When Lives Collide
She arrived on the shore of Blue Lake just before her thirtieth birthday. Alone, frightened, and fearing for her life she moved into the furnished lakeside home. A law firm purchased the house, sight unseen, for her. To move into the furnished home, she arrived in a taxi with a suitcase. She could see her neighbour’s home through the trees about 100 metres (325 feet) to the east.
The neighbour, Frank, was in his late fifties, retired, and athletic. He loved his lakefront home during the ten months when the summer cottagers were not tearing up the lake with their powered-everything. During those two months of summer “fun”, Frank strapped his canoe to his float plane and headed deep into the forest where there were no roads, and no people. He owned extensive property, including a substantial cottage, on a northern lake accessible only by plane. It required a highly specialized plane such as his. The lake was narrow and twisty and did not have long straight sections where conventional aircraft, could land. Frank’s STOL aircraft (Short Take Off and Landing) could land in very short spaces. The difficulty of landing a conventional float plane at his cottage helped ensure his privacy.
Frank was away for the summer when she arrived. He knew that the property was for sale. The couple next door had died suddenly when they had taken a trip to Africa and got caught up in an unexpected revolution. Their children did not want the property. It had been for sale during the winter but no one saw it while the snow was on the ground. They had been a quiet friendly couple, and Frank had enjoyed being their neighbour. They had filled the emptiness in his life after the death of his wife. She had developed a rapidly fatal cancer. It had been a lonely winter for Frank after losing his wife the previous spring and his neighbours in the fall. As a young man Frank had been a loner and thought he was immune to loneliness. The years of having Luella at his side had filled a niche he did not know existed. He did not enjoy solitude as much as he had in his youth. While at his northern cottage for the summer he had kept turning to say to Luella, “Look at that.” His return to Blue Lake this fall would be the first time he was eager to return. It would surprise him to find a single woman had moved into his environment. A woman who was young enough to be his daughter. A woman who would avoid all contact with him.
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