The Self Leader Secret
Side Road – part 9 of 11
By the next weekend I was completely packed and ready to move to Blooming Bud. The moving van arrived at 8:30 Saturday morning and by 12:45 everything had been loaded and we were on our way.
Paul closed his shop early and helped me move my things into my studio and apartment. Despite the mountain of unopened boxes everywhere, it soon felt like home.
By 7:30 most of the boxes in my living quarters had been unpacked and their contents lay in heaps around my loft. As I was putting the dishes away, the bell on my front door clanged.
“Ember, it’s Paul.”
I peeked over the balcony. He stood in the center of my shop holding a tray. “I though you might be hungry. You’ve been working really hard and I’ll bet you didn’t bring any food with you. So I stopped over by the Lady Bug. I hope you like grilled chicken.”
The next morning, Meghan stopped by to see how I was doing. “I wanted to invite you to join our Tai Chi class, Ember. We meet every morning at 7:00. It only lasts about 45 minutes, but it’s very relaxing and great exercise. You can meet most of the other members of our little group there.”
Life in Blooming Bud was unhurried. I wanted my vacation to last forever. Over the course of the next few weeks I made several friends. My work was more like play. I created things I enjoyed and visitors loved to watch me work. Before long the knots that had resided in my neck muscles and stomach had completely vanished.
Paul and I spent a lot of time together. He even helped me arrange my shop. He was easy to talk to. I knew that I could get very attached to a man like him. Paul’s attention was great for my ego, but I worried about him and Meghan. I knew they had a long standing relationship and I didn’t want to hurt her. I liked her too and didn’t want her to become angry with me. If he and I became involved, would she refuse to promote my work?
One evening about two weeks after I had move in, I was in the courtyard taking finished pieces out of my kiln when I heard the gate open. I turned. Paul stood in the entry.
“Hi,” he smiled. “What are you doing?”
“Just pulling out some finished pieces. I’ve got a few that I want Meghan to see. I am really excited about living here. I’m feeling very good about it.”
“Great, say since tomorrow night is a Friday, and you have been working so hard, why don’t we go to dinner and a movie in the city?”
I just stood there wiping a vase. How dare he! What about Meghan? I thought he was better than that Well, I won’t be a party to another woman being hurt.
“I don’t think so Paul.” I picked up my box of vases. “I’m not that kind of woman.”
“Huh? What are you talking about?”
I crossed the courtyard and opened the door. “Don’t play innocent with me, Paul Dumont, goodnight.” I stepped inside and locked the door.
“Ember?” Paul knocked on the door. “I don’t understand. What’s wrong?”
I put the box down and ran upstairs to my bed. I flopped down and hugged a pillow.