Our Reunion

Chapter 36

Sam pulled into the driveway. What in the world is that? A large blue flag hung from a pole attached to the garage. Getting out of her car, she looked up at the cloth fluttering in the wind. It was a University of Florida banner with a big Gator on it.

She walked to her sister’s house and entered the kitchen. “Hello?”

“Hi, Sam!” Lisa was unloading the dishwasher. “What’s up?”

“Where did that flag come from?”

“Mike got it on the way home from work.  You should’ve seen him putting that flagpole up,” she chuckled. “Mr. Handyman, he’s not.”

“Couldn’t you have put it on the front of your house?”

“I told him it was the garage or nowhere. I’m not having that thing hanging on my house.”

“Oh… well, it’s awfully… big.”

“Speaking of big,” Lisa regarded the oversized FSU sweatshirt the blonde was wearing, “I see you’re still a Seminoles fan.”


“How’s it going?”

Sam sat at the kitchen table. “We have some stuff to work out but it’s going to be okay.”

“Are you sure you’re all right? If she did anything…”

“I’m fine. Really. I… I’m the one who caused the problem, not Tina.”

“You? What do you mean?”

“I pushed her too much. I… I got us into a physical relationship before she was emotionally ready. She tried to tell me any number of times, but I didn’t listen.”

“So, what’s going to happen now?”

“We’re kind of starting over.” Sam smiled. “We both want to be together. It’s just a matter of slowing down a little bit… and talking a lot more. She wants to be with me, Lisa… in a serious relationship. I… I can hardly believe it.”

“Of COURSE she wants to be with you! Do you think she actually stood a chance against the Whitwell charm?”

They both laughed.

“Sam!” Mike came into the kitchen. “Did you see the flag?”

“It’s pretty hard to miss.”

“Isn’t it great?”

“Yeah it’s... great.” Sam sounded less than enthused.

“Wait a minute.” He looked at her maroon sweatshirt. “You’re not going to cheer for the Seminoles this year, are you?”


“You CAN’T… not after all these years you’ve been a Gator fan with me.”

“I’m sorry.” Sam could see the disappointment on her brother-in-law’s face. “I didn’t go to either school, so it doesn’t matter to me WHO wins. I was happy to cheer with you before… but now I think I should stand by Tina and support her team. Don’t you think so?”

“I guess… but it won’t be the same without you.”

Sam got up and hugged the downcast man. “I don’t think my life is ever going to be the same again... but in a GOOD way. I… I’ve found the person I’m going to spend the rest of my life with.”

Mike looked over at his wife. She smiled at him and nodded her head.

“I suppose you can be a Seminoles fan, then. But I don’t have to LIKE it.”

“I even promise not to tease you after the Gators lose…”

“WHAT?” Mike picked up the small woman and slung her over his shoulder.

“Hey! Put me down!”

“Which team is the best?”

“Florida State!”

“Wrong answer.” He jostled her up and down.

“They’re BOTH good.”

“Which team is BEST?” He spun around in a circle.

“Ugh… I… just… ate…”

“Michael,” Lisa admonished, “put her down. Honest to goodness, this is precisely why I went to a college that didn’t have a football team.”

The man gently returned Sam to her feet. “We were just kidding around.” He gave his wife a kiss on the cheek before grabbing the leash from the hook on the wall. “Umm… I’d better take Beethoven for his walk.” The dog came charging into the kitchen when he heard his name and Mike attached the leash to his collar. “I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

“Sorry, Lisa.” Sam sat back down. “I know you hate football.”

“I find it amazing that grown people can get so crazy about a game. And every year this rivalry gets all blown out of proportion.”

“That’s part of the fun of it.”

“So it would seem. I take it this means you won’t be at Mike’s party?”

“Tina and I haven’t talked about it yet, but I doubt it.”

“You’re going to leave me alone with all those maniac Gator fans?” Lisa sighed. “At least in the past, you were here to help me keep my sanity.”

“It’ll be so different… not being with you guys for the game.”

“But a good kind of different, right?”

“Yes.” Sam’s face lit up. “VERY good.”

“I’m glad to hear it’s working out.” Lisa opened the refrigerator and removed a large pan covered with aluminum foil. “I made lasagna tonight.”

Sam grinned. “Is that for me?”

“Yes. Meat and cheese only… no mushrooms, no vegetables.”

“Thanks!” She took the pan from her sister. “I can invite Tina to dinner tomorrow night.”

“You’re welcome.”

The women walked to the door together.


“Bye.” Lisa watched as Sam crossed the walkway to her apartment. I hope you’re right that it’s what both of you want. Maybe I should have a chat with Tina myself and find out.


“Argh.” Sam put her pillow over her head. The doorbell rang again. Throwing back the covers, she got out of bed. 9:05… Who could this be so early in the morning? She shuffled to the door and looked out the window. A deliverywoman was standing there holding a cardboard box. Opening the door a crack, Sam asked, “Yes?”

“Samantha Whitwell?”


“Hyde Park Courier Service. I have a delivery.” The woman held out an electronic signature pad. “Please sign that you received it.”

Sam blinked in the bright sunlight and tried to see where she was supposed to sign.

The woman pointed to the blank gray area on the pad. “Right here, Ma’am.”

Ma’am? That’s a first.  Sam signed on the spot indicated and exchanged the pad for the box. “Thanks.”

“You’re welcome. Have a good day.”

Sam closed the door and looked at the return address on the box. Exclusive Travel… it’s from Tina. She went into the kitchen and put a mug of water in the microwave to heat for coffee. She got a knife, cut through the tape on the box and looked inside. A portable CD player?  There was a note and she smiled as she read the script.

      A good friend once told me that a song can say something better than plain old words.
      As usual, she was right. Track three is from me to you. T.

She put on the headphones and pressed track three. I wonder what this is going to be? The first few notes of the top forty hit reached her ears. Oh, I know this…  She turned up the volume.

“You tell me you’re in love with me
Like you can’t take your pretty eyes away from me
It’s not that I don’t want to stay
But every time you come too close I move away

I wanna believe in everything that you say
Cause it sounds so good
But if you really want me… move slow
There’s things about me you just have to know

Sometimes I run
Sometimes I hide
Sometimes I’m scared of you
But all I really want is to hold you tight
Treat you right… be with you day and night
Baby all I need is time.”

Sam held the CD player to her chest and swayed to the music.

“I don’t want to be so shy
Every time that I’m alone I wonder why
Hope that you will wait for me
You’ll see that you’re the only one for me

I wanna believe in everything that you say
Cause it sounds so good
But if you really want me… move slow
There’s things about me you just have to know.”

She sang along with the chorus:

“Sometimes I run
Sometimes I hide
Sometimes I’m scared of you
But all I really want is to hold you tight
Treat you right… be with you day and night
Baby all I need is time.

Just hang around and you’ll see
There’s nowhere I’d rather be
If you love me… trust in me
The way that I… trust in you”

The chorus repeated several times before the song ended. Sam pressed track three again. After the fifth time through, she finally turned off the CD player and removed the headphones. If I didn’t have to go to work, I’d drive to Tampa right now and hug her… kiss her… look into her eyes…

The microwave beeped, reminding Sam that she had something in it. She reheated the water for a minute before preparing her coffee. Picking up the phone, she dialed the number for Exclusive Travel.  Brenda answered the phone and Sam sipped her coffee while she waited to be connected to Tina’s office.

“Hello, Samantha.”

“Hi. Guess what?”


“I got a package this morning.”

“You did?” Tina glanced at the clock. I hope they waited till after nine like I requested.

“Yes. I was wondering… are you the jealous type?”


“It seems that I have an admirer.”

Tina gripped the phone tightly. “Really?”

“Yes. Some person named T. First, I got flowers and now… a lovely song.”

“Oh,” Tina relaxed. “Yeah, that’s me.” I signed it T? I wasn’t even thinking…

“Is that shorthand? Or a nickname?”

“Umm… how about I explain it next time I see you?”

“Okay. I have lasagna here. Would you like to come over for dinner?”


Sam smiled at the tone of the one word answer. A response so brief, yet filled with emotion. I’m starting to get the hang of this. “I was going to stop and pick up some Italian bread on the way home from work. Do you want salad? You’ll have to tell me what to buy for that.”

“I can get the salad on the way. I might as well get the bread, too, while I’m there. Anything else?”

“Just you.”

There was a pause before the Tina responded in a soft voice. “For as long as you want me.”

“That's going to be a LONG time.”

“I think I like the sound of that.”

“Me, too.”

“I’ll see you tonight, then.”

“Okay... Bye.”

“Bye, Samantha.”

Sam hung up the phone. She listened to the song three more times before rushing to get ready for work.

To be continued…

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