The Courtship of Serena Smith
A Tassanoxie Short Story
Serena and Ted share a common history because both have been dumped by their respective spouses. It’s time for new beginnings, but neither one thinks a second chance at love is in the cards. Battered by divorce, their self-confidence concerning the opposite sex is at all time low.
Fortunately, Ted’s dog Mollie likes Serena, who visits the dog park even though she doesn’t have a pet. When Mollie brings these two wounded souls together, will they accept the possibility of love?
Ted saw her when he entered the dog park. Happiness sluiced through him.
Of course, he was looking for her. Hoping she’d be there.
She sat on a bench beneath an oak tree yet no leash dangled from her hand, no dog looked her way for reassurance it was okay to race around the park, and she made no move to call any of the many frolicking dogs.
He’d imagined the why of the woman’s recent lunchtime visits, doubting he’d ever get up the courage to ask her. His ex-wife’s recent departure after twenty-four years of marriage and two shared children had dented his self-confidence. She said their boring small town life in Tassanoxie suffocated her. By the time she vented her feelings and left, he doubted if any other woman would be interested in him.
Other than Mollie, of course. He smiled at the hound who prompted his visits to the dog park. She quivered with excitement, eager to be off and running. He bent to unhook the leash from her collar. “Be a good girl.”
Mollie was gone before he could give her a quick pat on the head. Vibrant autumn leaves scattered in her wake. As she had done every day the woman on the bench was there, Mollie paused long enough for a welcoming pat before heading to her playmates.
Ted wished he were able to make friends as easily as Mollie, because then he’d go and sit on the bench with the woman. Strike up a conversation. Ask her which dog was hers, although he doubted she had one.