Where We Meet Again (Arrow Creek 1)

Page 85

You told me how you broke her heart. What I hid from you is that I already
knew that. She came to our house after school that day. She was upset and crying. I was upset and drunk.
Something else I hadn’t shared with you, until right now, is that I knew about your mother’s affair long before we told you. We waited until you were out of high school to split up, but the week before this happened, I knew. And to deal with that, I spent a lot of time drunk.
I found Cami crying on your bed that afternoon. Nothing I said calmed her, so I went to get her a drink of water. To this day, I don’t know what crossed my mind. I’d blame the alcohol, but that doesn’t make it right. I drugged her with your mother’s muscle relaxers. I thought they’d help her relax, so I crushed two in her drink. How she didn’t taste them, I’ll never know.
You need to know she never consented. I touched her and kissed her, and I think she was too shocked to do anything. Within minutes, she was unconscious. By that point, I’d lost control and couldn’t make myself stop. Nothing I say will make you understand my decision, and my thoughts and feelings are unimportant, so I’ll leave it at that.
She came to me weeks later, pregnant, and when I’d suggested it, refused to have an abortion. That’s another thing I’ll never understand. A simple procedure could have avoided much, but I was far too selfish to respect her decision. Instead, I’d forced her away, offering her cash and monthly support in exchange for her disappearance.
Cami took the cash, ten grand, but refused the monthly payments.
And as you know, she never came back.
If you never see her again, I at least hope you can forgive her for leaving. She stuck up for what she believed in and proved her strength.
I, on the other hand, look forward to the day this cancer kills me, and I have paid my final debt.
I love you, son. You don’t have to forgive me and I don’t expect you to, but learn to let the past go before it kills you too.
P.S. There’s a saving’s account with County Living Financial with my name on it. See that the lawyer gets the money to Cami. There’s no price that will change what I did to her, but I hope it helps.
Law braces, hand gripping the corner of the oak desk as the bile rushes up his throat, and there on the floor of his father’s office, he vomits.
As days turn to weeks, I go straight passed concerned into pissed. Law hasn’t come back. Seventeen days have trickled by since he walked out of our lives, and there’s been radio silence ever since.
I drove by his house on more than one occasion. Each time it was dark. His truck wasn’t in the drive whether it was day or night. He hadn’t even left the porch light on. All of that led me to believe when he told Evelyn he was going home, he meant Logansville. The thought concerns me.
The timing of things really suck. Law’s dad had passed away last November, and there’s been no shortage of guilt that if I’d told him the truth when I first ran into him in September, he could have had a chance at closure with his father.
It’s all conjecture at this point.
I can wonder and assume things until I’m blue in the face. The reality is, I don’t have an honest clue about what Law feels after I revealed the truth. He could hate me, his father, the both of us, himself. Not knowing, and the fact he isn’t here and hasn’t been in seventeen days (and counting, even though I told myself I wasn’t), is what eats me up inside.
I’ve lain awake at night hoping he’s safe. He shared a bit about his past, his life with Steph, and it burns me knowing I hurt him once again when he’s already suffered a lifetime of hurt.
As we near three weeks without him, I get angry. Mostly because he’s letting Evelyn down.
She started physical therapy for her hips, which is a struggle to work around. Nerve damage and numbness leaves us with an uncertainty that we don’t know if it will be permanent. Not feeling like her old self and not knowing if she ever will again or if this is her new reality wears on her. Add that to the emotional trauma from the accident and Law’s disappearance, and I worry even more about her wellbeing.
Any attempts I make talking to her or cheering her up fail miserably.
The light in all of this is that tomorrow she’s going back to school for the first time since winter break, and I hope getting out of the house and seeing her friends puts a smile back on her face.
A storm cloud parks over our house. Bad moods run rampant. Even Kiersten shows up after picking up some groceries, cursing.
“I am swearing off men. Done. Never again. I’d rather be celibate for the rest of my life.”
“You and me both, sister,” I grumble and move a pork roast from the grocery sack to the freezer. When I turn around, she cocks an eyebrow at me. “What?”
“You’ve sort of already done that. This is about me. And my uncontrollable love of co—Ow!? The pyramid of cans she juggles slips, and one hit her square in the toe. She drops to her ass and cradles it.
“That’s why we don’t talk like a sailor when children are in the house.” Goodness, Evelyn is right down the hall.