Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The Friendship Affair

The Friendship Affair by Linzé Brandon, blog serial
Not all long lasting marriages are happy. But what do you do if divorce is not an option?
University friends, Stephanie and Nick, meet again after twenty years. But life has not been easy or simple for either of them. Will this friendship affair stand a chance against reality? 

CHAPTER 14

Early the next morning, he looked in on his daughter, who was still sleeping soundly. She must have gotten in late since he hadn't heard her come in.
Since she was a star student, he didn't impose a strict curfew, but he was still her father.
With a smile, he left a note for her in the kitchen and texted the boys to let them know he was going out of town for the day and to help their sister if she needed anything.
She had still to get her driver's license and he didn't want her to feel she was too isolated with him not being there.
The eldest's reply was almost instantaneous since he too was an early riser.
No problem, Dad, Drive safe.
He smiled at the text. He knew better to say anything, but both his boys would make excellent fathers one day. Their sister was another story, but he thought it was more the feeling of being abandoned by her own mother that scared her, than an actual aversion to having children. But he was not going to decide for her.
After checking that all the doors were locked behind him, he got into his car and put the envelope on the seat next to him.
Taking a deep breath, he put the key in the ignition.
“This is it,” he said aloud as he turned the key.
Three hours later he took the off-ramp from the highway. The commune was located on the outskirts of the town and he drove straight there. Although he had looked up the address, he was surprised that the maps of the GPS had the coordinates already programmed.
Probably because the place was actually well-known even though it was off the beaten track.
At the reception area, he asked to see Lena. Since it was also a tourist attraction, they had added the building, to give their residents some privacy from prying eyes.
“Who?” the young woman asked.
Shit. He rubbed his face. She started using a different name after she left him, and for the life of him he couldn't remember what it was.
An older man came in holding two bags, one over each arm. They looked heavy. The word 'salt' was visible and he wondered why anyone would need salt in such a large quantity.
The young woman looked at him but pointed with her finger towards Nick.
“This man is looking for Lena. He says she lives here, but I don't know any Lena.”
The man put the bags on the counter and peered at him. “You're Nick?”
He nodded. “I am.”
The older man turned to pick up the bags once more.
“Call Starr,” he told the young woman and promptly left again.
Shrugging she lifted the phone and called her.
“She said you can go in. Number seven on the left.”
After thanking her, he returned to his car and drove into the commune. He had been here once before, many years ago. While the cottages still looked much the same, he was surprised to see the gardens well kept and the whole place clean and neat.
“Tourism,” he muttered when he spotted a few people walking towards a large building on his right.
Not much further he spotted Lena's place.
He parked the car, got the envelope and got out.
The front door was open, but he knock in any case.
“I am in the kitchen!”
Accepting the call as an invitation, he stepped into another world.

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