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After the party

26 Jun 2012 15:34  |  by Bridget Bishop
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"Anything I can help you with, Miss?" It's a store clerk. I'm currently in a pet shop. I'm a grown woman who lives alone. Normally that's fine but some days I just have a hard time, similar to after the party that my sister through for her favorite author.

"No, I'm okay. I'm honestly just looking." I smile warmly and I'm rather nice to him. He is just doing his job, a total stranger, and has no idea what is going on inside my own head.

Gabriel still looks like he did back then. I know it isn't due to plastic surgery. I don't believe that for one minute. I wonder what else he's lying about.

As the thoughts start swirling, or continue rather, I walk over to a clear glass cage with an open top that holds the rabbits. I pick one up, as the sign invites adults to do, and hold it while I think.

I get that he's upset with me, but it isn't exactly if I have any proof that he tried. When I could, I did try to find him. I waited for him to call, even if angry, to ask what happened. I had my bags packed for months. Yes, he's going to be upset with me, but he can't place all the blame on me. And I'd do it the same way if I had a chance to do it all over again.

I find myself actually petting the rabbit, which almost seems odd to me. It is carefully placed back in its temporary home and I keep walking. The small rodents aren't bad, but they're not to be held and I don't see how having any would be beneficial to me.

It's a good thing that Brooke had that security system installed at the shop.

Okay, even I have to shake my head to snap out of that thought. There's just no way that's even going to be needed.

He knows Kieran. I shouldn't obsess, it could be exactly what was said. But Gabe's already lying, and I still don't know enough to trust this perfect man of Brooke's. For all I know they're actually working together.

I keep walking, wandering, randomly looking at things. It's as if my body is on auto pilot.

I won't apologize for slapping him. He made me so angry. He still makes me angry. And frightened. And vulnerable. I haven't felt that way in quite a long time. I've been okay being alone. I can't let myself start falling back for this guy. This liar. He needs to finish his business, and quickly, and leave. I'll even try to help find out answers if it means he'll leave that must faster.

I still don't think that Brooke quite got the full gravity of the situation when I spoke with her. Perhaps now she does. That's a phone call that I just don't want to have. I can't keep ignoring my phone forever but for now I'm okay with the silence. I may have caused all of this, twelve years ago, but I can also push past it as I did then. It's just a bit startling, is all.

At this point I stop to realize that I'm holding a kitten. A flame-point Siamese with folded ears. I've never actually seen such a thing, and it's a good bit smaller than the others. Weird.

The worst part about it is that I don't really have someone to talk to. I'd normally talk to Brooke, but I'm not going to bother her with this. I've already let Regina know he's in town. I'm not going into detail with her about the two of us. Maybe I should invest in one of these pets or something.

By now the kitten has curled up in my arms. This isn't fair, especially considering the price tags on these things.

"I'll even give you a discount for the runt." The same man from before appears seemingly out of nowhere. Has he been following me the whole time?

"Oh, no. I wasn't actually looking to buy a cat when I came in here."

He looks me over, looks to the cat and laughs. "I tell you what. I'll put this one on hold. You'll be back."

Damn it.

Dreams and Nightmares

20 Jun 2012 13:53  |  by Bridget Bishop
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The store that Brooke helped me open has extremely limited hours. I rarely do a lot of work there, preferring instead the comforts of my own home. After a night of pretty much no sleep however I've found myself choosing the shop versus the empty two bedroom. I really should invest in pets.

On the way to the shop I did stop to purchase a new phone. The screen damage didn't keep me from using it but it isn't exactly the way I'd prefer to leave my phone. Even with insurance it isn't cheap to replace these things. Mental note: don't drop this new phone.

The shop is still very much closed, especially as indicated by the sign in the front window. So as not to confuse anyone I've holed myself up in the back room. I'm thankful that my two apprentices that I've taken on have the week off for vacation type things. I don't know if I'm up to company at the moment.

This new phone has been ringing off the hook. I've let most calls go to voicemail because they seem to be customers either looking for new orders or updates. I'll work on all of that via the internet. It makes communication easier when I just want to be away for a while.

I'll stop by with lunch today. Help you at the shop until I get a call. The message comes in from Brooke via Twitter. I've not responded yet because I don't really know what to say.

Since I'm on my laptop I'm about to send a response but my phone rings again, causing me to jump. The ID says that it's mother so I know that I have to pick it up.

"Rene here," I answer, almost as if I don't know who is calling. As I wait for her response I type a message to my sister so I can confirm what she's said.

"Oh, don't start that. Your name is Bridget." Mom says this every time. Sometimes it's fun to get her going this way. I'll keep up that I'm doing that this time even though I honestly don't wish to talk.

"Yes, ma'am." My voice is about as cheery and upbeat as it can be. "What's new, Mom?"

As far as I can tell she has no clue that anything is suspicious. "Well, I know that you were away for the weekend. I didn't call you then but I wanted to know if you heard about Victoria Howe."

It's all I can do to not groan. "Yes." It's sharp and to the point, which makes me feel bad. "I mean, I found out about it last night after dinner with Brooke."

"Isn't it just awful? To think that something like that could happen? I tell you, the world…"

At this point I sort of drone out the conversation. I love my mother so very much but right now really isn't the best time for this. I type a few more bits to Brooke as I pretend to listen.

".. what was his name again? Bridget?"

"Huh?" I snap out of my daze and replay what I think she said. "Gabe."


"Gabriel, Mom. Her son's name was Gabriel."

"Oh! Well, I wonder if he'll be coming back. He really shouldn't."

It's at this point I swear that she just knows everything that's going on in my life. For the most part I'm stress and drama free but she always knows just when to make things worse. "Mom, is it really important? His mother was killed."

"That doesn't change anything!" There's barely a pause before she starts into her next spell. "You know, come to think of it, if I remember who he is… he was rather good looking, wasn't he? It's a shame he went down the wrong path. Think of the kids that you…"

"Mother!" I don't know why but I actually stand as I cut her off. "Now that's just inappropriate. This is a grieving family." I also don't miss a beat about putting in my two cents. "And you know full well that if you want grandchildren, you're going to have to ask a different sibling. I don't date, remember?"

The rest of the conversation goes on similar to this as she asks me twenty questions about my non-existent dating life. Eventually I get her off the phone and slink back into my chair.

I need a vacation.

Now I get to sit and ponder what exactly I'm going to tell Brooke.


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