Missing Years, Healing Hearts... Missing Years, Healing Hearts... Missing Years, Healing Hearts...

Chapter 6

“Gabi, I think we should consider telling him,” Antonio said seriously, “before he finds out from someone else.”

“No!” Gabi said curtly. “We can’t. We have to make sure he never finds out. Please, Antonio…” she pleaded with her eyes.

“I don’t think we should keep it from him, Gab…”

Gabi interrupted, “We can’t tell him. Promise me, promise me you won’t say anything.”

“I…” Antonio started to protest but as he looked into her eyes he knew he couldn’t deny her request. “I promise. I won’t tell him… for now,” he qualified it.

Gabi breathed a sigh of relief. “Well, I should get going. Ricardo is probably wondering where I am. I’ll see you later…” Reluctantly she tore her eyes away from his and turned to leave.

“Bye, Gabi,” Antonio murmured as she walked out of his office.

“Yeah, so you remember Derek,” Annie said unimpressed. “Maria, I’m sorry. I know he hurt you.”

“Annie, you don’t understand....” Maria sat down in the sand and began swirling her fingers through the tiny bits of matter.

Annie sat beside her friend, resting her elbows on her knees. “What, Maria? What don’t I understand?”

“I... um... Annie, Derek...” Maria choked up and couldn’t continue.

“Derek what?” Annie asked concerned. “What did that twisted psycho do to you?”

Maria raised her head and looked at her best friend. “I... I thought I could talk about this but I can’t. I just can’t...”

“Hey,” Annie leaned over and hugged Maria. “It’ll be okay. You should talk about this though. Come on, you need to talk about it. I can tell it’s eating you up inside.”

“Yes, it is.” Maria’s focus shifted to the ocean. Flashbacks of that night so many years ago flooded her mind. Ben, Ben.... pleeease, you have to believe me... help.... Ben...

“Oh my God… you’re back?” he said almost in disbelief.

She smiled, nervously, “Yes, Ricardo, I am.”

“Paula…” Ricardo was speechless. He simply stared at her.

Her nerves got the better of her and she couldn’t find the words to speak either. An uneasy silence lasted for what seemed like eons to the two former lovers. Finally Ricardo asked, “Why? What are you doing back here?”

“I… I had to come. Ricardo…” she bit her lower lip and fidgeted with her purse string.

“What?” he asked rather coldly.

She sighed. “Well, maybe this was a mistake…” she turned to walk away.

After her lunch with Sara, Meg went to The Deep in hopes of surprising Ben. She approached his office door carrying a small basket.

“Knock, knock,” she said loudly as she tapped on the cracked open door.

Rather distracted over a pile of paperwork Ben mumbled, without lifting his head, “Come in.”

Meg walked in, shut the door and stood there in silence for a few moments. “Now is this any way to greet your wife?” she smiled.

“Meg,” Ben replied with a smile as he finally raised his eyes up from the stack of papers to her.

“Yes, surprise darling,” she walked over and plopped herself down in his lap as she placed the basket on his desk.

“What’s in there?” Ben asked, curiously eying the mystery basket as he wrapped his arms around his wife.

“Oh, just another little surprise,” she answered before leaning down and kissing him passionately.

“Well, so far I really like your surprises,” he grinned.

“Good,” she said as she reached over to pick up the basket. “I’m guessing you already ate lunch?”


“Perfect. So you’re ready for dessert?” Before Ben could answer, Meg pulled out a strawberry from her little basket and stuck it in his mouth.

In Ludlow, Kansas…

A young woman sat on the side of a country road, her long deep auburn hair gently blowing in the breeze. Josette Cummings had come home to surprise her family only to be quite surprised herself. Josie, the youngest of the Cummings’ sisters, hadn’t seen her family in years. She had left for college shortly before Meg was to marry Tim Truman, and due to a series of events in her own life she hadn’t spoken to her family since then. Oh, she knew Meg and Tim didn’t get married and she knew why, but that was about it.

“What the heck am I gonna do now?” she muttered under her breath. “My family’s gone and the neighbors aren’t home. Life just gets better and better.” She laughed at her own sarcasm. Josie stood up and decided to hitch a ride back into town. “Somebody has to know where they went. Good Lord, my family’s lived here like forever!”

She stuck her thumb out and start walking toward town. It wasn’t too long before a dirty old red pick-up truck pulled over and a familiar voice yelled, “Hey, you need a ride?” What? No, it can’t be her… can it?

“Josie?? Is that you?” the young man asked rather shocked.

“YOU!” Josie yelled when she spun around and saw who it was.

Intro Chapter 7 - coming soon Index

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