Corning New York.

No one would think to look for her here.

Sandy’s brutal honesty hurled Corrine further into depression. “You’re the reason why you’re single.”

Every time Corinne replayed the conversation in her head, she relived the sting.   Is Sandy right? Stop. Stop thinking. She tried to calm herself down.

Within three minutes of driving away from the Elmira Airport, Corinne knew she had made the right decision.  This is the perfect place to hide. Lush green mountains framed her road into town. The warm air flooded through the car windows, reviving her as she moved across town.  Silence. No other cars on the road, no bright lights. This is just what she needs.

Chicago. The chaos of the city. The pity messages from her friends. Sandy’s halfhearted apologies. The loud memories of Cameron like billboards on every corner.  It was all too much. She had to get away from it all.

She had never heard of Corning, NY before that night she was ear hustling on a young couple’s conversation. They were sharing the details of their romantic weekend getaway with the bartender when Corrine walked into the bar.

“A glass of Moet, please.” Corrine ordered and sat one stool away from the couple. She needed the company.

“The trip was an engagement gift from my parents.” The girl giggled shoving her 2 carat flamboyance in the bartender’s face. They both screamed!

“Fuck me!” Corrine thought and swallowed half the glass of champagne. She considered shooting down the rest and running out of the bar, but remembered she hadn’t eaten all day. That may not be the smartest move.

“There’s a direct flight from O’Hare. It was just a little over an hour. It was great. We did some wine tasting. I never knew they made wine in NY.  You and Tom should check it out.”

“Wine in New York?” Corrine joined the conversation without invitation. “Where were you?”

“We stayed in a town called Corning. In upstate New York. We were there to celebrate our engagement.” The girl flashed the ring again.

The thought of biting the smiley girl’s finger amused Corrine. “Congrats.” She managed to get it out, then quickly gulped the remainder of her champagne.

“Perfect romantic getaway.” The husband-to-be added.

“Well I’m single.”

“Go anyway. You never know.” He flashed her a smile and wink.

“Maybe I will.” His unintentional flirtation made her giddy. “Maybe I will.”

Five day later, here she is.

She checked into the Gaffer Inn. The smell of grilled steak reminded her that she’d only eaten a Kind bar. She has to work on eating better, she thought. One more thing, she said under her breath.  The friendly blonde Marcy handed her keys to room 1 and apologized for any noises that might disturb her sleep. “We close at midnight and your room is right above the bar.”  Marcy gave her a nervous cackle.

“It doesn’t matter,” Corrine replied. “I haven’t slept in weeks.”

The large loft style room was a pleasant surprise. Corrine needed a surprise. The surprises continued when she spotted a small gift basket, a bottle of wine chilling on ice and a card sat on the mahogany desk.   Cookies, scones, and brownies from Poppleton Bakery and Café. There goes her diet!

Only one person knows where she is. “Sweets for my sweet girl. I hope you find what you’re looking for. Love Mom!”

She then focused on the bottle of Wagner Vineyards Estate Semi Dry Riesling. She opened the wine, filled the glass one third of the way. She swirled the wine and released aromas of peach and honey. The wine’s slender sweetness was therapeutic. The acidity tickled the inside of her cheeks and made her smile. She always began a vacation with sparkling wine. Maybe it’s time for a change, she thought. Maybe it’s time to be still.