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Chapter Nineteen

SIX MONTHS LATER

New Year’s Eve.  Abbey finished tying her cracked black loafer.  She sat back against the wall to look out the ice covered window.  It was a time to reflect, she thought to herself.  How could the highest and lowest points of her life be encompassed in one year?

She glanced around at her tiny efficiency apartment.  The paint peeled from the walls.  The refrigerator buzzed relentlessly.  The door was missing from the bathroom which was alright since there wasn’t room to stand in there anyway.  The sounds of screaming children, shouting adults and the occasional gunshot echoed from outside.

This was her life now – home sweet home in Brownsville, New York.

Abbey reached across the window sill and clasped her fingers around her gold shamrock pin.  She reached to her neck and dutifully pinned it to the lapel of her thin turquoise polyester waitress uniform.  She wore the pin everyday to work despite the objections of Barker, the gentle man who owned the diner where she worked.  He didn’t care about dress code.  Flashing even that much gold could get Abbey beaten.  Or killed.

Yet, in the six months Abbey lived in this dark, dangerous neighborhood nothing had happened to her.  She credited her lucky pin for her safety.

Abbey chuckled to herself as she caressed the pin with her fingers.  Sloan O’ Riley.  The patron saint of screwed up children’s writers.  Her smile faded.

She thought about him all the time.  She wished she could stop.  He even filled her dreams.  Abbey gazed down at the gold band that sill resided on her left ring finger.  The pawn shop guy eyed it jealously when Abbey took all the things she had into the shop for him to make an offer.  The ring Michael had proposed with was worthless – the metal was painted gold and the stone was plastic.  He gave her an adequate amount for her laptop and cell phone.  But her wedding ring – with the price of gold he could give her top dollar.  Despite the lies and deceit, Abbey couldn’t part with the band. 

At least the pawn shop owner had enough mercy to let Abbey make one last call on her cell phone to her mother.  Knowing her mother was at work, Abbey called home.  She left a message that everything was alright but it would be awhile before Abbey could call again.  She finished with “I love you, Mom” before flipping it shut and handing it over.  She was sure Mary would be worried sick about her but Abbey’s stubborn Iowa pride wouldn’t ask her mother for help.  She took the couple hundred dollars she was offered and set off to start new.

Abbey watched the sunlight glint off her ring.  She was positive her husband was no longer wearing his.  Her escape from Miami destroyed his case with the INS.  A few weeks ago at the end of fall, just before the snow set in, Abbey took the series of subways to Manhattan just to see the building.  Bartholomew was gone.  A tall, thin redhead in his early twenties stood sentry at the door.

After twenty minutes working up the courage, Abbey made her way to the door.  She asked if Sloan O’Riley was home.

No, she was informed.  He was no longer in the United States.  He now lived in Spain.  He however still owned the building (of course he didn’t just own the penthouse!).  Abbey murmured her thanks before returning to the depths of the subway.

Abbey scooted off the bed as the hands on the old, dirty clock on the wall flipped to five.  Barker didn’t want her to work at night.  He was terrified of her safety.  But tonight was New Year’s Eve.  And Barker’s hamburgers were infamously good.  The free flowing alcohol coursing through the bars of New York City would drop the inhibitions and better judgment of many of the partiers.  They would venture through the East Bronx for a burger to sober up.  And, by the activity of the vultures that were already on the prowl in Abbey’s neighborhood, they would pay the price.

 Abbey slipped on the thread bare jacket she bought to combat the frigid New York winter then picked up her purse.  Taking a breath to steel her nerves, she opened the door and stepped out into the hall, closing and locking the door behind her.

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About triciaandersen

I am the author and illustrator of the children's book "The Peculiar Princess". I am also the author of two adult fantasy romance novels, "The Sorceress of Savon" and "The Woodcutter King of Muladin". Along with being an author I am married to a wonderful guy and have three beautiful children. I coach youth track and field, sew and chase my children around to their various activities.

Posted on May 19, 2012, in author, books, fiction, novel, romance, story, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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