Stella had honed her craft and felt ready to show the world. Anticipation held her within its grasp; it was as nervewracking as it was exciting. Those first few visitors responses would tell the tale. Her best friend Freda stood alongside her, manning the coffee machine and had lovingly prepared 200 muffins for the occasion and was placing a few out on trays for easy access.

The front door opened and several people entered the newly renovated shop, out of curiosity more than likely, since it was a massive change from the exercise club that had previously rented the space.

Pretending to straighten a few items in an attempt to look busy and not overly eager as customers sauntered around the store, she finally made her way toward an older couple to ask if they required any assistance.

“No dear, we’re fine, just looking for the moment. I see you have a few Christmas crafts out.”

“Yes, there will be more, I wasn’t sure how many would be interested this early so I’ve limited the amount for now.”

“If these are anything to go by, then I’m sure you’ll have your hands full keeping up.” With a smile toward Stella, she said, “I’m coming back.” Leaning toward her she said, “Too many with me today to show true interest.” She winked before moving on.

“We have coffee and muffins if you’re interested.” Stella directed her statement toward the entire group.

“Thank you, dear, the coffee would be great, we just ate though, so I’ll hold off on the muffins, ” one woman responded with a smile.

Stella led the way to the coffee maker and poured a cup handing it to her to add her own fixing, “Have you lived here long?”

“Forever, dear. I love it though and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

“I moved here three summers ago and it’s become my home. I understand your feelings completely.”

“What prompted the move to Seaside Resort?”

“My parents met here, later married here and moved away when my father was moved for his job.”

“What’s their name dear, perhaps I knew them?”

“Angela and Robert Whitby.”

“I knew them, well, a little, we were of an age and met at get together’s.”

“They have always spoken fondly of Seaside Resort and when I visited I understood the attraction.”

“I’m sure you’ll do well here, dear. I look forward to visiting again.”

Stella noticed the woman motion at the others, although it wasn’t urgent in nature, it was a determined and rather brusk push. She wondered what it was about and figured sooner or later, she’d learn the truth, good or bad.

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