I'll Remember You - 2

Reads: 228  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

In this chapter, Nick and Cara meet fifteen years later. He is interested in pursuing their relationship further but she pushes him away. Why? Because she is being accused of a major crime and if he gets involved, he may suffer the consequences right along with her. Will he risk his life to protect her?

Fifteen years later . . . 

On Mother's Day, as other people were celebrating with whipped-cream cakes and helium balloons, fragrant orchid bouquets, and glittery  cards, I sat at the Oak Knoll Cemetary, singing Jesus Loves Me, a hymn my mother had taught me before she died. I wished I had brought some ice cream to add a little joy, to have a reason to linger and pretend that she was there with me. People who have a family wouldn't understand the loneliness consuming me on that particular day and my desperate need to make the best of it as I sat surrounded by a willow tree next to her grave, the only symbol of motherhood I'd ever known.

My grandmother had died a year earlier and I couldn't even afford a grave. Her ashes were in a weeping angel cremation urn on the mantel of her post-war bungalow that I still called home. I kept the ashes with me because I still needed her, needed someone, for God's sakes. I would look at the angel in helpless agony, draped over a headstone and feel Grandma's spirit. She'd suffered in life, but she'd persevered. I hoped to do the same thing.

I didn't even know the brand of toothpaste my mother had used or whether she drank Coke or Peopsi. But somewhere in the back of my mind, images appeared of the three of us picking carnations in Grandma's back yard and a trip to Knott's Berry Farm where my mother bought me an extra-long peppermint stick in the candy shop on Main Street. I remember being tucked into my princess bed in my own room in Harold Hansen's mansion on Coronado Island. He'd come from lots of money, but that didn't make him a nice person. He was prone to delusional rants and accused my mom of stealing money that she had no access to. He wouldn't allow her to have a bank account. I can't recall the beatings, but Grandma once told me I'd spilled a cup of milk on his tax return which he'd left on the kitchen table. Instead of allowing him to swear and rage at me, my mother insisted that he "shut up" and for that she received a black eye that took weeks to heal. My brain had largely unplugged from the drama. The days of ruminating on bad times like crying out in fear, clinging to my mother's skirt, and hoping Harold would stop yelling were long behind me. She had no way to financially support the two of us on her own or she would have left. We were trapped in a hopeless maze of abuse and torment. Grandma was our only relative and while she was battling breast cancer, she needed our help more than we needed hers. There was nothing she could do for us.

The only way out was to jump from the bridge. Rescue workers later said that my mother's body had shielded mine when we'd hit the water. For that reason, I had survived while she lay dead. Over the years, I'd quelled my heartache by telling myself that she was where she wanted to be, a place of peace. The cares of this world were no longer hers but I still felt her with me. I had no doubt that at times, her spirit walked by my side, comforting me, and lifting me out of despair for being alone.

Looking at her name carved in stone, I wept for the lost opportunities of knowing her and experiencing her love first hand. What an empty hole she'd left in my heart when she'd made that jump..

When I lifted my gaze to wipe away the tears, my eyes locked on the most riveting man I'd ever seen. He stood with his hands in his pockets as he gazed upon a particular grave. His muscled physique was wrapped in expensive clothes and his complexion was coffee mixed with cream. Golden light from the sun highlifhted his dark hair, so smooth, fine, and floating effortlessly in the breeze. He was a Greek God or royalty or someone from Hollywood. I certainly hadn't seen many men like him around Poway. As if sensing my eyes on him, he turned and looked my way. I jumped and stared at my feet. When I next gazed upward, he was headed toward me. Oh my God! What do I do now?

His black eyes were glowing with human kindness, his face soft and forgiving. Surely he was used to having women stare at him. He was too gorgeous not to attract much attention. i knew I had nothing to fear but even so, fought the urge to run.

"Hello, Would you mind having some company? This is a dreadful day for me and I was hoping for some distraction."

To be continued . . .

 


Submitted: July 17, 2020

© Copyright 2022 Melinda Ross. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:


Facebook Comments

More Romance Short Stories

Other Content by Melinda Ross

Short Story / Romance

Short Story / Romance

Short Story / Romance