A Change of Plans

When Shiloh showed up, Mr. Gladstone was out on the porch. After they exchanged greetings, he said, “I’m sorry but there has been a change of plans.”

“What happened?” she asked after he motioned to her to sit down.

“I had to take Emily home. She wasn’t feeling well.”

“Oh, no. I hope she’s going to be all right.”

“Don’t worry. She’ll be fine in no time. She has just come down with a cold. What about your sister? You didn’t bring her with you. How come?”

“I couldn’t get her out of the house. She was glued to the TV watching Creepy crud and Elmer Fudd.”

“Creepy crud?”

“It’s a little green guy that keeps showing up in Elmer Fudd’s yard and no matter what he does, he can’t seem to get rid of him. She sits there laughing her head off.”

“What’s your sister’s name?”

“Raaya which means a beloved friend.”

“And what does your name mean?”

“Shiloh has two meanings. One is gift from God and the other is peaceful one.”

“It’s a beautiful name.”

She smiled. “Thank you.”

“My name means steed, horse.”

“What is your name?”

“Marc.”

“Mark?”

“It’s spelled with a c, not a k.”

“Oh. It’s spelled the French way, then.”

“Yes.”

Now she knew what his first name was. Marc and Shiloh. That had a very nice ring to it, she thought with a smile. “Do you know how to speak French?”

“Yes, I do. My sister and I learned to speak it since we were kids because of our father who is French Canadian. He always said that it’s good to be able fluent in another language.”

“Oh. Have you ever been to Canada?”

“Yes, years ago. My father still has family there.”

“Which part of Canada is he from?”

“He’s from Joliette, a city in southwest Quebec. It’s approximately 50 kilometers northeast of Montreal.”

“What made him move to America?”

“My mother. He met her through a mutual friend whom she was staying with when she visiting Montreal. He said that it was love at first sight and when she left, he packed up and followed her to Fort Lauderdale. After he found a good paying job, they got married. They moved to San Jose two years after my sister was born.”

“Are they still here in San Jose?”

“Yes. After my parents retired, they were planning to move to West Palm Beach but scrapped their plans when my grandmother got Parkinson’s and needed to be put in a nursing home.”

“I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother. My friend Carla’s grandmother had to be put in a nursing home too because she had dementia.”

“It’s really hard to see the health of someone you love deteriorating.”

“Yes, it is.”

“When Emily’s feeling better, you and I can take her and Raaya to the Jacksonville Zoo.”

“That would be great.”

“Are you in the mood for indoor skydiving?”

She stared at him. “Indoor skydiving?”

“Yes. There’s this place in Jacksonville where you can skydive indoors. A friend of mine went there with his family and they had a blast. Since our playdate plans for Emily and your sister didn’t work out and the day is still young, we can find something else to do.”

“Indoor skydiving. Hmm. Why not? I’ve always wanted to go skydiving. Sure, I’m game.”

He smiled. “Great. I’ll go and change.” He excused himself and went inside. He emerged a few minutes later wearing a red sweater and a pair of jeans. They got into his car and were soon on their way to Jacksonville for an afternoon of fun.

Sources: Wikipedia; Trip Advisor; Trip Advisor

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