Mary Gets Bad News, Chapter 53 continued, Phantom Love

Mary wasn’t surprised when Jared knocked on her back door the next morning. She rinsed out her tea cup. David’s plane landed in five hours, and she had much to do before their wedding in two days. But the pain in Jared’s voice on the show last night had haunted her dreams. She needed to give him one more chance to apologize and explain his actions.

“Hi, Jared.”

Circles underlined the skin under his blue eyes, the small white scar on his forehead a vivid reminder of their shared past.

“Please,” Jared set his foot on the doorjamb, “hear me out.” He stood with a pleading hopeful expression on his face, much like he used to wear when they were kids and he was apologizing for some prank he’d pulled. She hadn’t been able to resist that look years ago, and she wasn’t sure she could now. Gazing at him know, she accepted the reality of how much she had missed his company. She stepped back and motioned him into the kitchen. “I’m listening.”

“I come bearing a peace offering.” With a flourish, he brought his arm from behind his back and presented her with a bouquet of wildflowers.

She reached out and took the flowers, then buried her nose in purple coneflower, bergamot, and great blue lobelia. Memories of them as kids picking many a bouquet like this in the meadow by the creek filled her mind. “You remembered all my favorites.”

“Of course.” He smiled and leaned closer. “There’s not much about you that I’ve forgotten, Mary, Mary, quite contrary.”

She breathed in the sweet scent of the flowers and her body relaxed. Jared touched one of the purple blossoms. “This always reminds me of your eyes on a summer day, the way they would light up like the lightening bugs we chased in my backyard.” Jared gently ran the back of his hand on her cheek. “I’m sorry I hurt you. That’s the last thing I wanted to do.”

Maybe she was being too harsh by excluding him from her life. It wasn’t as if she had an abundance of friends and could afford to lose one. Just because his comment about buying her way to Peru hurt her pride was no reason to not hear his apology.

Mary’s cell phone chirped mid-thought. The sound roused her from across time back to her grandmother’s front porch. She fished it out of her pant pocket and checked caller ID. “Iowa area code. Must be David.”

She wheeled around and answered. “Hello, David? I hope you’re not calling to tell me your plane is delayed.”

# # #

Jared debated waiting for her to finish the call when the phone slipped from her hand, the wildflowers falling after it like rain onto the floor. He stared at the phone and flowers for a split second before his mind grasped what was happening. He whipped his head up and stretched out his arms as Mary crumpled to the ground.

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Phantom Love is copyrighted and cannot be used in any form without permission from Sarah Hamaker.

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