“Come on Aunt Jessie, I’ll help you off the ground. We’re going for a family walk. It’s a good thing we found you,” said my niece Amy as she extended her arm to me. I got up off the sand, not so grateful that they had found us.
My two year old nephew pointed at Ryan and said, “He help himself up,” and took my other hand.
I turned my head to watch Ryan scramble up off the sand all by himself. I shrugged my shoulders at him and gave him my “I’m sorry” face and let my nieces and nephews drag me down the beach. This is what Seaside is about, family time. After a few minutes, Ryan managed to snuggle in as close as Amy’s other hand.
“Sorry about this and that back there,” I said.
“No need to be sorry. This is fun too, not the same kind of fun, but fun just the same,” said Ryan.
And that is pretty much how the week went. Ryan came over every day and spent time with me and my family. We went to the Aquarium and fed the seals, walked the Prom, rode the bumper cars, ate at Pig ‘n Pancake, rode the carousel, flew kites, went shopping, built sandcastles and had an all around terrific time with the family and even managed a few minutes alone. He passed all the family tests and was given an all around thumbs up from everyone. It was a surprise to everyone, including me. I'd come to Seaside for family time and found romance.
Our last night in Seaside, Ryan took me to Maggie’s on the Prom. It is one of the nicest restaurants in town and has such a beautiful view looking out over the beach and ocean. We ate seafood, chatted and enjoyed each others company, uninterrupted by nieces, nephews and other well meaning family members. It was heaven. This was the best vacation romance I’d ever had, even though it was the only one I’d ever had. I didn’t want it to end.
Ryan took my hand and guided me out of the restaurant and out onto the sand. We walked a ways in silence, the only sounds the lapping of the waves and the distant calls of dogs further down the beach. I wondered if his thoughts were going in the same direction as mine. Where were we going with this romance? It had been a fabulous week but we lived in two different cities with a three hour commute between us. We both had fabulous careers we loved and were not about to leave after a week of fun and romance, even if my family did live close to him. Could we make the long distance thing work? I didn't know but I didn’t want this to end either. I hoped he felt the same. We hadn't really discussed it at all. We were kind of living for the moment.
Ryan cleared his throat and shook me out of my thoughts, “Jessie?”
I stopped walking and turned to look at him. He looked concerned and I began to get really worried. This might be where my lovely summer romance ended. Butterflies swirled in my stomach. Ryan grabbed my other hand and said, ”I like you a lot. This has been one of the greatest vacations ever. I’ve loved getting to know you and your family.”
Is this a break up speech? I hope not but keep it breezy just in case. “Well, they all love you. We’ve all had such a great time getting to know you. It’s been fun to have someone to do things with.”
Ryan gave me a puzzled look, “I hope it was more than you just wanting someone to do something with. It meant more than that to me.”
“No, no, no! I loved our time together. Don’t get the wrong idea,” Jessie said. Don’t mess this up! “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you better and I really like you too. This week has been wonderful and I think I’m just worried about where it’s going to go from here? How can we keep this going with you in Portland and me in Seattle?”
“Well, that’s a relief,” said Ryan. “For a moment there, I thought you were blowing me off.”
“I thought you were doing that to me,” said Jessie.
“No way, I’d like to see if we can make this romance thing work long distance. What do you think?”
“I think it might be really hard to do but I’d really like to give it a try. I could come to my brother’s house and visit every other weekend. We could keep things going inbetween seeing each other by emailing, texting, phone calls and using skype.”
“And I could come and visit you on the opposite weekends and stay with my old college roommate. He lives in Bellevue, which is pretty close,” said Ryan.
“I think that would be wonderful! There are so many things I’d love to show you in Seattle. Maybe I’ll convince you to get a new job there!”
“Or maybe, I’ll just have to show you all the wonderful things in Portland, besides your family, and with all that in mind, not to mention yours truly, you’ll decide to find a fabulous new job in Portland.”
“Who knows what the future will bring but I hope you’re in it,” said Jessie.
“Me too!” said Ryan as he enveloped Jessie in a big hug, followed by a nice, long kiss.
And with the possibility of a future together decided, they walked hand in hand down the beach headed back to the beach house and the craziness of her family where it had all started.
Thanks for reading this story! If you enjoyed Ryan and Jessie's romance and would like to read more about their future, leave us a comment and let us know. You just may see them again!