Habit made Lei dig through her irritation for a positive affirmation. This was no mean feat. She harbored enough pessimism about life in general and her fellow man in particular to give an entire city the blues for a month.
What was the promise she’d made? She’d find the rainbow in any situation. Stop pointing out life’s storm clouds.
Making a half-hearted attempt, she took note of the palm trees fluttering with a raspy music. Charleston’s cerulean blue sky was as pretty as a Hawaiian morning. Best of all? Aunty had booked her a room on the Atlantic. Five days alone, with nothing more demanding than walks on the beach or a massage, if the mood struck.
Not too bad, right?
The muscles in her shoulders tensed. The question chiding her since she’d boarded the flight in California barreled into her brain.
Why had she agreed to this?
With the authority of a newly minted cop, she stepped from the curb and thrust her palm out. The taxi screeched to a halt in a plume of burning rubber. Planting her feet mere inches from the bumper, she crossed her arms and waited. The driver, dark-skinned as lava rock, smacked the shock from his face.
Scrambling out, he managed a loose hold on gravity. After he’d stabilized his legs, he bounced his attention to Lei. She was back on the curb, tapping her foot with simmering impatience. But this was the South, and he’d presumably learned his party manners before he was out of nappies. So he smiled like an overzealous Boy Scout. Then he started around the hood to take charge of the carry-on she’d packed in a flurry of irritation. Waving him off, she extinguished the cheer from his face. He fled back around the hood.
Satisfied with her powers of intimidation, she hurled the suitcase inside.
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