Date Published: 3-7-17
Publisher: self/ Carolina Blue Publishing
Dr. Elizabeth Abbott Fitzgerald has spent the last ten years of her life running; from tragedy, from family, from love. But now her mother’s failing health calls her home to Windsor Falls, North Carolina; to the place where her past awaits. Sam Bishop can’t believe his eyes when the love of his life returns after ten long years. All he wants is to clear his conscience and get back the family he lost when Connor, his best friend and Elizabeth’s husband died tragically. Could it really be true that time heals all wounds?
Elizabeth crept into the bathroom to dress. Sam had thoughtfully hung her clothes over the towel bar to dry sometime in the middle of the night. She snagged a t-shirt of his along the way to cover her skimpy top in the bright light of day. She knew this was a cowardly thing to do, leaving without waking him, but she had an early shift, and she was going to need a long, hot shower, not to mention appropriate clothing, before she was ready. Elizabeth moved into the kitchen to find her car keys. She thought about leaving a note and pulled open a few drawers in search of paper and a pen.
Rooting through a drawer, she was surprised to see a much younger version of herself staring back. She smiled at the memory of that long-ago day. The picture had been taken in the summer after high school graduation. They were having a going away party for Sam, who was leaving in a few days for college in Virginia. She and Connor had been so surprised when Sam had chosen to go so far away for school.
In the photo, Elizabeth was wearing a pair of denim cut offs and a bikini top. Her hair, which had been much longer then, was pulled back in a casual pony tail. She was wearing a baseball cap from Connor's high school team. Waves of nostalgia rolled over her. Things had been so simple then.
Elizabeth thought about that person in the photograph. If she had only known what the future held, would she be so carefree? The older and wiser version of herself had seen too many things, both in her personal and professional life, to ever be that innocent again. But even knowing what would happen, she wouldn't trade her time with Connor for anything. Loving him like she had, even for too brief a time, was worth the pain his death had brought. Even so, her heart squeezed.
She closed the drawer and gave up on her search for pen and paper. What would she say in a note anyway? She slipped out of Sam's house quietly and drove home lost in thought.
Kimberley O’Malley is a recent transplant to Charlotte, North Carolina from the frozen North. She is learning to say y’all but draws the line at sweet tea. Sarcasm is an art form in her world. When not writing, she is a full-time nurse and part-time soccer Mom, but not necessarily in that order. She shares her life with an amazing husband of more than twenty years, two teenagers, and one very sweet Shetland Sheepdog, Molly.
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