HOLIDAY INTERNET ROMANCE NOVEL
As luck would have it, her journalism class was cancelled, so Sara spent the rest of the day at home, alone, looking forward to Oliver's phone call. With her tuition reimbursement and scholarship up in the air, she wondered if all her hard work that semester was for naught, anyway. Her final paper was completed - all she needed to do was submit it. The one bright spot in her day was the thought that maybe her situation would give her more time to spend with Ollie, once he returned from California.
Logging into Writing.Com, she immediately went to his port. Remembering what he said about writing a poem a day for her, she also looked at his user name and discovered that there were many more items listed than were showing in his portfolio - almost fifty more.
Curiously, she reread her journal, to see exactly what it was he viewed before he rushed to spend Thanksgiving in Virginia. What seemed so private to her in the beginning was an open secret. It was clear to Sara that, having read her journal, Oliver knew how she felt about him.
"So why is he holding back from me?" she mused aloud. Simply looking at his portfolio made her feel better and more connected to him somehow.
Sighing, she decided to send him a playful e-mail, saving the subject of her disastrous day for their conversation, later that evening.
The e-mail read simply:
So, you read my journal, when do I get to see these poems? Talk to you later.
Oliver, meanwhile, spent most of the same day on the plane brooding about leaving Sara at the moment when their relationship was just starting, and before he found the courage to tell her about the "Oliver Lane" part of his life. To make matters worse, his flight was delayed several hours out of Dulles, leaving lots of time to worry and fret about Sara.
While stuck on the plane at the gate, he wrote a poem in his journal about his frustrating dream the night before, but putting it on paper only made him feel worse.
Diminishing wind sweeps through the vast expanse of my heart
Echoing voice, love, but a memory too distant to touch
Speaking words that confuse and blind in their profusion
Beyond my reach, mind swirls in absolute delusion
Conquering storm rages through the emptiness tonight
Whispering song, love, but not within my grasp
Flying away before bringing to a resolution
Ethereal vision, broken dream, all too soon shattered illusion
Frowning, he looked at his words over and over again. The tone and tenor of his poem seemed so negative and foreboding - much more so than anything else he'd written about and for her. It didn't seem to be about his love for Sara, but rather, dealt with mourning her loss.
He knew it was a loss from which he would never recover.
The longer he sat on the plane, unable to talk to Sara, the more his heart filled with an overwhelming, inexplicable dread.
When an emotionally exhausted Oliver finally landed in Los Angeles, all he wanted to do was get to a phone and call Sara. For a moment, he tried to imagine what it would be like to have her meet his plane, at the return end of this journey.
Seeing her and getting in touch with her permeated his thoughts so thoroughly that he was oblivious to the diminutive female Associated Press photographer lurking just outside the gate. Nor did he recognize Dina Derson until she literally flew into his arms and kissed him passionately, just as she planned for all the world to see, via an AP photograph.
For an instant, he responded to her affection as if she were Sara, but her perfume was different - much stronger - and she was much taller and more aggressive than his Sara. Only too late, did he fully realize what was happening and that he was definitely not kissing the woman he loved.
"What's going on?" he sputtered abruptly, pulling away from Dina's liplock.
"Just wanted to welcome you home baby," she cooed, still clinging to his arm. "David told me what flight you'd be on. How about dinner at my place?"
Recoiling, he backed away from her and shook his head and said, "No thanks!"
By the time he disentangled himself from Dina and her entourage, he was more flustered and upset than ever.
Managing to find a pay phone, Oliver tried to call Sara again at work, but it was late in the day East Coast time and he wasn't sure she would still be there.
The man who answered was rude and abrupt, telling him simply, "She's not here!" before hanging up, without offering to take a message.
Oliver suspected that he might have been talking to John Miller, from the man's negative attitude and hostility.
He believed there was no choice then but to wait and try Sara after her class, since there was no way of knowing her class was, in fact, cancelled, and she was home alone, hoping he would call.
Continued in "Sara's Port, Ch. 24"