Empowerment. Engagement. Authenticity.

Rangers Lodge Saga - Recharging

In the clearing, Adam tossed the Frisbee to Logan and stepped aside as his phone signaled an incoming call through his Bluetooth earpiece. “Hey, Dad. Schedules for the afternoon shift? On the bulletin board behind my desk. Crap, two called in sick, eh? I should be back by then to cover.”

“Now, son, we agreed you’d spend time with your friends today,” Jake reminded him. Working summers had been a given for the Ranger family forever but Jake and Kathleen had ensured their son kept a good balance of leisure in there, too. Adam had grown up with boys his own age, had run endless games of tag, built forts and treehouses, chased the local girls. But after Kathleen had passed, after the mess with Sarah, Jake knew his son had become ruthlessly single-minded. He would do anything for the family business.

“We agreed,” Adam said impatiently, “that I would be flexible during this reunion. No reason I can’t oversee the afternoon shift.”

Jake sighed. “The thorn in your craw since breakfast doesn’t have to be a thorn at all, you know.”

“I don’t know what you mean,” Adam clipped but his narrowed eyes went to the willows as he swung away from the noise of the Frisbee game. “Look, I’ll pitch in this afternoon, no problem. I gotta go.” He disconnected the call, brooding. All that morning had been was entertaining a guest, he told himself. But then why was he so goddamned unsettled by the whole thing?

“Yo, Adam!” Adam turned as Ollie called to him. “You mind taking the stroller to Kristen? Tell her she’s allowed to put Bel down,” he joked.

He’d better get his head straight, Adam thought as he nodded and headed to the trees with the stroller. Just keep his mind on work, just focus. Kristen was singing as he approached, Disney theme songs of all things. Yeah, that voice would do well at the singoff. If he could continue to think like that, it would be fine. She smiled at him, and what a smile it was, putting a finger to her lips as she swayed gently with Bella in her arms. He thought of leaving the stroller where she could see it and taking off. He needed a few minutes alone. Instead, he sat on a bench beneath one of the trees and pulled the singoff audition schedule up on his phone to add Kristen’s name.

“Thanks for the stroller.” Kristen kept her voice soft as she eased Bella down and tucked a blanket around the sleeping child. “I was going to come put her on the blanket but if I do that too quickly she just wakes up and I have to start all over again.”

“A hardship, I’m sure.” Adam looked up as she eased a hip onto the edge of the bench. He showed her the phone screen. “I’ve added your name to the audition list tomorrow. The committee likes to hear two songs in different genres. Let me know if you want a room to practice.”

“As I said this morning, I’m not a performer,” Kristen hedged.

“I’ll just recommend you based on what I’ve heard,” he shrugged. “I don’t know anyone who can shift that flawlessly from country to kids’ songs.” He thought back to the dance. “Then again, you’re the same girl that danced to Pitbull and the BeeGees in the same night.”

Oh yeah, his eyes had been on her, only her, at Saturday’s dance. Kristen felt the same flutter in her stomach as she had then and hid it behind irritation. “Now you sound like Adrian. He thinks that’s some sort of magic ability.”

“And you make that sound like an insult. Putting you on a pedestal’s his job, isn’t it?”

Kristen snorted. “I suppose.” But what use were all her so-called magic abilities if Adrian was never around to see her use them? Screw that, if he didn’t even care to be around when she used them? Kristen held up her hands. “Okay, you win.” Glancing from his phone to the Frisbee game still in full swing through the trees, she propped her chin in her hand and regarded him. “I see you managed a whole hour away from work. Unless you’re counting the Frisbee game as work because we’re guests.”

He made a face. “So what? I’m officially on duty,” he reminded her, belatedly realizinghow churlish he sounded. “Nice change of subject,” he conceded grudgingly.

“I’m good like that,” she said, regaining her composure. “So take a walk. Take that time you didn’t get this morning.” She recognized it in his eyes, the sam need she felt herself at times, the need to retreat and regroup. It was the reason she’d wandered away from the others. It had worked like a charm until he came along.

“I told you. This morning was my choice.”

“All right,” Kristen stood up and released the brake on the stroller with her foot. “None of my business, I guess.” She flipped him a smile. “Part of the reason I came back here was to recharge. Now I can return to the chaos with a clearer head.”

It irked Adam that she had a point. It irked him that she saw right through him. It frustrated the hell out of him that he couldn’t seem to control the effect she was having on him. And, all right, if he got past all that, he guessed he liked the fact that she called him out on it. So he’d take that bloody walk and return to the chaos with a clearer head.

Quick Links

The Kristy Corner Handouts

ESL Instructor Experience

Educational Administrator Experience

Accessible Media Portfolio

Kristy Wins 2009 BC TEAL Writing Contest

A Piece of Kristy's Story

From the Wordynerd

Daily Facebook Posts

Find The Kristy Corner on FacebookFind The Kristy Corner on TwitterThe Kristy Corner on LinkedInFind The Kristy Corner on Pinterest