A.N~ I’m baaack… Thank you all for putting up with me. I know I’m not the most consistent of writers, but I appreciate your loyalty. Without further ado….the next chapter is ready!
The low grumble of Justin’s voice woke me from my cat nap. I stretched my arms, yawning, “How long was I out for?”
He laughed, ” Long enough for me to catch three amazing waves on my board.”
I sat up, “Oh, I’m so sorry, Justin. I’m not bored, I promise. Just tired. This must be the worst date you’ve ever been on. I promise I’m not usually so boring.”
Justin waved me off, “Don’t even worry about it. On my wife and I’s second date, she sneezed right into my mouth as I kissed her for the first time. It was pretty gross.”
I laughed softly before falling quiet, and he did the same before saying, “I made this awkward, huh? By talking about my dead wife on the first date. I guess we’re both excellent at dating, right?”
I laughed softly again, “Tell me about her, I don’t mind.”
He laid back against the sand but turned to look at me, “When I first saw her, she had the most amazing smile. You could be having the worst day of your life, but the moment you saw her, all your troubles would melt away. We met at our college orientation. She was leading the freshman group I was in. It wasn’t until the spring semester that I worked up the nerve to ask her out. Three years later, she became my wife.”
I rolled onto my side to face him, “She sounds adorable, I wish I could have met her. I think we would have been friends.”
He leaned in close, lingering dangerously near my face, “Sabrina, I’d very much like to kiss you right now.” I nodded slowly before his lips met mine. With a passion and tenderness I’d never felt before, Justin’s kiss sent my spine tingling. I’ll be honest, it was not a short kiss and when I pulled away, I couldn’t stop smiling.
For a while, we just sat next to each other, watching the sunset across the ocean. When it was time to pack up, Justin helped me to my car before leaning in to kiss me one more time. He grinned mischievously at me before opening the door for me, “Wanna join Cassidy and I for dinner on Sunday?” I smiled warmly, “Sure, but only if you agree to have dinner with me and my family on the following Sunday.” He laughed, “It’s a deal, Sabs.”
We parted with the promise of next weekend in the air. My spirits were high as I parked the car in the garage and made the short walk to the house. All of a sudden, chills ran down my spine as I spotted a figure standing at the top of the driveway. They were far enough away that I couldn’t see who it was, but I wasn’t about to let them know that. I bolted for the front door, but the voice stopped me in my tracks, “Wait, Lauryn. Don’t go.”
I whipped around and began to tremble, “Raj?”, before I walked closer to the hidden figure. He shrugged, looking completely different. Instead of his fancy suits, he wore some ratty old sweatpants and a t shirt. His face wasn’t as clean as I’d remembered. I whispered, “I must be dreaming, right?”
“Nope. I’m real.” His voice was low, and he sounded on the verge of tears.
I surprised myself by throwing my arms around him, “I though you had died! I’m so happy that you’re alive! Why did they say you were dead?”
He hung his head, “Lauryn, I am so ashamed of the way I treated you. I had no right to smack you around or bully you. Hell! I shot you, Lauryn! I wish I could blame it on the alcohol, but I’m really just an asshole with a drinking problem.”
I nodded, before doing the last thing I ever expected to do, “I forgive you, Raj. I really do.”
He closed his eyes and started bawling, “I’m so sorry. I woke up in the hospital, and I begged the doctor to tell you I was dead. I told him you were better off if I was dead. Once I was well enough to go home, I was arrested for battering you, and I spent 6 months in Sunset Valley Correctional Facility. You’re probably wondering why I’m here now, and why I’m telling you this.” I nodded softly before he continued, “I’m 2 years sober now, and I go to meetings every day. Part of the reason I’m here is because one of the twelve steps is to make amends, and I just wanted you to know how truly sorry I am, Lauryn.”
I took his hands in mine, “So much has happened in the 2 years that we’ve been apart. First things first, I found out that I was kidnapped by our family’s housekeeper and my name is Sabrina.” I laughed at the shocked look on his face, “I know, imagine how I felt.”
Raj smiled for a second, while I still tried to wrap my mind around the fact that Raj was alive and standing in front of me. When he cleared his throat, I shook my head a little, “I’m sorry, what did you ask?”
He grew serious, “I know that I have no right to ask this, but did the baby survive?” My eyes filled with tears, and I shook my head, “No. He died before I made it to the hospital.”
Raj started crying again, “It was a boy?” I nodded before wiping my own tears away, this was too much. Emotionally, and physically, “Raj, I’m glad you’re okay, but I think it’s time you left. I need some space to process this, and I think you do too.”
He nodded understandingly, “Laur-..umm Sabrina? Here’s my new number, in case you need anything.” He handed me his card, and walked off down the road.