Friday, October 9, 2015

The River by @mayatylerauthor

Liz Stevens had dreamed of seeing the exotic river of Caño Cristales since she was five years old and thought it was a liquid rainbow. The adventure that should’ve been the trip of a lifetime, especially for a professional travel writer, was potentially ruined now. Damn. Whatever had possessed her to demonstrate her feelings for her boss at Travel + Leisure Magazine, Jake Harris, the night before a big trip? With Jake bailing on her, she was here solo, preparing to cover both their jobs.

            Bogotá, Columbia was about as remote a place as anywhere she had ever been before. The destination had been her choice; however the timing was unfortunate. Tapping her foot impatiently, she waited for the cargo plane taking her to La Macarena, futilely attempting to avoid thoughts of Jake.

*****
“Earth to Liz?”

“Yeah?” she answered without looking up from the photo layout of their latest jaunt to Bermuda.

“The Bermuda Triangle piece is gonna look amazing.”

She inhaled sharply. How long had she yearned for Jake to take notice of her work?

“We make a great team,” she finally managed to reply.

“Yes, we do. Your idea for the mysterious destinations feature was killer.”

Two compliments in one day? Liz thought her heart would stop. Perhaps Jake… No. Tall, muscular Jake with his beach blond good looks couldn’t be interested in petite, mousy her.

“Uh, thanks.”

He leaned over the table, his face tilting toward hers. Perhaps I’m wrong? She closed her eyes and waited. This is it.

“Whoa, Liz. What are you doing?”

She opened her eyes to Jake standing by the table frowning, his arms crossed.

“Nothing. I’m just tired.” Oh God. With an inward groan, she bolted from the room.

*****

She had taken the red-eye from La Guardia directly from the office and, after years of anticipation, she had arrived, finally listening to the water splash against the rocks, smelling the faint tang of rotting eggs. Her childlike wonder, though, had long been replaced with jaded sophistication. Although somewhere, below the surface, vulnerability stirred. She stared at the swirling colors, wishing she could sink beneath them and never have to face Jake again.

Squaring her jaw, she pulled a bulky camera from her pack and began snapping pictures of what was often referred to as “The Most Beautiful River in the World”. Her lens focused on the beauty in front of her, pushing the confused thoughts from her mind.

Cano Cristales Columbia (DanteBW/deviantart)

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