"Cee Cee. You haven't changed a bit."
"Well, it's good to see you, but I've got to run. Lots to do." I ran out of there as if chased by bats. Outside, I leaned against the building and tried to still my racing heart. Of all the people to return to town, why did it have to be him?
I whipped my phone from my purse and called Annie. "Did you know Dane is back in town?"
"Are you still upset that he went away to college? Seriously, Cee, you're the one who dumped him. Remember that mug you threw at him? I bet he still has the scar."
"He promised to never leave." And yes, I'd noticed the tiny scar on his eyebrow.
"Now he's back. Focus on the party and stop acting like you're still in high school." Click.
Ouch. I pushed away from the wall, realizing my best friend was right. High school was a long time ago, after all. I rarely dated, but life felt complete working at the library and helping with the youth at church. I doubted my path would cross with Dane very often.
I headed to the diner, received a promise to sell burgers and fries, then the ice cream parlor. If Millie secured the cotton candy and popcorn, there would be plenty of food to choose from.
A puzzle. I'd forgotten to purchase a puzzle. The one thing people were required to bring, and I didn't have one. I rushed to the bookstore.
"Help me, Lucy. I need a 500-piece puzzle. Something very Elvis."
She blinked at me from behind thick glasses. "There are a few in the corner. Take a look. People have been buying them like crazy because of the party. I had to run to the city to restock."
"Thank you." Bless her for selling a few items that weren't books. I found a puzzle of Elvis singing on stage in a white rhinestone jumpsuit. I would have preferred a younger Elvis, but one couldn't be picky when they waited until the last minute. I doubted I'd have time to sit down and put it together, but at least I wouldn't show up empty-handed.
Seeing Dane headed my way, I crossed the street and ducked into the corner drugstore.
"Who are you hiding from, young lady?" Mr. Rogers came from behind the counter.
"No one." I smiled. "Can I put a flyer about the party in your window?"
I dug one from my purse and handed it to him. "I hope you'll come."
"Girl, I was a teen in the fifties. The wife and I can't wait to jitterbug again." He glanced past me. "Oh, I see. You're running from your past."
I frowned. "No."
"Say what you will, but it's time to let bygones be bygones. Dane will be an asset to this town."
"He's one of our new police officers."
Great. He's bound to be one of the guards for the party.
Since I'd completed my rounds quicker than I'd thought, I returned to the library, dropping off flyers in every shop I passed. Remember the 50s Jigsaw Party would be the biggest event in this town for a long time to come.
"You look happy." Annie glanced up.
"Things are coming together." I sat down at my desk.
"I've got the tents rented and the cotton candy and popcorn. Mr. Stevenson said he's more than glad to pull them out of storage and make a few bucks. Oh, and the Rowdy Recruits will be the band."
"Can they play that era? I've only heard them do bluegrass." I raised my eyebrows.
"Said they could."