Mother Nature Has Different Plans

Submitted into Contest #77 in response to: Write a story set in the summer, when suddenly it starts to snow.... view prompt


Fiction Romance

Mother Nature Has Different Plans

By Kerri Shanley

It was the year Mother Nature was confused. Hades was holding Persephone longer than the agreed-upon terms, causing winter to go on longer than usual. The gray days of December and January extended into April and May. When June rolled around the weather started to warm up, but not much, like the mild breezy spring weather.

Masey Higgins went to a college in Utah, not too far away from where the famous people hang out during the film festivals. Masey took a weekend job at one of the resorts so she could get free lift passes. The resorts were happy about the extended ski season, but Masey was growing weary of the long winter. The weekends were still busy with local skiers and snowboarders, even some of the celebrities would still make their way to Utah for a mini getaway. Most of the college students went home in the summer to work and save up for the fall, however, this summer Masey decided she could make more money working extra hours at the resort and decided to stay behind.

“Hey, at least we get to spend more time together,” Steve winked at Masey.

Masey smiled back and gave an awkward chuckle. She had a crush on Steve for a long time but questioned his intentions. He was a major flirt. “Yeah, just me and you working the guest services counter.”

There was a lull in the clubhouse Masey leaned over the counter tapping her pen, while Steve was leaning back in his chair looking up at the ceiling “you know we’ve worked together for the past two years.”

“Yes. We were hired at the same time,” Masey responded, “What’s your point?”

“Well, we’ve spent a lot of time together, and we barely know anything about each other.”

“Well, usually we’re both working and don’t really have time to ‘get to know each other.’’

“Let’s remedy that,” Steve responded.

Masey was concerned that he might have ulterior motives behind getting to know her. There was an opening in management, and he seemed highly motivated to get ahead. “I guess. What do you want to know?”

“That’s no fun. Let’s play a game.”

Masey let out an exasperated sigh “I don’t know we could get into trouble.”

“You’re so cute when you worry about your job,” Steve tapped her nose. Masey smiled a little, and their eyes lingered for a bit until Steve broke the gaze “Darts!”

“What?” Masey stepped back a little and tucked her hair behind her ear.

“We can play a dart game.” Steve grabbed her hands and pulled her into the recreational room, “Since we work here, we don’t have to worry about paying.

Masey was bewildered by his comment, “Ok?”

“So, here’s how we play. If I hit the center, you tell me one thing about you. It can be anything you want”

“And if I hit the center you tell me one thing about you” Masey added.

Steve shook his head and continued “But, if you hit anywhere on the board you tell me about the worst date you’ve been on.”

A little shiver crept up Masey’s spine “I don’t want to do that.”

“Well then, you better hit the center. Now, if you completely miss the target, you have to take a sip of hot chocolate,” Steve smiled wide.

Masey’s eyes brightened, Masey was horrible at darts, but she loved hot chocolate, “All right. I go first!”

She picked a dart out of Steve’s hand and threw it haphazardly at the wall. It stuck in the cork wall a few inches away from the target. “Give me that hot chocolate.”

Steve handed her the mug she took a sip, “You have a whip cream stache.” He wiped it off with his thumb.

“Thanks. Your turn.”

“Ok.” Steve turned towards the dartboard and stuck out his hand. He concentrated on the target.

He released it and it landed outside the center. “Well, I guess I gotta tell you about my worst date.”

“Yep,” Masey responded taking another sip of hot chocolate.

“A year-long relationship had ended, and I bummed around the apartment for several weeks. My roommate John decided to set me up with a girl from one of his classes. She was cute, but I still was hung up on my ex. So, I was an emotional wreck.

“Really? You? An emotional wreck?”

“Yes. Guys have emotions too,” he smirked. “Anyways, all I could do was talk about this other girl. About an hour in she asked to go home, when we got to the front of her apartment, she told me not to walk her to the door, or to call her. She jumped out and slammed the door, hard. It shook the whole car.”

Steve looked away while Masey listened sympathetically. “Wow. That was harsh.”

“Well, I guess I deserved it.”

Masey frowned, “No, you didn’t. I understand wanting to leave early, but she could have been a little nicer and told you to call her when you got over your ex.”

Steve’s eyes gleamed, “Thanks. It was really hard for the first couple of months after the breakup. But I moved on.”

Masey nodded and took another sip of the hot chocolate, “Hey you’re not supposed to drink the hot chocolate.”

Masey almost choked on the hot chocolate and put the mug down “Sorry. It tastes so good.”

Steve chuckled.

“So, what happened between you and your ex. I mean why’d you break up.”

“Nope. If you wanna know that you have to hit the center.” He told her handing a dart to her.

“Fine.” Masey grabbed it out of his hand, “Here I go. I’m gonna hit the center.” She said focusing on the center of the dartboard she did a few fake throws “When I hit the center you have to tell me why you broke up with your ex.” She stalled.

Masey concentrated intensely, when she was ready to release, Steve walked up beside her and blew in her ear. She was thrown off and missed the target.

“Well, at least you hit the board this time,” Steve laughed.

“Not fair! I get to go again.”

Masey reached for a dart “Nuh-uh,” Steve put his arm behind his back so Masey couldn’t reach them “You have to tell me about your worse date.”

“Fine. Let me think.” Masey took a minute. It wasn’t a matter of recall, but which horrible date story to tell.

Steve sat down on a stool and crossed his arms. He waited patiently.

“Ok. Got it. I recently went on a date with a guy from my French class. He was pretty cute and good at French. We decided to study together and reserved a study room at the library. After a couple of study sessions, he asked me out. He took me to an Italian restaurant.” Steve avidly listened, so Masey started to relax. “I saw him slip the hostess some money, and I thought it was to get a good table with some privacy. I just assumed he wanted to show off how much money he had.”

Steve didn’t blink, or yawn, nor did anything else. Masey was impressed with his laser focus attention. She was still a little apprehensive, she wasn’t sure if it was because she didn’t trust Steve or if it was rehashing the memory of that miserable night. “The guy already sounds douchey.”

Masey laughed “Yeah, you haven’t heard the worst part yet. So, when the server came to take us our drink order she looked really mad. She didn’t yell but raised her voice just a little bit ‘I thought I told you to stop coming here with your dates.’ I was so confused.” Steve looked shocked.

“He didn’t?”

“Yep. He took me to the restaurant where his ex-girlfriend worked and asked to sit in her section.”

“Well, if I wanted to make my ex jealous, I would show you off.”

Masey blushed, “Yeah right.”

“No. Really. I mean it” Steve stroked her cheek.

Masey shivered “It’s cold in here.” She backed away. Steve looked slightly confused.

“Here.” Steve took off his jacket and put it around her.

“Thanks. Well. It’s your turn.”

Steve hit the center this time. “Oh-oh, you have to tell me something about yourself.”

Masey was shocked and dismayed “Fine. I’m from California. There.”

“Nope. I already knew that. Tell me something I don’t know.”

“That’s not fair. That’s not the rule,” Masey whined.

“You have to tell me something I don’t know about you.”

“Uugh! Fine. So, you know that guy from my French class?”

“The douche.”

“Yeah. Well, I ran into his ex-girlfriend a couple days later, and she apologized for what happened. She told me about their relationship, and why they broke up. So, she saved me from a fate worse than death.”

“So why did they break up?”

“Oh. Well, he seemed to rush things, and after 3 dates he asked her to marry him.”

“No way?”

“Yep. According to her, his parents got engaged after three dates. He was so oblivious to her feelings and was just so set on getting married. Which was weird for her.”

Steve laughed and Masey started to feel more comfortable around him. “He even bought a ring. When he got down on his knee, she kinda lost it and told him she needed some space. She went out with him one more time, just to see if he had gotten it out of his system. But it was just weird. He started to get really obsessed with her. He felt like she was ‘the one’ and thought that he could win her back by making her jealous.”

“Well, obviously it didn’t work.”

“Haha. No. I guess not.”

They both stopped laughing, and Steve continued to give his undivided attention to Masey. Masey broke the silence. “My turn. I’m gonna hit the center, so you have to tell me about your ex.”

“If you say so.”

“No cheating.”

“Fine.” Steve backed away.

Masey threw the dart and it hit off-center.

“Aw man.”

“You have to tell me about another bad date.”

“Fine,” she gave him the death stare. “So one time I dated a guy that had a pet hamster. He hid it in his pocket. We went to a soup and salad restaurant. When we sat down to eat, he let the hamster out and gave him some of his salad. He actually asked if the hamster could eat some of my food. The manager asked us to leave. I called my roommate to come pick me up. He still doesn’t understand why I didn’t go out for a second date.”

Steve laughed really hard.

“Ok. OK. Just go.”

Steve purposely missed the target “Oh man.” He faked feeling bummed out.

“Here. Drink.”

“No. I think you’ve suffered enough. I’ll tell you what happened between me and my ex.”

After Steve finished his story, Masey apologized, “I’m sorry. That really sucks.”

Steve nodded “It’s ok. I mean life happens. The weather was bad. You can’t control nature.”

“No. I guess not,” Masey bit the inside of her cheek. “So how long ago did this happen.”

He sighed before answering. “After Christmas. She was coming back from break.”

“Wow! I didn’t realize. That explains why you took the time off back in January and February.”

He nodded. “You know, we were talking about the next step—“

“You mean getting engaged?”

“Yeah. When we spoke over the break. I got the feeling that she wanted to break up. Before she went home we looked at rings, but didn’t settle on anything.”

“You know I never liked that. Ring shopping together. I think it’s so stupid.”

Steve kept his head bowed but looked up, “You’re old fashioned, huh?”

“I mean, yeah. It should be a surprise. From the guy’s heart. You know. Like he gets the ring that he can afford and that he feels is the ‘right’ one for his future wife. I sometimes feel like it makes the girl look snobby.”

“You know, coming back to work really helped me get over her.” Steve got up and started to walk over to Masey.

“Really. Well, they say that the only way to get over a lost love is to pour yourself into work.”

“No that’s not why.” He wrapped his arms around Masey. She was taken aback, and before she had a moment to process what was about to happen, he leaned in to give her a kiss. She melted into his arms and let go of her inhibitions. She wrapped her arms around his neck. He pulled away first, and Masey swayed [swooned] a little. “The reason I came back was because of you.

Masey looked confused. “What? How? I didn’t even know you were in a relationship, let alone that she died."

“I know. It was nice because you treated me normal. Everyone looked at me with pity. Like I was going to break down any minute.”

“You were always flirting with everyone.”

“No. I was working. I was getting tips from the customers.”

“We can do that?”

“There’s no company policy that says we can’t. I only flirted with you.”

Masey furrowed her brow.

“Even when I was with my girlfriend, I had feelings for you, but I pushed them aside because I felt like I owed it to my relationship with her. I never got vibes that you liked me, so I didn’t pursue anything.”

“So, you went after an easy target.”

Steve chuckled, Masey realized what she had said, “No pun intended.”

“No, I get it. It wasn’t easy. She returned my advances.”


“You were the hard target. We’d known each other for so long, that I thought it would happen naturally, but you didn’t give any signals. Lisa showed interest. We got along. We were compatible enough. But I guess she picked up on my lack of commitment.”


“What? I couldn’t commit because I had feelings for you. They never went away.” He grabbed her cheeks. A flurry of butterflies started up her throat.

“We work together.”

“That’s where the best love stories start. You know Pam and Jim?”

Masey laughed. She didn’t want to talk anymore. She just wanted to hear Steve tell her his feelings. She felt like she would ruin the moment.

“That’s why Lisa seemed so cold and distant over the break. The last time we spoke on the phone we got into a fight. I took the time off because I thought I needed time to heal, but I started to realize that I missed you. My roommate thought my moping around was over Lisa. It was a combination of both. I mean I had feelings for her and was about to marry her, but you know the stages of grief. Well, I got to acceptance pretty fast, I maybe skipped some stages, but it was because I came to terms with my feelings for you.”

“I’m glad winter lasted through June. Those 2 months I took off were miserable, but I think Mother Nature extended the winter season so we could spend more time together.”

He leaned in for another kiss, “Yeah. I’m glad we got to spend this time together.”

Outside the bar, the manager called for Steve and Masey.

“We better go see what he needs.”

Masey sighed and opened her eyes “Yeah. I guess.”

“There you two are. The guests are coming back from the slopes you need to be at the desk to assist them.”

“Yes sir.” They said together.

They both looked at one another and laughed.

“I don’t know what’s going on here but cut it out.”

The manager left them alone and they continued to laugh.

“Hey look, it’s snowing!”

“Snow in June,” Masey looked over at Steve “Mother Nature has something else in store for us.”

Steve wrapped his arm around Masey. Yes, Mother Nature had different plans for them, indeed.

January 22, 2021 03:13

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