Monday, January 29, 2007

Staying Busy Helps...Really

Chapter Forty-Nine

The phone was ringing insistently I thought as it finally penetrated my foggy brain. It was 10:30 and I had been sleeping soundly. Even though I knew it was still too early for Adam to be calling, my heart hoped otherwise, so I grabbed it and answered hello.

It was actually Lissa, calling to see how I was. That’s my darling girl, worried about how I was going to handle this. The funny thing was that this isn’t typically me to act like this. The difference is Adam and how much I love him.

We chatted for a few minutes and I heard all about a new guy she met on the Med Center tour when she went back to school after my accident.

“How come you didn’t tell me about him in California?” I asked her. It made me curious because she hasn’t really paid any attention to men the whole time she has been in school. She has always been so focused on the difficulties of getting through school and she always said she just didn’t have time for men.

“We just didn’t have that much time to chat, remember? And, I’m still not sure I’m up for this. Mom, I just don’t really have any spare time and when I start my internship next fall, that will be even truer. He’s a nice guy, really and I do like him. But I still don’t think this is wise, to start something I can’t really give attention to, you know?”




“Have you talked to him about this to find out what he thinks?” I asked her.

“Nooo, not really. I mean, he is a doctor himself, so he has to know what it’s going to be like,” she answered glumly.

“Probably. But I take it you have talked with him or saw him since the tour?”

I heard her smile across the phone lines, or satellites or whatever. “Yes, we’ve talked on the phone and we had dinner tonight. I had a great time.”

“Lissa, are you sure that part of your problems about this aren’t because of me and my ‘run away’ attitude for so many years?”

“I don’t think so mom. I really am being truthful, there just isn’t going to be much time after the fall. Heck, there isn’t much time now. You know I haven’t really had a social life since I came up here for school!” she laughed.

“Yes, I know Lissa. I understand that you only have so much time and how much of it is taken up with studies. But it can’t hurt to get away from that a bit.”

“I know that—that is why I went to dinner. It was fun Mom, it really was.” I heard her yawn and then giggle. “I think I had better get off the phone and try to catch a few hours sleep. Call me tomorrow and let me know how Adam is! Talk to you then. I love you Mom,” and the phone went click.

I sat there, holding onto the phone still and smiling. It would be nice for her to have someone in her life, but I also knew she was right; her schedule is the pits.

It was a little after 11:00. The house seemed quiet and I thought that Bobby had probably gone to bed. I got up and poured a glass of milk and plied a graham cracker with peanut butter and went back into the bedroom. I propped some pillows up behind my back and turned the TV on to see if I could find something to watch.

As I flipped through channel after channel I wondered why I continued to pay for cable when there was never anything on to watch. I ran past the movie channels and saw Adam’s face. It was River of Doubt and I started watching it. I had seen it at the theater when it first came out, but I hadn’t seen it since.

It was an engrossing movie about the breakdown of a marriage, of how trust wears away and is replaced by doubt. Adam plays the husband and Bobby Martin plays the lawyer who is secretly having an affair with Carole Chandler, who plays Adam’s estranged wife.

It was so strange to see Adam play that role. I mean, it’s Adam I’m seeing but he is so totally different, not Adam at all. I guess he was right when he told Detective Roberts that that was why they call it acting.

We tend to think about the roles actors play as an extension of themselves, and I’m sure that in some way they are at times. But this character was so totally different from Adam it felt odd to watch. I kept expecting to see my Adams expressions or actions and they just weren’t there. Despite the fact that it was a wonderful movie, it made me feel very sad.

I did pay attention to the sets in the movie though and they were gorgeous as well as very believable. That made me think about Tamara and I remembered that when we talked to her this morning I hadn’t told her about the tea. But I also hadn’t told Lissa or Mom and Dad, and that might just be for the best.

It seemed unreal that someone had gotten into my house and put something in the tea that we drank. I felt sort of violated, just knowing that they were in my house and had touched my things. I couldn’t help but wonder whether or not they had looked through the house or touched other things. The more I thought about it the queasier my stomach grew. I need to remember to tell Adam to only drink things that come in an unopened bottle, I thought.

It was almost 12:30 when the phone rang. The movie was just over and I was wandering the channels again searching for something to watch. I snatched the phone quickly and saw Adam’s name on the caller ID and I practically squealed with delight.

“Hi,” I answered.

“Hi yourself. Were you sleeping love?”

“No. I was just watching TV. Lissa called around 10:30 and woke me up, so I haven’t gotten back to sleep. How was your trip?”

“Lonely. But the flight was fine. I’m settled into some short term residence type of condo, and it’s not too bad. There’s even a kitchen, small but functional.” His description was interrupted by a sneeze. “Anyway, it will work fine for no longer than we will be here. The bathtub is a real disappointment though…” I heard another sneeze then.

“What’s up with the sneezing? Are you catching a cold?”

“Um no, I don’t think so. Actually I have allergies and it’s warm and windy and very dusty down here, so I think they are just bothering me a bit. I’ll get used to it, I’m sure.

Anyway, the ride from the airport was interesting. Krista picked me up and brought me here to the condo. She was actually quite pleasant and we had a nice chat.”

“I find that amazing. She always seems so …prickly I guess is a good word.’

“Yes, that’s been my idea as well but she was very nice and chatty. She is a film major at UCLA, but is taking the time off of school to work on this film. The opportunity came up for her and she said it was just too good to pass up. She is actually from Texas though and grew up with her grandparents. I guess her own parents are dead.”

“That’s sad. I’m glad the trip with her was pleasant.” I was still sort of amazed about it, but I was glad it had gone well. “Have you seen Sunni yet?”

“Nope. Probably tomorrow. We are having a script run through tomorrow morning, so I may see her there. I want to thank her again for helping me track you down!” he said.

“Yeah, that would be nice. I can’t wait to see her again. So what time are you going through the script?” I asked, hoping it wasn’t too early.

“Not until 10:00, so I’ll get some sleep, I promise you,” he laughed.

“I didn’t say anything about that!” I retorted.

“Yes, but you were thinking it, I could tell!” This was followed by another sneeze.


“Alright, I’m caught!” I chuckled and realized how happy I was, just being able to talk with him.

We chatted for a few more minutes and when we were both unable to hide our yawns, we decided to say good night.

“God Bella, I miss you. I want to feel your warm body lying next to mine,” he told me in a low and sexy voice.

“I know Adam, I miss you too. It’s horrible to be lying here in this bed without you. I’m wearing your shirt, the one I tore the button off of.”

“You are?”

“Yes, it sort of helps,” I told him. A tear trickled down my cheek and I was determined NOT to start crying. He didn’t need to hear that, it only makes it worse.

“Mm hm. Only 5 nights love, and then I should be home.” He paused for a moment and then continued, “I have to say it will be a very, very long 5 days!”

“Yes,” I murmured. “Well, goodnight Adam. I love you.”

I heard a quick intake of his breath and I wondered if he was surprised because I said it first?

“Yes, I love you too. I’ll call you later tonight.” I heard the line start humming then and I knew he had hung up. I managed to set the phone down on the night table before bursting into tears.



********************

I woke up once more to the ringing telephone, but this time it was 9:45 and my Mom calling.

“Hey sweet pea. Are we going to go and see Cassie?” she asked me.

“Yeah, I do want to go. What time is good for you Mom?” I asked her, sitting up on the edge of the bed.

“How about an hour? Will that give you enough time to get ready?”

“Yes, that will be fine. See you then Mom,” I told her and then hung up the phone.

I sat on the side of the bed for a few more minutes, sort of mentally making a plan for the day. It felt weird, no Adam to think about feeding or, well, anything else. I went in and started the shower running and pulled Adams shirt off and held it up to my face for a moment.

I couldn’t really smell him anymore, only me, and that made me feel sad. I was already sad enough I decided, so I tossed the shirt down and hopped into the shower, determined to get out of my gloomy mood.

By the time I got out of the shower I was feeling better. I worked some gel into my hair and dried it a bit, the gel helping it not to frizz and it actually looked pretty good, softly curling, the way I looked best I decided. It was almost 10:30 and so I went and fixed myself a graham cracker with some peanut butter. I knew I had better take every opportunity to eat it while Adam wasn’t home.




See, there is something not so bad about his absence—I can eat all the peanut butter I wanted!

After I finished my cracker, I called Dr. Crandal’s office to make an appointment to see her this week. They could get me in Wednesday morning and I hoped that things would go well and I would be able to drive again! But I was worried that I was being overly optimistic.

Mom got there just as I was finishing the call and I verified with her that she could take me and she nodded yes, so the appointment was set and we headed off to see Cassie.

Cassie was again in therapy when we got there and as we sat there and waited, Mom and I chatted about their California visit and how well Adam and Lissa had arranged it.

It was all arranged before Adam and I even left for California it turns out. They had their tickets and all. Adam of course wanted to bring everyone out at his expense, but had gracefully accepted that they preferred to pay their own way. And they can afford it I know, but still, it was nice of Adam to try. Mom and Dad had bought Lissa’s ticket too and they all had such a good time apparently. Dad had especially liked the climate there; his arthritis hadn’t bothered him at all while they were there. He was looking forward to another visit.

I told Mom that Tamara and her family were going to come out for Thanksgiving and Mom seemed tickled about that. They had liked Tamara, which pleased them because they were a little worried how it would all go.

Cassie finally got back to the room, but she was dead tired. The physical therapy was work she told us; hard work. She didn’t really even have too much energy for talking and so our visit was pretty short. As I hugged her goodbye, I told her to call me later if she wanted and that I would be back tomorrow. She asked me if I could come around 1:00 because she didn’t have anymore therapy until 4:00 tomorrow so we could talk and I promised her I would.

Mom and I stopped at my favorite Mexican place for lunch, Felipes. I ordered the chilies rellanos and they were wonderful. I told mom about the hot sauce at the little Mexican restaurant in California and how everyone had watched as I tried it.



“And was it hot?” she asked.

“Deathly! But it was good. I wouldn’t have admitted it to Adam, but it was really almost too hot to enjoy, but it had a wonderful flavor. I brought a jar home, I’ve got to let Dad try it!”

Mom sat there and laughed, shaking her head in her merriment. “And why wouldn’t you have admitted it to Adam?” she asked, still laughing.

“Because, he thought it would be too hot for me. I wasn’t going to show him he was right. So I sat there and ate the whole bowl that they had brought. Every last bit of it in fact!” I giggled.

“Oh Sarah, sometimes you are just ridiculous. You and your competitiveness. It will be your downfall, I promise you. You need to be able to cry out when it’s appropriate and say that something is too much for you. Winning or being the winner has always been way too important to you. Look at the softball game out there. You even struck Adam out and that’s not the way to treat your man!”

I thought about what she said and how Adam had indeed made me pay for that, but it was all in fun. It’s just a part of me, I know, this need to win. Maybe it’s not the best part of me, but it kills me not to give everything my best, to not be in control.

They brought our food soon after that and we concentrated on eating. But I thought some more about what she had said and I knew deep down that she was right. I just didn’t necessarily know how to change it.

I asked Mom if we could stop at the bath shop so I could pick up some more of the bubble baths and shower gels. I still hadn’t replaced the vanilla spice that Adam liked, so it would be a nice surprise for him.

I love going in there and smelling all the different scents, but it bothers Mom’s allergies so we didn’t stay too long. And that made me think about Adam and all the sneezes last night. I hope he is right and it is just his allergies.

We got to my house and Mom dropped me off. I waved as she pulled out of the driveway and entered the code into the lock so I could go in the house. Bobby was at work and it just seemed so empty and lonely. Had it always been like this I wondered? Why had I never noticed it before?

I hunted around in the kitchen for something to fix for dinner and finally decided to make Grandma’s Goulash. I knew from when Bobby would stay the night with Derek as a kid that he loved that and it was also a comfort food for me. And I felt strongly that it was exactly what I needed.

I put the meat into the microwave to thaw out and started chopping vegetables and decided while I was at it that I might as well chop some for a salad as well. When I had them chopped up I put them into a zip bag in the fridge and by then the meat was done defrosting so I put it on to start cooking.

After I had the beef simmering with the spices I went into the family room to check my e-mail. I hadn’t checked it since before we went to California so I know there would be a lot in there.

After I go signed in I saw that my mailbox was almost full and I started pushing through it to immediately get rid of all the junk, which left about 20 that I either recognized or decided I needed to look at a bit more carefully. There was none from Jason and I was truly thankful for that. I would just feel better if I didn’t hear from hear.

There were lots of jokes and stories from friends and relatives; some that made me laugh and some I just groaned at. Then I found an e-mail that the return address on it was my own address, which was really weird. I hadn’t sent anything to myself. The subject line said: Facts you need to know.

I almost deleted it but something stopped me and a creepy feeling came over me. I sat there for a moment and debated what to do. I didn’t know that it had anything to do with anything, and yet something seemed weird. It was dated on last Friday, the day we came home from California, at 11:34 pm, so we were already home by then, but just barely.

I was still trying to decide what to do when Bobby came home.

I called out to him and told him I was in the family room and he came in, sniffing the spicy aroma of the meat cooking. He grinned as he walked in and said, “I smell something wonderful. Is that Grandma’s Goulash?” He was looking at me and added, “Sarah, what’s going on. You look like you've seen a ghost.”

“Hi Bobby. Yes, I’m making Goulash, Grandma’s recipe. I remembered you like it. But I have this strange e-mail here and I don’t know what to do about it.” I pointed to the screen, at the still unopened e-mail.

Bobby stared at the screen for a moment and commented, “It just looks like an ordinary e-mail. What’s the deal?”

“It has been sent to me from MY address Bobby. And I didn’t send it.” I finished, still sort of freaking out about it.

“Sarah, I don’t think you should open it. Or at least call those detectives and ask first, okay?”

“Yes, you’re probably right about that. I think I’ll call the detectives just in case. It’s probably nothing, but I’d rather make sure.” I got up to go get the card that had Detective Arnold's number on it. When I had it, I called her and briefly told her about the e-mail and she said that she and Detective Rodriguez would be over quickly.

Bobby was in showering, so while I waited for the detectives to arrive I went into the kitchen to check the simmering meat. I had pretty much lost my appetite, but I knew that Bobby would still eat so I wanted it to be palatable. I stirred the meat and added a little more water to it and threw in the onions, peppers and garlic. Lots of garlic actually, and then I set the timer for 60 minutes so I would know when to start on the noodles.

Bobby came out and grabbed a beer out of the refrigerator and cracked it open when the door bell rang. He held his hand up to stop me before I rushed to answer it and said, “I’ll get it,” and then headed that way.

It was the detectives and I showed them into the family room and the computer.


“You are positive you didn’t send this?” they asked.

“No, I think I would remember that. Adam and I hadn’t even been home for long when it was sent.”

“So it wasn’t sent from inside the house?”

That thought sent a bolt of lightening through me and I quickly sat down on a nearby chair. I felt light-headed again and started fanning myself with a magazine.

Bobby watched me with concern on his face and I told him, “I’ll be okay,” and tried to smile. It had never occurred to me that it could have been sent from inside the house!

“Sarah, you do have an internet access account, so it could have been accessed from anywhere. That does mean though that someone has your log in and password. I remember you telling me that was in your purse. After this, I would suggest that you change it, maybe even get a new e-mail account all together. But let’s actually look at the message and see if there is even any reason to be concerned,” Detective Arnold told me.

I double-clicked on the e-mail in order to read it. It was another verse and read:

You think he loves you
Silly fool
History will repeat again
He gives nothing of himself
He will break your heart
He will bring you only pain

And that’s when I fainted—for the first time in my life.







********************



I felt something cold across my forehead and wondered who had the window open because the breeze was chilly, and yet it felt strangely good. I opened my eyes then and saw three pairs of concerned eyes staring at me and it all came rushing back.


I had been sitting on a chair thank goodness so I had only fell back against the wall and not onto the floor, but I still felt like a fool. I wasn’t feeling over-heated any longer and that was good I thought. Probably very good.


I cleared my throat and said, “I think I’m okay, really.” And then a really frightening thought occurred to me and I asked, “You haven’t called an ambulance or anything like that have you?”


“No Sarah, we haven’t. How are you feeling? Should we call an ambulance?”


I shook my head no and I noticed that two times Detective Arnold had called me Sarah instead of Ms. Marcus as she had before. I wondered about it briefly, but then my focus was changed back to the e-mail.


“Can we turn on your printer so that we can print a copy of this? Every e-mail has an identifying address or unique signature on it and sometimes you can tell exactly where it was sent from. We’ll take it with us and see if our computer experts can figure that out.”


I nodded my head and reached over to turn the printer on. I whirred and clicked and made a few other electronic sounds before it was ready. Detective Rodriguez clicked the print icon and soon the printer was spewing out the page. Both detectives looked at it and then Detective Arnold put it into a folder and prepared to leave.


“Can I tell Adam about this?” I asked.


They looked at one another for a moment and that look had me scared. I had to tell Adam; I just couldn’t keep it from him.


“Sarah, are you positive that Adam couldn’t have sent it? Do you know what you were doing at that time?”


I immediately blushed, because I knew exactly what we were doing and I wasn’t going to tell them. But it was Bobby who saved the day when he said, “Actually, I was still here. I didn’t leave until a few minutes after midnight. Sarah, you were in the bath and Adam and I were eating pizza in the kitchen.”


I smiled at him, grateful for his help because I had totally forgotten about that. “That’s true, I had forgotten,” I told them. "I – I just can’t keep this from him, please don’t make me.”


“We do understand that Sarah,” Detective Arnold stated, casting a look at her partner. “I guess it will be okay.”


Bobby grabbed my hand and squeezed it, and I smiled at him. He and I walked them to the door and they left. I leaned against the door after I had closed it and breathed a sigh of relief. The timer went off in the kitchen right then and I told Bobby, “C’mon, let’s go make some Goulash!”


We got the Goulash done and the salad tossed together and half an hour later we sat down to eat. I still didn’t really have much of an appetite, but I ate some. Grandma’s Goulash always tastes good and I don’t often take the time to make it just for me.


“Sarah, when do you go back to the doctor?” Bobby asked me while buttering a piece of bread to sop up some of the sauce from the Goulash.


“I go on Wednesday morning. Why?”


“Well, I – I was just thinking about something. Don’t take this the wrong way or get upset or anything, but if the doctor says its okay, I would be glad to teach you some self-defense moves, you know? Nothing too complicated, just some basic moves. But only when the doctor says it’s okay.” He sat there looking at me as my face paled, I could feel it. It was apparent that he was worried he had done the wrong thing by suggesting that.


“I hadn’t really thought about something like that Bobby. But I guess, what’s the good of having a karate black belt in the house if I can’t learn anything?” I told him. Actually, it might not be a bad idea at all. “I’ll ask Dr. Crandal. I don’t know if I’m anywhere near ready to do something like that, although my ribs really don’t hurt me any more. I can’t speak for what’s going on with my head,” I laughed, tapping it with my hand.


“Good, good. I was thinking about just some really basic protection moves. You can have your doctor call me if she has any questions about it.”


“Thanks Bobby. I really appreciate your concern, and the fact that you are here right now. I think I would have freaked out if I had been here alone when I found that e-mail.”


We finished the meal and got things squared away in the kitchen. The whole evening stretched ahead of us and I finally let Bobby drag me out to see a movie. It wasn’t one of Adam’s; I don’t think I could have handled that. It was an exciting on-the-edge-of-your-seat movie and it really did occupy my mind for a few hours, which was good. And I really dreaded going back home to bed, to the bed that I now thought of as Adam’s and mine.


We stopped and got ice cream on the way home and it tasted good. I decided to go on the ice cream diet for the next few days. Nothing wrong with that, right?


But the empty bed still reminded me of Adam I thought forlornly. I decided to go in a take a long, hot bath and on impulse took the phone in with me. It was only 10:30, but I knew that Adam would be calling me and I didn’t want to miss the call.


I was ensconced on the bubbles when the phone rang and it was Adam. The first thing I heard was another sneeze, before he even got a hello out.


I listened as he cleared his throat and snuffled a couple of times. “You really do sound as if you have caught a cold Adam.”


“Hi love. No, it really is allergies. They’ve got me an appointment to see a doctor tomorrow. I’ll get some of my allergy medication and I’ll be fine. How was your day?” he asked, and I heard him blow his nose on the other end of the line. I had to giggle, glamorous movie star indeed! But then I remembered the e-mail and that thought quickly sobered me.


“I have to tell you something, and you aren’t going to like it, but I’ve already talked to the detectives, okay?”


“Oh God, what?”


“I got an e-mail today, from myself actually. Well, it was sent from my address on Friday night, around 11:30.”


“How can that be? How can you send yourself an e-mail?”


“Its just like regular mail, you just address it to yourself. It’s weird, I know, but it can happen,” I told him, listening to him snuffling again. I was positive he had a cold; I didn’t care what he thought.


“I’ll have to take your word for it. What did it say love?”


I repeated it to him, hating every word and how I knew it would make him feel. He was quiet for a minute as he thought about what I had told him. I finally asked him, “Are you all right Adam?”


“Yes, um yes. I – just, uh, how are you?”


“I’m okay. I mean, it took awhile, but I’m okay. Bobby and I went out to a movie after dinner and stopped for ice cream afterwards, and it helped to take my mind off of it. And he has offered to teach me some basic self-defense moves when Dr. Crandal says it’s okay. I go to see her on Wednesday morning, so we’ll see.”


“That’s a good idea, an excellent idea in fact.” He was quiet again before adding, “I’m so happy that Bobby is there with you. I can’t imagine how it must have felt when you saw that.”


“Yeah, it was a shock. I hadn’t opened it then actually. I had only saw that it came from my account and when it was sent and that really freaked me out. Then Bobby came in and we decided to call the detectives before we opened it.”


“Oh God,” he said again. “What did they say?”


“They read it and printed a copy to take with them. They might be able to tell where it was sent from by the IP address on it. They are checking it out. Look Adam, I’ve been thinking about it and whoever is doing this is just trying a new approach, to make me doubt you. But I don’t Adam, not at all. Okay?” When he didn’t say anything I asked again, “Do you understand that? I don’t doubt you.”


“I – I just don’t even know what to say about it. Thank you for not doubting me, but how can you help but to do exactly that?”


“If you were the one that received something like that about me, would you believe it?” I asked, and then thought about how flighty I was at first and he might very well believe it.


“No I wouldn’t because I know you.”


“All right then, I know you and I know how much you care about me. I don’t imagine why it said the things it did about your past, but I do believe you love me Adam. This has to be a past love interest Adam.”


“It sounds like it, but I honestly don’t know who it could be. I didn’t lie when I said there weren’t that many in the past and most have ended pretty amicably. Except for Rachel, which never really began or ended. Of course, she seems to feel otherwise.”


“Well, hopefully the detectives will be able to tell us more about it soon. Not everyone knows that you can trace e-mails like that, so we’ll see.” I felt like we needed to change the subject, I just couldn’t deal with this anymore tonight. “How was your day, the script run throughs?”


“They went fine. Rachel was here and acted as if nothing had happened in California. I saw Sunni briefly and she said to tell you hello. Krista took me to pick up the car I’ll be using while here and we chatted again. She just seems to have a different personality. She actually asked about my family and stuff and you. It’s amazing to me.”


“Well, that’s nice I guess. But I have to wonder about the personality change.”


“I don’t know, but it makes things a bit more pleasant on set. Oh and I forgot to mention the most important thing – I don’t work on Friday, so I’ll be home on Thursday night. Probably late, but I’ll be there love.”


A flush of warmth spread through me and I couldn’t wait until he was home. “So, only three more nights in this lonely bed? I am delighted about that,” I told him, keeping my voice low and as sexy as I could.


“Is it really? Lonely I mean? God, I miss you Bella. I miss holding you in my arms before we sleep and waking up next to you.” His voice was equally low and I knew how much we were both thinking of the other.


“Yes, it’s very lonely Adam.” My voice caught for a moment and the hated lump appeared again in my throat. I swallowed frantically trying to get it to go down, but it was futile. After this miserable afternoon and missing him so much, I just wanted to be with him badly.


“Me too love, so lonely.” He sneezed again and it was just what we needed to break our gloomy conversation.


I laughed and told him, “I personally cannot wait until you go to the doctor. Although, I do have a really cheery thought about you trying to do that love scene with Rachel right now and sneezing all over her!”


He giggled and I joined him. We were two naughty kids laughing about something terrible, but it was fun. “I guess it’s time to say goodnight,” I told him.


“Hm, I guess so. I’ll talk to you tomorrow love. Goodnight,” he said, echoing my words and we both hung up our phones.


Sleep amazingly came easily.




********************



Authors Note:


Kristin sent me this picture of the cake she and her daughter made from the recipe I posted. I wanted to share! Kristin, thanks so much for sharing and making us all hungry!


56 comments:

LDRN said...

I just saved the cake recipe--I don't read the comments often, so I didn't catch it until this pic....Today is Monday--is it Mexican today? I have a salsa recipe that is a "semi-homemade" recipe. I make mine mild due to reflux problems, but you can add anything to it & make it hotter if you'd like.
Loved the entry today. I am wondering if the stalker is the film student (or some little groupie Adam works with)......

kmorales4 said...

The cake looks soooooo good.

Hope, once again an terrific post. Love what you do. Thanks for this blog. It makes Mondays much more tolerable.

Rob said...

Hi everyone!

I've been on vacation for the past 10 days and boy did I miss alot.

Hope, fantastice stuff going on here, way to go. Like the creepy letters.

Lynne and Matt and everyong who has spoken of your experiences with cancer, I will keep you all in my prayers. Matt, sometimes the most vulnerable victims of cancer are those left behind. Hang in there buddy!

Kristin said...

Happy Monday, Everyone! (Ugghh)

Well don't I feel like a movie star now (no offense, Adam). My daughter will be tickled pink, to see the cake we made on today's post. Thank you, dear Hope! Speaking of today's post, I do believe we are seeing more of you in Sarah as the "posts go by". It makes me smile. You keep adding new possibilities to our mystery. Now I gotta wonder if Sarah has dueling personalities vying for Adam, and has spiked her own tea, and sent herself email... LOL Wonderful post, indeed!

Kristin

Anonymous said...

Where is the original recipe posted at?

Tara said...

The cake looks delicious! Great entry today, Hope!

Hope said...

Good Morning All!

Wow, it's been a really busy morning so far but I finally have a moment to comment.

Anoymous, the original cake recipe is posted in the comments section of 'The Road Home'.

I had a lovely weekend; I got to spend some time with my 13 year old niece, who is reading a severly abridged version of this story. She has begged me that when this gets made into a movie (yeah, as if!) she wants to play Krista, the goth girl since she is into the goth stuff too. She is a delightful young woman and she always makes me smile.

Lunch time today is at Sweet Basil, the Italian restaurant where Adam and Sarah dined in Wichita. It is my favorite place and I'm including a link here where you can check it out. Meet you there.

BTW--they have fabulous Italian Margaritas!

Hope said...

Oops! Forget the link!

http://www.360wichita.com/Restaurants/Italian/SweetBasil.html

Lynds said...

I am so addicted to this blog! I'm in class right now and aren't I just working hard? hehe. Loved this post. I can't help but think that the stalker is Rachel but it seems so obvious! She's the only person that I can think of that makes any sense. Guess I'll just have to wait *sigh*. Can't wait to hear more! I also have a salsa recipe thats got a little bit of everything. It might take me a bit to find the recipe but I make it for every get-together I go to, and it's always a big hit!

INGREDIENTS
• 1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas
• 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
• 1/2 cup chopped onion
• 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
• 1 (4 ounce) can diced jalapeno peppers
• 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
• 1 cup Italian-style salad dressing
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
DIRECTIONS
1. In a medium bowl, combine black-eyed peas, black beans, corn, onion, green bell pepper, jalapeno peppers and tomatoes. Season with Italian-style salad dressing and garlic salt; mix well. Cover, and refrigerate overnight to blend flavors.

Hope said...

Hey Lynds, I've had something very similar to that and it was delicious!

Thanks for sharing! Everyone feel free to jump in with a favorite recipe.

One of these days for lunch we'll have a pot luck and everyone can bring their faves!

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't see a picture of a cake!

I think the stalker is Kristal. She was very weird when Sarah was around and now that Sarah is not she is suddenly Ms. Chatty?

Just my guess. :)

Hope said...

Anonymous, I'm sorry you can't see the picture. It's a jpeg file, so I'm not quite sure what the problem is. I'll try to ask some of my computer guru people and find out if there is another way to do it.

Rachel said...

Good morning Hope and everyone!
Good to see you back Rob, how was your vacation?
This post was scary today! lol. Im liking your idea Kristin about it being Sarah with two personalities. PLease dont let Adam be a bad guy.
I'm looking forward to lunch at sweet basil today!
Here is one of my favorite recipies for chicken. I call it italian chicken:

-take boneless skinnless chicken breasts and cut it up into little chunks.
-brown the chicken in a frying pan.
-preheat oven to 400 degrees.
-put chicken in a rectangle glass baking dish.
-pour one bottle of Bernstiens's brand red wine and garlic dressing (found in the salad dressing isle)
over the chicken.
-cover dish with foil
-bake for one hour and serve
I usually serve it with a salad and a chicken flavored rice!

Angel said...

Great entry, as always.. It is getting very intense. Wonderful job Hope. Can't wait til Wednesday. :)

Val said...

Hope, great post as usual! I'm wondering myself about Adam, the things that Sarah said about watching him on TV and him not being anything like "her" Adam. Please don't make him crazy! LOL!

That cake looks YUMMY! But I'm on Weight Watchers, so I'm gonna post a good cupcake recipe that is low fat and better for you if you're trying to trim down, k?

Cupcake version 1

1 box chocolate cake mix (devil's food is the best!)

1 10 oz diet coke

Mix and bake into 24 cupcakes. 1 cupcake = 2 points

Cupcake version 2

1 box Spice Cake mix
1 16 oz can pumpkin pie mix
3/4 cup water

Mix and bake into 24 cupcakes. 1 cupcake = 1 point

Cupcake version 3

1 box lemon cake mix
1 10 oz diet Sprite or 7up

Mix and bake into 24 cupcakes. 1 cupcake = 2 points.

ENJOY!

Val

Jo said...

OK, now should I feel scared for Sarah or hungry from all your comments!?!? LOL

Seriously, I'm sitting here thinking the stalker is ... Kristie. No, Sunni. No, Tamara. No, it's - OMG, it's Adam!! No, it's Sunni. No, it's Tamara.

Sunni did help Adam find Sarah after her accident. Maybe it was a little to easy for her to find out where Sarah lived, if you get my meaning. Then again, Kristie's new attitude makes me think she's trying to get closer to Adam. Hm, but the email talks about someone from his past. Like Tamara, maybe....

And what's up with Adam's "allergies". Could something more sinister cause him to be sneezing like that?

....Oh, I give up. Pass me a margarita, would ya?

Oh and Val, thanks so much for the cupcakes! From a fellow WW member. ;-)

Rachel said...

Is everyone getting hungary for lunch yet?

Hope said...

Yeah, I'm hungary for the Italian margaritas!

Kristin said...

Hi folks! Lunch is an hour early here, but I wanted to say enjoy! I'm leaving lunch feeling a bit blue and tearful. My daughter's equine hero, Barbaro, was just euthanized. As you may recall, he was horribly injured during one of last year's triple crown races, only to rally to a near recovery. He was special to my daughter, as her own horse, Don Vito, was killed by lightening last year, around the same time. She looked for Barbaro to do what Vito couldn't (survive). My heart breaks at having to tell her he had to be put down. Sorry to be so maudlin, but I've come to realize that this blog has become a wonderful support group, in addition to being a fantastic story. Thanks for listening! Kristin

Hope said...

Oh Kristin, I'm so sorry you'll have to talk to her about that. It is a tragic thing to deal with when you are so young, the loss of a beloved animal, even when the animal isn't yours.

Prayers out to you and her both!

Just Dreamin' said...

Hello everyone. I am new to responding to this blog, but I have been reading it since it came on. I love it! So much detail! I love the interaction everyone has on this blog. It feels like real "homey". I like that! I live in Virginia, so I will try and find some good "Italian" and "Mexican" places to talk about for anyone's future reference! HAHA Thanks so much for this wonderful blog, Hope!

Tara said...

Pass me an italian margarita, please!

Hope said...

First round of margaritas is on me! Welcome Just Dreamin', pull up a chair and grab a glass!

Rachel said...

I'll take an Italian Margarita please!
Kristin, I too am sad about the death of barbaro, i was so happy when he pulled through at first.
I am also down in the dumps today, my ex boyfriend, the first guy i ever fell in love with had a baby this weekend with a girl with the same name as me. He doesnt diserve this baby, he treated me horribly and he treats her the same, and he is no way mature enough to take care of this baby. It just hurts to see him get this beautiful baby when there are so many good people out there who want a baby so much but cant have one. I also I'm kind of sad because I was really close to his family and still am, at least that was until she came around and gave his mom a grandchild. I know I sound selfish, but for some reason its really bothering me. I think I'm also kind of jealous because im ready to be a mother and I'm dying to have a baby, but my fiance doesnt want to anytime soon. So I am baby craxy right now. There I was finally able to share my feelings with some one, I feel a little better now. Thank you for listening.
NOw on to lunch! What is everone else ordering?

Hope said...

Here you are Rachel, a big ole yummy Italian Margarita, just for you girlfriend! And a couple of hugs too, from my heart to yours!

The time will come for that baby Rachel, but I know it's hard for you right now.

Now, I recommend the 7 layer lasagna and grilled veggies, they are superb. And for dessert we have brownies or cheesecake! Ohh!

Rachel said...

Thanks Hope! Hugs back to you!
I will try the 7 layer lasagne, and Cheesecake sounds good for dessert its my favorite!
The food sure is good everyone is too busy eating to talk lol!

Adriana said...

I just wanted to tell you how much i enjoy your story. I just recently discovered it and I read every post in one weekend! of course I didnt get much else done...
Thank you for hooking me in this great story and I will impatiently wait for the next post!

Hope said...

Welcome Adriana! Glad you could join us! Sit down and grab a margarita!

Kristin said...

OMG, lasagna and cheescake sounds divine! Sure as heck beat the Healthy Choice meal and yogurt I choked down instead... lol Thanks Rachel and Hope for your kind words earlier. The comoradede (sp)displayed here makes it truly a blessed site to be a part of! Rachel, truly your baby time will come, and you will value it all the more because you will know it's worth!

Tigger said...

Hey, am I too late for lunch? I had to go to the doctor this morning and so I'm late!

Creepy Hope, really creepy. It sent chills down my spine. Good work.

Bobby sounds kind of neat. And he seems to be above suspicion! (I hope) Tell him if he ever comes down to OK city to look me up! wink wink!

Val said...

I had a Weight Watchers meal and a Smart Ones chocolate mousse for dessert. It wasn't lasagna and cheesecake, but hey, when I have a skinny butt I'll have a little bite or two. :)

megs said...

Eeeeeewwww! I agree with Tigger, creepy.

I think it was very insightful of Sarah to be able to appreciate that Adam is an actor and that he plays characters that aren't him at all. It would be strange to be in her situation, but I can only see that as a plus for her.

Still, what a tough job--having to kiss someone else!

Anonymous said...

I missed lunch again. I don't think I'm going to make it for the rest of the week either. :( Oh well I guess I'll just eat my good ol' sandwiches at school and read about your yummy lunches afterwards.

Hope this post kinda scared me. I don't want anything to happen to Sarah or Adam.

The cake looks sooo good. I made cornflake squares last night, not as good as that cake, but still sweet and hits the spot!

I'm pretty excited for next wednesday, I'll have to make sure I'm around for lunch seeing how it my 21st birthday!

I have to start supper now though, I will talk to you all soon.

Kahlea

becky said...

Hi Hope. I am with Tigger...knowing some unknown person has been in your home is really creepy. Awesome lunch today. Thanks for the recommendation - the layer lasagna & grilled veggies were the best - well, second - no third best, just after the Italian Margarita and the cheesecake & brownies!!

I really like how she was able to watch Adam in a movie on tv.

Becky

Anonymous said...

Good evening everyone
Well I missed lunch again :(
Tigger is right CREEPY!!!! Great post can not wait until Wednesdsay and hopefully I can make lunch.

OK for my reciepe
VODKA Pasta

2 TBL Olive Oil
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 (28 OZ)can diced tomatos drained
1/2 cup vodka
1 (12oz) can evaporated skim milk
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
S/P to taste
1 (16oz) Package penne pasta
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup sliced green onions (optional)

In large skillet heat olive oil and saute onion until tender about 5 minutes. add tomatos. Stir in vodka, and cook over medium high heat until it comes to a boil, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat and add milk, stirring costantly and add the crushed red pepper. Continue cooking 3-5 minutes until heated through.
Menwhile prepare pastaaccording to package directions.Drain well and add to tomatos mix well.Toos with parmesdan cheeseand sprinkle with onions.
** Use a high quality vodka ***

ENJOY
MJ

Anonymous said...

I was thinking Adam was the stalker. But then it wouldn't be a happy ending. So I still believe it is Sarah's ex boyfriend.

Hope said...

Good Morning All!

Brrr! The deep freeze has come back and is embracing us in it's icy arms yet again, but at least there is no snow - yet!

How lovely of so many of you to share recipes! I love the idea, so feel free to do it whenever the mood strikes you!

Here is the recipe that Sarah was making for Adam when they got interrupted!

Pasta Carbonara

6 oz Pancetta, chopped
2 T. chopped shallots
2 eggs, well-beaten
1 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. freshly grated parmesan cheese plus more for garnish if you like
1/2 LB. Pasta of your choice, cooked
Salt to taste
Red Pepper flakes to taste if you like them

Cook pasta al dente and drain well. Keep warm in pan. Cook pancetta and shallots until pancetta is starting to crisp. Blend the eggs with the cream and parmesan cheese. Add about 1/4 t. salt and some red pepper flakes if you like. Pour the egg mixture over the pasta and stir over low heat until the mixture starts to thicken, which won't take long. Check for seasonings and adjust if necessary.

Italian pancetta is different from American bacon; it is not smoked. The dish can be made with American bacon, but to me it's just not the same. The heat of the pasta alone will cook the eggs however we Americans seem to appreciate stirring it over the stove a bit too. And please, use fresh parmesan, the stuff in the can is just gross in it!

I learned this recipe from a dear neighbor in Italy named Stella. Her husband was Angelo and they had a son named Claudio who was a gigolo!!

Mangia, mangia!

kmorales4 said...

Anonymous at 6:35

I don't know about Sarah's ex-boyfriend. The attacker is pursuing Adam not Sarah (these attacks began before they even met). It sounds to me like the stalker is a chick. That's my opinion. I could be wrong. Maybe if I stop watching CSI so much I'll stop thinking of myself as a detective. LOL

Beth said...

Hope, that recipe sounds wonderful. I have a spaghetti carbonara recipe that uses bacon, and it's delicious; I can't wait to try yours. I don't know if it's true Italian, but I'm going to add mushrooms to mine though. Freshly sauteed mushrooms are yummy... :-)

Hope said...

Beth,

Italian will throw mushrooms into practically anything and even though I never had mushrooms in Pasta Carbonara in Italy, I'm sure they would be delicious.

In northern Italy where I lived they often ate the veggies as an acompaniment as opposed to adding them to the dish. Northen Italian cooking is very different than what I grew up thinking Italian cooking was. They eat very little red or ragu sauce and when they do it is pretty bland as compared to our standards. It may have a little fresh basil in it or rosemary, but that's about it. They don't eat garlic bread, don't even butter bread actually. You could always tell a restaurant that catered to a lot of Americans because they would bring butter to the table. Northern Italians eat lots of veggies and fish and seafood as well and sauces are generally a creamy kind, since they are a part of the dairy regions of Europe.

It was interesting to learn to cook Italian there; surprising and delicious.

Lynne said...

Good morning everyone. Oh boy was yesterday hectic! Mom, great as always! At least I got my post up,lol.I have a recipe, but I decided that it wouldn't be pasta because several people on here have children. I thought that for them, this would be more appropriate, and they can make these themselves!(I am also encluding a twist for adults.)

Mama's Mini Pizzas.

You Need:For childrens
1 package of regular english muffins.
1 Jar of your fav pizza sauce, or homemade if you prefer.
Lots of mozzeralla and parmasean cheese.
Toppings of your choice. I prefer pepperoni myself.

You Need: For Adults
1 pkg of english muffins.
1/4 cup Evoo, or extra virgin olive oil.
2 to 4 cloves of garlic.The amount really depends on your taste.
The juice and zest of one med lemon.
Lots of muscapone cheese.(use feta cheese if you cant find the muscapone cheese.)
Olives, panchetta, roasted red pepper slices as toppings.(I Will include a recipe for these at bottom.)

Instructions for kids:

Open all of the muffins, and lay them slightly spaced on a cookie sheet.
Spread 1 tablespoon of pizza sauce on each half.
Cover each piece with mozzeralla cheese.
Top with 3 pieces of your choice of toppings.
Bake in 325 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes until slightly browned and cheese has melted.
Sprinkle with parm cheese and you are done!

Now for the adults:

Mince cloves of garlic on a cutting board.
In a bowl, combine lemon huice,zest,evoo, and garlic.
Mix them together well.
Set aside.
Open muffins and place on baking sheet.
Once that is done,get a pastry brush and spread your sauce on each half. All edges should be covered and muffin should be slightly damp.
Place or spread cheese on each half.
Top with panchetta and roasted red bell pepper slices.
Bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes, until cheese has melted.
Garnish with an olive and enjoy!

Roasted red bell peppers:

Slice two red bell peppers in half.
Remove seeds and other innards.
Line them up on a baking sheet.
Brush the tops lightly with olive oil.
Bake on broil until skin in slightly blackened.
Removed from oven and let cool slightly, until you can touch them.
Peel skins off. They should just slough off easily.
Slice into pieces length wise.
Use immediately, or store in a jar with olive oil for later use.

Anonymous said...

I just read this blog and I am so in love with these two people, I'm new to this blog, and I already want more, I really hope you write on a daily basis, but even if you don't I'm a new fan.

Thank you so much
G

DayDreamer said...

I'm LOVING this blog. Although it might be the very 1st one that's not helped me with my diet. he-he.

I read this entire blog form the beginning in just one day. I couldn't put it down and I wait impatiently for the next post.

Hope, your writing is amazing. Is this the 1st you've written? I love the description of everything. I can picture it all so well. Similar to the way Nicholas Sparks writes.

Ok, so who do you all picture Adam and Sarah to look like?

Hope said...

Welcome G!

I post on Monday's, Wednesday's and Friday's and we look forward to seeing you pop in and saying hi! Thank you so much for your kind words, I do appreciate hearing them.

tigger said...

Hi Daydreamer!

You know,I had to laugh when I saw your post. A few months back we had the discussion about Adam looks like and we found out that Hope was thinking about Colin Firth but we never really talked about Sarah.

The truth is though that i think we each think of them differently. I don't think of Colin necessarily, Adam is just Adam to me.

Let your imagination go wild.

Lynne said...

Welcome DayDreamer! Adam is whoever you want him to look like. that's the best part! He can be you rdream boy! Sarah on the other hand, looks like a little bit of all of us. She can be short, chunky, slim, whatever we imagine her to be. Part of enjoying this story is being able to imagine ourselves as these characters, or see something of these characters in the people we know and love. In the comments we tried to figure out Adam, and Colin Firth came to mind, but really they should be anybody you can imagine.
Hopse daughter Lynne.

Hope said...

Welcome Daydreamer!

I'm so happy you stopped in to leave a comment. Please feel free to speak up anytime, someone always seems to be hanging around to chat with.

Yes, Tigger is right, a few months ago there was a discussion about who Adam looked like. I had a specfic idea in mind when I started writing Adam, it helped me visually to get a handle on him, but at Tigger stated, Adam is just Adam and that leaves us each free to see what we want. And again as Tigger said, let your imagination run wild.

DayDreamer said...

It's funny because I have tried to imagine who they would look like. I remember you writing that Sarah was 5'5" and just under a size 14 and that kind of shocked me. I'm 5'5" and i'm between a 12 and 14 and I can tell you i'm not nearly as comfortable in my body as Sarah appears to be. Sarah seems so comfortable in her own skin and Adam exploring every bit of it. I admire a woman who feels that way and wonder how one would gain that kind of confidence. My DH is 6'2" so I can identify with "standing on my toes to kiss him".
I love it. Keep up the awesome work. I find myself day dreaming throughout the day about their life.

Hope said...

Yes Sarah is comfortable. It probably has something to do with her age I think. At 46 now she is at an age when many women discover a new sense of self-worth and learn that their experiences make them valuable. That does wonders for you, I promise you.

At least that's how I feel. And to me also, the simple fact that a man wants to see you naked is the best incentive for just enjoying it. If he thinks you look good enough to see naked, why worry about anything else? I've never found any of the men in my life that I got naked with that were critical. (No offense to you Matt and Rob, but I generally think you all are so happy to get naked with us it just doesn't matter!LOL)

DayDreamer said...

hmmm, interesting. I'd never really thought of it that way. I guess it's true when they say we are our worst enemy.

Matt said...

Hope and Daydreamer,

Hope, I can't speak for Rob, but you have really hit the nail on the head. Hell girls, don't be bashful - most of us are just grateful bastards to see you naked and to us you are beautiful because you choose to be with us. Whether you are tall, short, thin or big, we love you and when you get naked with us it tells us you like seeing us naked too. And if you think that we don't think about how we look too you are so wrong.

I think we all just think too damn much.

DayDreamer said...

Think too much? You bet we do.

Anyway, this blog is the best. I'm having fun reading it and posting. I had posted as anonymous a couple of times but decided i'm having fun here so I'll log in. Thanks for the welcome.

I love Sarah & Adam. I love their relationship and how they interact with each other. I pray that neither of them get hurt or that they are the bad one. Why would someone be doing this to Adam? Doesn't make sense. I just hope it's someone we haven't been introduced to yet.

Tara said...

Matt & Daydreamer,

I completely agree that we just think too much. We need to learn to sit back, relax and let life takes us where we are meant to go. That's really what I love about Sarah and this blog, she really seems to have been able to accept herself and start enjoying life and not constantly thinking about what others think.
Hope, Can't wait til tomorrow's entry.

WyCoBecky said...

Hi everyone,
I thought I would add my brownie recipe. They are always requested at parties. I hope that you enjoy them as much as everyone else. I actually got this recipe from my KitchenAid mixer that I got 20 years ago. :~)

Brownies:
2 sticks unsalted butter (8 ounces) softened

4 squares Bakers unsweetened chocolate (I think this is better than the other brands)

2 cups sugar

3 medium eggs or 3 large eggs

pinch of salt (I don’t use the salt and have not noticed any difference)

1 cup flour (unsifted all-purpose unbleached)

vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare baking pan 9 x 13" pan with Pam or butter.

In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the remaining 4 ounces butter with the sugar, scraping down the sides as needed. Add vanilla extract - I like a lot of vanilla and usually just kind of pour it in (2 - 3 teaspoons?) I have a KitchenAid mixer and let it go. I really cream the heck out of the butter/sugar/vanilla before I add the eggs. And add pinch of salt.

While the above is mixing, I melt the chocolate and 4 ounces of butter in two different size saucepans. The bigger one has boiling water and of course the smaller one has the chocolate and stick of butter. This way it won’t burn. You can use the microwave of course but I like the hands on baking. When melted stick it in the ice box for about 5 minutes to cool it down.

Add eggs one at time until mixed thoroughly mixed.

Add the flour.

Add the chocolate mixture

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 30-40 minutes. The difference in timing depends on your oven and particular taste. I bake them for only 35 minutes, because I like them fudgey rather than cake-like.

Everyone have a great evening.

WyCoBecky

WyCoBecky said...

I guess I should proof better when I submit things. I actually use salted butter not unsalted butter. I guess that is what happens when I try to find the recipe on line and then "fix" it up so it is like how I make them and add my own little comments. Sorry about that.

WyCo.

BTW Hope,
Loved this entry as always. Is as cold in Wichita as it is in Kansas City? hehe

Becky said...

Yay! It's almost time for Wednesday's entry!!!

B