Sophie pushed through the crowded terminal. She had to make this flight. In ten minutes the doors would close. She picked up her pace and prayed she didn’t clip anyone with her rolling carry-on bag.
She thought back to their conversation the night before. She and Nate had a nasty fight and she’d said some awful things. The kind of things you can’t un-say. She’d tried to call him back to apologize but all twenty calls had gone straight to voicemail. She’d done the only sane thing she could think of – booked the first flight to Boston. Sane is in the eye of the beholder.
Downtown traffic was heavier than usual and she was close to missing her flight. Just ahead in the crowd she saw a pocket open and she rushed forward, hoping to move past the lollygaggers. She stopped abruptly when she saw it – the statue of the lovers, reunited and locked in a passionate embrace.
She thought of Nate and imagined him holding her in just that same way. Kissing her and telling her all was forgiven. A wistful smile crossed her lips and she moved again with renewed energy toward Gate 47A. Toward her future.
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Dark, ominous clouds matched the fog in her head. The statue looked vaguely familiar, as if she’d been here before, but she wasn’t sure what she was doing here now. Sitting on the marble pedestal below, she held her throbbing head and searched her memory. Images ran wildly like an old carousel slide projector. A small hotel room overlooking a piazza. A cup of cappuccino at a sidewalk café. Holding hands with a man near a fountain. A Celtic tattoo on his forearm. A shiver of fear ran through her. Why couldn’t she remember more?
“Are you okay love? That bump on your head looks bad. I can take you somewhere to get it checked out.” She looked up into a smiling face. He spoke with an Irish brogue and seemed friendly enough. She reached for his outstretched hand and noticed the tattoo on his forearm. A memory flashed through her mind. A struggle inside the hotel room. A broken lamp. Running down a stairwell and disappearing into a crowded piazza. His smile was suddenly sinister and she pulled her hand back. A shiver of terror ran through her. “Now Abigail, let’s not put up another struggle.”