The cabin was only used in the summer for reunions and family vacations. It was October now and the leaves were all shades of orange, amber and red. As Alli sat on the porch and inhaled the crisp air it stung her lungs a bit. In an odd way, the pain was refreshing. The cold air wrapped around her and awoke her senses. She finally felt something after weeks of nothingness. It was time to get over Nathan, and move on. She rubbed her hands together and inhaled one last breath of the autumn breeze before going in to light a fire.
The cabin sat on ten acres of forested land with a little stream that ran through the east side of the property. On the other side of the stream was their only neighbor, the Olsen’s, who used their cabin as a summer home to escape Arizona’s summer heat. They had never officially met, but Alli’s family had grown up with the Olsen kids’ pranks. Every summer, without fail, their boys would sneak over to the Johnson’s cabin and scratch at the windows and grunt and moan and stomp off leaving giant foot prints in the yard with their homemade Bigfoot molds. They tried to catch them numerous times, but it usually ended with several people soaked in the stream and loud laughter coming from the Olsen cabin. Their boys were all grown now and probably married with kids. The cabin had sat empty for the last several summers and the Bigfoot prank was now just a fond childhood memory.
Over the years, Alli’s brother and sisters got married and had their own kids. The cabin was filled to capacity when everyone was there, so last year they added four bedrooms and a media room to the once quaint cottage. The four bedroom cabin was now an eight room lodge. Alli walked through the new rooms and admired all the new décor that had been updated. It didn’t feel as cozy as before, but the addition was beautiful. Each couple now had their own suite with adjoining rooms for their kids. Alli plopped down on the king size bed that was supposed to be for her and Nathan.
“I don’t get it. I thought we were happy.” She sighed under her breath. She felt the beginnings of self-pity settle in and jumped up off the bed, as though it had caused it.
After a couple hours, the silence she thought she wanted was a little too quiet. She looked in the den for a book to read, but the titles where all romance or suspense and there were surprisingly no movies in the media room. She didn’t feel like reading about someone else’s happily ever after and she didn’t think it wise to read a book that would make her jump at every little noise she heard. After her fifth game of solitaire, she decided to drive an hour into town to see if she could find a book or movie at the corner store.
It was only seven o’clock, but the town was dead. The corner store had lights on, but it looked abandoned. She parked in front and walked to the glass door that was plastered with ads. A little red sign hung on the handle. “Business was slow, so we closed early tonight. If you need assistance during business hours, call the number below and we will come right down.” Alli hesitated to call them when it wasn’t an emergency, but the next closest store was over two hours away. She got in her car and strummed her steering wheel while she resolved what to do. Just as she decided to call it a night, a pick-up truck pulled up beside her and read the same note. He was a little less understanding about the early closure and stomped back to his truck.
Alli rolled down her window and said, “I’d feel less guilty about calling them over here if I wasn’t the only customer.”
He smiled and said, “Then I better stick around.”
Don't forget to check back tomorrow to see how the shopping trip goes!