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The proposition, p.38
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       The Proposition, p.38

           Jessica Schlafer
Chapter 37

  Shots fired, men falling to the ground, dead. Merritt’s cold eyes as he punches my leg over and over again. I was screaming, I couldn’t escape!

  I sat up, terrified. I looked around at the concerned faces looking at me. Nick, Dmitry, Diego, and Bill were on the right side of the bed. My Mom and Dad were on the left.

  “Oh, my, Abby, you’ve come back to us!” Mom exclaimed.

  “You were screaming, sweetheart,” Dad said. “What happened?”

  “I was having a nightmare. Oh, God.”

  “What was it?” Mom asked.

  “I don’t remember,” I lied. “I just remember I was so scared!”

  “You’re here now,” Mom said. “You’re safe.”

  Nick grasped my hand and looked into my eyes. “You’re safe.”

  I lay back onto my pillows, my entire body hurt. I wanted to sleep for 100 years.

  “Wait!” I said, sitting back up. “Where am I now?”

  “New York,” Dmitry said.

  “You drove me five hours?”

  “No, we drove you an hour and then got onto a helicopter,” Nick said.

  “Nick told us what happened, what Paul did,” Dad said, bitterly. “I always knew he was a bad man.”

  The door to the room came open and Dr. Rhodes walked in.

  “We meet again, Abby,” she said, smiling. “I wish it were under different circumstances.”

  “Melissa? Why are you here?”

  “She’s my wife,” Dmitry smiled.

  “What the fuck?” I said.

  “Abigail!” Mom said, sternly. “Language!”

  “Sorry, Mom. What is happening? I’m so confused.”

  “We’ll talk about it, Abby. We have time,” Nick said.

  “Unfortunately, Abby, he’s right,” Dr. Rhodes said. “You’re gonna be in the hospital for a while. We’re gonna have to do surgery on your leg. The beating you took detached the muscle completely. We’ll have to reattach it and you’ll be unable to walk for quite a while.”

  “Oh, my God,” I felt deflated and threw myself back onto the pillows, pouting.

  “The question is, do you want to have the surgery here, in New York? Or, do you want to fly back to Portland and do it there?”

  I didn’t know what to do. I looked at Nick, he was pleading with me. My parents were also pleading with me.

  “How much time do I have?”

  “About two hours. We need to start ASAP.”

  All the feelings I had for Nick when I left Portland the first time were still there. I loved him. I felt like, through my entire ordeal, he was the only one who was honest with me. As honest as he could be. He tried to protect me as much as possible.

  “Abby, Nick has offered for us to fly out with you, if you choose to go to Portland. He said he has a house in Portland that we can stay at while you recover,” Dad said.

  I looked at Nick, “Portland it is, then.”

  We returned to Portland, the whole lot of us; my mother and father, Nick, Diego, Bill, Dmitry and I. I was immediately taken to the hospital by Dr. Rhodes and was put into surgery. The next few days blended together for me. I was in a lot of pain, so Dr. Rhodes kept me pretty medicated. People came in and out but I couldn't remember what was said or who came to visit.

  After about eight days, I finally started feeling human again. I didn't like the human I was, though. I was dragged to physical therapy where I cried and cursed at my therapists. I fought them every chance I got.

  “Abby, what's wrong with you?” Nick asked one day.

  “Nick, I don't think I want to be here anymore,” I said, fighting tears.

  “Here, like in the hospital?” he asked, confused.

  “No, here, like in Portland,” I said.

  “What do you mean?”

  “We just went through something really intense. People died because of us, Nick. I need time to sort this out.”

  “What are you talking about? Sort what out?”

  “I don't know, Nick. I'm so confused right now. Just a few weeks ago I left and went back to Boston. I was ready to say good bye to you forever. Now, here I am, right back where everything bad started. I don't know what to do anymore.”

  “Abby, where is this coming from?”

  “I've been laying here for hours and hours with nothing to do but think, Nick. I mean, what are you gonna do now? Are you gonna continue with the business?”

  “No, Abby, I'm not. I actually own some legitimate businesses now. We'll figure this out,” Nick was sitting now.

  “Nick,” I whispered.

  “Where are you gonna go, Abby? What are you gonna do?”

  “I have an idea. There are things I need to do.”


  “I don't wanna lose you, Abby.”

  “Nick,” I closed my eyes and sighed.

  “Let me come with you. There's a lot of heat in Portland right now anyway. I'll take some time, we'll go do whatever it is you want to do,”

  I put my head in my hands.

  “Abbs,” Nick took my hands, forcing me to look in his eyes. “I want to spend as much time with you as possible. Hell, I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

  I sniveled, “Nick, I want to find out why Paul killed my Aunt Lynne. I want to find his wife and daughters. I don't even know if they're still alive. Remember when he said they left months ago and he didn't care where they were?”

  “We'll find them, Abby. We'll find out about your Aunt, too.”

  “Really, Nick?”

  “Absolutely, we'll start over.”

  The End

  Stay tuned for the follow up The Search. Abby and Nick go on a hunt to find out why Paul killed Aunt Lynne. Abby will find out who is really on her side and who she can trust.

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