Thursday morning Gabe left for filming early like usual, but knew it would not be a good day as soon as he walked on the set. Things had been going wrong all week and he just wasn't as focused as he should be. His normal make up artist was sick, sniffling and sneezing all over.
Today was the last day of rehearsal and the first day of actual filming. They solved the blocking for a difficult scene. The first shot worked well and it should have been a warning. If the first shot is good, it is usually all down hill from there. He couldn't get through one line which made his co-star, Rebecca, smile and then crack up on subsequent takes. When he finally got through it she laughed so hard they had to re-take it anyway.
Finally done, they took a small break while everything shifted for the next shot. He had just taken a sip of water when the lights flashed and went out. In near darkness, he knew better than to move. On a stage there are a million loose pieces and cables running everywhere. It’s much too dangerous to attempt in the dark. Off to his left he heard a crash. Evidently, someone had not been as wise and had tripped over a piece of equipment. Hopefully, nothing too critical has been broken, person or object.
Soon the backup lights turned on and Gabe realized the person in a heap on the floor was Rebecca. Her ankle had twisted and she could not stand. A pile of microphone equipment lay at her side scattered where it had slid when she tripped over a cable. An assistant left to figure out the electricity issue while staff helped Rebecca to a chair and found some ice for her.
The answer came back shortly. A delivery truck hit an electric pole. It would be the rest of the day before they could return to shooting. “That's a wrap for today,” the director announced and most everyone groaned. Missing today's work means filming on Saturday and a long weekend for the editing crew. Nothing could be done about it though, slowly people start packing up and heading to dressing rooms lit only by flashlights.
Gabe changed, washed off the makeup and left for the day. A beautiful summer morning greeted him and he pointed his car toward home. The clock showed just after 9am. He called Rose to tell her he was on his way home and to see if Sean was awake yet.
“Of course he's awake,” she told Gabe, “Today is Thursday.”
Puzzled as to why Thursday mattered, Gabe tried to remember what his son would be doing today. Chris' house.
“We were just getting ready to leave,” Rose explained. “If you're coming home do you want to take him? I can certainly figure something else to do today.”
Maybe I could offer to take the boys somewhere instead of spending all day at Chris' house with his mom. “Sure, but can you meet me at the freeway exit? It would take too long otherwise and we'll be late,” Gabe asked.
Rose agreed and then said good-bye. She piled Sean into the car with his collection of electronics to keep the two boys entertained. “Your dad is taking you instead. We're going to meet him and then he'll drive you the rest of the way,” Rose informed Sean.
When Sean raised his eyebrows to ask why his dad was free, Rose explained the electrical situation and why Gabe had a random day off. Excitedly, Sean bounced in his seat for a second, but then settled down quickly when he thought about only getting to see his dad for a few minutes until he arrived at Chris.
Gabe pulled into the parking lot of an L shaped strip mall and minutes later Rose drove in. Sean quickly changed cars, Rose handed Gabe the address, he could get directions on his phone, and the two of them headed out. “I thought, maybe, I would go with you and we could take Chris out somewhere fun. That way we can spend the whole day together, not just a little while,” Gabe offered. Sean eagerly agreed and began to think of where he would like to go.
The drive didn't take too long, only slowing where two freeways merged near the international airport. Soon they pulled into the driveway and Sean sprang out of the car. Gabe emerged slower. He felt slightly like a man approaching a firing squad. Will she be the fun person or the cold indifferent person? She seemed to flip back and forth without notice.
Chris had already opened the door by the time Gabe approached the porch. “My dad wants to hang out with us today. He doesn't have to work,” Sean blurted out as he walked in. Anna's head popped out of the kitchen when she heard Sean's announcement.
Gabe smiled, deciding to be friendly regardless of how she responded. Anna, unsure how to approach the situation, kept quiet until Gabe explained that he didn't want to lose a rare day off to spend with Sean. “I thought, maybe, they would like to go to the Aquarium,” Gabe told her, “I hope this doesn't mess up any plans you may have made. You're welcome to come too.”
Anna's face froze in a look that Gabe read as unsure, distrusting. She turned to look at Chris, to ask what he thought. When he answered “Yes” she consented. She wanted to come along and would need just a few minutes to get ready to go. She asked them to sit down and make themselves comfortable until she returned.
Gabe glanced around the living room, small and cozy. Small touches made it a home instead of a house; large pillows in the corner for lounging in front of the tv, a small cabinet filled with China dishes, pictures covered two walls in large groupings. Gabe walked over to one wall with family pictures interested in taking a closer look. There were pictures of Chris as a baby and toddler, then pictures of Anna and Chris together as he got older. They must have divorced when Chris was about 3 or 4 because there aren't any pictures of the two of them together before that age. She must not want to hang up photos with his dad.
On the other wall hung a few decorative frames and pictures, mixed in with large family photos. He studied the photos with various other adults he assumed were her parents and siblings, and their kids. Mostly blond hair and blue eyes with a few light brown heads scattered in the grouping. She looks like her mom.
It only took a few minutes for Anna and Chris to get their shoes on and be ready to go. “Should I make up some sandwiches for lunch or bring snacks?” Anna asked Gabe.
“We can just get something there, right?” Gabe answered, “No use hauling it all around.”
Anna frowned. What now? Can't I ever do anything without her disapproval?
She grabbed the bag with bottles of water and sun screen and her camera and they headed to Gabe's car. The boys automatically jumped in the back seat so they could talk together which left Anna in the front seat with Gabe. He didn't unlock the doors until he walked around to the passenger side. He opened the front door and stood there waiting for Anna to get in.
She stood there stunned for a moment, not understanding. Gabe could see the wheels literally turning as she finally understood. Disbelief appeared on her face as she sat down and Gabe closed the door. He chuckled silently to himself. At least my mom raised me to be a gentleman. For once Anna doesn't seem to disapprove.
The conversation was light as Anna directed him in the easiest way to get to the Aquarium and where to park. The boys sprang from the car once it stopped, but Anna had to gather her bag which gave Gabe time to walk most of the way to the passenger side before she opened the door. He waited for her to climb out and again shut the door for her. She stared at him as though he had sprouted tentacles, until suddenly a smug look crossed her face and she walked away seeming satisfied she had figured him out. All part of his chauvinistic attitude, not actually being a gentleman for the sake of being kind or thoughtful.
The boys were racing down the pathway while Gabe and Anna struggled to make polite conversation. When Anna asked if Gabe and Sean had ever been to the Aquarium before, he shared a funny story about Sean nearly falling into the manta ray tank. Anna relaxed while she listened and laughed as he acted out juggling a four year old son and an armful of souvenirs without feeding any of them to the small sharks that shared the petting area with the rays.
The boys waited for them at the front door and Gabe approached the window and bought four tickets. Anna objected to his paying for them, but he insisted, it was his idea to visit the Aquarium and he would cover it. She seemed uncomfortable for a moment, like she would protest further but then looked visibly relieved?
He handed the tickets to the greeter and then listened for the boys reaction when they stared up at the enormous whale suspended from the ceiling. It is a full size replica blue whale that spans from one end of the building to the other. Even though he had expected it, it amazed him. Anna stared up at it too and then nearly walked into a mom stopped to pull something from her stroller. Gabe smiled as he reached out to catch Anna's arm and keep her from falling when she tripped over the stroller wheel. Her face flushed red and she apologized over and over for not watching where she walked. Finally, she turned to face Gabe and thanked him for saving her added embarrassment and injury.
“'Taint nothin' ma'am,” he replied with a slow drawl and a broad smile, “savin' damsels in d'stress is what I do.” He pretended to remove a hat and bow toward her. She couldn't help laughing at him. Taking encouragement from her response, he grabbed her hand, “We had better catch up to the boys. They will have seen the whole thing by the time we get out of the lobby.” They walked toward the far end of the room where the boys were mesmerized by a large shark swimming back and forth in a floor to ceiling tank.
“Can we go outside first?” Sean asked pointing to the door. Chris nodded awaiting their response. Gabe pushed open the door and waved them all outside. Anna and Gabe followed the boys around the various pools. They enjoyed each area until they ended up at the shark lagoon where they can pet sharks and rays.
Anna noticed the looks from other parents, mostly the moms, but she also noticed that Gabe seemed oblivious to the stares. After an hour outside, a dark haired woman approached him to ask if he was indeed Gabe Josephs. When he admitted it, she asked for a picture with him. “Are you here by yourself or did you bring your kids here?” Gabe asked her looking at the kids around them.
“My kids are here, but they're climbing on the large squid,” she looked their way then quickly turned back to smile at him. She touched his arm and shook her long, dark brown hair, glancing demurely from under her thick lashes. She handed her phone to a woman standing nearby. Wrapping her arm around his, she leaned in close to him for the photo. He smiled for the photo, said thanks, and turned back to see where Sean had walked off to. She busied herself posting the photo.
Sean and Chris announced they were “STARVING!” in the way only growing boys are. Once again Gabe insisted on treating them and walked off to hunt for hot dogs, chips, and drinks. Anna, Chris, and Sean found a table off in a corner out of the sun. Even in the shade the hard resin table felt hot as they sat down and burned against the backs of their legs.
Interested to know Sean and Gabe better, Anna asked, “What plans do you have for the rest of the summer until school starts?” They discussed their plans for beach days and trips to Disneyland, those two were high on the boys’ lists of things they wanted to do. Once Gabe had ordered the food, Anna sent Chris over to help fill drinks and direct him back to their table. While they waited, Anna took advantage of a chance to ask Sean about his dad. “Do lots of people recognize your father?”
“Yah, most of the time we're ok, but every once in a while people start taking pictures of him or filming us and stuff. Once we even got stopped by a camera crew when we were leaving a restaurant after dinner,” Sean explained. “It used to bother me, when I was a kid, but now I think it's pretty funny. People think he's like cool or something. He's so not!”
His last statement made Anna laugh hard. She could understand why fame wouldn't appeal to a 12 year old. She could also imagine that as good looking and talented as the rest of the world found him, to Sean he's just a dad; old, embarrassing, and a bit annoying.
Gabe and Chris arrived with the food and started to pass out cups of soda, chips, fruit and hot dogs. The food was quickly inhaled and Chris finished off the orange that Anna hadn't gotten to yet. She protested and he opened his mouth to offer it back to her. Sean, watching Chris, started laughing so hard that he choked and soda came out his nose, which sent Chris into uncontrollable giggles too. Gabe patted Sean on the back to stop the choking. Anna guessed she would have to Heimlich someone before the meal finished.
They gathered up the trash and Anna wiped down the table explaining that it bothered her when people leave their crumbs and mess around, so she tries not to. Both Gabe and Chris rolled their eyes, obviously cleaning public places was not a high priority. Sean dumped the tray into the trash can and they headed inside to the air conditioning.
They hadn't walked even a few feet inside when another mom approached Gabe and asked for a picture. Again he asked if she had kids and this time she pulled them over to be in the picture. Other people began to wonder what was going on and came over. It's always nice to meet fans. Critics and box office numbers are so impersonal. I appreciate that they enjoy what I do. Soon a small group had gathered and Gabe spent close to 15 min posing for pictures. Anna volunteered to take most of them. Is she actually being helpful or does she just enjoy part of the lime light?
Too often he had been around women, in the business or out, that craved the attention he received. Usually pretty obvious, he could tell by the comments they made. Either they protested too much about the annoying interruptions or they dropped hints hoping there would be more photographers around. Gabe was definitely not George Clooney. He didn't need to worry about paparazzi or being hounded by fans, only occasionally groups would form to get pictures or autographs, following each others lead.
Anna hasn't said anything about it. She seems fine taking these pictures, smiling and helpful, but not drawing attention to herself. I think I put up with her judgmental attitude because she's a riddle I want solved. Why does she act this way? What is she thinking? Once I figure it out, she won't be such a draw for me.
The boys were bored after 3 minutes and Anna gave them permission to go look around while she and Gabe were occupied. “Stay together,” she called after them. He watched the boys leave, wishing he could go too. It's hard to divide my time. Sean and Chris will be fine for a few minutes on their own. His willingness to stand there, pose and smile with people he didn't even know, surprised her. Gabe noticed Anna started to get bored; she no longer talked with the people waiting. A distant look crossed her face unless someone spoke to her and then she smiled and conversed politely. He decided it was time to go.
“I really need to spend the rest of the day with my son,” he announced to those still standing there. “How about we take one more group photo for those of you still waiting?” They all gathered in, the woman on his left put her arm around him.
“Say cheese,” Anna called and took the photo with those who were left. After the 'click' Gabe walked away with a wave. The lady whose phone they used took charge of sending it to all the parties. At that moment, Anna noticed the friendly facade slip away. He enjoys the fans but he would rather be with his son.
They walked down the hallway that leads through the display tanks. They both looked around for a glimpse of the boys. “Down this way is the tunnel where you can walk underneath the tank and see the sharks and fish. Let's look for the boys there,” Gabe motioned to the left. Anna went uncharacteristically quiet. Typically a friendly, people person, too much small talk with strangers exhausted her. She needed a moment to think and get her energy back.
“Sorry, about all the pictures. You were a trooper taking all those photos,” he tried to draw a conversation out of her. Anna smiled and assured him it was no big deal.
“You did all the work. I'm not sure I would have the patience to spend with so many people,” she told him. “Do you actually enjoy the attention?”
“Most of the time, I like meeting people. It's kind of my feedback about how I did on a project. I appreciate that people want to watch me act. If not for them I would have to be an accountant or something. They are the reason I'm able to have such a fun job,” he laughed to himself at the idea of working in an office all day.
Anna only responded with a smile, but at that moment spotted Chris watching a long legged crab crawl over a rock in one of the tanks built into the wall. Gabe saw Sean at the same time and they sped up to catch up with the boys. Gabe grabbed Sean from behind and kissed him on the cheek. Sean erupted in protest, “Dad, I'm 12 years old and you cannot be kissing me in public.” Of course, Gabe kissed him again, just to prove he could. Sean made a scene of wiping off the kiss contamination with his hand and then cleaning his hand on Gabe's shirt sleeve.
“Dad, we should get some salt water fish and add them to our pool!” Sean suggested. Gabe made a face and reminded him that it would be rather gross to be swimming through fish poop and the dogs would probably eat the fish so there would be fish guts in the pool too. Sean considered this and struggled to decide the better option, having a clean pool to swim in or getting to see the fish guts when the dogs ate them.
They were fascinated by all the different types of animals. Coral, sea stars, and mollusks covered the rocks and the bottom of the tank. Orange, purple, white, and brown fish flit around under the illuminated water. Sea otters played under the water and floated on top. They looked just like animated stuffed animals.
Sean turned to Gabe and asked if he could paint his room like an underwater scene. Gabe suggested starting with a few posters and maybe curtains, instead of the whole room. “We'll ask Grandma to take you to find some good fabric and she can get someone to sew them up for you,” Gabe suggested. The boys stopped to watch a frog being fed some shrimp while Anna and Gabe continued walking around the corner and into the next section of viewing windows.
“Wouldn't Rose sew for you? She spoke about putting up curtains the other day,” Anna asked.
“She doesn't actually sew, she just shops and then takes the materials over to her seamstress,” Gabe told her.
“She would go to all that trouble and you won't even let her put them up?” Anna started to become annoyed again remembering the previous conversations.
“I don't mind her doing it for me, but it's my house and I should be able to decide what I put up in my own house,” Gabe didn't understand what happened and why Anna's demeanor turned cold.
“I just can't believe you think like that. You seem like a nice guy and a good father, but the way you treat Rose is disgusting. Do you even love her at all?” Anna's voice started to rise and Gabe glanced around, thankful they were in a fairly deserted room at the moment.
“Of course, I love her, what do you mean 'the way I treat her?” Gabe responded becoming more upset himself.
“'MY house, MY decision.' You volunteered her to bring Sean down today without even asking her, she doesn't even want to be around you on weekends. What kind of a relationship is that? Is that the way you want to teach your son to treat his wife?” Anna tryied to keep her voice quiet, but her anger boiled over.
“No. What do you know about our relationship anyway? And what does that have to do with Sean's wife?” Gabe asked becoming more confused at her thinking.
“The way a father treats his wife has a lot to do with how a boy grows and treats his,” she answered him.
“I know that. What does that have to do with Rose?” Gabe tried to figure out her point.
“Rose, your wife!” Anna answered in a sarcastic tone.
“Wife?!” At that point Gabe connected the dots and began to laugh. Not a chuckle, but a deep, can't breathe, tears streaming from his eyes laugh. He folded in half and finally collapsed on to the floor. Anna felt her face turn red with anger. She felt like a cartoon character with steam evaporating from her ears. At last, Gabe stopped long enough to take a deep breath and start to talk.
He sat on the floor, leaned up against the wall holding a tank of miniature jelly fish, each one the size of his thumb. He wiped his eyes and lifted up from the floor to pull his phone from his back pocket. Flipping through his photos, he pulled up a picture.
“I need to show you something.” Gabe said calmly to Anna, hoping she would listen long enough for him to explain. Her scowl eased, so he extended his hand to pull her down onto the floor next to him.
She sat down beside him, careful not to sit too close. She was still mad. “First off, Rose is going to be thrilled that you thought she is young enough to be my wife. You're going to be her new favorite person,” he added with a broad smile. Next, he showed her his phone with a picture of him, Rose, and another man old enough to be Gabe's father.
Anna stared at him quizzically, wondering at his point and how would it explain his attitude. “These are my parents,” Gabe laughed again remembering the misunderstanding.
Anna gaped, flabbergasted, her mind reeling to process that information. “But you look so different,” she protested. Rose's light hair and eyes and pale complexion were exactly the opposite of Gabe's dark hair, brown eyes, and tan features. The man had darker hair but none of the chiseled features of his son.
“My younger sister, Rachel, and I are adopted,” he told her. “Nobody knows this and I would appreciate it if you kept it to yourself.” He looked at her directly until she nodded in agreement. “I was 2 and my sister a baby when we were put up for adoption. All that I know about my birth parents is that my mother came from Hawaii and they lived here for at least a little while before she gave us up. When she was pregnant he bailed. She didn't think she could take care of two babies on her own and we came to live with my mom and dad. I don't even remember my birth mom.”
Anna nodded as she understood and flushed pink in horror as she considered what she had been thinking about him. “I'm sorry. I thought you were this awful man who considered everything his property and didn't give his wife a say in anything. I had imagined Sean learning those behaviors and passing them onto Chris.” She took a deep breath and continued. “I just automatically assumed the worst. I guess that's why they say to never assume,” she shrugged pleading with for him to understand and forgive her critical treatment. She explained how she had even planned to talk to Rose when she dropped Sean off. “I felt so bad for her, I wanted to help,” she practically whispered to herself, humiliated.
Gabe laughed lightly and assured her there was nothing to forgive. “In fact, I respect that you were willing to protect not just your son, but my son and my mom from what would have been some pretty mean actions on my part; if they had been true.” He covered her hand with his and squeezed to reinforce his point.
Finally, Anna started to giggle about it. “Your mom is beautiful, I just knew she was young enough to be Sean's mom.” A sudden point occurred to her, “So, where is Sean's mom? Does he spend much time with her?”
At that moment, the boys came running around the corner and seeing their parents on the floor, dog piled on. Thankfully, they had untangled themselves and gotten off the floor by the time the Aquarium employee came walking around checking each of the rooms. The employee did a double take and approached Gabe to shake his hand and say hello. “I am a fan of yours. I really liked 'Soldier on,'” he explained. “My wife, of course, likes the gushy romance movies, so I've seen a few of those that you have done as well.”
Gabe offered to take a picture with the man and then asked him to take a picture of Chris, Anna, Gabe and Sean all together. He gladly complied, sure that his wife would be very jealous and asked for an autograph for her to make up for it, which Gabe provided.
Chris announced they had seen “Everything!” and he was ready to head home. Glancing at her watch, Anna realized she would be late for her tutoring appointment. Her face flashed with disappointment.
“What's wrong now?” Gabe asked tentatively. She explained her dilemma. “Why don't we drop you off and the boys and I will go shopping for dinner. We'll pick you up and we can eat together?” The two boys eagerly pushed her to accept his offer. “You didn't have anything else to today, did you?”
She thought of the sewing order she should have finished, but dismissed it. She could finish it after work tomorrow night. “Nothing that can't wait. I had fun today,” she said as the right corner of her mouth turned up into her normal crooked smile. She still felt ridiculous, which made her reply shy and reserved.
Gabe ran off to get the car and drove down to pick them up near the exit of the parking structure. Anna gave him direction where to go while Sean and Chris debated what they wanted for dinner. They still hadn't agreed when they left Anna in front of her client's house.
While the hour passed, Gabe talked the boys into fajitas for dinner, ice cream and brownies for desert. They picked out every ingredient that Chris guessed they didn't have and arrived back at the client's house with a few minutes to spare before Anna finished.
Back at Chris and Anna's house, Gabe, Sean, and Chris insisted on cooking and giving Anna a night off. Halleluah! One night that I don't have to cook. I can save the left over burritos for tomorrow night.
Not wanting to watch the destruction happening in her kitchen, Anna went off put some time into the work that she had neglected earlier. Now that she learned Gabe was actually single, she had a hard time not thinking about him. There has to be something wrong with him. He just seems too perfect. He's probably secretly an axe murderer, she laughed to herself. The easiest and strongest argument to convince herself: Men like Gabe are never interested in women like her. I'll just stay focused on being friends. That way I don't mess it up.
Gabe had the boys chopping and preparing while he cooked the meat. He showed them what seasonings to use and how to slice it thinly. Every man needs to know how to prepare tasty meat and at least 3 good meals to impress a girl. Fajitas are easy because it is really hard to screw up chopping vegetables.
The smell of onion and spices cooking drew Anna into the kitchen just before it finished cooking. She pointed out where she kept the dishes and Sean set the table. She showed him which side the forks belong and to place a folded a napkin underneath. Spoons and knives weren't needed so putting the cups in the upper right hand corner completed each setting. Gabe brought the food to the table and they all sat down to eat. Gabe grabbed a tortilla off the stack before Sean reminded him they should say grace. He quickly set the tortilla on his plate, not wanting to put back food he had already touched. Chris folded his hands, but Sean suggested they hold hands instead. Gabe and Anna reached across the table on one side and Chris and Sean on the other.
“Almost like a family,” Chris suggested and Sean nodded in agreement. Anna chuckled nervously, but Gabe flushed pink and looked away. Sean insisted that Gabe bless the food and he stumbled through the prayer, clearly not accustomed to it.
The food was delicious and they joked and told stories while they ate. Both boys tried to out do the other. The plates were emptied and Anna insisted on washing the dishes, “Since you men did the shopping and cooking, I can clean up. Chris why don't you show Sean your new legos and Gabe can relax for a few minutes.”
She grabbed an armful of plates, silverware, and cups and headed to the counter. She rarely used her dishwasher since she and Chris didn't really use all that many dishes, but she felt grateful to have it whenever anyone came over to eat. The table cleared, Gabe started gathering up the extra food and putting it in containers.
“You're supposed to be relaxing,” Anna said in an authoritative tone.
“I can't sit there and watch you work. I just don't have it in me. So, you had better tell me where you keep the storage containers to put away the food or you'll end up with a ton of plastic bags in the fridge because I know where you keep those.” Gabe echoed the determined tone right back at her.
“The bottom cupboard, over to the right,” she tried to hold back a smile but it escaped as her trademark sideways grin. She wiped down the table, counters, and stove while he finished putting away the food and then handed the remaining dishes for her to put in the dishwasher. Finally, he agreed to sit with his feet up on a chair while she swept, “because I can't get it all with you underfoot,” and she hip checked him gently out of her way.
Just as she finished, the boys came running in. “Can we have brownies now?” Chris asked his mom. Gabe smacked his hand to his forehead, he had forgotten the desert. Anna just looked around at the clean kitchen in despair. “Paper plates,” she said nodding and Chris and Sean cheered. When the ice cream and brownies had disappeared Gabe announced “time to head home” and both boys vehemently disagreed.
“I have to be at work early tomorrow. We lost a whole day today, so we have to make up for it.” Gabe said resignedly. Anna backed him up, even though she felt disappointed to see the day come to an end as well.
Anna turned to Sean, “Thank you for taking us out today.” she paused and winked at Gabe, “I'm glad you let your dad tag along too, even if he wouldn't let you swim in the shark tank. We'll have to go to the beach one day and see if we can get a shark there to eat you.”
Chris waved bye and left to go back to his room as Gabe ushered Sean out the door. He clicked the remote and the car unlocked. Sean walked over to it. Just before she shut the door, Gabe turned back toward her. His gaze focused on her eyes with such intensity that she couldn't breathe.
“I had fun today, thank you for coming along, even though you you'd be spending the day with a misogynist,” he laughed quietly at their earlier misunderstanding.
“Well, thank you for inviting us, even though you thought you'd be spending it with a cold, judgmental shrew,” she bent her head shyly, then shaking her hair from her eyes, returned his gaze, “You really were too generous today.”
“With all these misunderstandings out of the way, we can be friends and it's no problem to treat friends to a day of adventure.” Gabe knew he needed to walk away and go to the car, but didn't want to leave her. He almost felt a physical pull.
“Dad, are we leaving?” Sean called from the car. Suddenly released, Gabe said a rapid good bye and turned toward the car, stopping briefly before he got in to wave.
Anna stood in the doorway until the car started and they pulled away from the curb. The words “...we can be friends...” repeated in her head and she reminded herself Friends, that's all we'll ever be. He's a TV and movie star, I'm sure he could have his choice of hot women. Besides, I wouldn't want all the hassle that comes with fame and fortune.