By Mary Higgins Clark
Nancy Harmon in the past fled the heartbreak of her first marriage, the macabre deaths of her little kids, and the surprising fees opposed to her. She replaced her identify, dyed her hair, and left California for the windswept peace of Cape Cod. Now remarried, she has extra cherished young ones, and the poor discomfort has all started to heal -- till the morning whilst she appears within the yard for her little boy and woman and unearths just one pink mitten. She is familiar with that the nightmare is starting again....
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Then her eyes had crammed, and she’d smiled apologetically. “Look how ridiculous I am,” she’d stated, attempting to snort; “the proverbial mom chicken. ” “I imagine you’re doing fine,” Lendon had advised her. “It’s simply that once you're thinking that how your lifestyles can swap . . . so awfully. suddenly, an entire half, crucial half . . . is ended. yet however, i feel whilst you’ve had whatever fairly remarkable . . . so greatly happiness . . . you can’t glance again and remorse. That’s what I informed Nancy this day. . . . I don’t wish her being concerned approximately me. i would like her to have a superb time in class. I stated that we must always either do not forget that motto: ‘Today is the 1st day of the remainder of our lives. ’” Lendon remembered sufferer had come into the workplace. on the time, he’d thought of it a blessing; he’d been dangerously as regards to placing his hands round Priscilla. “. . . however it was once all right,” Nancy used to be asserting, her voice nonetheless hesitant and groping. “Mother’s letters have been pleased. She enjoyed her activity. She wrote much approximately Dr. Miles. . . . i used to be happy. . . . ” “Did you take pleasure in college, Nancy? ” Lendon requested. “Did you may have many neighbors? ” “At first, I cherished the women, and that i dated much. ” “How approximately your schoolwork? Did you love your matters? ” “Oh, convinced. all of them got here beautiful simply . . . other than bio. . . . ” Her tone changed—subtly grew to become afflicted. “That used to be tougher. I by no means cherished technology however the university required it . . . so I took it. . . . ” “And you met Carl Harmon. ” “Yes. He . . . desired to aid me with bio. He had me come to his place of work and he’d pass over the paintings with me. He stated i used to be courting an excessive amount of and i needs to cease or I’d be in poor health. He used to be so involved . . . he even began giving me supplementations. He should have been correct . . . simply because i used to be so drained . . . quite a bit . . . and commenced to consider so depressed. . . . I neglected mom. . . . ” “But you knew you'd be domestic over Christmas. ” “Yes . . . and it didn’t make experience. . . . out of the blue . . . it received so undesirable . . . I didn’t are looking to disappointed her . . . so I didn’t write approximately it . . . yet i feel she knew. . . . She got here out for a weekend . . . simply because she was once fearful approximately me . . . i do know it. . . . after which she was once killed . . . simply because she got here out to determine me. . . . It was once my fault . . . my fault. . . . ” Her voice rose in a shriek of soreness, then broke right into a sob. Ray began of his chair. , yet Jonathan pulled him again. The oil lamp flickered on Nancy’s face. It was once contorted with discomfort. “Mother! ” she cried, “Oh, mom . . . please don’t be lifeless . . . reside! Oh, mom, please, please reside. . . . i want you. . . . mom, don’t be lifeless . . . mom . . . ” Dorothy became her head, attempting to chew again tears. No ask yourself Nancy had resented her comments approximately being a surrogate grandmother to Missy and Michael. Why used to be she the following? nobody was once even wakeful or worrying of her presence. She’d be extra valuable if she went out and made espresso. Nancy may want a few later too. She should still take off her coat. She couldn’t. She felt too chilly; so by myself. She stared down for a second on the hooked rug and watched because the trend blurred sooner than her eyes. Lifting her head, she met the inscrutable gaze of Jonathan Knowles and knew that he’d been staring at her for it slow.