Chapter 8

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Pam and Trudy spent the weekend talking, shopping, and strolling the beach like tourists in Santa Monica. They bought ice cream and wandered down the pier until they found an open bench where Pam tried to find a way to stall Lennox, while Trudy came up with an answer to every argument she made for not taking him up on his offer to help her find a job.

"I don't see a problem. Lots of people get jobs on the word of a friend, or someone who can pull strings to get them in." Trudy tried not to drop her purse while raising a spoonful of ice cream to her mouth.

Pam frowned. "I'd like to think I can land a job on my own."

"Sweetie, you tried for a year. It's a tough market, you need that extra edge here. It's called 'networking'. Besides, it's only temporary until you find a real position. And who knows? It could lead to something you never dreamed of. Maybe your calling in life isn't non-profit fund-raising. Your destiny may lie elsewhere."

Silently she had to admit Trudy was right. After a year of interviews that had gone nowhere and resumes sent out by the hundreds, some sort of divine intervention was about the only thing she hadn't tried. That or a blood sacrifice.

"Then why do I still have this nagging feeling that this is all wrong? I was starting to feel at home up in Washington in that quirky little town."

Trudy scowled at her. "You have got to be kidding me. You hated the weather and there's no work up there. Please don't tell me you're pining for that fisherman."

She squirmed a little. "What's wrong with fishing, or running a tour boat? He's his own boss and apparently does very well at it. And yes, I do like him."

"But what about Lennox?"

"I don't know, it's all happening so fast. Besides, movie stars are known for short-lived relationships."

"Not all of them."

"Oh Trudy, please don't put on your rose-colored glasses. I have to be realistic about this."

"Why? Why can't you at least give him a chance? You like Lennox, don't you?"

"Sure, but..."

"Then you owe it to yourself, and him, to give him a fair chance. What if you went back to Washington and settled down with Gary and things didn't work out, and by then Lennox is on wife number three? If you break his heart..." she said, wagging a finger at Pam.

Pam doubled over laughing. "Don't you think you're getting a little ahead of things here? I'm not talking about settling down with anyone. And Lennox is not in love with me; we barely know each other."

"All the more reason to stick around and fix that." She took another spoonful of ice cream.

Pam sighed and relaxed back against the bench. She thought back to the day Gary had given her a boat tour around the island, recalling the couple she'd seen walking along the beach, a beach they'd had all to themselves. While the beach and ocean were a part of life on the island, here it was more of a tourist destination, and the strand in Santa Monica was full of people sunning themselves.  She wondered if Gary was back home yet, and what he was doing. Aunt Carol would know. She could call to check  in, but that was a transparent excuse to find out if she'd heard from Gary. Why in the world was she suddenly so concerned about him, anyway? She wondered if she'd obsess about Lennox if she were back up on the island. Nothing was making sense.

"I'm so confused right now. I kept telling myself not to get attached to Gary while I was up there, and now I can't stop thinking about him."

"I'm going to see if my therapist can fit you in, you need your head examined. For crying out loud, you're dating the hottest hunk in town."

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