I stood at the top of the driveway gazing down the steep slope to the entrance of the bed and breakfast. The view beyond the house showed a stunning portrait of tranquil water nestled among the mountains beneath a sapphire sky. I inhaled the heady scent of salt water and seaweed, filling my lungs with the freshness of the ocean. I looked forward to sitting on our patio with a good book and a refreshing drink. The large boulder beneath my feet was the first step suspended over a stairway of rocks jutting out from the ground. A metal railing ran alongside to guide guests to the bottom. A tidy garden crammed with brilliant flowers and greenery flanked the rocky staircase. I wondered if my knees would take me safely down. I started my cautious descent, clinging to the railing, the rough metal biting into the palm of my hand, weary of the pinch in my knees; a clumsy portrait of a slim young woman inching closer to the steep driveway that dipped to the front door. I listened to the incessant hum of bees dancing in the flowers, mindful of the uneven space between each step. I looked back and smiled at my partner, full of pride at my progress, thrilled that my knees were not shaking as much as I anticipated. The unexpected patter of shoes scampering behind startled me, and a gust of air swirled around, lifting my hair and scattering the loose leaves in the gardens as the sixty year old owner dashed by me to answer his ringing phone…
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J.G. Chayko is a writer, actress, and international arthritis advocate who’s been involved in theatre for more than 30 years and has published poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.