Artist Trading Cards

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Rachel visits her Auntie



Arriving in Rockledge, a canopy of budding trees lined the roadway, ushering Rachel and her new friend to the small town. Every minute or two, Rachel would look back at the SUV, trying to catch a glimpse of Jeremy’s expression. He’d wave and cast a wink. The front of Marie’s home wore the remnants of a late spring snowfall. Like white mounting corners on a picture in a photo album, the unthawed snow remained in triangle patches where the lawn and the sidewalk meet. A pair of brown rabbits played tag across the new grass and under her front porch.

Aunt Marie answered after the first knock. “Rachel, my dear! Come in.” Jeremy held the door for her.

She introduced Jeremy as “my new best friend.”

“Hello. How do you do?” He shook her hand gently but firmly.

“Please, sit down. This is a surprise. I saw two cars parked out front.”

“Aunt Marie, Jeremy is more than a friend. He’s helped me through a tumultuous time with my soon to be ex-husband. Roger and I have split up.”

She waited for a reaction. “Is this young man the reason?”

“On the contrary. I decided to leave Roger and went out to be on my own and think about my future when we met by sheer accident. He’s helped me a lot, and Hannah is aware of everything.”


“I cut my ties with Roger, and made plans to leave New Jersey.” She scooted closer to Jeremy on the sofa. “At first, I thought I’d move in with Hannah, and find work in New York.”

“That would be the proper thing to do.”

“But Jeremy invited me to move to Michigan with him.”

Aunt Marie leaned back to survey the couple. “You’re from Michigan?”

“Yes. I own a business there. The climate is similar--”

“I know about the weather. What are your intentions?”

“To love Rachel, and care for her like she deserves.” The women exchanged small but knowing smiles. “Of course Rachel won’t be living with me until her divorce is final. She’ll be comfortable until then, with her own apartment and car, et cetera.” He placed a hand on her knee. “She will be in good hands.”

“Is it what you want, dear?”

“There’s no doubt whatsoever. I feel so real with him.”

“You don’t need my seal of approval. You’ve made good choices all along.”

“I’ll call you as soon as we get there. In the mean time, we’ll leave you with a business card.”

Jeremy took one from his pocket and started to write. “Here’s my home phone number on the back.” Rachel grabbed her abdomen and groaned. He stopped writing. “What’s the matter, Lexi?”

Her aunt looked puzzled. “Lexi?”

“It’s a nick name, because I drive a Lexus. It’s a tiny cramp, honestly. It’s probably (those French fries) nerves. I’m anxious to get on the road.” She stood to hug Aunt Marie. “I’m going to miss our visits. Take care.”

Wanting to give the two a moment alone, Rachel made an excuse to take their empty drink cans to the kitchen. Jeremy gave Rachel’s aunt a warm, reassuring hand shake. “Can you tell the difference in her?”

“Like day and night. She’s glowing, and it’s long overdue.” He smiled in agreement. In the kitchen, Rachel thought the dining room table was slightly tilted, then the checkered floor tiles changed to a diamond pattern and then everything went black.

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