The Moment That You Speak

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  • Dedicated to Isabella Lamke

The song linked "You Make Me Feel So Young" wasn't written until 1946, but it fits the section to me! Enjoy the read.

July 1941 

The sands of the beach that summer seemed particularly soft and warm. The ocean patted the shores in a lulling rhythm, and the afternoons Teddi and her friends spent there were usually filled with soothing lighthearted fun and lots of reading. Today, unfortunately, was not one of those afternoons. Samantha and her irritating cousin invaded their side of the beach late that morning and had not left. Laura buried her head in Sense and Sensibility upon Hugh's arrival, likely uncomfortable with his calivier cocksure attitude. Harper Cooper, who had a book too, however, spent the entire time bickering with him, while Teddi tried unsuccessfully to ignore the entire situation.

"So what if your article saved a bunch of orphans from being run out of town. What good does that do any of us?"

"The moment that you speak, I get sick to my stomach."

"To the bottom of my core," chirped Harper.

"Exactly.  Don't you have somewhere to be?" Teddi asked.

"I told you I've cleared the entire afternoon to spend with you lovely ladies."

Teddi sighed. "Calvin should be here any minute with our lunch, and I don't think there'll be enough for you."

"Aw, you have servant boy making deliveries for you.  How sweet?"

"He offered. He's a gentleman."

"You're speaking a language he doesn't understand." Harper said, not looking up from her book.

"I beg to differ, dear Harper. There have been times when I've been quite the perfect gentleman. The difference is I have the luxury of choosing when I want or need to be one."

"Sandwiches and lemonade anyone?"  Calvin's voice called from a short distance away.

Teddi noticed Laura's eyebrows lift as she stuck her nose further into her book. 

"What the hell are you doing here, Morgan?"

Laura shook her head as Teddi sprung to her feet.  "Calvin, be nice."

Calvin handed the food to Teddi and glowered at Hugh, who casually crossed his legs at the ankle and fitted his hands behind his head. "Oh, isn't it a beautiful day? Too bad you have to run back to scrubbing Mr. Lockhart's toilets so soon, Wynne. I'll keep the girls company for you."

Calvin folded his arms. "I say you get the hell out of here, and we'll all be happy."

Teddi sighed, knowing her boyfriend would not sit down unless Hugh was gone. "Hugh, would you just leave?"

"Yes, please put us out of our misery," said Harper.

Hugh held a hand to his chest. "Oh now, my dazzling heart of darkness, surely you haven't forgotten the night at the old lighthouse."

Teddi cringed. Harper had never mentioned anything about seeing Hugh alone, and she certainly never mentioned anything about being with him at the lighthouse. It wasn't as if Teddi owned it, but Harper knew what that place symbolized for her. Of course, Hugh could have been lying.  Why hadn't they met at the country club or better yet the rebuilt Chatfield manor that had doubled in size since the storm of '38?

"Yes, I remember you being drunk and jumping out of my car before I got you back to the Chatfield's."

"You let him in your car?" Laura dropped her book and her jaw. 

"Nobody's perfect."

"Maybe not, but sometimes you have to take the consolation prize," he said, leaning over to try and nuzzle Harper's ear.

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