Jesse stumbled into the loft and instantly started calling out to his wife. The tone of his voice annoyed him. But it was either curb his annoyance or find his wife. And in this moment finding his wife was more important than healing from the hangover he was going through.
“Angela!” He called making his way to the back.
“It’s too late,” Frankie muttered, closing the front door behind him and throwing his keys onto the counter. After his father tore out of the Martin’s home he stuck around until he was calm enough to face Jesse.
Because he knew his father like a book his first stop was the loft. He knew his father would look there first because ever since Lucy was taken away from her that’s where she hid. Hid from the world and even tried to hide from the hurt.
Sometimes though she could be found at the cemetery. Not as often as she could be found at home but she would go there. When she would go she would go to run from Jesse, run from the constant memories of having Lucy and then watching her being snatched right out of her life. Only Frankie knew where she would be during those times and only he would be able to come to her. She never ever made her way to Ellie’s final resting place.
“I can’t take that walk again,” she told him softly the very first time he found her there, sitting on a bench that faced the way leading over. “So please don’t force me,” she pleaded. “And please… don’t try and talk me into leaving.”
Frankie took a deep breath as he moved to stand directly behind her and let it out when he placed his hands gently on her shoulders. “I would never do either of those things,” he promised. “But if it’s okay with you… I would like to sit with you.”
Silence fell over them before Angie raised her left hand and placed his one of his that still rested on her shoulder. “I would like that… I would like that very much.”
Those were the only words spoken that day and those were the only words that been spoken period during their times at the cemetery. When he would join her they said nothing, they shed no tears, just stared and silently prayed for things to get better. Sometimes he wouldn’t join just drive her there and sit off to the side. His mother was alone just what he sensed she wanted, yet he was there with her which was also what she wanted.
Frankie was thinking back to the last time he and his mother were at the cemetery when Jesse came back to front mumbling.
“She can’t be gone. She can’t be gone,” he continued to mumble before spotting Frankie leaning against the window. “Where is she?” He asked.
“I told you. She’s gone,” Frankie repeated, crossing his arms.
“Stop playing with me Franklin! Where the hell is my wife?” He fussed. Jesse didn’t believe that mess. He couldn’t! Angie may have been mad at him, but she wouldn’t have left him. No his wife would have stuck around and fought him. She wouldn’t just walk away, wouldn’t just give up. His wife wasn’t that type of person. “She isn’t that type of person,” he corrected himself aloud.
Frankie removed the letter addressed to his father from his back pocket and threw it onto the coffee table. “Read it.”
“Franklin, I don’t have time for these damn games!” He yelled.
“Who said this was a game?” Frankie yelled back. “Why in the hell would I lie about something like this? Huh? My mom is gone, we don’t know where the hell she is and you think this is a damn game?”
“Boy, watch who you’re talking to. I am still your father,” Jesse warned, stepping up to him.
More like his father than he wanted to believe at the moment, Frankie stood straight up. “What are you going to do about it?” He challenged.
They stared off for a few minutes before Randi and Natalia walked in. “Come on guys!” Natalia fussed going to stand in between them. “Right now we need to be trying to find Angie, not fighting.”
“She’s right,” Randi chirped from the kitchen. “Right now finding Angie is most important. There’s no telling where she is.”
The Hubbard men continued to stare off until finally Frankie pushed past Jesse and on his way snatched his keys off the counter. “We need to split up.”
“Where are we starting?” Randi asked.
“Where are you going to go?” Natalia asked at the same time.
Frankie stopped at the door and glanced over his shoulder. “When we left PV, we went to Corinth. There’s a chance she may have ran there. I’ll drive out and check around. You and Randi can check around PV, maybe she’s with somebody or they know of her whereabouts. Don’t leave anything unturned.”
“We can get the guys to check her phone. Maybe that should be first,” Natalia said as she continued to stand by her father. “It doesn’t take much to check her GPS status.”
Jesse looked over his shoulder and sighed. “That would be a good idea… If her phone wasn’t sitting on the coffee table,” he pointed out. When all eyes fell to the phone and groans filled the room. One because they all knew that finding Angie would be more of a challenge than anything and two they should have known better than to think she would have her cell. Her step-daughter was a cop and so was her husband or at least he use to be one. Taking her cell phone with her would have given her up way before she had a chance to settle or even get her hide out good enough.
“I’ll check the hospital,” Jesse spoke again.
“She’s not there.”
“Well dammit she’s somewhere and the people at the hospital may know more. That is still her hospital and she would just leave town without leaving somebody else fully in charge of that damn place,” Jesse fussed. “And right now her leaving town could just be a damn trick. Angie is here, I know she is.”
“And you know this how?”
“Because I know my wife. I may have screwed up, but Angie wouldn’t just give up like this. She’s a fighter. A true fighter!”
With a weary look, Frankie finally faced his father. “Correction, she used to be a fighter… Before you returned and started all kinds of hell she was a true fighter. But year by year, her fight started getting weak and with this recent stunt you pulled… You took away the last bit of fight, strength and courage she had left to move on like she always does.”
“No! You’ve said everything last night, it’s somebody else turn to talk,” Frankie interrupted. “These past weeks have been hell from mom.”
“It’s has been hard for me too!”
“Whatever.” Frankie threw up his hands and before his emotions could get the best of him he walked out the door.
Jesse braced the back of the sofa and with a shaky breath said, “I can’t lose her.”
“You won’t,” Randi promised. Though deep down she knew it was more than likely false. From the way Angie wrote in her letter it seemed as if her time here was over, her marriage and life with Jesse was over. She truly hated to believe that, but what else could she believe after everything.
“She’s right dad. You won’t lose Angie,” Natalia piped in watching as her father ghostly walked around the sofa and took a seat. “We’ll find her and no matter what, we’ll help you both get through this. If you two can’t fight anymore, we will,” she promised.
Jesse only nodded. Jesse only sat there. Sat in that same spot without any movements, any sound until the girls left him alone. His eyes immediately fell to the letter. “This is a dream… This is all a bad dream,” he chanted, reaching over and picking it up. It took him all of a good hour to open the envelope and unfold the paper penned in Angie’s beautiful handwriting.
If you are reading this then it means I have decided to walk away without a fight. I didn’t come to this decision lightly… For weeks now I’ve been going back and forth on whether I wanted to stay, fight and work it out with you or pack my bags and leave you. Obviously I chose the latter.
Even though I know my leaving will have a major impact on our family, I have to do what is best for me and what’s best for you. We both need some time and space to heal and think all of this over. I need to grieve and find it in my heart, my soul and my mind to forgive you. I’ve thought about other ways to handle everything without me having to pack up my life, but none came to me. So again this is for the best. It’s not just a mental thing either, it’s to physically help us. Me, because as the days go by I am growing weaker and weaker. Any longer and I don’t know if the outcome would be one we want. Many thoughts have ran through my mind and I’m afraid… You, because the more I think of everything and the more time I spend around you, the more I… I’m not going to lie; I’ve come close to killing you… Very close. The gun you keep hidden under the bed, I don’t know the first thing about using it or any other but I’ve grabbed it a couple of times and I’ve walked down the hall with it. I sometimes would just sit by the door and stare, I don’t know if I was willing myself to go in there or willing you to come out. I was just there. Other times I thought about cutting your brakes or slipping something into your drink or food… Jesse, I have really, really thought about killing you and I’ve come so close to doing it, it’s scary. And I fear and so should you, that if I don’t get out now, later I won’t have the strength to stop myself the next time I get the urge. The urge to hurt you and even myself. I’ve slept with those thoughts and as much as it pains me to even think of such, I have. And I have to say that only a small part of me regrets it.
Right now I know you don’t understand what I’m saying or even why I’m doing this, heck you may never understand it, but this is how it has to be. There’s no other way.
I don’t want you to feel that I didn’t love you because I did. I loved you more than I loved myself. Never feel that I don’t because I do. I love you so much that as I write this my heart and soul cries just at the thought of being away from you. As much as I want to hurt you, I’ve still sought strength to stay and fight. I would be in the middle of packing and I would think of all the things we’ve been through together, all that we’ve fought to have. The day you returned to me, the day we became husband and wife again and the day I discovered I was pregnant. Though I knew at that time I would miss out on a lot because of my blindness, it didn’t matter. Why? Because you were at my side and because I was getting something I never thought I would have. I was getting another precious gift that we could raise together. One that was created out of this love that is so pure it’s almost unreal. But then somewhere after that, my thoughts would immediately change and memories of the day that was supposed to be full of happiness would plague my mind. The night I gave birth to our baby girl and where our lives… My life was turned upside down and I didn’t even know it! I gave my heart and soul to a baby that wasn’t even mine and from then on my fate of losing two babies was sealed. The night you, the love of my life held the biggest secret ever. I thought you hiding the fact that you had another child mere months after leaving Frankie and I was huge, but honestly and as crazy as it may seem it was nothing compared to this.
No, I don’t blame you for her death. I don’t blame anybody for that. Her death was something neither of us could have stopped. It was already written in the book of the man upstairs. Maybe it was because we loved her way too much or because God just felt it was wrong. I know I’ve said God doesn’t make mistakes, but at the moment I can’t be so sure of that anymore…. However, I do blame myself for not paying more attention. I blame myself for not catching on sooner. Even when my sight returned I should have known. But I guess I was just so blinded by happiness and joy to even give a damn. I was just happy to see again. Happy to see my… Happy to see Lucy. I do though put blame on you as far as trust goes. I know you said you were doing it for my sake, but I don’t feel that. I don’t see that. This may change in the future I don’t know, but right now I feel you didn’t put a lot of thought of me and my heart into the decisions you made. If you would have put a lot of thought into it you would have also thought of how this would affect Lucy. Not only did this mess up my life, it was a destruction of hers too. And that baby is too young to be put through all of this.
And me… I lost two children because of this decision you made. Losing one is like being a fish out of water. You can’t breathe. You can’t do anything but hope and pray that somebody will come to your rescue. But… to lose two and at the same time is more than anybody can handle.
“But Angela, you’re strong. You’re a fighter. You can handle anything that comes your way.” I’ve heard it and I bet your thinking it right now and at times it’s true. I am strong, I am a fighter, but even the strongest person has their limits. Even the greatest fighter has that one fight they just can’t win. For me this was mine. I can’t win this fight. I no longer have the strength or the courage to stay. I really don’t have it to keep breathing. That’s how much it hurts! That’s how much it pains me! Every night I toss and turn because I can’t get past the loss of my babies. And as much as it pains me to say, I don’t think I will ever get past it. And because of that I have to leave.
I don’t know how long I will be gone. To be honest I don’t really know if I will ever return. But when or if that time comes you will know.
I love you always and forever, Angela Marie Baxter- Hubbard.”
Jesse’s hands trembled as his moved onto the next page. He was beginning to fear this was more than just a break letter or whatever because her words sounded so finale. “Angie, please don’t let this be what I think it is,” he sighed as his scanned the contents.
“Oh thank god,” he breathed once he saw it wasn’t information to a divorce lawyer. It was another letter.
Tonight I saw another side of you that scared me and you know I don’t scare easily. I didn’t know you felt that way. I honestly never in a million years thought you blamed me for our baby’s death!
I’ve tossed that thought around plenty of times and up until recently I had finally let it go. I finally saw that it wasn’t my fault. But then tonight… After the way you said it, the fact that you even said it and to see your expression, make me believe I am responsible. I now believe that I had everything to do with this hurt.
Jesse, I’m sorry. I’m sorry to have done this to us. I wish things could have been different. That first letter I’ve been holding onto for sometime and just recently had decided to throw it away. I had a nice long conversation with Frankie whose words and support gave me the strength to do things I didn’t think was possible. I unpacked my bags and had it set in my mind that when you walked through the door we would work it out. But then this happened and… Well I just don’t see us ever getting back together.
We said this was forever. Nothing and no one, not even death could tear us apart. For a long time I just knew it was true. When it came to us the sky was the limit. But as always that sky has a way of falling and shining light on even the smallest things you’ve failed to notice. We’ll I can see them now. And I now know that my leaving has to happen. Maybe with me away you can find it in your heart to forgive me for my mistakes and I can do the same and forgive you.
I’m not going to spill my heart into this letter because there is no point. So I’m just going to cut it short and say goodbye.
P.S. Tell Frankie, Cassandra and Natalia that they can call off the search. They’ll never find me. I am somewhere far away and in due time I will be in contact with them all. I’ve mentioned it in their letters, but they are all stubborn so I am hoping you will repeat this to them. Let them know that I love them and I will never forget them.”
Jesse’s heart crumbled as he rescanned the letter for a missed part and when he noticed there was none he started to panic. “No, no, no! Shit Angela it isn’t your fault!” He fussed as if saying the words would make her materialize before him. When it finally hit him that it wouldn’t be that easy he got up and walked out the door. He was now more determined than ever to find her and let her know she was crazy. He didn’t mean a damn thing he said the night before. He was drunk, he was hurting he was just rambling. He didn’t mean any of that mess.
“You f*cked up Jesse and now you have to make it right,” he mumbled to himself as he dashed down the emergency staircase and soon was heading out of the lobby. Just as he went to open the door somebody called out to him.
“There you are Mr. Hubbard!”
Jesse groaned and dropped his head. “Mrs. Honeycutt, I’m kind of in the middle of something. I’m sure this can wait,” he sighed, knowing if he didn’t cut this woman off now he never would. Longwinded was an understatement when it came to old woman.
“I’m so sorry hon and I promise I’ll make this quick… I was just wondering about Mrs. Hubbard,” she inquired softly. “This morning I saw her and that Dr. Harvard or Hayward putting some bags in the trunk.”
This of course made Jesse turn around. “Dr. Hayward?”
“I do believe that is his name. He was the one in the news bringing all those dead folks back to life. Humph! Which is just asinine if you ask me. I think you should leave stuff like that alone. Taking and giving life is for the big man upstairs and him alone,” she fussed in her true Christian form. Not only had her late husband been Pastor, her daughter and her son were both pastors of their own churches.
Jesse ignored the last of her comment. “Are you sure it was my wife and Dr. Hayward?” He asked again.
“Yes sir. Me and Gigi went out for our routine morning walk and as I was coming back into the complex I saw him putting some bags in the trunk of his car. I was curious as to what he was doing over here and was set to ask him of such when your missus came out and handed him one of those big yellow envelopes. It seemed like they were about to argue or something for a minute. But then next thing I knew he was helping her into the car,” she explained. “I hadn’t seen you at all yesterday and I thought maybe she was leaving to meet you somewhere.”
Did Jesse also mention that she was just as nosey as they came? Like all church mothers and many first ladies. Nosey, a nonsense person, but the most down to earth woman you would ever come across.
“Are you completely sure about that?” Jesse asked.
“Very,” she replied confidently. “Is everything okay? I know with the recent events it had to be a little hard for you both, but I know you two can work it out. You two remind me so much of me and my husband James. God rest his soul.”
Jesse smiled softly. From what he heard in passing James was her first and only love. They had their shares of ups and downs but they managed to work through it. They had been married for 45years before he passed away just two years ago from prostate cancer.
“Thank you… And you’re right things have been a little hard. But don’t worry we’ll work it out. I have no doubt… It’s just that losing a baby is very hard.”
“And losing two is… I can’t even describe it,” she added just as softly.
“But your two children are alive and well. One in Georgia and the other one in Ohio. Right?”
Nodding, Mrs. Honeycutt smiled. “Two are alive and well. My other two are with the Lord. One of my boys died when he was just five in a car accident and his twin died about ten years later. He was playing basketball with his friends and he fell and hit his head. We never saw it coming because he came in like everything was fine and then the next… well… You know.”
“I’m so sorry to hear that.” Jesse reached out and touched her shoulder in a comforting way.
“You can be strongest person in the world but you can turn into one of the weakest when you heart is taken from you. Twice. They say things as such makes you stronger and I am a firm believer that it can happen, but it takes a lot to get there. You first have to want to fight. That’s your foundation and once you get that you can make it,” she said. “Even though I know they are in a great place and it has been years since they’ve gone on, but I often find myself thinking about them and wishing I had them here with me.”
Jesse heard everything she was saying. “Thank you for that Mrs. Honeycutt. Really.”
“Anytime son… Well I must head up. My baby girl is coming into town and I have to make sure the place is looking good. She still hates the fact that I stay here and not the house they were going to buy for me. I appreciate it and all, but a house for just little old me is way too much. My three bedroom loft is just right,” she rambled on and on as she headed off toward the elevator.
Jesse watched her until the door closed and he chuckled before turning around and heading out the door. Mrs. Honeycutt words were among some of those he desperately needed to hear. Especially the ones about Dr. Hayward being here with his wife and putting her bags into his trunk.
“You gave her her sight and now you want something in return. Bastard!” He hissed walking to his truck and hopping behind the wheel and starting it up. Still in hangover city, Jesse pushed on.
He was so pissed and focused on one thing that he hadn’t noticed that not only was his wife missing, but so was her car. Even after she lost her sight they had decided to keep it just in case something happened to Jesse’s truck or the kids needed it.
Pouring himself a glass of ice cold water, David went to his living room and took a seat. Just recently he moved back into the whirlwind and changed it back to the way he initially had it. Anyway, after taking a long swig he placed the glass on the coaster and reached for the envelope Angie handed to him just before they left her home.
“Open this alone,” she whispered, handing it to him and giving him a serious look.
David glanced down at it and then looked back up. “What is this?” He asked, curiously and ignoring her comment and going to open it.
Angie quickly covered his hand with her own and fixed him with a pleading look. “David, open it when you’re alone. Preferably at home. Please.”
“O- Okay,” he replied. “Later.”
David fingered the opening of the envelope before reaching for the flap. “It’s later,” he mumbled.
David’s eyes jerked up. “What the hell!” He barked as the person literally laid on the damn doorbell. “Dammit! Hold on!” He bellowed pushing the contents back inside and jumping up.
Jesse took his finger from the doorbell and was all set to kick the damn thing down when it finally opened. An unexplainable look flashed in Jesse’s eyes and before any words could be spoken or actions could be taken…. Jesse had balled his fist and swung!
“I warned you.” Jesse hissed, watching him fall into the door and stumble back.
AN: Oh Snap!!!!! David just got knocked the pluck out!