Thanks to everyone who pitched in on this week's Come Story Telling With Me. And now for the completed story!
"Honey, will you please pack my shampoo and conditioner in your suitcase so I don't have to check my luggage?"
"You know we have to be there two hours early for departure and we still haven't called the cab yet."
"A cab, I thought you said you got a car service to pick us up!?"
For the rest of our tale,
"I was going to, but it's the holidays, they were all fully booked, and why was everything my job? I booked the flights, I got the transfers, all you did was . . . well, nothing!" He snatches the shampoo and conditioner from her and stuffs it into his bag. "Are you ready now, or have you got another three bags for your shoes and all your other girly crap?"
"Girly crap? Perhaps you'd like me to narrow it down to one suitcase so I can dress like your mother. After all, that seems to be what you need these days. Can we please just enjoy this? Forget the car service, I'll drive us just as soon as I tie your shoes and make sure your socks match."
Rick looked down at his shoes to find that one was untied and he had mismatched socks on. Julie looked him right in the eyes and tried not to crack a smile.
What Julie didn't know was that they were staying at an all-inclusive resort, and she probably wasn't going to wear most of what she brought. See, it was a surprise — she thought she was going to visit his family in Colorado.
"Don't forget your swimsuit," he said. "Remember, the hotel has a sauna, pool, and hot tub! Nothing's too good for my Julie!"
But really, he had switched the reservations for the trip to Colorado and booked a new trip to Jamaica.
"Thank you for calling American Airlines. How can I help you?"
"Hi, I'd like to make a change in reservations please. I'd like to go to Jamaica."
"That'll be an extra $250 a ticket. What method of payment will you be using today?"
Rick fumbled around in his wallet, knowing his Visa was maxed because of the engagement ring he bought Julie yesterday. "Do you take American Express?"
The journey to Jamaica was like something out of James Bond, with Rick trying desperately to keep Julie in the dark about what was going on. He managed to talk loudly over any announcements about the destination and sat back, his grin as smug as the cat who got the cream, knowing that this Christmas would be their best yet. They wouldn't be suffering through Brussels sprouts, bad TV, and bickering; instead there would be sun, sand, and scandalous debauchery that would give him memories to distract himself during work for a year.
As they landed he took her hand and gently rubbed her palm with his thumb as they waited for their luggage.
"It's awfully hot in here," Julie complained, as she kept an eye out for the luggage.
"Pay attention to the game!" Rick urged, not wanting her to catch on just yet.
"What game?" She laughed softly.
"The luggage game, the excitement of whether it's your bag or not your bag but someone's whose looks similar . . . diving for it when it comes . . . " He replied somewhat distractedly as he looked everywhere but at the bags.
"Are you on something? Cabin pressure makes you odd or — ooh! our bags!" Julia leaped forward and with Rick's help dragged it off the belt. Checking everything was in order and accounted for, they walked out of the airport right into the bright sunshine and the calypso dancers welcoming them. Rick turned to see Julie's face, wanting to memorize this moment.
Julie looked confused. The look that Rick loved! Her eyebrows raised and there was a crinkle in between them. Then he just stared at her. Her lips began to curl as she realized that she would have a week without anyone except Rick!