Chapters

Twenty-Fifth Chapter: Testing The Waters

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Posted on July 9, 2012

“I wouldn’t listen to your parents if I were you. If your heart’s set on buying the lighthouse, then just do it,” Robin advised, stretched out in Noah’s arms on the teak deck of Noah’s boat, anchored out in front of the old lighthouse on a lazy summer day. “I can definitely picture us getting married there,” she continued. “It’s such a pretty spot. You know, it’s too bad they don’t make you wait a year to get divorced. Otherwise, we’d still be married right now, and we wouldn’t have to go through all that paperwork again just to get remarried. Speaking of paperwork, when are you planning on having me sign another one of your stupid prenups?”

“There’s not going to be a prenup this time. I guess I’ll just have to take my chances, that’s all.”

“But what about your parents?”

“What about them? You’re marrying me, not my parents.”

She smiled and continued with her list. “I want to have another child,” she announced.

“Of course, I’d love to have a child with you… but what kind of child exactly are we talking about?” he joked.

Robin laughed. “I’ve always loved the name Olivia — if it’s a girl, that is.”

“I think Olivia’s a beautiful name for a girl,” he said, eliciting a smile.

“Oh, and one more thing…” Noah looked at her closely. “I don’t want to be a social worker anymore. I’ve always wanted to be an X-Ray tech.”

“I think you should do whatever makes you happy, Robin.”

“Well, it would mean quitting my job and going back to school full time for a year until I get my certificate.”

“So when can you start?”

A big smile stretched across her face. “You’re the greatest. I love you, Noah Hartman,” she said, leaning in for a kiss, standing up and dipping her foot into the water, testing it.

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Twenty-Fourth Chapter: The Three Reasons

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Posted on July 2, 2012

Wearing a navy robe with matching slippers, Noah headed out the front door to fetch the Providence Journal, which was on the front lawn resting up against the For Sale sign. Shuffling back inside, he sat down at the patio table with the newspaper folded under his arm and a cup of coffee in his hand. It was a dreamy summer morning. The air was dry, and there was a light breeze shooting off the bay. Seagulls squawked as they fought over a scrap of food on the beach below. Noah’s coffee was getting cold as he sat there, staring off in the direction of the old lighthouse in the middle of the bay.

Unfolding the Providence Journal and glancing at the date — June 10th, 1997, he tore off the corner with the date printed on it, crumpled it up, and tossed it on the ground before getting up and going inside. Upstairs in his closet, he climbed a wooden stepladder and reached for a box on the top shelf. As he grabbed it, a large manila envelope resting on top of the box fell on his head. Sitting on the bed with the box and the manila envelope, he removed the lid from the box and looked inside. Resting on top was his wedding invitation, the date reading June 10th, 1996.

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“It would have been our first wedding anniversary. We never even made it a year. God, I missed her.”

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Twenty-Third Chapter: The Educated Decision

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Posted on June 25, 2012

A line of Mercedes, Lexus, Range Rovers, BMWs, and Porsches waited in front of Capriccio restaurant, followed by a black Ford F150 pickup truck. Wearing a sport jacket and tie, Noah got out of his new pickup truck and tossed the keys to the valet. He walked into the dimly lit interior and passed a baby grand, where a man in a tuxedo was playing That’s Life by Frank Sinatra. He joined Scott, Sharon, Jerry, and Miriam at a candle-lit table.

“What on earth were you thinking?” Miriam exclaimed, angry. “How could you just quit like that? There isn’t another company around that will pay you half as much money as your dad’s been so generously paying you. And this is how you thank him?”

“I don’t care about the money,” Noah responded. “I care about being happy.”

“Don’t be a fool,” Jerry added. “You could be happy anywhere. It’s your responsibility in life to take whatever job pays you the most amount of money. Everyone else seems to enjoy making money. Besides, how do you plan on paying your bills without it?”

“I guess I’ll just have to downsize, that’s all… sell the house… whatever it takes. At this point in my life, it’s more important to me to have a career that I love.”

“And what career would that be?” Miriam asked.

“Well, I’ve got this new idea I’m working on. You know that lighthouse on an island in the bay across from my house? Well, guess what? It’s for sale ! I could buy it, fix it up, and turn it into a charming bed-and-breakfast.”

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Twenty-Second Chapter: The Perfect Storm

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Posted on June 18, 2012

Even the sky was gloomy as Noah sailed by the old, abandoned lighthouse on this cold, raw, November day. He was heavily bundled in a thick wool sweater, down jacket, wool hat, and wool gloves. The cold air added a drab shade of blue to a face reddened by the unforgiving wind. With no other boats out on the white-capped bay, Noah was utterly alone.

 

“It was as if the life had been sucked out of my body, and there was no happiness in the part of me that was left behind. I thought perhaps I could find God out there on the water, but he was nowhere to be found. I determined he must not exist… because it was just me… all alone.”

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Twenty-First Chapter: To Tell The Truth

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Posted on June 18, 2012

“Why did I have to push her into making a decision? Because I couldn’t wait to feel loved again? I should have been more patient — you know, wait out the storm until it blows over. I should have given her all the time in the world, whatever she needed. If only I hadn’t given up so easily… If only I had held on, never letting go…”

Looking like a Catholic schoolgirl with her hair in braids, a red plaid skirt, stockings, and a white cardigan, Robin was standing in the witness stand at the Newport County courthouse, her right hand in the air and her left hand on a Bible. Noah looked dazed, wearing a suit and sitting next to his lawyer, Ben.

“Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?”

“I do,” she replied.

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Twentieth Chapter: A Casualty Of Words

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Posted on June 11, 2012

Robin and Noah were dining alfresco at Trattoria Simpatico in Jamestown as a jazz trio played instrumental music under an old beech tree in the background. The waiter removed an empty bottle of Pinot Grigio from the table and walked away.

“What’s wrong?” Noah asked, watching Robin push the roasted potatoes around her plate. “You barely touched your food.”

“Sorry, I just have a lot on my mind.”

“Like what?”

“It’s no big deal. I was just thinking about what my shrink said to me the other day, that’s all,” she said, looking away.

And… what did he say?”

“Nothing really. Just talked about fairy tales.”

Noah took a sip of wine. “I just don’t understand you lately,” he said, setting the glass down. “Ever since we got back from our honeymoon, you seem distant for some reason. Did I do something wrong?”

“No, you didn’t do anything. I told you, I just have a lot on my mind.”

“You used to love going out on the boat, and you haven’t gone out on it with me once since we got back. For that matter, you won’t even hang out on it with me at the dock.”

“You spend too much time on that thing as it is.”

“The boat’s not a bad thing, you know. You treat it like it’s some kind of other woman.”

“Look, just because you named your expensive yacht after me doesn’t mean I have to like it, okay?”

Noah looked at her, puzzled. “And every time I walk up to you to show you the least bit of affectionate, you walk away. You’re never interested in making love anymore. It’s not so much about the sex as it is about expressing our love for each other in a way that only intimacy can achieve. So what’s bothering you? Is it me? Is there anything I can do to help?”

Robin hesitated, took a deep breath, and spoke. “Yeah, there is something you can do to help…”

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Nineteenth Chapter: The Problem With Memories

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Posted on June 4, 2012

Tony had a kind of arrogance about him, gawking at Robin as she reclined in the chair in his office and straightened her blouse.

“So how was your honeymoon?” he asked, laying a picture frame on his desk face down.

“Perfect… like a fairy tale,” she replied. “Which reminds me, did you ever see Pretty Woman, the movie?”

Before he could answer, she continued, “Julia Roberts wanted the fairy tale, remember?”

Tony nodded.

“Well, that’s what I got — the fairy tale. The only problem is… it’s a frickin’ fairy tale. I mean… that stuff only happens in the movies, right?”

Tony opened his mouth, but Robin spoke first. “I keep thinking any minute the clock’s gonna strike twelve, and I’m gonna get tossed aside, sent back to where I came from, while Prince Charming over here rides off into the sunset with someone else on the back of his fancy white horse. I hate feeling insecure like this. It’s a terrible feeling…” she said, shaking her head, “expecting that someday everything is going to be taken away from me, ya know what I mean? And where does that leave me, huh?” she said, looking at Tony, waiting for an answer.

He paused to observe her body language, and figuring it was safe to speak, he started to talk.

“ABANDONED, that’s where !” she shouted. “I don’t know, what do you think? Is it really too good to be true?” she asked desperately.

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Eighteenth Chapter: The Curse Of Jean Pierre

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Posted on May 28, 2012

A small island-hopper plane took off from the Saint Maarten airport. It offered one seat on each side of the aisle, a cabin not tall enough to stand up in, and no flight attendant. A white Igloo cooler filled with soft drinks was secured in the cabin for those thirsty enough to dare unbuckle in flight.

As the plane approached the neighboring island, it began its descent. Without a cockpit door, Noah and Robin held onto each other tightly as they watched the pilots fly the small aircraft downward at a steep 45-degree angle just above the treetops of the mountainous terrain. Noah wondered where the horizon had gone as the runway — growing ever so large by the second — filled the entire forward view through the front windshield. At the last possible moment, the plane leveled off and touched down. As the plane raced down the short runway, the brakes were applied, and the plane started slowing down, coming to a stop at the very end, where two topless women walked in front of the plane on a white sand beach.

Bienvenue à Saint-Barth,” the pilot announced proudly as the plane veered right, heading toward the small terminal. “Welcome to Saint Barts !”

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Seventeenth Chapter: Smooth Sailing

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Posted on May 28, 2012

June 10th, 1996 turned out to be a beautiful day for sailing, with hardly a cloud in the sky. A sleek, black helicopter was flying just above the Newport Bridge with its door wide open. Inside the helicopter, a videographer motioned for the pilot to fly lower so he could get a different angle on the sailboat he was filming, which was sailing briskly toward the expansive structure. The name on the transom read Rockin’ Robin.

Noah was at the helm with Robin tucked underneath his arm. She was wearing a white wedding gown and a big smile. Her long red hair was flowing freely in the breeze. Noah, Scott, Jerry, Zeke, Jake, and two other men were wearing black tuxedos. Julie, Sharon, and two other young women were wearing long lavender bridesmaids dresses. Miriam and Mary were also onboard, wearing elegant floral dresses. Brittany wore a pretty pink dress covered by a purple life preserver. Scott and Sharon’s two boys, David and Sam, were wearing orange life preservers as they sat on the port side hanging onto the railing, their feet dangling off the side. Unlike the others onboard who were smiling and enjoying the moment, Jerry and Miriam seemed to be just along for the ride.

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Sixteenth Chapter: A Shack In The Woods

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Posted on May 21, 2012

Forty-nine-year-old Brittany walks into my hospital room and joins Scott, Sharon, and Josh around my bed.

“Thanks for coming, Britt,” I say appreciatively.

This is little Brittany?” Josh exclaims, surprised. “Wow, she sure turned into a beautiful woman, didn’t she?”

Brittany places her hand gently on my face and looks deep into my eyes with her warm, loving eyes. I return the sentiment.

“How’s your mom doing?” Scott asks her.

“I just left her room,” she says, looking over at Scott. “Olivia’s still there with her now. When she and Noah arrived in the ambulance, she was hysterical. The doctor had to sedate her twice just to calm her down.”

“Is Robin okay? What happened?” I ask, concerned.

“She’s okay now,” Brittany says, moving my hair away from my eyes and mouthing the words I love you to me. “She’s resting comfortably. Besides, she’s much better off not knowing what’s about to happen to Noah,” she says, looking back at Scott.

“Britt, what are you talking about? What’s about to happen to me? Can’t I just go home?”

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