05/20/2010 10:50 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

A Is for Amy & Adonis: Chapter X

Love is like a personalized parking space. You can put any car you want in there, but there's only one name on the asphalt.

The world according to Quentin. Sweet, intuitive, unstressed, even-keeled, quirky, Qool Quentin. He said it over the phone. When he invited her to a "romantic picnic." His words, not her interpretation. However.

Sunset at the beach. It did sound romantic. Revelations of the heart, he said, and the "only thing that feels better on your feet than my shoes."

She said she couldn't get child care. He told her not to worry. The kids were welcome, too. The beach was the biggest playground in the world.

She felt disappointed. And relieved. How could it be romantic with the gang of three munchkin monsters along? But then again, at a time when she wasn't sure of her feelings, it felt much safer to have her offspring with her to act as ballast in the gondola of love.

Now she sat in the reflected glory of the sun as it sank in deepening tones of orange over the smooth Pacific. Quentin poured sand over her toes. And Bartlette's.

Bartlette giggled and squirmed, and kept wanting more. Ferguson and Carmen were at the high-tide line building bucket-shaped sandcastles, decorating them with crosses or X's for windows and topping them with flags of seagull feathers and seaweed.

She felt content. It was a glorious moment. A glorious feeling. Things seemed right with the world even though she knew they weren't. But worries had no place here at the beach. Here was peace. Here was comfort.

She decided to take a chance.

"You know that movie you were telling me about," she said. "I think I get what the story is about."

He nodded and continued to pour sand over her toes and her daughter's.

"It's about accepting the loss of love, without getting embittered - keeping your heart open."

He shrugged.

"What," she said.

"That's not what it's about," he said. "Not the main part, anyway." He continued pouring sand.

She felt a burning sensation come over her face. She felt stupid and angry and embarrassed. And suddenly, he seemed not just quiet and calm, but smug, too.

She hit his pouring hand with a plastic spade. He stopped the delicious dribbling of sand over her toes. He looked up and over her head.

"Dinner's here," he said.

(more to come)

For those who are new here, A is for Amy & Adonis is a serial internet novella which tells the story of the romantic redemption of Amy Franklin. The aim is to provide a fun and fast read with characters you can connect to emotionally. And, as you probably noticed, it's all free.

The chapters are short. So it's easy to catch up.

READ EARLIER POSTS (just click on the one you want)--

Chapter A
Chapter B
Chapter C
Chapter D
Chapters E & F
Chapter G
Chapter H
Chapters I & J
Chapter K
Chapters L & M
Chapter N
Chapter O
Chapter P
Chapter Q
Chapter R
Chapter S
Chapter T
Chapters U and V
Chapter W

Nota Bene -- All the chapters will be archived on Huffpost so people will be able to catch up with the story no matter how late they come to the novella.

I have decided to post two chapters a week. So, if you like what you read here, stay tuned with Huffpost email alerts or follow me on Twitter. --Steven