Love Letters

By: Geraldine Solon

For Arnel, Stefan and Kimberly

Chapter One

As Chloe Rogers put her car in reverse, she couldn’t stop looking at her princess-cut diamond. The sun through her window made the diamond sparkle. She turned on the radio, singing as she drummed her fingers to the beat.

“I’m engaged!” she squealed out loud, “To the most handsome man in the universe.” She closed her eyes remembering how Richard had knelt down and asked her to marry him earlier that morning at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Half Moon Bay. No sooner had she opened her eyes than she felt a soft bump and heard the sound of scraping metal.

“Oh no,” she groaned as she looked through her rearview mirror at a blue Ford Mustang. She pulled over towards the parking lot and saw a tall man with long hair wearing a t-shirt and surfing shorts got out and came across the parking lot toward her. Her heart beat quickly as he approached her. Why does he look so familiar?

“I’m sorry, I didn’t see you. I promise my insurance will take care of it,” Chloe said as she got out of her car and followed him to his Mustang.

The man studied his car, his gold-blond hair blowing in the wind. “Hey, no sweat. I don’t have a single scratch on my car.”

Chloe caught her breath, relieved that no serious damage had been done.

“Let’s check yours.” They walked back to her car. “Just a scratch,” the man said, smiling.

Where have I seen that smile before?

She huffed a sigh. “Nothing to worry about then. I’m really sorry.”

“It’s nothing. I’m Josh by the way,” he said, extending his hand.

“Chloe.” She shook his hand.

“Chloe? Chloe Rogers? Is it you?” Chloe frowned, trying to place him. “I thought it was you, but I wasn’t sure. Remember me…Josh Goldman? It’s been ages.”

Chloe’s heart skipped a beat. Of course she remembered him. How could she forget her first love from sixth grade?

She was eleven years old when she developed a crush on Josh. She had scribbled the name Joshua Goldman over and over on her PeeChee folder. When he moved to Oregon she had cried buckets of tears. They had gone down to the beach and made a promise to love each other. Forever. He was the first boy to ever kiss her.

“Josh Goldman?” she asked, pretending not to remember.

“Yes, my brother and I moved back a week ago from Oregon,” he said, smiling.

A week ago and I never saw him? She remembered his smile, and how all the girls in school were crazy about him. “What brings you back to Half Moon Bay?” she asked, trying to stay calm.

“When we were in Oregon, our parents took Phil and me to Hawaii every summer,” Josh said, his eyes never leaving hers. “That’s where we learned how to surf. Last year, Phil and I decided to open our own surf shop in Half Moon Bay. Phil has qualified to compete in the Maverick this year.”

“You mean Phil Goldman is the professional surfer?” Chloe asked in surprise. “I never put two and two together. Wow, you must be so proud.”

“Yeah, and that’s why business should be great. Name recognition.” Josh tugged a strand of hair behind his ear.

“Don’t tell me your surf shop is the one that just opened up at the end of Main Street? Surfing Buddies?”

“That’s right. That’s our shop,” he said. “Phil and I put all our savings in this business, so it’s a win or lose kind of thing.”

“Unbelievable. I work at the other end of Main Street. I manage Brides Only.”

“That wedding store? I never thought to check it out. I mean it’s for –”

“Brides only,” Chloe grinned.

“Yeah, yeah, I mean, I totally wouldn’t be caught dead in that store.” He laughed.

He seemed like the same Josh – happy-go-lucky, exciting, adventurous, and never fearful. She remembered how he would knock on her window to give her chocolates at midnight, and would scramble down the ladder when he heard Chloe’s mother screaming at her door. He had taken Chloe for a ride on his bicycle around Half Moon Bay. He played baseball back then, but seemed more interested in car racing. Chloe wasn’t surprised that Josh and Phil got into surfing.