Thursday, April 21, 2011
Tim votes for a walk along the beach. We’ve got the camera and you never know what we’ll find. I grab the plastic bag that is a by-product of our recent stop at the store for suntan lotion (it has sunscreen in it, too) and, with our hands interlocked we sink our toes into the sand and start slowly off. I want to fill my shopping bag with shells. Tim wants picture of the boats on the water. And the sunshine reflected in the waves. He wants pictures of critters we might find. Of anything different or interesting. He shoots one of me bending over to retrieve a particularly perfect shell that he spotted in the sand. He’s the best spotter. I’d have to have my glasses on to see as well as he does, but my glasses and I haven’t made friends yet so I leave them behind a lot.
They talk to us about turtles. Walk us down the sand to show us a nesting place. It’s pretty cool. I’m thinking about nesting with Tim. On cool sheets and a soft mattress. Indoors where there are floors that don’t shift beneath my feet or have things living in them. With walls that prevent interlopers from washing haphazardly into my space.
A crowd is gathering further down the beach. We walk down to see what’s going on. There’s a beach pub there. Just what I’ve been waiting for! We decide with only a glance at each other that we’re going up for a glass of wine. Or maybe two glasses of wine. After all, we’re here at the island. On vacation. But first…I can’t believe it. I see grey. A lot of it. There are two men in the water. And a fishing pole lodged in something nearby. One man is pulling the line. The other is in the water not too far away from us. He’s approaching something. The waves are huge around him, like a mini tsunami right in front of him. It surrounds him. He lunges. Grabs with both arms. He’s caught a shark!! Oh My Word. A shark. It’s little, I hear someone say. ‘A baby.’ Tim says. It was at least six feet long. Way too long to be any kind of baby I’d ever want to be around. Long enough to have a mouth that opens wide enough to take my arm. And teeth that are plentiful enough, and sharp enough to do so. Two seconds before he’d been in the very water where I’d been splashing around. Someone obviously forgot to tell folks here that I’m here. And on vacation.
Waiter…someone…please, could you pass the word here? I’m here. I’m on vacation. Tim and I need wine. Please!
…And there you have it. It Happened On Maple Street. Sort of. The above is a completely true story. Tim really took the pictures. But it isn’t happening now, here at Desert Island Keepers. It happened last summer, during our anniversary celebration on St. Augustine Beach in Florida. It Happened On Maple Street, our new book, is being marketed as romance fiction. Parts of it are fictionalized – years that Tim and I spent apart are fictionalized. But the story of Tim and I, our love story, the tragedy, and then our reuniting, the healing power of love, are all completely one hundred percent true. The message that we have to bring to you – that violence is wrong, and that victims remaining silent is wrong, too. I am speaking out to prove to us all that victim’s CAN speak out. That we must speak out. That violence is not right and does not win. And that there are Tims in this world who will walk right beside us, see us for who we really are, believe in us, and teach us to laugh again.
This post is brought to you as part of the It Happened On Maple Street International Blog Tour. For a complete tour schedule visit www.tarataylorquinn.com. All blog commenters are added to the weekly basket list. Gift Basket given each week to one randomly drawn name on the list.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, or if you suspect someone is, please contact www.thehotline.org, or call, toll free, 24/7, 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). The call can be anonymous and is always confidential. There is not one second of life that is worth wasting.
Next tour stop, Friday, April 22, Serve One Another: http://theblogfrog.com/1502893.
To get your copy of It Happened On Maple Street, visit your favorite bookseller, or www.maplestreetbook.com.
Don’t miss The Chapman Files! Still available here at Amazon
It Happened On Maple Street is coming soon on Kindle and Nook, too!