Never Too Far (Chapter 3)


My mother's grave was the only place I could think of to go. I had no home. I couldn't go back to Granny Q's. She was Cain's grandmother. He was probably there waiting on me. Or maybe he wasn't. Maybe I'd pushed him away too. I sat down at the foot of my mother's grave.I pulled my knees up under my chin and wrapped my arms around my legs.

I had come back to Sumit because it was the only place I knew to come. Now, I needed to leave. I couldn't stay here. Once again my life was about to take a sudden turn. One I wasn't prepared for. When I'd been a little girl my momma had taken us to Sunday school at the local Baptist church. I remembered a scripture they read us from the Bible about God not putting more on us than we could bear. I was beginning to wonder if that was just for those people who went to church every Sunday and prayed before they went to bed at night. Because he wasn't holding back any punches with me.

Feeling sorry for myself didn't help me. I couldn't do that. I had to figure this one out too. My staying with Granny Q and letting Cain help me deal with day to day life had only been temporary. I knew when I moved into her guest bedroom that I couldn't stay long. There was too much history between Cain and me. History I didn't intend to repeat. The time to leave was here but I was still just as clueless about where I was gonna go and what I was gonna do as I had been three weeks ago.

"I wish you were here, Momma. I don't know what to do and I don't have anyone to ask," I whispered as I sat there in the quiet cemetery. I wanted to believe she could hear me. I didn't like the idea of her being under the ground but after my twin sister, Valerie, had died I'd sat here in this spot with my mom and we'd talked to Valerie. Momma had said her spirit was watching out for us and she could hear us. I so wanted to believe that now.

"It's just me. I miss y'all. I don't want to be alone… but I am. And I'm scared." The only sound was the wind rustling the leaves in the trees. "You once told me if I listened real hard I'd know the answer in my heart. I'm listening Momma, but I am so confused. Maybe you could help me out by pointing me in the right direction somehow?"

I rested my chin on my knees and closed my eyes, refusing to cry.

"Remember when you said I needed to tell Cain exactly how I felt. That I wouldn't feel better until I had it all out. Well, I did just that today. Even if he does forgive me it'll never be the same. I can't keep relying on him for things anyway. It's time I figure this out on my own. I just don't know how."

Just asking her made me feel better. Knowing I wouldn't get an answer didn't seem to matter.

A car door slammed breaking the peacefulness and I dropped my arms from my legs and turned to look back at the parking lot to see a car too expensive for this little town. Turning my eyes to see who had stepped out of it I gasped then jumped up. It was Bethy. She was here. In Sumit.In the cemetery… driving a very, very expensive looking car.

Her long brown hair was pulled over her shoulder in a ponytail. There was a smile tugging on her lips as my eyes met hers. I couldn't move. I was afraid I was imagining things. What was Bethy doing here?

"You not having a cell phone is for the birds. How the hell am I supposed to call you and tell you I'm coming to get your ass if I have no number to call? Hmmm?" Her words made no sense but just hearing her voice sent me running the short distance between us.

Bethy laughed and opened her arms as I flung myself into them. "I can't believe you're here," I said after hugging her.

"Yeah, well, me either. That was one long drive. But you're worth it and seeing as you left the cell phone in Rosemary I had no way to talk to you."

I wanted to tell her everything but I couldn't. Not yet. I needed time. She knew about my dad already. She knew about Nan. But the rest… I knew she didn't know.

"I'm so glad you're here but how did you find me?"

Bethy grinned and tilted her head to the side. "I drove through town looking for your truck. It wasn't that hard. This place has like one red light. If I had blinked twice I'd have missed it."

"That car probably caught some attention coming through town," I said glancing over at it.

"It's Jace's. That thing rides like a dream."

She was still with Jace. Good. But my chest ached. Jace reminded me of Rosemary. And Rosemary reminded me of Rush.

"I'd ask you how you are but girl, you look like a walking stick figure. Have you had food since you left Rosemary?"

My clothes were all falling off me. Eating had been difficult with the large knot that stayed tight in my chest at all times. "It's been a rough few weeks but I think I'm getting better. Moving on from things. Dealing with it."

Bethy shifted her gaze to the grave behind me. Both of them. I could see the sadness in her eyes as she read both the headstones. "No one can take away your memories. You have those," she said squeezing my hand in hers.

"I know. I don't believe them. My father is a liar. I don't believe any of them. She, my mother, she wouldn't have done what they claim. If anyone is to blame it is my father. He caused this pain. Not my momma. Never my momma."

Bethy nodded and held my hand firmly in hers. Just having someone listen to me and know they believed me, that they believed my mother's innocence helped.

"Did your sister look a lot like you?"

The last memory I had of Valerie was of her smiling. That bright smile that was so much prettier than mine. Her teeth were perfect without the help of braces. Her eyes were brighter than mine. But everyone said we were identical. They didn't see the difference. I always wondered why. I could see it so clearly.

"We were identical," I replied. Bethy wouldn't understand the truth.

"I can't imagine two Blaire Wynns. Y'all must have broken hearts all over this little town." She was trying to lighten the mood after asking about my deceased sister. I appreciated it.

"Just Valerie. I was with Cain from the time I was young. I didn't break any hearts."

Bethy's eyes went a little wide then she glanced away before clearing her throat. I waited until she turned back to me. "Although seeing you is awesome and we could totally rock this town, I'm actually here for a purpose."

I assumed she was I just couldn't figure out what that purpose was exactly.

"Okay," I said waiting for more of an explanation.

"Can we talk about this over a coffee?" She frowned then glanced back at the street. "Or maybe the Dairy K since that's like the only place I saw when I drove through town."

She wasn't comfortable hanging out amongst the graves like I was. That was normal. I was not. "Yeah, okay," I said and walked over to pick up my purse.

"There's your answer," a soft voice whispered so quietly I almost thought I'd imagined it. Turning to look back at Bethy she was smiling with her hands tucked in her front pockets.

"Did you say something?" I asked confused.

"Uh, you mean after I suggested we go to the Dairy K?" she asked.

I nodded. "Yeah. Did you whisper something?"

She scrunched her nose and then glanced around nervously and shook her head. "Nope… um… why don't we get out of here?" she said reaching for my arm and pulling me behind her back toward Jace's car.

I looked back at my mom's grave and a peace settled over me. Had that been…? No. Surely not. Shaking my head, I turned back around and went to get into the passenger side before Bethy threw me in.