Thursday, April 9, 2015

Beauty Within by Rachel Skatvold

Beauty Within
by Rachel Skatvold

 Chapter Three
Katherine made one final pass with her paint roller and then stepped back to admire the violet accent wall. Perfect, just some more edging and the job was done.

Excitement radiated through her as she scanned the room, thinking of her morning devotion. Do not despise these small beginnings… The verse from Zechariah 4:10 perfectly suited her situation. This was a small step to her new beginning.

Just a few weeks ago, the space had been a small apartment attached to her home, but now her salon was taking shape.

After searching at garage sales and shopping online, she had all the furniture and supplies she needed. Her uncle had even found three vintage salon chairs at an auction. They were teal — a color she wasn’t crazy about but they could always be re-covered when she had the money.

Her sister stepped up beside her. “You missed a spot.”

Katherine turned and frowned at her. “Did not.” She turned her attention back to the wall. “Where? Show me.”

Her younger sister pointed past her face to a spot on the wall and then smeared her cheek with paint from her brush. “Right there.” She giggled.

Katherine’s eyes widened. “Sarah!” She glanced down at her roller and then back up at her sister with a gleam in her eye.

Sarah seemed to read her thoughts and hopped backwards with a squeal, making her auburn pony tail bounce. “Don’t you dare, Kate.”

Katherine grinned and lunged with her roller as Sarah dodged again. “What? You can get me, but I can’t get you?” She faked left and then slathered Sarah’s arm with paint as she jumped right.

The war was on.

They chased each other around the room, laughing and slinging paint, until the sound of screeching brakes interrupted. The mail truck was just pulling away from her house.

Sarah glanced out the window. “I’ll get it!” She escaped out the front door, slamming it behind her.

Katherine shook her head and watched her athletic sister sprint down the driveway to the mailbox. Sarah had always been the free-spirited one in the family and it felt good to reconnect with her again.

According to their mom, the past year had been hard on Sarah. She’d gotten into some trouble in college after joining in with the party crowd and failing most of her classes.

Katherine felt reluctant when her mom first suggested Sarah moving into her house for a while but so far it seemed like her little sister had turned a new leaf. Katherine appreciated the extra help and Sarah brought some life into the house. She seemed to enjoy training to be a hair stylist and Katherine hoped things continued to run smoothly.

She watched Sarah fan through the mail as a police car slowed in front of the house. She lived right off the square so Shawn dropped in often, just to say hi while on duty. But today it was Officer Hudson.

Katherine groaned. It had been two weeks since the grocery store incident, but she still felt awkward when she saw him around town.

He waved at Sarah and then stopped to talk. Katherine rolled her eyes, watching Sarah flip her long red hair and bat her eye lashes. She didn’t even seem to be embarrassed to be covered in paint.

Come on, Sarah. Don’t flirt. Not with him.

After a few minutes, he left and her sister came back inside, beaming. Katherine’s stomach turned. She’d seen that look in her sister’s eyes before.

“Ryan’s really nice, don’t you think? A little uptight, but I think he’s starting to fit in here.”

Katherine’s eyes narrowed. “Ryan? Since when are the two of you on a first name basis?”

Sarah blinked hard and put her hands on her hips. “Wow. Is that jealousy I hear or pure hatred? You do realize the parking ticket wasn’t personal, right? He was just doing his job.”

Katherine gritted her teeth and started washing some paint brushes in the sink. “No. I’m not jealous and I certainly don’t hate him. I know I deserved that ticket. I just don’t trust him is all. He seems pretty full of himself.”

Sarah leaned against the counter and rolled her eyes. “Come on, Kate. He saved Lillian. I think we can trust him.”

She scrubbed one of the paint brushes harder, even though it seemed clean enough already. “I know. I’m very grateful that he was there for Lillian. I just don’t know him very well yet and he’s too old for you anyway.”

Sarah glared at her, revealing her red headed temper. “You’re starting to sound like mom.”

Katherine blinked hard. “Am not.”

Sarah huffed at her. “Well you’re treating me like a kid. I’m almost twenty, Kate. Don’t forget, you were only eighteen when you ran off and married James.”

Katherine stopped scrubbing and stared down at the sink. Thinking of James stung a little but she recovered quickly. Her sister had a valid point. She did need to stop treating her like a kid.

She turned the water off and looked up. “Sorry, Sis. I know you’re an adult and capable of making your own decisions. Still, just be cautious, okay? I don’t want you to get hurt.”

Her sister sighed and tossed the mail onto the counter. “I know. Sorry. I didn’t mean to snap. Anyway … you don’t have to worry about me. He asked about you.”

The blood rushed to Katherine’s cheeks. “What?”

Sarah grinned. “I said, He asked about you … and the kids of course. He hadn’t talked to you since the grocery store and was wondering if you were alright.”

“Oh, well that was nice of him.” She avoided Sarah’s eyes and finished cleaning up the paint supplies in silence. A twinge of guilt rippled through her. Maybe she was harboring a small grudge against Ryan.

She dried her hands on a towel and then sifted through the mail, desperate for a change of subject. One envelope from the license office caught her eye. She tore it open, heart pounding.

“What is it, Kate?”

Katherine scanned the much anticipated document and her feet tapped out a happy little jig on the tile floor. “My license. We’re officially in business, Sis!”

Rachel Skatvold is an inspirational author and stay-at-home mom from the Midwest. She enjoys writing inspirational romance, devotions, encouraging blogs. Other than writing, some of her hobbies include singing, reading and camping in the great outdoors with her husband and two young sons. You can connect with Rachel at: