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On the flight back to New Mist, I came to a decision. I’d go to Hylewood and raise our child there…even if Jonah couldn’t be with us. He would’ve wanted that, I’m sure. After I got off the plane, I went straight to my parents’ townhouse and packed as much as I could into a small suitcase…including the contents of their safe. Then I went to Nerissa’s shop and told her I’d no longer be coming in. She was very understanding. But then she asked me if I believed in fate and when I told her I did, she gave me a toothy smile and said, “I do, too. I’m sure we’ll meet again…someday.” I nodded politely and waved goodbye. As I was walking out the door, she started to hum a tune. It reminded me of something I’d heard before…but I couldn’t remember what. Shaking my head to snap out of it, I took off in a jog towards Hannah’s house. The lights were off and her car was gone. I frowned and sighed. I was hoping to be back on another flight that night but I wanted to tell Hannah goodbye first. Maybe I could just call her later. There was one last place to go…my mother’s house.

My jaw dropped when I saw Hannah sitting on the porch next to my mother. She waved at me with a sad smile on her face. “Stay on the sidewalk, dear. I’ll come to you.” Mama said pointing her finger at my feet. “Not a step closer.” When she reached me, we hugged each other awkwardly and then she put her hands on my belly. “I guess you already know about Jonah.” She nodded and tears welled in my eyes. “I’m so sorry, Melinda. I can only imagine your pain.” She rubbed my shoulders gently. Hannah walked over to us. “I went by your house. This was the last place I expected to find you.” I told her. “My son is gone and my best friend is in this big house all alone…because of me.” She shifted her eyes to my mother. “It’s only right that I came back to her. We’ll grow old together now.” An odd look passed between them. I felt like there was something they were keeping from me but I didn’t want to push. “Mama…Hannah. I’m going to Hylewood tonight. I came here to say goodbye.” I looked down at my feet and waited for them to talk me out of it. “There’s nothing here for you anyway, sweetheart. Nothing but anger and pain. You should go. Give that baby a happy life.” Mama murmured, surprising me. Hannah nodded her head in agreement. “But you have to write every week. And send us pictures.” She added. “I can do that. I’ll miss you both so much.” I hugged them tightly. “Not as much as we’ll miss you.” Mama whispered in my ear. I climbed into the taxi that would take me back to the airport and waved goodbye. It was the last time I saw them.

 

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