|Christmas in Cupid Falls|
#TeaserTuesday Christmas in Cupid Falls (There's an Easter Egg in this scene…something that really happened to me.)
“The legend? I know you’ve heard the stories,” she said. “Everyone in town has.” She remembered when she first came to live with her aunt. There’d been an article in the paper talking about the legend. She’d been enchanted by it. She remembered cutting out the piece and was sure she still had it somewhere in her desk.
Malcolm nodded. “Yes, of course I’ve heard the legend.”
“I know that Waterford is understandably proud our first president spent time there. And I like to think that Washington indirectly had a hand in bringing our young hero here, which means Washington helped found Cupid Falls.”
Malcolm laughed. “So that old story is now a legend. The word legend does seem to give it more authority. Did you know that Pap fell in love with my grandmother at the falls?”
“No.” She’d heard a lot of family stories from Pap and Val, but not that one.
Malcolm nodded. “They were seniors in high school and had a senior skip day. Pap assured me that although it wasn’t an official day off for the seniors, all the teachers and parents knew about it and didn’t try to stop it. I think he was afraid I’d skip school and use that as justification.”
“What, you?” she asked with mock shock. “Malcolm Carter the Fourth would never do something like skip school. I don’t think you ever got in trouble in school.”
“And you did?” he countered with a grin.
“Yes. I got a detention our senior year.”
She could see her answer surprised him, then his eyes narrowed with suspicion. “For what?”
She dropped her voice to a stage whisper. “I’ve tried to keep it quiet because I don’t want it to impact my political career, but I’ll trust you with my secret . . . I took my shoes off in gym class. It was the first warm day of spring and we had gym class outside. Everything was so green. I think anyone who didn’t go barefoot should have had detention.”
She paused as a group of people came over to talk to her. They assured her that everything was beautiful and thanked her, and they all shot obligatory dirty looks at Malcolm.
He didn’t seem to notice. When they left, he took her arm again and she didn’t complain. She probably should have, but she didn’t.
“You are a wild, wild, barefoot woman,” he said.
“It was my wildest high school moment.” She laughed at the memory. “So finish the story about how Pap met your grandmother.”
“He’d been dating another girl for a while, and my grandmother had a steady beau from middle school on. But they’d both broken up with their significant others around the same time. They met by the falls for the senior skip day. He swears he looked at her as if he’d never seen her before. She said the same. And they both used to say that that was the day they really met, and after that day, they knew.”
“That’s lovely.” Since the moment that she’d heard that story of George Washington’s man, she’d loved the idea that the falls had some magical power. She liked it even more now, thinking of Pap and his wife meeting there.
“Yes, lovely.” Malcolm was looking at her as he said the word.
The look he gave her was penetrating, as if he’d seen something about her he’d never seen before. It made Kennedy feel vulnerable, and she didn’t like the sensation. So she tried to steer the conversation away from the falls. “Pap said he’s bringing his new lady to the dance,” she blurted out. “Will it bother you?”
She’d just thrown Pap under the bus, but Malcolm stopped staring at her. He looked surprised for a moment, as if weighing what she’d said, then he slowly shook his head. “No, I don’t think it will bother me. He loved my grandmother and he’s mourned her a long time. And he’s lost my mom as well. He deserves to find whatever happiness he can.”
With that, her arm still tucked under his, they walked up Main Street side by side.