March is coming to a close and I am happy to report I’ve made some progress on my still untitled work in progress, but I wanted to share another snippet (unedited) with you all. I will be headed to ClexaCon next weekend and when I get back, I’ll be sharing some of my experience there, as well as an enlightening interview with author RJ Samuel, so be sure to check back April 10th.
For now, here is another scene, and I hope to have a few more soon. Heck, I hope to have the whole darn book soon! This is a key scene that sets the book into motion. I hope you enjoy it and I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Until next time…happy reading,
“You’re really going through with this? What about us?” Abbie yelled. Her pain echoed through the trees sending birds scattering. Shaky fingers dragged through her shaggy blonde hair and she pulled at the roots, the sting serving to momentarily distract her from the crushing of her heart.
Mary stepped closer, her hand reaching out as tears raced down her face at the speed of the mighty river beside them. Abbie stepped away and Mary crumbled to her knees. “I love you, Abbie, with all my heart, but I have to marry George.”
“You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to, Mary.” The venom in Abbie’s words and the glare in her now dark blue eyes left no mistaking her feelings on her lover’s betrayal.
“My father insists and where would we go? What would we do? We talk about this all the time and never has there been an answer. The world doesn’t approve of our love. We would be outcasts. I can’t…”
“You don’t know that. You don’t know anything outside of this damned old town.”
“Neither do you, Abbie.” Mary stumbled to her feet, her legs still shaking.
“But I know we’d be together and that’s all that matters to me. I’d work five jobs if I had to, do whatever it takes for that to happen.”
“I know you would, and I love you more for it.”
“But not enough to leave with me.”
“No, I get it, Mary. You’ve always been afraid…too afraid to follow your heart unless we were hidden away.” Abbie rushed forward and pulled Mary into her arms, crushing their lips together in a bruising, final, passionate kiss.
Mary gripped her tightly, holding on for dear life, trying to grasp one last breath before drowning in the life she was willing herself to accept without Abbie, but it was not to be. Abbie ripped herself free and sprinted away, leaving Mary adrift in the tumultuous sea she had dived into.
Abbie didn’t look back. She couldn’t. This place, this ground beneath them that held so many of the best moments had forever been soiled.
Bursting through the front door of her house and racing up the stairs, Abbie ignored the angry, protesting shouts of her parents and dove face first onto her bed sobbing. The pain was excruciating, broken dreams and a shattered heart—How will I ever be whole again?
She rolled on her side. The orange and blue rays of setting sun were a blur through tear stained lenses. As she slid her arm up under her head, an edge caught her sleeve. Abbie carefully grasped the perfect edge of the crisp white envelope and lifted it to her eyes. The handwriting was unmistakable. Tears pricked her eyes yet again and she shook her head in disbelief that there were any more to shed.
Torn didn’t begin to describe her current state. Did she want to read the words that lie in wait inside? Of course. More than anything. Deep down she knew they’d be words of love bravely expressed in ink in a way Mary never had the strength in life. Sad really, that anyone would deny themselves what they so truly wanted because of what others thought or said. More devastating was that it was the person she loved more than anything.
Abbie had never cared. She had stood face to face with her detractors, took all they could dish out, and then carried on. Sure, life could have been easier, but for love…for Mary, she would endure it all. She just needed Mary to be as strong. But it was not to be, and it hurt in unimaginable ways. Far worse than the scorching looks by her family and townspeople or any beating she had ever received. She had persevered because of her love, but now that was gone. For several heartbeats she considered leaving the note unopened, but in the end, she wanted the memory of them together to end on a good note just as much as Mary.
Her fingers traced over her name beautifully etched in black pen by Mary’s hand across the bright white paper. With a delicate touch Abbie opened the flap and pulled out the note, unfolding it and gathering a deep, steadying breath before beginning.
My dearest Abigail,
By the time you are reading this you will be more than upset with me. Please believe that I never wanted this to happen. I am so very sorry I couldn’t be stronger for you, for us. I am sorry I could not give you the happily ever after you so desired for us. But I have given you my heart. Make no mistake, Abigail Cater, that even though we may not be together, my heart will only ever be yours for the rest of my life, and the next ten, and then ten more after that. I hope one day you can forgive me. I will think of you with only the fondest of memories and pray we meet again in my dreams.
May light and love follow you always.
With all the love I have to give,
More tears– tears that rushed down her face with the speed of the mighty Mississippi. Sobs wracking her body with the crashing force of Niagara. Each time she’d thought she had no more left to give, that she had managed to freeze her heart, the ice would melt and release a new flood.
As exhaustion claimed her, Abbie vowed that tomorrow she would leave
Bryson City, North Carolina and Mary McGhee behind for good.