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Giving My All to You Sheryl Lister 2022/8/3 13:47:28

“Take care of yourself, Faith.” He reluctantly released her hand and, just like before, had a hard time getting his feet to move. Finally he forced himself to leave. She lifted her hand in a wave and gave him a smile that had his heart beating a little faster. A slow grin spread across his lips.

His smile was still in place by the time he made it home. He hadn’t gone out on a date in months due to his work schedule, and because he needed a break from the drama of relationships. But thinking about going out with Faith filled him with a strange kind of anticipation. She said she only planned to be here for a short while, plenty of time for some fun. He could work with that. Then there was that kiss. The remembrance of her lips against his cheek stayed on his mind for the remainder of the day. He knew right then he might be in trouble.

Faith awakened from a two-hour nap feeling a little better, glad that the medication had done its job. She went into the kitchen to make something to eat, but any movement of her right arm or hand caused a searing pain. She initially tried some yogurt, but eating with her left hand proved more of a challenge than she’d thought. After several frustrating minutes, she settled for a slice of cheese and saltine crackers. She went to the refrigerator for something to drink and found that not only had Brandon opened the bottles of water, but also the carton of orange juice. She sent up a silent thank-you. What she wouldn’t give to have a man like him in her life—fine, sexy and a gentleman all rolled up in one. Today had been her first chance to see him in something other than a dress shirt and slacks. Just like everything else about him, his lean, muscular body was impressive. Memories of his biceps flexing as he opened the bottles of water flashed in her mind. It’s just my luck that the one time I meet a nice man he lives in a totally different state. Faith shook her head. She took her juice to the small dining table, came back for the crackers and cheese and took a seat.

While munching on her snack, her gaze strayed to the box of letters across the room. Automatically, her thoughts shifted to the man who was supposed to be her father. And again she questioned how different her life might have been with him in it. Outside of the letter she’d read the day she received the box, Faith hadn’t gotten up the nerve to read more for fear of what she would find.

Now, however, curiosity propelled her across the room and she took out the letters. She decided to start with the newest, thinking it would give her a clear picture of Thaddeus Whitcomb now. It took some maneuvering, but she managed to get the envelope open and the paper out.

I have not given up hope that I will one day hold you in my arms again. I hope this letter reaches you and finds you well. Know that I have never stopped trying to find you and will always love you. Please feel free to contact me or visit whenever you like.

He had included his address and telephone number. Tears misted her eyes. She laid it aside and picked up one that had been written twenty-eight years ago, when she was two. He had been stationed in Germany and included a picture of himself wearing his army uniform. Faith studied his handsome dark features and realized she looked a lot like him. For a while, she read more letters. In each, he always described the place and what was going on. She smiled at his sense of humor. All of the letters ended with him telling her how much he loved her and couldn’t wait to see her. Swiping at her tears, Faith became angry with her mother all over again. Her mother made it seem as though her father had come back as some sort of a monster, yet Faith only saw a man who had been denied the privilege of knowing his daughter. While she acknowledged that she didn’t know a lot about PTSD, by the tone of his letters, it seemed like her father had learned to cope well.

She picked up the picture of him holding her again and felt her emotions rising. Growing up, whenever she’d asked her mother about her father, she’d received the same answer each time—he’d died when she was two and no, there were no pictures. The pain in her heart swelled and she put the letters aside and went back to lie down. She tried listening to music and reading at first, but it didn’t help. Finally, she turned on the television and surfed through the channels, looking for anything that would take her mind off the myriad feelings bombarding her. In the end, she gave up. Her head hurt, the pain in her shoulder increased and she was starving.