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Expantant Bride to Be

Expantant Bride to Be

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Published by: smilez780395610 on Oct 25, 2010
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12/27/2012

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Expantant bride to beNikki Benjamin
Contents:12345678910111213141516171819202122232425 EpilogueChapter 1Achill breeze swept across the town square of Promise, Nevada, adding tothe dank, dreary feeling of the gray, late-December day. With the onset of early evening, only a few people still bustled down the sidewalks, mostmore than likely heading for home since the stores would be closing soon.She should go home, too, Abby Summers thought. Or rather, she shouldgo back to her mother's house. But she continued to sit on the narrowwooden bench facing the small park in the square's center, her handsstuffed deep in the pockets of her black wool coat, her chin tipped down totake advantage of the upturned collar, and her stocking-clad legs tuckedtogether under the full skirt of her calf-length, black wool dress. There weretoo many memories waiting for her at Larissa's house—memories tingedwith sadness.How Abby wished she had made an effort to know her mother better. Withthe optimism of youth, she had always assumed that one day they wouldfind the time to sit down and talk like friends. Not so much about the past.That would have been nice. But nicer still, to Abby's way of thinking, maybethey could have shared their hopes and dreams for the future. Now it wastoo late. Abby had returned to the slow, steady farming community two
 
hundred miles northeast of Las Vegas for the Christmas holiday, hopingthat she and Larissa might finally embark on a closer relationship. She hadeven taken a few carefully hoarded days of vacation from her job as acertified public accountant with a firm in San Francisco so this particular visit wouldn't be quite as rushed as the visits she had made in the past. Her grandparents, Hank and Judith, had been delighted, and Larissa herself had seemed pleased. Abby had arrived at her mother's house onChristmas Eve to find all three waiting for her. Listening to Christmas carolsplaying on the radio, they trimmed the tree Hank had bought that morning,then tucked into the sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies Judith hadprovided before making an early night of it. Larissa's joy in spending theholiday with her family seemed to carry over into Christmas Day. She andAbby went to Hank and Judith's tiny apartment in the senior citizens'complex where they'd moved the previous year. They had opened gifts,then feasted on roast turkey with all the trimmings. By late afternoon,however, Abby had begun to sense her mother's growing discontent—thesame discontent that had sent her looking for greener pastures since Abbyhad been a child. Leaving her daughter with Hank and Judith, just as she'ddone so many times in the past, Larissa had taken off yet again. There wasa friend waiting for her in Vegas; a friend who had a friend who just mightbe able to give her a little work in his casino after the first of the year. Notas a dancer—at least not right away. But once she got on the payroll,waiting tables, surely she'd have a chance to move up the ladder. That wasthe last Abby and her grandparents had seen of Larissa until the call thatwoke Abby just before midnight on December 26. A kindly police officer had advised her that her mother had been killed in a car accident. The manwho had been driving, a stranger to Abby, had been drunk. He'd run off the
 
road and hit a tree, and though he had walked away virtually unharmed,Larissa had died at the scene. Abby had waited until morning to tell her grandparents the devastating news. Then, she'd set about makingarrangements for her mother's funeral, refusing to acknowledge her owngrief in order to be strong for Hank and Judith. Considering Larissa'sreputation around town as a ne'er-do-well, the number of people at theservice that afternoon had been a tribute to her grandparents. For their sake, Abby had been grateful. Hank and Judith had wanted to linger at thecemetery following the committal, but Abby had insisted on taking themhome. Both had been too exhausted to remain outdoors longer thanabsolutely necessary, especially on such a bleak day, when the chill breezeheld in it a threat of rain. Abby hadn't wanted either one of them to riskgetting sick. They were the only family she'd ever really had, and she lovedthem more than anything. Promising to stop by the next morning before sheheaded back to San Francisco, Abby had left them in their snug littleapartment, sipping mugs of freshly brewed tea. She had gone back to her mother's house to finish packing, but after parking her rental car in thedriveway, she had decided to go for a walk instead. Just to gather her thoughts, she'd told herself as she set out. She'd ended up in the townsquare almost an hour later, and there she'd stayed, alone with her regrets.Larissa had loved her in her own way. Of that, Abby had always been sure.And she must have wanted her. Otherwise, why would she have broughther into the world? Surely it would have been easier for her to have anabortion than to take on the role of unwed mother, even as erratically as

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