She was just a few minutes from the lodge. The place was well away from everything familiar—away from work, the drama of family…and miles away from Josh and all of the heartache he had caused.
Her knuckles grew white like the snow outside as her fingers tightened on the steering wheel. She pressed her lips together. Her stomach knotted at the thought of Josh. He had torn out her heart, trampled it, and left it bleeding without a thought when he broke off their three-year engagement. It had been just months before the wedding, but he claimed they were no longer compatible. No, Christmas was not a time to be in her hometown, with memories of everything she had once cherished.
At the GPS’s command, she slowed and took a right. She stopped her car under the colorful sign announcing Starlight Lodge. A white fence ran alongside the road, embracing the borders of the lodge property. The driveway disappeared over a hill, so Melonie accelerated, causing her car’s engine to rev as she continued up the slope.
Melonie stopped again at the crest of the hill, and tears finally filled her eyes. The pictures online hadn’t done Starlight Lodge justice. The lodge was a two-story wood and stone cabin. Bushes dotted the yard in front of it, and decorative candy canes lining the walk up to the front door. To the right of the lodge was a life-sized nativity scene of painted wood. It seemed like the snow was ordered to complete the picture—a dream to save her from her living nightmare.
(From "Finding Christmas Joy" by Amanda Tero;