She never expected to see him there. After all his world traveling, why would he show up in this tiny Sticksville of a place? Sure, the beauty of the mountains had a way of drawing people back, but he had achieved the kind of success small boys dream about playing guitar hero in their parent’s basements. She was just glad he came alone.
“Good to see you Charlie!” Lynn heard the waitress say, ‘Are you and the boys planning on staying around long?”
The boys? The band is here? What in Heaven’s name could they be here for? There was no one she could think of that she wanted to see less in the entire human race. Lynn glanced around to check if this was really happening. Sure enough, just as she raised her head from her pancakes, Jared plunked down in the booth across from her with that same old smug grin.
‘Hey! Lynner!’ Jared, never one to pass up on a hot breakfast, grabbed an empty fork and stole a bite off Lynn’s plate, ‘You sort of owe me after stealing my cheerios in college every morning.’
Stunned, Lynn just watched as the man who left her to become a rock star sat there and ate her breakfast. Jared, the man who had stolen her heart when she was ten years old only to run off after his dreams and leave her in the dust. The man with the grin that makes you forget—Wait. This had to be some weird kind of dream. Speak Lynnie, speak, what the heck is wrong with you!?
‘Jared, now, is that anyway to say hello? Get your own friggen pancakes, and while you’re at it, get some for Charlie too. I’d be willing to bet you boys drove all the way up from Los Angeles in one stretch and could use some food and a hot coffee.’ Lynn motioned to the waitress to bring over some more coffee while Jared went to get the guys.
The guys, or boys as they’ve been called since they were 12 years old, grew up together in the Robson Valley. The mountains, though grand enough to draw thousands of people every year, were not grand enough for these 4. Jared, Charlie, Tucker and Wade started a garage band shortly after they could talk about something more significant than fish bait. Sometime, in their last year of college, the boys were picked up by a talent scout and had been living on the road ever since. These four boys were in almost every single one of Lynn’s memories, for a while, she was one of them, until everything changed.
Chapter One: Neighbours
‘No, no , no , no Jared…..don’t get me…’
Lynn skidded out of the house, the screen door slamming on exit. Her dusty brown curls trailing behind her like a cape only added to the drama. She was fast, being taller and stronger than most kids her age, but after what she had just done, even her speed would not save her. This time, she was in for it. The punishment was more than worth the crime.
For days, she had been planning how to pull the master prank on Jared. Early this morning, while everyone was still sleeping, she snuck in through his window. Lynn couldn’t believe it when Jared didn’t even so much as snore. She hid in Jared’s closet, tucked in beside the laundry hamper, thankful laundry day was yesterday for the Palmers, until he woke up and went to get dressed. Just when Lynn couldn’t stand it anymore, he reached in to grab a shirt and that’s when she pounced! Living next door to one another had its drawbacks, but sneaking into his room and hiding in the closet certainly wasn’t one of them!
Small towns have a way of protecting innocence. Here in McBride, the children play care free in the streets with out their parents worrying. McBride was the kind of town where no one locked the doors at night. Everyone knew everyone else. The crime rate in McBride had more to do with teenagers making bad driving choices than any sort of violence and theft. Jared and Lynn’s parents went to school together, and now their kids did too. ‘Double best friends’ is what their parents called it. But to Jared and Lynn, it was like having another whole family to call your own.
The houses were side by side on a grassy lot facing Bell Mountain. If you stood in the middle of their yard, not a direction you would turn would be void of a picturesque mountain scene. Places like this were becoming few and far between. McBride still had a slower pace of life; a pace that Lynn and Jared were oblivious to that morning.
‘I am going to get you Lynner, and when I do, you’ll be sorry!’
Jared shouted as he spotted her clambering over the old picket fence separating their yards. Jared laid a firm grasp on Lynn’s blue plaid shirt and yanked as hard as he could, but she didn’t budge. So, he did what any boy would do, and climbed the fence beside her.
In less than the time it takes to blink, Lynn, Jared and the fence came tumbling down in a heap of dust and giggles. Mrs. Marsh was hanging the wash in the backyard when she heard the commotion.
“Lynn, what in Heaven’s name are you…..LYNN! Are you alright?’
Mrs. Marsh ran to her daughter, who was quite obviously fine, as she was nearly throwing up from laughter.
“What are the two of you monkeys doing? It’s 7:30 in the morning! You should be getting ready for church, not destroying the neighbourhood. WHAT am I going to do with you girl? Get in the house and wash up, there’s some pancakes on the table, we will talk about this later.’
Lynn’s giggles subsided and horror overcame her freckled face. ‘Talk about this later’ is the last thing an 8 year old girl wants to hear her mother say, especially after a great prank like that. Pride broken, and shirt ripped, Lynn sulked into the house as her mother scolded Jared and sent him home.
Sitting in the pew with Mr. Palmer in between them was the worst. Jared wanted to show Lynn the huge bruise he got when the fence crashed, but his dad was pretty mad with him. Oh! I will write her a note! Jared grabbed the church bulletin and wrote
‘Lynn, sorry you got in trouble. It was awesome when we flew off the fence. I have a bruise as big as a watermelon on my leg. See you later. Jared.’
Now, how to get this to her…As if on cue, the music started. When they stood up, Jared passed the note behind Mr. Palmer’s back to Lynn. Mission accomplished.
A few minutes later, something hit Jared’s face and fell to the floor. Looked like a paper airplane, but he knew better. Lynn had been sending him notes like this since before her printing made sense.
‘Jare, it was worth it. The look on your face when I jumped out of your closet was perfect. It’s the best ever! You were so scared. Mom says I have to help tear down the rest of the fence tomorrow. Good thing it’s summer break. We have all day to do it. ❤ Lynnie’
Love? Gross! Why did girls always have to sign stuff with stupid flowers and love hearts all the time?
To read more, go too Amazon.com and look up Cheryl Folland or Coming Home. Purchase your own copy to find out what happens.