The Gallery Espresso Café had just opened, and Joshua found a small table outside. The morning air was crisp, and you could see the fog rolling down Chippewa Square. The fog was so thick that people seemed to appear and disappear like spirits unbound to earthly bonds. The thought of spirits sent a chill down his back and for a moment he was laying on the ground on Wormsloe Road. All he could remember was the pain and the light that was in the distance. He still could not find the couple that stayed with him until Olivia got there and how did she know that he needed her.
He loved to come to this Café early in the morning. The Square was old and filled with a lot of history and stories. The coffee mug was hot, and it tasted like healing to him. He could feel the caffeine surging through his body, soothing all the pain from the fall.
Physical Therapy had been brutal this morning. He was an early riser and the therapist was accommodating meeting him at 5:30 a.m. in the morning. He pushed hard as he did with everything he did in his life.
It would be a while before he would be 100%, and he thought that taking Olivia to Pawleys Island to look at a beach house that he had his eyes on for the last few weeks would be exciting. They could also look at the Art Gallery while they were there and perhaps make an offer on it. It was in the Hammock Shops. The original Hammock Shop was opened in 1938 and now housed 25 eclectic shops selling Pawleys Island Hammocks, gifts, and art. He knew Olivia would love it there as she loved old things with interesting histories. His favorite place to eat, The Bistro 217 was conveniently right across the street. It was a win any way you looked at it.
He was a natural businessman and had a way of putting people together to create ways to develop events that focused on helping kids from the same rural life that he had.
His business was remarkably successful, and he had already turned a lot of the day-to-day running of the business to his younger brother. He was free to be with Olivia at their gallery in Savannah to put the pieces in place to step down as CEO. Not many people including Olivia knew that he grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in Pawleys Island. Kings River Road was a dirt road when he was a kid. They lived in a shotgun shack about a mile or two from The All Saints Church where the famous ghost Alice Flagg was buried. He worked on his father’s Shrimp Boat starting as a child and when he graduated school his father sent him to Charleston to attend the Citadel. He was a natural businessman and had a way of putting people together to create ways to develop events that focused on helping kids from the same rural life that he had. His father had passed years ago, and he and his brother continued building on the legacy his father had created. It was his way of giving back to his community.
Joshua picked up his cell phone and called the realtor in Pawleys Island hoping to get the wheels rolling. Next, he called Olivia and told her to pack for the beach and be ready to leave by noon. He slowly lifted himself up all aches and pain. Maybe they could walk along the beach with Vincent. He was excited about this new adventure. Pawleys Island was in a way the only home he ever had. The wayward son would come home. He was born on the wrong side of Highway 17 but that would change soon.
Olivia’s mom always told her that situations can be disasters or opportunities; it is a matter of perspective and patience. Many times Olivia would ponder the concept of good and evil and the need for both to recognize each; the many lives that run parallel and the moment when they intersect and cross or change course forever. Such was the meeting with Olivia and Joshua.
They were total opposites, Olivia was a quiet artist that enjoyed being alone, and Joshua was a high powered businessman spending most days surrounded by people either in person or on the ever-present phone. When they took that first walk, their path had reached an intersection that had changed both of their life courses forever. Joshua’s bike accident was the disaster, but from it came the time to slow down and spend more time together.
Olivia had always been a nurturing sort. She often wondered if she had missed her calling and should have been a nurse instead of following her artistic path. Life always manages to bring symmetry and synchronize to the value of each unique individual. By gazing into the images she created on canvas, her art brought happiness and healed many mentally wounded. In a way, it was the bridge that bonded Olivia and Joshua for the first time.
During Joshua’s recovery, they had more time to talk, and sometimes Joshua would sit in her studio as she created. It was a strange feeling to have Joshua there, but then she always sensed that others were in the room when she was creating. She did not risk telling anyone for fear of being thought of as crazy, but many times there was a feeling as if angels guided her paintbrush, blended the colors, and created the perfectly imperfect lines that would appear. She would often look upon her creations as if they had been a dream as if someone else had created them. She dared not tell Joshua of this, but she wondered if he sensed the presence while in her studio.
Maybe one day, she would share her secret with him, but now she needed to get ready to go to the beach; he had just called and said to be ready by noon. She paused and wondered what he had cooking. The one thing she had learned was that he conjures up the most wonderful of surprises. Life indeed seemed but a dream.
Coming Soon: Pawleys Island: Part Five