Chasing Fireflies by Taylor Dean
My sisters think I’m crazy.
But, I’ve never forgotten the mysterious woman from my childhood who told me Paul is the name of my one true love.
She told me to search far and wide for him.
I haven’t stopped looking ever since.
When I stumble across an article about a successful American entrepreneur named Paul who lives and works in China, I’m intrigued. When the opportunity to teach English in China presents itself on the same day, I know it’s not a coincidence.
My sisters say I’m chasing a dream.
Just like the fireflies we tried to catch on the warm summer evenings of our youth, the dream seems beyond my grasp. Will my quest for the elusive Paul always be just short of fulfillment?
My sisters tell me it’s a fool’s errand.
Until I remind them of the day we saw the Red Bird.
The memory silences them.
The Red Bird Incident remains inarguable—and proves my search for Paul is not a silly fantasy.
I will find Paul . . . I will.
Praise for Chasing Fireflies
It was like Taylor Dean left a trail of chocolate chips leading to a plate of delicious cookies at the end. Yummy! I had to eat every single one and now I’m full and feasting on the satisfaction of a well written story.
-Author Charissa Stastny
Taylor Dean is such a creative and skilled author that she has the ability to make the unusual and the unthinkable seem real.
-Lisa, Goodreads Reviewer
As always I loose myself in Taylor’s books, experiencing rather than reading the story, from that first glance and butterflies in my belly, to the inevitable heartache, to the amazingly captivating events that lead us to the blissful happily ever after.
-Mylissa’s Reviews and Book Thoughts
My sisters stare at me with wide eyes, perhaps shocked at my show of assertiveness.
“Besides,” I continue, slowly looking them each in the eyes, “you know why I have to go. I know he’s there and I have to find him.”
“Please tell me you are not going on about that Paul business again. Searching for him is ridiculous.” Sadie folds her arms across her chest as if sulking. “It’s a fool’s errand.”
Saige avoids my eyes. “That’s crazy talk, Savannah. You won’t find him.”
“Is it? Every single thing has come true and you know it. If I don’t find him, I will lose everything.”
“Don’t overdramatize the situation. It’s just a coincidence,” Samantha spouts heatedly. “There’s no proof.”
“Really? What about the Red Bird?” I ask.
That silences them. Simultaneously, their eyes lower and they hunch down in their seats.
They have nothing to say about the Red Bird. The Red Bird Incident remains to this day, inarguable. Admittedly, it still leaves me speechless too. I’ve often tried to explain it away as coincidence, to convince myself it couldn’t possibly be true. It’s no use. The Red Bird defies all reason and common sense.
As their silence continues, I say, “It’s not crazy. It’s my future. Miss Pearl was right, you know she was. She told me I would receive tragic news and I did. She told me to watch out for the Red Bird and I did. She told me to search far and wide for Paul . . . and I need to do it.”
Am I chasing a dream? Just like the fireflies my sisters and I tried to catch on the warm summer evenings of our youth, the dream seems beyond my grasp. The fireflies always eluded us, flying within inches of our eager fingertips, their incandescent lights teasing us with the promise of magic.
Just like the elusive fireflies, will my dream of the mysterious Paul always be just short of fulfillment? Am I clutching at the tenuous threads of enchantment?
Is my desire to find Paul just a silly fantasy?
Maybe it’s high time I accept the foolishness of my dreams. Maybe it’s time I live in reality and stop dabbling in the realms of the supernatural.
Then I remember the Red Bird and my confidence bolsters. My vivid memories of Miss Pearl remind me that she hadn’t felt like a lady who would lead me astray.
It’s real. It’s all real. Please let it be real.
“Savannah, you’ll always be my baby, even now when you’re twenty-six years old.” Her voice wavers unsteadily as she tries to express herself in her weakened state. “You were a surprise to us all. I thought my child bearing years were over, and then along you came, ten years junior to my youngest child. You were a joy to raise. Quiet and unassuming, content to spend your time watching your sisters and their crazy antics. But it’s your time now, my dear sweet girl. No more watching.”
“Mom . . .” I whisper, angst evident in my tone.
“Life will happen for you, Savannah. I know it will.”
The defeated feeling that sometimes besieges me must be etched in my features because Darling Emma lifts her head off the pillow with strength she doesn’t possess, ready to object.
“Don’t give up, Savannah. I know life has thrown you some hard knocks. But you are strong, stronger than you think. I know you’ll find your special someone, I know you will. Keep searching. I want you to have love in your life, a love like I have known. It’s my greatest wish for you, the utmost desire of my heart. You are a special girl, Savannah. Never doubt your worth. Promise me you’ll never give up on life. Promise me you’ll demand a life that requires all the love inside of you, a life that reaches inside of you and squeezes out every ounce of love from your heart. Only then will you find happiness.”
I have no idea how to find that kind of life for myself.
Mom doesn’t mention my obsessive search for Paul, even though I know she’s never approved of my determination to find him. Instead she’s doing as she’s always done, kindly leading me by the hand toward another path.
Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it’s paranormal, contemporary, or suspense—you’ll find all sub-genres of clean romance in her line-up.
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