• Prologue

    tab I must be the happiest person on the earth
    thought Garden as she stared into the eyes of the waiter that was taking their order.
    Garden Haf Hayes is a slender, stubborn, dirty blond, slightly curly, haired girl. Garden had almost blood red lips. She has blue eyes that often changed colors from silver to blue to green. Many think it changes according to her mood. The thing that was the most unique was her birth mark it was a light brown perfect heart on her shoulder left roughly the size of her thumb.
    tab Garden is hardly anything like her parents, Emmett and Lisa Hayes, even though she was raised by them for eighteen years of her life and raised by their ways. Good thing too, her parents have very bad habits that no child would hope to pick up. They would spend a lot of money on things they don’t need and to add on to it they were major packrats. Instead Garden was a very cautious person and thought about her actions before doing them and she did not like keeping a lot of stuff, in fact when she was young she was a packrat but when she came closer to her teenage years she became careless over her stuff that she had kept throughout her youth. She had about seven large garbage bags of stuff and went through it throwing out anything that was not needed and ended up only keeping one large bad of it all.
    tab She grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida about an ten minutes from the ocean. She lived in an cozy small apartment that was affordable.
    tab Emmett and Lisa went online and ordered a whole outfit plus the jewelry for Garden’s graduation and convinced Garden to wear it. Garden tried it on and thought it was not all that bad. The skirt was red with a slit down the side with white thigh socks. The shirt was also white and it was strapless. She wore arm warmers that were red and a red necklace with a big ruby on it.
    tab About an hour ago Garden graduated from college. The four years she spent in college finally paid off. All that studying was over, and she made it through. Garden didn’t enjoy learning very much but she new she had to go to college to make a living. The day that high school ended everybody was beyond excited but not Garden, not that she didn’t enjoy graduating it was just the fact that she knew it wasn’t over.
    tab Now she was celebrating with her parents who had little money but took her to a five star restaurant anyways. She found out that they planned to take her about ten months ago and made a reservation.
    She really didn’t need to be treated like a queen she thought that any restaurant was perfect for celebrating graduations but her parents disagreed. They knew she deserved it because of how much she worked hard to graduate and here it was, the day.

    Chapter 1: An Eternity

    tab They pulled up to the restaurant in her parents Mercedes Benz. She had no idea what restaurant it was until Garden saw the big bold green letters on the building Christini’s Ristorante Italiano. Her parents knew she liked Italian food but she didn't they know that she doesn't like when people treat her extra special on her graduation. I’d rather be at a fast food restaurant as long as I’m with my parents having a jolly good time, Garden thought. But Garden's parents insisted. She hated being spoiled.
    tab Garden and her parents walked into the double doors of the restaurant and up to the counter. “Please Mother you don’t have to do this, really.” Garden said hoping that they could just casually walk out and drive to the nearest fast food restaurant but instead she got the reply she did not want but what she expected, “But sweetheart really you do need this, you deserve a nice big satisfying meal.” That was the last thing I needed; getting fat, plus that food has too much starch, so not good for me, Garden thought of saying but held her tongue.
    tab “Ugh.” She breathed out. Garden decided what the heck, why not try this out maybe She'll enjoy it.
    tab “May I help you?” asked the waiter behind the counter, not looking up at them. Garden figured he was just busy with some other stuff, and try not to think too much of it.
    tab Her dad nodded, “We made a reservation for three under the name Garden Hayes.”
    tab “Ah, yes. Cassey, could you show these folk to table 47.”
    tab “Sí Señor” The lady with very beautiful brown curly hair and tan skin said with very much sincerity in her words and her tone. It sounded as though she had a lot of respect or maybe even feelings for the man behind the counter whose green name tag read Enrique in golden letters. they followed Cassey to a table for four, several tables down the aisle. Garden took a seat in a beautiful redwood chair with a red cushion and a vine around the fabric and flowers in the middle she could tell these seats were expensive.
    tab Menus were already set on the table with silverware sitting right next to them. The silverware was rapped in an unbelievably beautiful napkin that was green with gold designs on them just like the waiter's and waitresses name tags. At that moment a waitress walked up to take their order of drinks.
    tab “Hello my name is Clarinn. I will be taking your orders. Now may I take your drink orders? How about you my dear? She stared at Garden intently.
    tab “No thanks I’ll stick with my water, Thank you.” She replied in a quite voice embarrassed that her parents took her here.
    tab “Alright then. How about you madam? What would you like to drink this afternoon?” She asked trying so hard to say it as polite as possible. You could tell she was struggling.
    tab “Both of us would like raspberry ice tea with a lemon.” Gardens mom was nice but she wasn’t that polite with her words. She forgot to say thank you for one and the other she doesn’t use polite vocabulary at all.
    tab About a minute later the waitress appeared again with our drinks. That was quick. This time she didn’t say anything just set the ice teas in front of Garden's father and mother and walked off with a distress signal as she turned away.
    tab In the mean time Garden stared at the art work on the walls. Not just the paintings but the wall art. They must have hired a professional to paint the walls. It was so intricate the vines along the top and flowers everywhere else and all the flowers were different they never repeated the same flower. Everything in the restaurant was beyond beautiful; the furniture, the art work, and the people.
    tab She was so wrapped up in the restaurant Garden forgot to look at the menu. So she picked up the menu an opened it up. “Even the menus are beautiful." She added. Every item had a picture and a thorough detailed description. She looked in the salad category and searched for a chicken salad. She heard a crash coming from the kitchen but ignored it.
    tab Garden's mom, Betty, eager to start a conversation asked “So, what are you getting?”
    tab Annoyed Garden answered with a smart remark “Hopefully something edible.”
    tab Her mom decided to make some fun out of it “Well at least you’re eating. I don’t want you to get too hungry to the point that you start eating the table.” Garden decided to ignore the comment since she was the one who lead the conversation to that comment.
    tab She kept silent for the rest of the time. She had something on her mind. Her mom usually was not this quiet unless she was thinking about something that was really bugging her.
    tab About five minutes or so later a waiter, not Clarinn, walked up to their table Garden didn’t make eye contact.
    tab “Hello I will be substituting for Clarinn she had an accident and she won’t be able to serve you this evening.” He had worry written all over his face, like the accident was more than that.
    tab When Lisa saw how worried his face was she started panicking. “Is she alright? What happened?”
    tab At that moment his eyes made contact with Garden's the moment she looked up. Suddenly the world stopped around them. She forgot what was going on and forgot where she was, now suddenly she was lost in these stranger’s eyes. He had perfectly round brown eyes. Right now he had a blank expression on his face but I could tell he was feeling the same way I was.
    The building could have collapsed on them and they would have never noticed a thing. For once Garden felt beyond happy with the world I must be the happiest person on the earth. Garden thought as she stared into the eyes of the waiter who was taking their order. To her it felt as though an eternity had passed.
    tab Suddenly their stare broke off with her mom’s hand waving in their faces. “Hello, people are hungry here.” Apparently it had been long enough for Garden's mom to forget about what happened to the waitress. Now she was up in their faces barking orders at the waiter. “What is wrong with you? Stop staring at my daughter and take our orders!” She drew everyone’s attention to our table. So embarrassed, the boy obeyed.
    tab As he took her mom and dad’s order Garden observed him from head to toe memorizing his every feature. He had a black and white Tux on with a solid black tie and a green name tag that stuck out like a soar thumb. She examined his name tag and in golden cursive letters it read Christopher. What a gorgeous name, she thought.
    tab He turned to me to ask me what I wanted to eat “What would you like um…”
    tab “Garden Hayes” she filled in the blank of his words.
    tab “What would you like to eat, Garden?” Her heart stopped for a second or two when he said her name. It was like an angel singing, Garden's ears rung with the sound of his voice. In a couple of minutes she had grown a strong bond with this stranger… with Christopher. She have never been this filled with joy.
    tab “Half of a chicken salad please. Thank you… Christopher.” She felt as though she already knew him.
    tab He took one last look at her, Smiled and strode off into the kitchen. It was heartbreaking when he left but his smile reassured her he was coming back.
    tab Her parents were confused about what just happened, though she was too, they just kept asking questions? “What is with that waiter? What is with you? Do you two know each other?”
    tab Garden just simply gestured that she didn’t know. Garden was still trying to figure it all out in her head but it was too complicated of a thought. Not only that, his every look was engraved in her mind as an inscription is on a locket. He was about 6½” tall. His hair was jet black and his nose had a curvature inward with a little round point at the end. He had lightly darkened freckles around his nose. His brown puppy dog eyes were the feature on his face that stood out the most. It made her weak even just in her mind.
    tab Her eyes were focused on the kitchen waiting for him to come out. She did not have to wait long because with in ten minutes he had all our orders on a tray that he balanced in his hands. He walked steadily careful not to trip. He arrived at their table and laid down her parents plates in front of them and then mine and spoke “here you are madam.”
    tab He pulled a napkin out of his jacket pocket. There was something written on it but She could not make it out. He handed the napkin to her politely and she opened it and observed it. The napkin wrote in very neat handwriting what are you doing in the afternoon tomorrow?
    tab Garden nodded "I believe I have nothing planned for tomorrow at all."
    tab "Do like the outdoors?" He asked her.
    tab She smiled hiding her teething "I love spending most of my time outdoors. Why? Do you have something to help me occupy my schedule for tomorrow?"
    tab "I do in fact, only if you want to. Would you like to take a stroll in the Flamingo Gardens here near Fort Lauderdale?"
    tab She stared in disbelief. He is asking me out, not to dinner but to hang out. He is unbelievable, Garden told herself. She got lost in his eyes again swirling off into another world. He started to get nervous when she didn't reply. Garden snapped back to reality. "Yes I would absolutely love that."
    tab He smiled back at her and walked away taking his time.

    tab She thought about taking a stroll in the Flamingo Gardens. The flowers, the birds, the trees, Garden loved the thought of spending time outside and getting away from the world and spending the day with him.
    tab She had never gone out with someone so she had no idea what to do. She had never wanted to be with someone so badly. It was odd how she felt about him when she only just met him now. Throughout her life she never notice anyone, everyone just seemed like shadows in the darkness then out of nowhere someone shines a light out of her darkness and she feels like he has brought color and light to her life like she is no longer blind.
    tab They ate their food making small conversations every now and then. Christopher had come to refill their drinks a couple times and by the time they finished their meal the sun was almost down. How could time have passed by so quickly and her not notice it, Garden pondered.
    tab Her parents were given the bill and they walked out of the beautiful restaurant and away from Christopher. Garden wasn't happy about leaving because she wanted to stay with Christopher longer but she knew she would see him tomorrow and followed her parents to the car.
    tab They drove around the big parking lot to the exit and entered onto Main St. They drove silently for half an hour until they arrived at Garden's apartment. She opened the car door and slide out.
    tab Turning her head back she said dully "thanks."Garden walked to building five and climbed the stairs to her apartment. She felt a wave of tiredness as soon as she unlocked the door and went inside. Garden headed straight to her bedroom. She quickly changed into her Pj's and jumped into bed.
    tab She replayed all the events that went on that day and tried to fit some pieces together. She gave up deciding that it was too late to think, and went on thinking about something else.
    tab Looking beyond the darkness of the room she thought about the Eternity she spent staring into his eyes.

    *End of chapter one*