THE WISHING WELL SODA SHOPPE
stared absently at the open text book that lay before him. He was supposed
to be studying for his Biology mid-term, but he couldn't concentrate. He
couldn't think about anything else other than Lorraine's sudden announcement of
her plans to marry Douglas
Davis. He tried to focus his eyes on the words
on the page, but they were nothing but a blur. Meanwhile, his ears rang
with the echo of Lorraine's voice...
"Patterson, I can't
see you any more"
Lorraine, I don't understand. What are you talking about?"
"I said I couldn't see
you anymore, Patterson. We're over. I cannot have a romantic
relationship with you. Oh, Paddy, I can't see you anymore
because...because...b-because I'm getting married!"
Married? To who?"
Davis! I'm marrying Douglas Davis!"
Douglas Davis? Why in
the world would Lorraine marry him? Of course, they'd known each
other for years and had been good friends, but that's not a good enough reason
to get married. She'd assured him that she wasn't seeing Douglas behind
his back, but if that weren't the case, why would she be so insistent on
marrying him? None of it made sense.
Patterson tried to refocus his
attention on his studies, but he quickly realized that it would be no use.
He slammed his text book closed and slid it to the end of the table. With
a heavy sigh, he slumped back into the booth. Everything he'd ever wanted
was gone! He couldn't understand Lorraine's behavior, but he knew well
enough that if she was determined to marry Douglas, then there was no way he
could change her mind. But why?
The voice quickly drug his attention back from his own muddled thoughts.
"O-oh, Stephanie," he sighed as he looked up and saw her standing in front of
him. "Hi. I was just...um...studying."
"With the book
closed?" She cocked an eyebrow and watched him closely. She'd
gotten to know him well enough that she could tell when something was wrong, and
something was most definitely wrong. "Okay, Paddy, what's
up? You look like someone being led to a hanging. What's got you so
down? Lorraine's not acting all weird again is she?"
what's wrong." He let out a weary sigh as he slid further into the
booth to give Stephanie a place to sit down. "Steph, she doesn't want
to see me anymore."
eyes grew wide with shock. "Are you sure? Has she lost
"Yes, I'm sure and I'm
contemplating the answer to the second question." Patterson propped
his elbow on the table and rested his head in his hand. "She said
she's planning to marry Douglas."
Davis?" Stephanie was flabbergasted. It had only been a few
months ago that Stephanie, herself, had been dating Douglas. Well, that
was until Dane had to blame all of their schemes to separate
Jillian on her. Douglas just couldn't forgive her deception and had
dropped her on the spot. "Small world, huh?"
though," Stephanie smiled in a vain attempt to lift his spirits.
"Your girlfriend is planning to marry a guy I used to date and here we
"I'm missing the
"Oh, cheer up! It's
not the end of the world!" She reached over and grabbed his
arm to give it a gentle squeeze.
"Listen to you! If
I recall, you were the one out on the balcony of the hotel bawling your
eyes out over loosing Reginald and Douglas in the same night!"
"Do you have to bring that
up?" Stephanie scowled at him and sat back before crossing her arms
across her chest and jutting out her bottom lip. "That was a tragic
night for me! I lost everything!"
"It was a turning point
for you, Steph. That was the night you realized that the way you were
doing things wasn't necessarily the best way. That was the night you vowed
to be a better person. You've done a remarkable job, I must say.
Sometimes bad things happen for a good reason."
"See! I bet that's
exactly what's going on here!" Stephanie sat up again and smiled and
leaned towards him. "It might seem like the end of the world now, but
I bet there's some bigger reason for this that you just don't know
yet!" She tilted her head and looked at him before gently brushing a
lock of hair off of his forehead. "You've been in love with Lorraine
for a long time, haven't you?"
"From the moment I laid
eyes on her." Patterson allowed a smile to cross his lips as he
remembered the day he first saw her. It had only been a few weeks after
the accident that had claimed the lives of his parents. They'd met right
there in The Well. It was a moment that had changed his life.
"But, for some reason, I wasn't enough for her. She needed
more. She only thought of me as a friend. I just knew she'd make a
wonderful wife and a great mother figure for Todd, but she only thought of me
like a brother."
"But you two had a second
chance! You had another go at it. Maybe since it didn't work this
time, either, it wasn't meant to be."
"But that's just it,
Steph! It was working!" His face fell again.
"Well, until she told me she was marrying someone else."
"Maybe it wasn't
working as well as you thought." Stephanie reached out and took his
hand into hers. "Remember, Paddy, sometimes things happen for a
Patterson turned to look at
her. Suddenly, he remembered the night on the balcony, under the
stars. The night he'd volunteered to be Stephanie's guardian angel to keep
her on the straight and narrow. She'd been at her lowest point ever and
he'd lifted her spirits. In her excitement, she'd thrown her arms around
him and kissed him passionately. Stunned, he'd pushed her away. Now,
he felt a sudden urge to finally return that kiss.
He pulled Stephanie close to
him and pressed his lips against hers and kissed her long and tenderly.
Her eyes grew wide from shock, but she didn't resist and she didn't pull
away. Soon, she was as caught up in the moment as he was. The kiss
only lasted a few moments, but it seemed like forever. Finally, realizing
what he'd done, Patterson quickly pulled away. In his embarrassment, he
swiftly and quietly gathered his books and rushed out of the soda shop leaving a
breathless Stephanie wondering why all sorts of new feelings were starting to
stir inside of her.