This is an excerpt of Lakehouse Déjà Vu. Chapter Two, when Rose and Jessica begin their much needed vacation to Florida.
“Car keys, hat, wallet with credit card, bathing suits, sandals—check. That’s all I need. Looks like I am ready for this vacation!” Jessica said as she folded her long, slender legs and almost six-foot frame into the driver’s seat. She slid her finger over a button, and the soft black convertible top slowly folded down, exposing us to the early morning sunlight and the chill of the Kentucky spring air. “Rose, I’ll drive. You look exhausted,” she added, projecting feelings onto her co-pilot.
But it was true—I was spent.
Jessica buckled in, stared at her reflection in the rearview mirror, and grinned as she slid her dark tinted sunglasses up her nose to hide her sapphire blue eyes. She shifted the car into drive, stepped on the gas, raised both hands in the air, and yelled, “Wooo hooo!”
We laughed in unison as we felt the power of her new car push our bodies deeper into the seats. Her long blonde hair fluttered behind her as if she were in a movie. Unlike my long, brown, messy, curly hair that smacked my face as the wind swirled it into dreadlock-like rolls. Then, as if my hair were octopus tentacles, it tried to position itself as if hanging on by looping around my head. It had somehow come to life and was trying desperately to jump from the car or hang on for dear life, but not sure which it preferred. At first I used both hands to try controlling the knotted rolls of hair and flailing curls from flapping into my eyes and invading my mouth and swept escaping strands away from getting stuck in the creases of my lips. At the last stop light before merging onto the highway, I finally managed to wrangle the mess up into a high ponytail. When I felt Jessica’s gaze on me, I turned toward her as she glanced back at the road and then back toward me. Our eyes met, and we laughed until we almost cried.
We waved our goodbyes to no one like the other students had done when leaving the campus, then we focused on enjoying the distance grow between us and the university. Jessica slid her finger over the volume button, and the music danced around us with the wind.
I reached down between my feet and heaved my large carry bag onto my lap where it filled the entire space between me and the dash. Digging around, I found my sunscreen, flipped the visor down in search of a mirror, and applied the SPF 70 all over my lightly freckled face until the lotion disappeared. When I replaced the lid, I decided to organize and check my bag to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything. Journal, face sunscreen, all-over sunscreen, Chapstick with sunblock, extra floppy hat, snacks, mints, pens, phone and charger, regular hand lotion, hand sanitizer, my sun protection hoodie, and scarf, tissues, sunglasses—
Feeling Jess’s eyes on me, I looked up and saw her smiling and laughing while glancing down at my bag. She had a phone with a wallet magnet on the case, and I had a bag large enough for my five-foot, ninety-eight-pound body. I could practically sleep inside of it.
“I think I left the B&B’s information in the printer tray,” I said and then repeated twice for her to hear me over the upgraded sound system and the wind.
Finally, as the song faded, she acknowledged me. “No worries. It’s on the app!” she yelled back with a giggle.
It’s a fact that I like printing important information out just in case something happens to our phones, and she was always confident that they would be with us and working.
Softly we heard, “Here’s to more of the everyday,” catching both of our attention.
“Oh, Jukebox the Ghost!” Jessica shrieked. She cranked up the volume and held one arm up in the air as if holding a champagne glass while trekking south on I-75.
We started singing along with our favorite band, our voices carrying into the wind in unison as we sped down the highway.
“Raise a glass and sing along
The outcasts and the underdogs
On the benches, on the sidelines
Wallflowers, this is our time
Ordinary people every day
In the nosebleeds, in the bleachers
I see victors, I see fighters…”
We looked at one another and smiled, raising our pretend glasses high above our heads, and continued belting out lyrics along with Tommy, Ben, and Jesse’s band.
… the story continues.
This is an excerpt of Lakehouse Déjà Vu.
Come join the adventure. It will take you places – more than expected!
A special thank you to Jukebox the Ghost for allowing Jessica and Rose to sing along to their amazing new song: Cheers!