The Accident Ch. 07bycurious2c©
The next morning I woke up disoriented. It took me a few minutes to remember that I was in a cabin way off in Alaska. Getting up, I went over to the fireplace, and struggled to get a fire going. Once the warm flames began to reach out and chase the chill away, I washed up. I dressed, and after some quiet time just thinking, I headed up to the main lodge.
Everyone had already been up for quite some time. I had slept in and even though I must have been tired and needed that rest, I was a bit upset with myself for not having gotten up earlier. Cheryl was sweeping in the main room as I walked in.
"Morning. Did you sleep well last night?"
"Yeah, too well. I haven't slept so well in ages."
That was the truth. I had just realized that I hadn't slept as well as I had ever since finding out about Sue's extra activities with her boss. Evidently this trip was much more needed than I realized.
"Well, I'm glad that you slept well. It is always good for someone in my business to have satisfied customers. Joan has breakfast about ready. She's just now finishing it up."
"Must be the fresh air around here, but I'm hungry."
"Good. Joan will be pleased, she likes to cook. Greg likes to cook too, but he needs some...lets just say, a bit more training before he gets let loose on the guests."
"Can I give you a hand with something?"
"Oh...no. You are a guest. We are here to take care of you, not you take care of us."
"I wouldn't mind...really."
"Didn't you take the vacation up here to get away from it all?"
Cheryl had a smile on her face as she waited for me to answer.
"Then, part of getting away from it all should be not having to clean. Trust me, we have everything well in hand. You just relax, and enjoy your time with us. Okay?"
Part of me wanted to jump in and help with the cleaning...while another part of me was telling me to just relax. I guess my hard-working nature was trying to keep me busy. I knew I couldn't really explain my urge to help, so I just began to relax and unwind. Accepting that I was to be taken care of was going to take a bit for me though.
Joan had walked up behind me as I watched Cheryl cleaning.
"Please, call me John. Mr. Adams was my father."
Joan gave me a look and smiled. I could tell that she appreciated me for treating her as an adult.
"I have breakfast all ready for you."
"Oh, then lead the way. I'll be right behind."
Joan stood a bit straighter, obviously wanting to impress me. I walked behind her, noting to myself that she was a very good-looking young lady. She also reminded me of a younger version of my ex-wife Sue too. Too much in some ways and that thought made me uncomfortable.
She led me to the table, and made sure I was comfortable. Then she began to bring out the food. It was a delicious breakfast, and I was impressed with how well everything was done. Bacon, eggs, French toast, everything was perfect.
"This is a meal fit for a king. Thank you."
Joan blushed and smiled.
"Thank you. I'm glad you like it. It isn't much...just some stuff I threw together."
Cheryl walked in laughing.
"Just some stuff you threw together? It's more than that Joan you know that. You're a good cook, someday someone's gonna steal you away because of your cooking."
I remained silent, thinking the same thing. Joan was a very good cook. Cheryl sat across the table from me, and soon Greg and Sam both came in. We all ate, even Joan, and I couldn't get over just how well everything had been prepared.
After breakfast I took a stroll around, and seeing Greg heading out towards the generator shack, I tagged along. When we got to the building that housed the generators, he handed me some earplugs.
"You'll need these about the time I open the door. It's kind of loud."
When he opened the door the sound blasted out, luckily we were both wearing the hearing protection. I was impressed with the whole set up. The generators were in a line; all clean and looking like new. There was a workbench on one wall, and the electrical breakers on the other.
Greg checked things out like he knew exactly what he was doing, and I was impressed with the ease of his skill too. Hard to believe that so young a...well...man could be so professional. Serious as he went to each unit and checked the oil, the coolant, and looked the engines over.
Later, as we walked back to the main lodge we talked.
"You seem to know what you're about with those generators."
"Yeah...well we had a friend come over and he showed us what to do. He is a mechanic at a mine nearby. Works with generators a lot."
"Seems like a ways out of the way for him to go to just help out."
"I think he was interested in mom for a while...but she's not interested...well, not that way. Mom has been asked out by lots of men lately. She says that she's not interested in dating again and all the things that come with dating...but we think she needs to have somebody other than us kids."
"Have you guys been setting her up?"
"No...well...maybe a couple of times. They never worked out like we would have liked, so we gave up. If mom is happy with just us, then so be it. I still think she needs a man though. It's only natural."
I was getting a bit uncomfortable with the direction the conversation was headed. I didn't want to be put on the spot with these kids and their mother. I liked them all and thought they were great kids, but I wasn't here to 'find' someone. I was here to find myself. I kept telling myself that anyway.
"You think of your mom's happiness a lot. That's nice."
"She's mom. We all love her. After dad died, we were afraid mom was going to have problems, but I guess her having that degree and all helped her. Then after we got this place, everything got better. For all of us. Hey, have you ever been married?"
"Yeah. It...didn't work out though. Part of the reason I'm here...trying to figure out what it is I want now."
"Oh. So you're not looking either then."
He sounded disappointed. Too disappointed. The whole conversation was getting to me. I hated the feeling of getting boxed in, and this talk was headed too close in that direction. I decided to change the subject.
"So, you fish much? After catching that halibut and cod yesterday, I'd like to catch a salmon while I'm here."
"Oh wow. I think you might be able to catch one, but they won't be running for about another month yet. We might get a few in early, so you may get lucky. Probably not until next week or the week after though."
"Oh, so I'm too early then?"
"Well, like I said, there may be a few in early, happens all the time. We could go out Halibut fishing again though. I know where some nice ones are. Actually, Joan knows the best spots and if anyone here could find some salmon this early it would be her. She's good at fishing."
"So, Joan is the resident expert for fishing then?"
"Yep. I dive a lot, so does Sam, but Joan fishes. She used to go out with dad...luckily not on his last trip...she was supposed to but she got sick. Flu or something."
"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bring up bad memories."
"It's okay. We've all moved on now. Not that we don't miss him, because we do, but life goes on...you know?"
His remark about life going on got me to thinking about Sue, and that dark time not so long ago.
"Yeah. I know. Things happen, good and bad. Life goes on."
We walked the rest of the way to the lodge in silence; each of us lost in our own thoughts. I was remembering that night in the hospital, and all that came after. I found myself asking why? Why would the love of my life have taken such a chance? Why had she been so easily detoured into cheating on us?
By the time I got to my room I was in a somber mood. I sat in the chair, kicked back and just ran over the last few months in my mind. What I wanted and what was happening seemed to be two different things. I didn't have the answers and I wasn't even sure of the questions for that matter.
After my talk with Cheryl and everything, I knew I was closer to getting to an answer. I just wondered what that answer would be now.
The next days were spent with fishing, exploring, and sightseeing. The kids knew all the best places to fish and see the beauty of this part of the world. Cheryl seemed to know the right things to ask me, and as time went on I began to think of my life with my wife and where I was headed.
One night, as we sat in the lodge, Cheryl and I were left alone. The other guests would be showing up over the next days, so this was the last night where I was the only guest. Cheryl seemed preoccupied, and suddenly our conversation took a turn, after a moment of quiet.
"You've changed over the last few days. Not that I have known you at all before, but the kids have even mentioned that you are seeming happier. I hope that I have been able to help you figure out what it is that you want."
"Well, I came here to try and get my head on straight. You have helped me quite a bit. I guess I'm lucky that the one lodge I chose had a resident shrink."
"So, now I'm your shrink?"
"Yes. Well, sort of. I feel...new again. Being here, with you and your family has opened my mind up to that new life."
"My family and I?"
Cheryl looked a bit apprehensive and maybe even a bit shocked.
"Yes. Your family and you."
"What are you saying...I mean...well..."
The tone of her voice told me I had better explain myself a bit more.
"I find you to be quite attractive, intelligent and fun. I'm not sure where I stand...yet, with you that is..."
"So...you may have an interest in me? More than business or like that?"
Cheryl was looking at me in a very disconcerting way. I couldn't tell what she was feeling, or if she was at all interested in me as more than a customer or patient. Deep down, that little voice was telling me...actually shouting at me to say that I was very interested in her in a more personal way. I had a bit of fear inside though, and it was enough that I choked.
"Uh...well...you are beautiful, and...well...um..."
"I'm sorry. I've made you uncomfortable now. I thought you were a more direct type of person though."
"I usually am. After all that has happened to me lately though, I guess I'm a little gun shy of telling someone I'm very interested in them."
She had moved towards me a little, leaning in close, and speaking softer and softer. I leaned forward, more to hear and speak quieter myself, and soon our faces were only inches apart. I was looking into her eyes, and missed what she next said. My mind was on her, and those big beautiful blue eyes, until my lips suddenly brushed hers.
She looked at me, not saying a word, as our lips touched, then as I leaned in closer, she put a hand up on my chest.
"Too fast. I'm sorry. This is happening all too fast. I haven't felt like this for years. I don't think that we should...I mean...you...are like a patient to me. I...its that you..."
I leaned back in and kissed her. Our lips crushed tightly together, and after a moment, I let my tongue slip out. Cheryl parted her lips, and my tongue slid into her mouth. Her arms went around me, and I took her hair in one hand and my other hand went around her back. Gently pulling her to me.
Parting, we were both breathing heavily, and we both involuntarily licked our lips as we stared into each other's eyes. I saw a certain fear, and longing in hers, and what she saw in mine I didn't know, but I hoped that whatever she saw, she liked.
After a second of staring, we both got embarrassed. I had to say something so I just blurted out...
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to rush you. I just...well...I guess I have some feelings for you."
"John...I have to...I mean, I feel I need to tell you...wow...that was some kiss. It's been a long time since..."
"Yeah. I can say the same, but that kiss felt...well...right."
"I'm afraid. We're moving so fast all of the sudden. I mean...I like you and I think that you're a good man and all, but...this is all happening so fast. I don't know what to say here...we have a relationship like that of a doctor and patient. I mean...I'm supposed to not get involved with um...patients"
"Yeah. I don't want to get hurt, don't want to be the one hurting someone either...yet I find you to be more attractive each day I'm here. I am not sure how this will all end up...but I am strongly attracted to you Cheryl."
"As I am to you too John. I'm having a difficult time with my feelings though...I am a doctor and all...I'm sorry. I just don't think it would be a good idea for us to go farther with this, do you? I mean, after all, you are here to get your head on straight. Your words, not mine."
"I don 't know what to think. I don't know what it is I want...and you...your looks, your kindness...I'm sorry."
We had been leaning in closer to each other, and our lips met again. This kiss was hot, and long lasting. Both of us were now breathing hard, and crushing our lips together as if we were afraid of being separated. I broke away first, for just a second...then we were back at it again.
As we were kissing that time, we both heard someone clearing their throat.
"Ahem...uh...hey...you two should get a room. You're embarrassing us."
We both broke apart, breathing heavily, and looked around guiltily. Joan and Greg were both standing there smiling, yet with embarrassed looks. I noticed that Cheryl's face was beet red and I was sure that mine was just as red as well.
"It's not what you guys think. John and I were just talking and..."
"Oh yeah mom...it's not what we thought at all. You two were 'just talking' to each other. Pretty hot kiss there for 'just talking'."
"Your mother and I were...well...don't you guys have something you should be doing anyway?"
"Other than watch you two make out? It's more fun to watch you two than to go read or something."
Cheryl jumped up and almost ran out of the room. I was at a loss as to what I should do, or what she was feeling and thinking. Joan laughed then winked at me.
"Good move John. You are quite the kisser too, by the way. If I were a little older..."
"You'd still be too young for me. I think I'd better go to my cabin now. Good night you two."
Greg had a smile and a look in his eyes.
"Ahhhh...leaving when it was just getting interesting. Darn it...I was hoping to see something tonight."
His comment was enough to shock me into being very embarrassed again.
"I seriously doubt that you would have seen anything Greg. Your mother and I were just talking and..."
"Oh, is that what you call that? Talking?"
Joan was laughing now, and Greg joined in. They were having great fun at their mother's and my expense. I knew I had to leave as soon as possible, before they went too far with the joking.
"Goodnight you two. See you in the morning."
"Good night lover-boy. I mean, John."
Greg was laughing at Joan's lover-boy comment and just waved at me as I left the lodge. Sitting in my room that night, I could find no fault with either Cheryl or myself. We had made a moment tonight, and now my thoughts were getting all roiled with my new found interest. I only hoped that in the light of day tomorrow, I'd feel the same way, and that Cheryl would too.
I slept well, in spite of everything. I did have a few moments of a dream in which Cheryl and I were out on a boat...one of the skiffs...and just as things were getting interesting, my alarm clock went off. I had got it out of my suitcase, not wanting to sleep in as I had yesterday. I was thinking back now, wishing I hadn't, as I would have liked to have seen where my dream was taking me.
I got up and showered ...thinking the whole time that I hoped my interest in Cheryl wasn't just only because she looked so much like Sue. It was on my mind as I left the cabin too.
Breakfast this morning was a quiet affair, but under that quiet exterior, the kids were all smiling and giving each other looks as Cheryl and I sat down to eat. We hardly looked at each other, even though I did sneak in a quite a few short glances at Cheryl. I couldn't help myself, and there was so much on my mind, I didn't know what to do, or even how to start a conversation.
As we finished up, Joan looked at me and smiled.
"So, lov...I mean John, do you want to go out on the water fishing this morning? Or would you rather continue fishing here?"
"Joan, knock that off. John is a guest here, and you need to remember that."
Cheryl looked a bit mad as she spoke up.
"So, mom, are you going to be kissing all the male guests then?"
Cheryl and I both began to blush. I noticed that Sam and Greg were both trying not to burst out laughing, and Joan had a wicked smile.
"Young lady, that will be enough. You know better than that. John is a guest and what happened yesterday...what we did was..."
Cheryl looked at me confusion written all over her face. Still beet red, and now getting even more flustered, I knew that I should try to ease things between us and the kids. I just didn't know what to say. Suddenly I realized that as much as I was interested in Cheryl, I hardly knew her, nor did she know me.
I sat there, the hot feeling burning my face probably making me every bit as red as Cheryl. Having gotten caught last night had affected me in more ways than one. I didn't know what to say, or how to handle this situation.
"Mom, Sam and Greg and I think that you guys need some time alone. Look, we are sorry about walking in on you two last night, we just didn't know...and then when we saw you, kissing like you were..."
"It embarrassed you. I know that kids don't like to see their parents kissing and stuff. I'm sorry. What happened between John and I was..."
I found my voice, finally.
"What happened last night was nice. Cheryl, I really have been enjoying myself, and last night was...special. Well, for me it was. I'm sorry that the kids walked in on us, but at the same time, I really loved...what..."
I lost my train of thought as Cheryl looked at me. I couldn't tell what she was thinking, but the look she gave me was one that I couldn't decipher. I lost my voice again, and blushed red some more. Joan and the boys ducked out at that moment, leaving us alone. I think they knew that they may have pushed us too far now, and probably they also knew that we needed to talk...alone.
"Really? You thought that was special?"
"Yes. I mean...I don't know why I pushed to kiss you last night...but in my mind it seemed...well...right. I know that we have only known each other for a few days, and that isn't really enough time to...I don't want to...You are so...beautiful...and nice...and I think that I may..."
"I have to tell you that you could or rather, our talks together built up something in your mind that isn't there. I mean...a lot of doctors, not just my kind, who help the mind, but those who help you physically often have patients think they may have feelings for them, when in fact it's likely that it's some sort of transference. You told me yourself that I look a lot like your ex-wife too."
We both fell silent for a bit, each thinking to ourselves...well, I was thinking about our kiss and the feelings I had while doing so. I knew that perhaps, just maybe, Cheryl and I had some feelings for each other beyond just 'friends'. I just didn't know what to do next, what was rushing, what was right...nothing.
I was also worried that she was right about the transference thing too. I might be transferring my feelings for Sue to Cheryl. I had just opened up yet another can of worms. I still knew that I had some sort of feelings for Cheryl...as Cheryl, not my ex.
Finally, I screwed up my courage and stood up. Holding out my hand, I looked into Cheryl's big blue eyes, and blurted out what was on my mind.
"Why don't we take a long walk...just you and I? I think we need to talk, and at the moment, I think we are too afraid of the kids walking in on us again. Would you do that? Walk with me I mean?"