prevented
this if I were a better person.
By the way, I am sorry that things didnít work out with your
girlfriend. I canít imagine how painful it must be to be with the same person for that amount of time, only to
have it end. My ex fiancé and I were only together for 6 months and it was devastating enough. Ten years?
Thatís almost a lifetime. How is it that you can be so caring and so considerate of what Iím going through right
now, when it seems you are going through a similar ordeal? You are a truly special person indeed and if you ask
me your girlfriend is a fool.
Youíre wondering what my plans are for the future? Well, Iíve
been wondering the same thing myself. I must tell you, your idea of my moving back to the small town I came from
does have a great deal of appeal. You know I love small towns and at least in that one I have family, well my nephew
anyway. The rest of my family and I are anything but close. It might be worth a try. Iíve seen enough of Paris
to last me a lifetime. Actually, Paris is a wonderful city but I think itís time for a change.
Any time you want to start sending those clues start sending
them. If Iím going to figure out which sleepy little New England town you are from youíd better start sending those
clues again. After all, how am I supposed to surprise you with a visit if I donít know where you live? (Donít worry,
I never show up anywhere uninvited!)
Take care of yourself Pezz and thank you so much for everything.
Iíd probably still be feeling sorry for myself if not for your kind and thoughtful words. Itís been less than a
week and I am already beginning to believe that everything happens for a reason. I know now that JL wasnít the
right man for me and I have my whole life ahead of me. In a way, itís kind of exciting to be starting over like
this. Itís been so long since Iíve made such a major change in my life and I have you to thank for helping me through
all of this.
Please write soon,
Luis grinned as he read the letter. "A surprise visit
huh? Now that would be something" he muttered to himself as he skimmed the letter again. "I wonder"
he said as he pulled his buddy list to the front. "Now why didnít I think of this before? Because you were
using the computer at work Luis, thatís why." Luis typed the name KCGirl into his buddy list and clicked save.
A second later the name appeared in the window indicating that she was indeed online.