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Forever in a Page

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Daniel Stories
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What was point to everything? I mean, life wasn't being very nice to me. I've been evicted from my apartment. I got fired from my job this morning. My boyfriend dumped me because I wasn't fun anymore. My family won't even pick up the phone when I call. All I get is the machine. I've left messages, but they haven't been returned. What did I do wrong? Why is this happening to me? What's the point anymore?  I sat on the park bench watching the traffic whizz by, wondering  if it would hurt much if I stepped in front of one of those cars. A gap in the traffic, dash out there and then....

"It will hurt a lot."
I looked up to see a man standing next to my bench.
"What are you talking about?"
"You're thinking about killing yourself. If you jump out into the traffic, you'll get hit, yes, but you won't die instantly. You'll get thrown into the air and then you'll hit the ground harder than the car hit you. You will still be alive."
"Who are you? What are you doing here?"
"I'm here to stop you from killing yourself. Your life isn't a complete waste. Good will come to you again. You just have to be patient."
"Things are going to get better for me? How do you know this?"
Pause. Smile. "You'll have to trust me."
"Yeah, right."
"Around the corner is a place where the people can help you get back on your feet. They'll get you a job and give you a place to stay until you can make it on your own again."
"Really. My life is going to turn around just like that."
"It will. I promise."
"If it doesn't, I'll be right back here in a few hoursand get it over with."
"You won't."
"Yeah. Right."

I walked to the corner and turned around to look at the guy in the cream sweater, but he was gone. What the hell, in a few hours it will be rush hour. More cars to choose from. I went to the place he told me about.

"Hi! Welcome to Starting Over," was the greeting I got when I walked in the door.


It's been ten months since I thought about killing myself. The man in the sweater was right. The Starting Over organization did help me by giving me a place to stay and getting me a job. The councilors helped me work through my problems and they even contacted my family. We talk on the phone, but that's it. It's better than it was.
I was strolling through the downtown area after my shift at Kopy Korner was over. I glanced in the window of the Starbucks and stopped in my tracks. That man was in line for coffee! Time to tank him for his timely intervention. I want in and caught the attention of the barista, a friend of mine.
"The guy with the glasses?"
"He's the one!"
"You mean the guy who stopped you from playing in traffic?"
"Yeah! Here. His coffee's on me." I handed her a five.
I took a table not too far away and watched. He got to the front of the line and placed his order. When she handed him his coffee, she waived off his money and pointed to me. He looked at me and smiled a confused smile. Taking his coffee, he came over to my table.
"To what do I owe the honor, or is this how you pick up men?"
"It's not much, buy I owe you my life."
"I'm sorry. I don't understand."
"Ten months ago, you stopped me from committing suicide."
He seemed to freeze when I said that.
"Ten months ago?"
"Yeah. You even told me about where I could go to get my life back! I can't even begin to think about how to thank you!"
"Was I wearing a cream sweater? And I had no glasses?"
"Yeah! You even promised me that I'd be okay and I was!"
"I'm glad it all worked out."
"I don't even know your name!"
"Daniel. Daniel Jackson.”



Rain, Rain, Rain... How Krista hated it. It seemed like all it was doing lately was raining. First Charlie, then Francis and now Ivan was dumping tons of rain on her. And to top it all off, now she was stuck walking home in it. "Never buy a Ford" she chanted as she put one foot in front of the other. She occasionally varied this by remembering to give thanks that at least she was in the Carolina's and not Florida. Seeing a stop sign ahead she actually looked around to see where she was. Only 4 more miles to go. Just maybe she would break down and buy a cell phone. She probably should have as soon as she had moved into the country but Krista really hated being that available all the time. ....

Hearing another car coming up behind her she moved as far off the road as she could. She had already been soaked more times than she could count as people sped past her. This time the car slowed down as it passed her and the water didn't quite hit her. Then she noticed the car slowly backing up. Hoping it might be either a friend or neighbor who would be willing to take her the rest of the way home she was startled to see a nice looking young man that she had never seen before call out,
"Need a lift?"

"Do you have a phone? I'd really like to call a neighbor to come get me."

"Sure, but I'll be happy to drop you off anywhere around here. Or, I'm staying with my cousin just up the road. We can go there and wait for your friends to come and get you," the stranger added.

"No, if she's home it will just take Sarah a moment to get here. I'm actually almost home, and I can't get any wetter than I already am," Krista remarked as she started dialing the phone that was handed to her. Suddenly the wind started gusting strongly and then there was a blinding flash of light. The peal of thunder followed almost immediately.

"Alright, that changes everything. You have to get into the car. That lightening was right on top of us. It isn't safe out there anymore." At Krista's rebellious look he added, "You can keep the phone and pre-dail 911 if you want, but you can't stay out there."

He opened the door and in the illumination from the dome light Krista could see that the gentleman talking to her was casually, but well dressed, clean shaven and had a very worried expression on his face. "Please get in. Look you can see where I'm staying just up ahead." At that moment the house was illuminated in another lightening strike.

"That's Sarah's house," Krista said after the thunder quieted.

"Yes it is. Sarah's my cousin. Now get in. I promise we are just going to Sarah's. Come on, you can trust me."

"Sarah doesn't have any cousins," she said starting to back away. At that moment Sarah answered the phone. "Sarah do you have a guest staying with you who claims to be your cousin?" Krista quickly asked her.

"Daniel? Yes he is. Why? Has something happened to him?" Sarah asked as Krista gratefully got into Daniel's car.

"No, everything's fine. My car died about 4 miles ago and he just stopped to offer me a ride."

After agreeing to wait with Daniel until Sarah got home she handed the phone to Daniel. He talked to his "cousin" briefly and then they were turning into the driveway of Sarah's house. "She is just getting ready to leave work and will be here in about half an hour,"he told Krista as he parked the car as close to the house as he could manage. Telling Krista to wait until he got the door opened he grabbed a backpack and then sprinted for the door. After a moment Krista took a deep breath and followed him.

Daniel turned the lights on as Krista closed the door. Taking her hand he led her towards the stairway. Once upstairs he gathered towels and then entered Sarah's room. He returned carrying her bathrobe. "Here, take these. I suggest you take a hot shower now. You can give me your wet clothes and I'll put them in the dryer. Krista was looking rebelliously at him again. "By the way, Sarah says to tell you that 'you can trust me,' " he said while his blue eyes twinkled
merrily. "Go on, you're freezing."

Krista started to protest, but Daniel gave her a penetrating glance saying, "Trust me. You need to warm up. You're shivering."

Giving in, Krista entered the bathroom. A couple of minutes later the door cracked open and she handed out her wet clothing. Daniel smiled as he heard the shower start. Humming as he headed downstairs he began planning a simple but warm and nourshing meal. .....

After tossing the clothes into the dryer he entered the kitchen and started peering into the refrigerator and then the pantry. His eyes lit up as he saw that there was plenty of the chili Sarah had made yesterday just waiting to be re-heated. He pulled it out, dumped it into a pot and placed it on the stove to slowly simmer while he prepared the rest of the meal. Finding tortillas, cheese and salad fixings he decided he had an adequate meal. Then he started searching for the perfect dessert. Finding a brownie mix, he decided hot fudge brownie sundaes would be adequate. The brownies were quickly prepared and placed into the oven. He started the butter and chocolate to melting and then quickly turned it into fudge. Next, he started on the rest of the meal.

Quesadillas ready, salad made and brownies and the cooking and the hot fudge ready, Daniel was setting the table when Krista entered the kitchen "Something sure smells good. Really, you didn't need to do this. I could have just gone home."

"No problem. Sarah and I have a deal. Whoever gets home first fixes the dinner. She should be home soon. Your clothes should be dry about now. Why don't you check on them while I finish up here?"

Finding them dry and warm Krista hurried back upstairs to dress knowing that she would feel more confident once she was fully clothed again. As she returned to the kitchen, Sarah was greeting Daniel.

"Krista, it's good to see you. Daniel says you were soaked to the skin when he found you. Why didn't you call earlier? We could have found someone to pick you up."

"Yeah, well... I'd need a phone for that."

"Really Krista, one of these days we are going to pull you, kicking and screaming, into the twenty first century. You need a cell phone!" she added heading towards the stairs. "Sorry, I've got to change and
then run. I'm meeting Jeff for dinner tonight."

"Sarah! What are you up to?" Krista asked as she followed after Sarah. "Why did you invite me here, if you are leaving.?"

"You don't get out enough. And neither does Daniel. You'll like him. You have a lot in common and my chili is excellent. Besides, the power is off almost everywhere and I've got a generator if it goes out here. You don't. I'd have been bringing you over here anyway. Even the hospital is on emergency power. I can't believe that we still have lights here."

"So where are you really going?"

"To have dinner with Jeff. And then??? I'm expecting a call back at the hospital. We'll see if I make it back home tonight or not."

When Krista returned to the kitchen Daniel was removing Sarah's place setting. "Come here and have a seat," Daniel said pulling out one of the kitchen chairs. When Krista didn't move he took a few steps over to her, took her hand and gently led her to the waiting chair, pushing it under for her as she sat down. Daniel brought the rest of the meal to the table. As he was serving Krista, Sarah came back now dressed for an evening with Jeff.

"I'll see you later Daniel." she said giving him a quick peck on his check. "And I'll call you tomorrow Krista."

"Be careful out there" Daniel warned her, kissing her on the forehead as she bounced out the door.

"I'll be fine, big brother" Sarah replied. "See you soon."

"Well, that leaves more for us," said Daniel. "Now what do you want to drink? We have..."

"Water will be fine. Really, Daniel, you didn't need to do all this. ... "

"Like I said, first one home cooks. Sarah didn't tell me she was going out tonight. You wouldn't want me to have to eat alone?" he said sounding as pathetic as he could. Not when I could be enjoying your wonderful company. Take pity on me," he said smiling, no longer able to keep a straight face.

"No, I guess depriving you of my company could be considered a grave sin," Krista replied laughing to herself. "Besides, this does look significantly better than anything I would have made for myself. Mmmmm, still warm," she exclaimed as she bit into a slice of the quesadillas.

Krista was surprised to find that she and Daniel did have a lot in common. As they discussed work, music and the coming political elections Krista found herself becoming more and more relaxed. As Daniel began to clear the dishes for desert, they heard a thunderous clap of thunder, and then all the lights in the house went out. Krista found herself momentarily blinded in the after effects of the most recent lightening strike and the loss of the lights.

"I don't believe this. Now, I wonder where Sarah keeps the candles," muttered Daniel.

Krista got up to help him look. After a short search they found some in the pantry. Lighting them off the flame from the stove, Krista used them to find the many candles Sarah kept out in the living areas of the house. Soon there were many flickering lights in each of the rooms downstairs. During the search for the candles, Daniel had also found a flashlight that he put aside in case he needed it later.

"Let's start a fire as well. Who knows how long the electricity will stay off and its supposed to get cold tonight. I'll do that, if you make the sundaes. I like lots of fudge on mine," he added as he headed towards the living room.

Daniel started stacking the wood, fire starters and kindling in the fire grate. "Now, if I just knew where Sarah hides the matches we'll have fire," he announced as Krista brought the sundaes into the living room.

Krista laughed and head towards the coffee table.
"Over here Daniel."

"This is not the first time you've started a fire here, is it?"

"No, Sarah and I often enjoy movie marathons this way."

Daniel smiled as he took the matches from her hands and quickly started the fire. Turning around he took a blanket of the back of the sofa and spread it out on the floor in front of the fireplace. "Our dessert awaits" he said reaching for the bowls Krista had placed on the coffee table.

Krista stopped him by catching his hand and slowly turning it, palm up towards him. "I don't think you are ready to eat yet. Here, I got this while I was fixing the ice cream." Looking everywhere but into his face Krista gently wiped his hands with the washcloth she had prepared.

As she finished Daniel captured her hands, removing the cloth from them. Squeezing her fingers gently he thanked her, then giving a gentle tug he guided her to sit beside him. Reaching again for a bowl of ice cream he kept his other hand clasped over Krista's. He filled the spoon and then slowly brought it towards Krista's mouth. He sensed that she was about to pull away. Slowly releasing her hand, he reached up to her chin, effectively stopping her flight. "Surely you are not going to tell me that you don't want any of my famous homemade Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae?"

Krista slowly shook her head. Her heart was racing as she allowed Daniel to bring the spoon to her mouth. Smiling, Daniel fixed another spoonful which he raised to her mouth again. This time, as Krista accepted the spoon into her mouth, she noticed the way Daniel's eyes reflected the flickering light from the fire and the candles scattered around the room. She also noticed both a kindness and laughter reflected within them. Gathering her courage she reached for the spoon, smiling she filled it again and brought it towards
Daniel's mouth. "I don't think we will miss the movies tonight" she said as Daniel stared deeply into her eyes while his lips carefully encased the spoon.

Laughing softly he answered, "No, it certainly won't be a problem for me."


I couldn't believe that I let my friends talk me into this. A blind date? Just because I haven't started looking for another boyfriend since the last one dumped me, doesn't mean I'm lonely. I just happen to prefer the company of my cat over that of the guys in a bar.

Okay, never mind about that. The date? Yeah, I'm getting there. My friend, Angie, knows this guy who has a friend who has a friend who needs to get out more. She swears that he's nice--at least that's what
she's been told. Sounds better by the minute!

I was at O'Malley's waiting for the guy to show up. Angie couldn't remember his name, but said he's got mine. I'm to wait for him at the bar. I don't know how he's supposed to know me. Oh, god. Did she give him a picture of me? I'm going to kill her!

A really nice looking guy just came in. It can't be him. I usually get the football player types. All bulk and no brain. Or the nerds. All brain and no personality. The cute guy is coming this way!

"Excuse me. Are you Kathy?" he asked.
"I wish. No. Sorry."
He reached into his coat pocket and removed a picture and showed it to me.
"Is this your picture?"
"Yes. Not the best."
"Is your name Kathy?"
"No, it's Katie."
"Oh, sorry. I must have written it down wrong. I'm Daniel."
"If you don't want to be here..."
"I have to be here. My friends are at a table where they can watch us. If I didn't show up here for this, I'd never hear the end of it," he confessed.
"Gee thanks," I muttered.
"Oh, No! It's nothing against you! I just don't like it when they push me into things like this. They think I don't have a life outside my work."
"Want to go somewhere else?" I heard myself ask.  His eyes lit up. Blue eyes.
"Do you like Italian?"
"I love Italian!"
"I know a place not too far away."
"Let's go!"

This was the best blind date ever.


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