Tag: t-squared

Table for Two – Chapter 2

Table for Two – Chapter 2

T-Squared Energy Connections

April 20, 1966 – Sara and Stuart

Sara met her mother at Table for Two after school. Their mission: find Sara a prom dress.

Table for Two opened four days earlier, on Main Street in Hartsburg. The restaurant provided the ideal spot to meet and strategize the search for a perfect dress.

Sara arrived first. She paced up and down in front of Table for Two with a bounce in her step. Weeks of scouring magazines came down to pictures of half a dozen dresses she liked.

Marge rushed up to the Sara, “Sorry I’m a little late honey. I had a cake in the oven for tonight’s pinochle club.  It’s my turn to bring dessert.”

Marge sat and looked over Sara’s display on the bistro table. “I like this one. It suits you; stylish but modest. The colors will show off your rosy complexion and grprom-3een always brings out your eyes.”

Sara was jumping for joy. She included dresses her mother wouldn’t like, hoping they would agree on her favorite.  And they did.

“I think I saw a dress almost like this in the shop down the street. I hope it fits. This might be the one,” she said, holding up the picture of a flowered dress with a pink ribbon at the waist.

“Let’s just sit for a bit and talk about prom. I could use a coffee. Would you like a cola?”, Marge asked. She wanted to be sure Sara’s expectations were realistic.

“Now? Can’t we wait till after we find the dress?”

“You are about to jump out of your skin. I need a few minutes to catch my breath so I can keep up with you,” Marge said, looking over her shoulder as she entered Table for Two.

* * *

Sara dreamt about going to prom but thought it was out of reach. A shy girl, Sara had a hard time making friends. Plus, she transferred to Hartsburg High last November, two months into her senior year. Most students lived in Hartsburg their whole lives. They moved from elementary school to middle school to high school as a group.

Starting in January, Sara overheard girls talking about their prom dates, shopping for dresses, and before and after parties.

“One more rite of passage I will miss,” Sara confided in her cousin Stuart at an anniversary party in March for their grandparents .

“We’ve moved around so much for dad’s job there’s never enough time to make friends. I feel like a shooting star. Now you see me, now you don’t.”

“I see you Sara. May I take you to your prom? That is, if no one else invites you.” Stuart asked.

Sara bit her lower lip and nodded her head.

“Karen won’t mind?”

“Too bad if she does. I’ve known you longer and like you better. Anyway, I think she’s got her eye on some fraternity guy she met at Christmas. He owns a faster car and lives in a better neighborhood.”

“Don’t be ridiculous. Who cares about those things?”

Having spent the last ten summers together on their grandparents’ farm, Stuart and Sara became best friends. Stuart felt like a protective older brother. Sara experienced what it might be like to have a sibling. They fed chickens and pigs every day. They mucked out stalls and groomed the horses. The reward for their hard work was naming a foal to raise as their own and learning to ride. Stuart named his horse Dandy. Sara named hers Lilly for her favorite flower.

Sara and Stuart loved night rides. Chores were done. A peaceful blue-black cloak enveloped the earth. Galaxies of stars shimmered from one horizon to the other, evoking a sense of infinite space. Time stood still.

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Sara and her mother were back at Table for Two making a list of things to do before prom.

“The dress is perfect, except for the length. Grams can shorten it.” Sara made a note to call Grams when she got home.

“You’ll need shoes. I think I have an evening bag you can use,” Marge added.

“How about jewelry? I hate the way earrings pinch. Can I get my ears pierced? The jewelry store does it. Please, mom.”

“Your father would have a conniption. How about I let you borrow my pearl necklace. It was a gift from your father. He would like that. Goodness, look at the time. We better get home. I’ll need you to help with dinner. Daddy and I are going over to the Meier’s for cards tonight.”

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Stuart picked up Sara in his father’s car on prom night. Matt, Sara’s father, met him at the door.

“Hello Stuart. Be sure Sara has evening to remember and stay out of trouble. I expect you back by one.”

“Sure thing Uncle Matt.”

Sara walked into the room and took a spin to show off her dress and hair.

“Where’s your pick-up?” Sara asked looking out the front window to the driveway.

“Tonight we go in style. You look stunning, by the way.” Stuart handed Sara a wrist corsage of lilies.

Sara pinned a red rosebud boutonniere on Stuart’s white tuxedo jacket.

“You’re beautiful, princess. Have fun, but not too much, if you know what I mean” Matt said as Sara and Stuart walked out to car.

* * *

“You are floating on air Sara. Was prom everything you expected?”

“More. The music, everybody dressed up and on their best behavior, the stars hanging from the ceiling of the gym. It reminded me of our night rides. Thank you, Stuart.”

“Such a beautiful night and too early to go home. Let’s go to Gramps farm and take Dandy and Lilly out,” Stuart suggested. We’ve haven’t been there together in a while.”

“Curfew is not for another hour. Besides, we can call my parents from Gramps phone and let them know we might be late. I think it will be okay.”

Marge answered the phone and gave her blessing for a midnight ride. At least she knew Sara was safe with Stuart. It was better than a post-prom party where who knows what might happen.

* * *

Stuart saddled the horses and gave Sara a boost on to Lilly before mounting Dandy. They rode out along the fence line till they reached the end of the property.

Taking a deep breath, Sara tilted her head up at the starry sky. The moon was behind the trees. “Look over there Stuart. A shooting star. Make a wish.”

As the tail of the star disappeared, Stuart asked, “What did you wish for Sara?”

“It’s the same every time. I wish people would look past the leg braces and see me.”

“I see you Sara. I see you.”

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Table for Two – Chapter 1

Table for Two – Chapter 1

T-Squared Energy Connections[i]

April 16, 1966 – Gladys and Jerry

Table for Two opened April 16, 1966 on Main Street in Hartsburg. The original menu included sandwiches, pastries, coffee and tea for take-out or eat-in. Catering options included lunch and desserts. One bistro table with two chairs sat outside the shop entrance.

Sadie and Lucy Abrams father, Daniel, wanted his twin daughters to go to college and pursue their dreams. Sadie was working on an accounting degree. Lucy aspired to be a chemical engineer. They traded days at the restaurant to accommodate class schedules and they studied at night.
Daniel also wanted the twins to earn the money for college tuition. He thought they would appreciate a degree more if they paid their own way. So Daniel loaned them money to open Table of Two. Sadie and Lucy would learn how to run a business, repay the loan and later pay back school loans made possible through the Education Act of 1965.

* * *

Jerry Taylor turned twenty-three the day before being sworn in as the youngest mayor of Hartsburg. Jerry won on his vision for Hartsburg. He wanted to maintain a thriving downtown while shopping centers popped up on the outskirts of the city as new neighborhoods developed around Hartsburg. Cutting the ribbon on opening day at Table for Two was one of his first official duties. After cutting the ribbon, Jerry took a big bite of blueberry muffin and a swallow of the first cup of coffee served.

“Yum! Sooo good. I’m going to have to keep an eye on my waistline,” he said to the crowd as he brushed the crumbs from his face.

Jerry sat at the bistro table outside the restaurant all morning greeting passersby and encouraging them to support the newest business on Main Street. Pointing to the second chair at the table, Jerry beckoned patrons to sit and chat with him about whatever was on their mind. Jerry learned so much sitting outside the restaurant he decided to make Meet the Mayor on Main a weekly practice.

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Gladys was visiting her Aunt Irma on April 16th for a shopping excursion. Irma was like a second mother to Gladys; Gladys’ mother died from cancer shortly before her eleventh birthday. After shopping half of the stores lining the two blocks considered downtown Hartsburg, Gladys and Irma were ready to take stock of their purchases. They stumbled upon Table for Two, almost tripping over the empty chair.

“Whoa! What’s this?” Gladys asked.

“Are you ladies OK?” Jerry inquired.

“Is this that new restaurant I read about in the Daily Gazette?” Irma asked.

“Yes,” Jerry answered. “Welcome to Table for Two. Why don’t you put your bags down and take a break? Looks like you’ve been busy. Today is your lucky day. Table for Two is offering a free mini-muffin with every order, no matter how small.”

“I am kind of thirsty Aunt Irma, and my feet are killing me. Not the day to wear new shoes. Would you like a coffee or some tea?” Gladys asked. Biting her lower lip, head tilted down. Gladys couldn’t take her eyes off Jerry.

Gladys and Irma took Jerry up on his offer, setting their packages on the empty chair.

“We won’t be but a minute or two. Thank you ever so much,” Gladys said as she opened the door for her aunt.

One look into Gladys’ hazel eyes and Jerry knew he wanted to marry her. Wavy, shoulder length auburn hair framed a sweet face and sunny smile. A robin’s egg blue shirt-dress adorned her petite frame. Smitten from the beginning, Jerry felt his heart beating double time. His mind went blank.  An electric current filled the air.

While the ladies were inside, Jerry removed the packages from the chair and placed them in neat pile under the table. He opened the door for the Gladys and her Aunt after they paid for their beverages.

With a swish of his arm Jerry said, “Please ladies, sit a spell. Tell me, what you think of our newest establishment?”

Jerry stood next to Irma for the best view of Gladys. Topics of conversation over the next half hour ranged from the delicious free muffins to the future of Hartsburg. Jerry spoke with enthusiasm and passion for preserving a vibrant downtown and his five-year development plan.

“I’m graduating next month with a degree in civil engineering. I would like to learn more about your five-year plan. I’m in town for a couple more days. Maybe we can meet for coffee before I leave,” Gladys said.

“We better get moving,” Irma said. “There are more stores to check out and I’m sure there’s a hat out there with my name on it.”

Irma didn’t like where the conversation was going and wanted to protect Gladys from potential heartbreak. No stranger to heartbreak, Irma never fully recovered from the loss of her fiancé in a car crash. She wanted to save Gladys from starting something that might lead to a broken heart.

Jerry handed the ladies their packages.

“It was a pleasure meeting you ladies. How about we meet right here Wednesday morning Gladys? You can help me inaugurate my new strategy to keep in touch with my constituency while we discuss my five-year plan. You name the time.”

After a sideways look at her Aunt Irma, Gladys looked Jerry in the eyes and said, “You’re on.  I’ll meet you right here Wednesday at nine-thirty.”

Jerry bowed his head in acknowledgement as the ladies continued arm-in-arm down Main Street.

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[i] T-Squared – In astrological charts the t-square configuration is a dynamic pattern that links and inter-locks energies. It can be seen in the major events, challenges, and themes that are encountered in life.


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.