Set Sail to Single will be released this week on Amazon.com Just because I love you and because some of you seem to like me, here's a sneak peek at what Set Sail to Single has to offer:
“I can’t believe I let you talk me into this.” I looked around suspiciously. “I swear everyone is staring at me.”“Oh! Good grief! Would you relax? No one is staring at you,” Jess, my best friend, huffed angrily over the phone.
I smiled nervously at the couple who walked past me as I lounged on a deck chair by the pool.
“Lots of people go on cruises by themselves.”
“You’re such a liar, Jess. No one goes on cruises by themselves. This is literally my worst nightmare.” I ducked down in my chair as another couple walked past me. The woman, clinging to her man’s arm was smiling and beaming with joy. I groaned. “I am trapped on this boat with a bunch of happy people.”
Jess groaned back at me. “Give it a few days, and there will be more people miserable. Trust me. I’ve been on a cruise before.”
“Yes, but their misery is remedied by a pill or one of those patches. My misery is permanent.”
The sound of a bag crinkling filled my ears. It was so loud I had to move the phone away.
“What are you eating?” I said when I knew it was safe to return the phone to my ear.
There was a pause. “Whaf makes you fink I’m eating?” Jess said with a muffled voice.
I shook my head and smiled slightly. Jess was eight and a half months pregnant with her first child. For the past few months she’d been doing nothing but eating.
Jess sighed loudly, “Lizzie, I know that this isn’t what you thought it was going to be like. I’m sorry that Jake is such an ass. I’m sorry that I let my husband knock me up with this stupid baby. I wish I could be there beside you right now.”
I felt my eyes welling up with tears. I choked them back. I’d done enough crying in the past two weeks.
“I know that all you want to do is lock yourself in your room and listen to Adele, but maybe you could move the moping to the pool deck just for the next week.” Jess sounded genuinely concerned. “Please just try to relax and enjoy yourself, Lizzie.”
I took a deep breath. I knew she was right. The last two weeks had been a flurry of tearful phone calls, sobbing sessions, and weak attempts at appearing normal. Yesterday had been the worst of it. My eyes were still aching from it. I promised Jess I would do my best to have a good time. I told her I loved her and wished she was with me. I also made her promise not to have her baby while I was cruising.
I set my phone down in my lap. I knew that it would be a few days before I heard a familiar voice again. A part of me felt relieved that I would get a break from the relentless questions that had been thrown at me since Jake decided to throw me away. I ran through the disaster that was my life as I sat with my head back and my eyes closed.
With just two weeks to go before our wedding, Jake had come home from work one day and announced that he couldn’t go through with it. He said that, after much thought and consideration, he just didn’t think he was ready to be married.
“It’s nothing personal, Lizzie. I don’t want to be married to anyone, it’s not just you.” He shrugged his shoulders as he spoke nonchalantly about calling off our wedding. I was so shocked it was at least ten minutes after he took his suitcase and left that I actually spoke. At first I thought it was just a heartless joke, but when I called his cell, he repeated the same statement he’d made the first time. It was over. The wedding was off.
The cruise, however, was already paid for. My aunt had given it to us as a wedding gift. We were going to honeymoon on the cruise that left the day after our wedding. My gut reaction was to skip the cruise. I had nothing to celebrate anyway. However, my aunt insisted that I take the trip and just drag a friend along with me.
“Better yet, go alone, Elizabeth. You’d be surprised how relaxing vacationing alone can be,” Aunt Faye had said over the phone. The consummate travel agent, I knew she was selling me a line of bullshit. Of course, the rest of my friends and family jumped on board with her. In all honesty, I was getting a little sick of all the sympathetic smiles and pats on the back. Work had been just awful. Nobody knew exactly what to say, but for some reason no one thought to just shut up.
So, I’d grabbed my bags, and what was left of my dignity, and boarded the cruise ship alone. I stood in the check-in line alone. I went through the port check alone.
Sitting alone in the deck chair beside the pool, I watched as people wandered around gawking at the grandeur of the cruise ship. I wanted to disappear. I wanted to be one in a sea of thousands of faces.
A group of middle school kids walked past me, pushing and shoving each other through giggles and screams.
“Let’s go see if we can get some drinks at the bar,” one of the boys announced to his group of followers.
“Stupid kids,” I mumbled under my breath. But as ridiculous as their plan was, it did get me thinking. A pretty, fruity drink might make the misery a little less miserable. I was sure that the deck chair would be there when I came back.
Despite the fact that we hadn’t even started moving, the bar on the pool deck was already packed with cruisers looking to get the fun started.
“Excuse me,” I said quietly as I pushed my way through the crowd. The bartenders were working double time to take orders, scan cards, and make the drinks. I waved, pointed, and gestured trying to get the attention of one of the bartenders, but to no avail.
“Beer me, bro!” a male voice boomed from behind me.
The bartender turned, smiled, and spoke in a heavy accent, “What would you like my man?”
“You’re the expert. What’s good?”
The man with the voice cozied up to the bar right next to me. He was tall, brunette, and grinning from ear to ear.
The bartender shook his head and laughed at him. “Everything I serve is good, but I can look at you and tell that you are a top shelf man. You come to me, my man, and I will keep you happy with your drinks.”
“You take care of me and I’ll take care of you,” the brunette grinned in response.
The bartender, whose nametag identified him as Raj, laughed louder and poured a drink for his best customer.
“What are you drinking?” the brunette asked me when his new bestie was busy making his drink.
“Nothing yet,” I said with a shrug. “I can’t get anyone to take my order.”
“Take care of my girl here,” he said as Raj handed him his drink and his card.
“Are you with big spender?” Raj said with a wink and a point in the brunette’s direction.
“No. I’ve been standing here waiting politely until I could get your attention.” It came out a lot sassier than I had intended it to.
Raj’s eyes, and smile, lit up. “I better keep an eye on you! The feisty ones need special care!”
I blushed and handed him my card. “I’d like a strawberry daiquiri?”
“Seriously?” the brunette questioned my order with a raised eyebrow. “With that attitude I would have expected you to go for something a little harder than that!”
I shrugged and smiled shyly.
“For you, ma’am,” Raj handed me my card and my drink. “You remember now, come find me for special deals. I hook you up.”
He spun around and started filling orders for the rest of the crowd at the bar. I watched him for a minute or two. He was clearly in his element. He kept the crowd entertained with his smile and personality.
“How’s the girly drink?”
I turned back to see the brunette grinning at me.
“It’s delicious,” I answered quickly and walked away from the bar. I found my deck chair and got comfortable again. People were starting to fill the area. A few bold cruisers even jumped into the pool. I watched as crowds of people wandered past me. Most of them walked on, completely ignorant to my presence. It was the first time in two weeks that I didn’t feel like there was someone watching me. Just to be sure, I looked left then right. There was no one in either direction paying the least bit of attention to me.
I was invisible and it felt amazing.
I was invisible and it felt amazing.
Well...what did you think? Want more? I hope so...