Sometimes, even a Hollywood ending, isn’t.
Young mother and recent widow, Amelia Gauge, moves cross-country with her son in search of a new life in A Life Beyond Yesterday. She soon realizes that life outside of the Rural Midwest is filled with deceit, danger and, too rarely, kindness. Between falling in love and fighting for her life, will she be able to find a new, stronger version of herself before her new world comes crumbling down?
Tuesday morning at Duke’s Cafe was like every other, the 6am patrons gathering their morning espressos and rushing off to work. Three tables were occupied when I pushed through the swinging wooden doors into the kitchen to grab a too-early piece of cherry pie for a gentleman who appeared to have not yet been to bed.
Emerging from the kitchen, I found a fourth table filled by two men. Swiftly delivering the pie, I made my way over to the new table. “What can I get you,” I asked, barely looking up from my note pad. “I’ll have a latte with an extra shot of espresso,” said the man on the left.
“A coffee, black,” a familiar voice, velvety smooth, washed over me. Cautiously and with a calculated slowness, I looked up from under my brow to find Dustin LaSalle staring back at me inquisitively with his pale blue eyes that were more on the side of grey today. If I’d been the type to let myself, I could have fainted right then and there. Fortunately, I had never learned the fine art of swooning. Falling limp with emotion wasn’t an acceptable trait in my family of proud women.
We studied each other for a brief second, both deciding if he recognized me. I turned quickly on my heel and strode to the counter, handing my ticket to our resident barista with anxious haste. I stood with tension twisted shoulders, my back to the two men, tapping my fingers nervously on the countertop while I waited to be handed their drinks. Holding their coffees, I decided I would just go over, sit them down and treat them like any other customers. Nice, Safe, Brevity. Good plan.
“Do I know you? You look familiar,” Dustin questioned, as if he were any other common person.
“Uhhm… maybe?” I froze, feeling my face blushing hot. I contemplated running but before I could make my escape my mouth was already betraying me. “I’m an extra in The Mystery of Victoria Mason.”
“Yeah, I think I’ve seen you there. I’m Dustin and this is Frank.” Dustin extended his hand to me politely.
“I’m Amelia. I didn’t think you would remember me. You must see tons of Extras every day.” Surprised I could even speak, my breath was caught in the handshake.
“It’s hard to forget someone like you,” he said and smiled, showing the perfect amount of teeth through parted lips. His was the kind of smile that made me want to melt into a puddle. Why would he remember me apart from a crowd? I’m nobody.
“Well it was nice to meet you,” I said and turned to go about my business, doing my best to inconspicuously ignore his presence. I was sure he was just being nice by talking to me and I didn’t want to seem like some desperate fame-chaser.
On the way out the door he turned and said, “Amelia?” My heart bounded quickly upward as I turned to face him, trying unsuccessfully to look as though his speaking to me didn’t matter in the least. “See you Saturday,” he said and he was out the door. I couldn’t will myself to speak back to him, only nodding and turning away.