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Giving My All to You Sheryl Lister 2022/8/3 13:47:38

“I’m not going to lie, Mom, I am still a little angry, but I’m working on it.”

She grasped Faith’s hand. “I want you to know that I loved your father. He is a good man, but I just couldn’t deal with what was happening to him.”

Faith tried to put herself in her mother’s shoes. She had never been around anyone with PTSD, but had read stories and guessed it would be frightening to see someone you loved going through something so horrible. “He seems to be doing pretty well in that area, but he did sustain an injury that required a lower left leg amputation.”

Her mother gasped and brought her hand to her mouth.

Faith shared what Thad had told her. “I’m just sad that he never remarried or had any other children.” She rose, went to retrieve her cell phone and brought up the picture she’d taken of them together. She handed it to her mother.

“He hasn’t aged a day. I didn’t realize how much you favor him.”

She chuckled. “It was kind of weird at first.” She accepted the phone back and stared at the photo. Their smiles were nearly identical. “He’s asked me to visit a while longer.”

“Are you going back to LA soon?”

“Most likely. Maybe for another two or three weeks.” When Faith had called Thad to tell him she was going home, she could hear the fear in his voice—that she would be gone from his life again. Faith had assured him that she would be back. His sigh of relief had tempted her to cancel her flight.

“How long do you plan to be home before you go back?”

She shrugged. “A week or so. I have a few things I need to take care of. But I’ll be sure to let you guys know when I’m leaving.”

Faith observed her mom and read uncertainty in her features. Did her mother really think Faith would leave without saying goodbye? And was there still some doubt that Faith would discard her now that Faith had been reunited with Thad? Granted, Faith still had some lingering annoyance, but as Thad had pointed out, she couldn’t change the past. Hoping to allay her mother’s concerns, she said, “I’ll probably book a flight for next Monday. That’ll give me a week to finish things and come back to spend time with you and Dad.”

Her mother’s eyes lit up. “We’d like that.”

They shared a smile and went to see how dinner was coming along.

After returning home later that evening, Faith sent a text to Brandon letting him know she made it home, and then called Kathi. Kathi had invited Faith to a July Fourth picnic to be held that week, but Faith declined.

She spent most of the week taking care of bank business, meeting with two local clients and preparing herself to be gone another three weeks. She had checked her budget and determined that was the maximum time she could be away without having to dip into her savings. She’d plan another visit for later in the year, or maybe Thad could come to Portland. She would enjoy showing him around.

Sunday evening, Faith started the task of packing. She stood in her closet pulling out clothes more suited for the warmer LA temperatures, as well as selecting a couple of nice dresses just in case she and Brandon went out again. Brandon. She hadn’t talked to him since he’d responded to her text a week ago. Memories of their times together surfaced in her mind, along with his promise of a surprise. She hoped it entailed another round in the bedroom. The way he touched her, held her, kissed her… Her cell phone rang, snapping her out of her lustful thoughts. She laid the dresses on her bed and answered.

“Hi, Faith. It’s Thad. How are you?”

“Hi, Thad. I’m good.”

“I was calling to see when you’d be coming back to LA.”

“I’ll be flying in tomorrow. Is there anything wrong?” There was a pause on the line and a small measure of fear crept into her brain. Her first thought was his leg. Had something happened?

“There’s nothing wrong, but I need to discuss something important with you.”

“You’re not sick or anything?” They had just reconnected. She didn’t know how she would handle the prospect of him having an illness.