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Created by Diane Brown, Buena Beach is an online soap opera, giving up all the juicy details of some of the hottest guys and gals of Buena Beach, a small town in Southern California. Check back everyday for a new episode here on HelloBeautiful.com.

The Voice

It’s been over a decade since Danny’s set foot on a plane, but he was determined not to let a few butterflies in his stomach give way to nervousness and eventual horror before his afternoon flight. He’d taken Annette’s advice, using the morning to get a massage, a shave, and a haircut, shuttled to and fro by taxi. Her treat. With his last stop – at a mall near the airport to pick up a new pair of flip flops and some sunglasses – he was worried Annette would be annoyed that he was ten minutes late for their scheduled meeting time at their departing gate. But he’s been waiting for twenty minutes now, and she still hasn’t arrived. He tells himself not to worry, however, figuring she’s stuck in traffic or getting something to eat somewhere else in the terminal. If something were wrong, she’d have called. Right?

He decides he’ll give her another five minutes before he panics, walking over to the newsstand for some gum and a magazine to stash in his carry-on bag. This will also offer him a chance to break one of the hundreds in his wallet, having used the last of his small bills to tip the taxi driver.

At the stand, he finds a pack of Starburst, some beef jerky, and a Snickers (which he’ll smuggle into his overnight bag so Annette won’t give him a hard time), along with a pack of green Tic-Tacs and a Fortune magazine. In the spending mood, he also picks up the latest issues of People, Okay!, and InStyle for his wife. Just before heading for the cash register, he realizes that he didn’t get a chance to read the paper this morning, so he steps back to find an L.A. Times, and is ecstatic when he’s able to fish out a Buena Beach Sundial, amazed that they carry a paper with such a small circulation.

Before returning to the seating area near their gate, he grabs a pretzel, a slice of pizza, a hot dog, and a soda, just in case the food on the plane is inedible. Finally sitting down with his bag of goodies, he notes that Annette’s five minutes are up – and then some. Perhaps reading the paper would help him relax. He goes for the Sundial first, looking to catch up on the happenings at City Hall. But it’s another article that immediately gains his attention.

The headline reads: Evidence of Unethical Hiring Practices by Parks & Beaches Staff.

He reads through the article twice, beads of sweat accumulating on his forehead with each word. He knows a panic attack is coming – he only hopes he’s able to reach Annette before it fully manifests itself so that, perhaps, she can calm him down. When he calls her, however, it goes straight to voicemail. He wants to leave a message, but is paralyzed from speaking. What could he say? What could he possibly say?

It’s times like these when he wished he would have paid attention when Jen tried to teach him how to send text messages. He would tell her how sorry he was, begging for her forgiveness and understanding. And he’d send it over and over and over again until she responded.

Checking the time once again, it’s absolutely clear that her absence at the gate is a purposeful one, and that their trip to the Virgin Islands would be postponed. Hopefully, postponed and not cancelled.

When she doesn’t pick up her phone a fourth and then a fifth time, he begins to feel his heart beating the same way he feels the house shake when the girls play their music, with the bass maximized. At the rate things are going, he’ll be fully drenched in a work-out sweat in another couple of minutes. His head tells him he better just stay right there in his seat until he can settle down, but his heart convinces the rest of his body to stand up, find another taxi, and make his way home to his wife.

So much for listening to his heart – just yards away from the gate, Danny’s legs give way and he stumbles down to the floor, passing out cold on contact. Airport staff and passersby run over to his aide, someone radioing a medic. Next to his body lie the snacks he’d planned to conceal, obliterated a few seconds later by the paramedics’ heavy shoes and equipment when they arrive. Just goes to show, things just don’t go well when you try to hide things from your spouse.

Buena Beach Sundial

Evidence of Unethical Hiring Practices by Parks & Beaches Staff

An exclusive Sundial investigation of the City of Buena Beach Parks & Beaches Department has uncovered some improper recruitment and hiring methods that go against the City’s civil service process. It is believed that Danny Torres, Recreation Division Director, and his boss Ivonne Castellanos, Manager of the Parks & Beaches Department, provided false documentation and disregarded employment protocols in order to hire Ms. Veronica Chavez, who is Ms. Castellanos’ daughter. It is unclear whether or not Mayor Certig was involved in some way, who has the power in certain instances to oversee the hiring of new staff, and the authority to bypass most civil service processes. However, two mandatory civil service policies were not followed – wide publicity of open positions and a background check completed by Buena Beach police. The investigation revealed that had a proper background investigation been completed, Ms. Chavez likely would not have been offered a City position due to charges of drug possession, petty theft, and prostitution in northern California.

Torres and Castellanos once dated several years ago when he was 19 and she was 15 and pregnant (with Chavez) by another man. Ms. Castellanos gave up Ms. Chavez for adoption to her aunt, who lived in San Francisco at the time. It is believed that eight years later, after both of them were each married to someone else, the two rekindled their relationship, having a child of their own, whom Danny raises with his wife Annette, who agreed to adopt the child, now 17. Apparently, Mrs. Torres either forgave her husband’s transgression, or she adopted their oldest daughter without realizing it was her husband’s biological child by another woman.

When hired, Ms. Chavez replaced Calvin Shore, the man who was fired for money laundering three months ago. Some are implying that his removal was strategically timed in order to bring Ms. Chavez on board, who happened to be in town on vacation when she was called in for an interview. The Mayor’s office and the Department of Parks & Beaches denied comment on this story.

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