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The proposition, p.34
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       The Proposition, p.34

           Jessica Schlafer
Chapter 33

  Once we were returned to Paul's house, I was shuttled from his SUV to Nick's SUV and we were driving again.

  I finally was able to snap out of it, "I want to go back to Boston."


  "You said everything would change tonight, but you didn't say what would happen. That was sick! I want to go home," I said, silent tears streaming down my face.

  "Abby, it's the nature of the business. There won't be any more violence. Paul and I have never used any type of violence before."

  "Nick, I just want to go home."

  "What about what we said last night?"

  "I can't, Nick. I can't live in fear like that. Please."

  Nick pulled out his phone and made a call, "Yeah." Pause. "No, she wants to go home." Pause. "No, back to Boston." Pause. "Yeah." Pause. "No, we gotta pay her." Pause. "All right, 30 minutes."

  Nick hung up and didn't say anything else. He made a quick U-turn and soon we were back at Paul's house.

  "Paul will take you to the airport. I'll pack your things and meet you there."

  I didn't say anything, opened the door, and got out of the car. Nick sped off, screeching his tires down the driveway. I went into Paul's house and into my old bedroom, walking straight past Paul.

  In the bedroom, I stripped out of my clothes and got into the shower. I wanted to wash everything, my body, my eyes, my soul. I stood under the hot water until it ran out and I started to get cold.

  After the shower, I dressed in some of the clothes I left behind in the room and sat on the bed, waiting. Sure enough, after about 20 minutes, there was a knock on the door.

  "Abby," Paul entered, "the car is waiting to take you to the airport."

  "You're not coming?"

  "I'm sorry, I have too much to do."


  He handed me a bag and a boarding pass. "There's nine thousand dollars in there. You won't have a problem getting that through security. I'll have the rest of the money delivered to you. Your apartment is paid through the rest of the year, none of your things were removed. You're in first class, straight through to Boston."

  "Thank you."

  I took the bag and followed Paul down the stairs and outside to a waiting SUV. Paul opened the door and I got into the back seat. All I had were my purse and the money bag.

  "Be good, Abby," he kissed my cheek, closed the door, and I was off.

  The drive to the airport seemed to go by very quickly. I felt like I was still in a state of shock. The driver came to a stop and I got out. He drove off and I was alone. I looked over the boarding pass and made my way to the correct terminal.

  I found the terminal, checked in and turned around to sit down. I saw Nick sitting in one of the seats, waiting for me with a bag.

  "I packed some of the things you'd need immediately. The rest I'll have shipped tomorrow."

  "Thank you."

  Nick let out a long breath. "Abby, I don't want you to go."

  I was fighting tears. "I can't stay, Nick."

  Nick sighed. “You promised me you’d stay no matter what.”

  "Come with me to Boston."

  "I can't, Abby."

  A voice came over the loudspeaker, announcing that my flight was boarding for first class.

  "I have to go, Nick."

  “You never got to use your office.”

  “Nick, please…”

  "Safe travels, Abby," he said, turning to walk away.

  I boarded the plane and sat in my seat. It wasn't until we were in the air and the fasten seatbelt sign was shut off that I started crying. At first, it was soft, quiet tears but then I was sobbing, full body heaves. A flight attendant came to me and asked if I was okay. Luckily, it wasn't a full flight, so I wasn't really bothering anyone. Plus, the late hour put everyone either working or trying to sleep. I told the flight attendant that I was okay and tried to pull myself together. I decided that I would try to get some sleep.

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