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CHAPTER 1

The sight of the early morning traffic moving toward the main road enchanted Tyler Martin. Her grandfather had mentioned that the view from the hill was spectacular in the morning, but she hadn’t gotten the chance to appreciate it ‘til now. She was now finally able to see past the boring sights that had blocked her vision. Every time she thought of Winter Haven, the place her grandfather had sworn was so beautiful, her mind flooded with the same imagery: old wooden houses divided by trees, water and distance. She lived in one of those houses. She lived in this Winter Haven, quiet, hidden and covered under that gloomy sky of boredom.

Sometimes she found herself thinking that she should pack her bags and skip town in one of those trucks or open back vans that transport things out of town. There were always more of those trucks leaving town than coming in she had noticed. The thought of packing up and leaving was comfortingly scary.

She had been out of high school for nearly a year, and still had yet to decide on what to do with the rest of her life. So far only college laid in her near future. Her parents had asked for an official answer about her college plans after she returned from the cabin, where she had been secluded for the long weekend. She had agreed. Yet she still didn’t know what her plans would be yet. For now she just preferred not to think about anything except enjoying the cabin.

Her grandfather, Joseph Martin, had left the cabin to her in his will. She had grown close to her grandfather in the years spent with him in Courtenay. Her grandmother, Florence, had died two years after she had arrived in Courtenay and her grandfather had greatly appreciated her company, taking their time spent together to teach her everything about nature and the island. Before he died, on her last visit to see him, Tyler had confessed to him all her feelings of restlessness. At some point into her confessions, on one of those hiking trips they’d always take, she had mentioned that she wanted to get her own place. She had no idea he had taken her seriously, but when his will was read, she was surprised, in the midst of her grief, that he had decided to leave the little cabin in her name.

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