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Peter sat on the edge of his bed staring at a piece of paper, the bedside phone in his hand. He imagined what Maddy would say when she heard his voice. He started to dial and stopped. “Come on, Peter, you can do this.” He dialed the numbers and heard the phone begin ringing. After three rings, it was picked up, and his heart jolted in his chest. “Maddy?”
The Shoebox by Lisa Fernandez.epub
Literature & Fiction
The Shoebox by Lisa Fernandez
Author:Lisa Fernandez , Date: June 12, 2019
The other end of the line was silent.
“Please don’t hang up. Maddy, it’s me. Peter.”
“I know it’s you.”
Peter exhaled. “Maddy. I needed to speak to you and didn’t know when would be a good time, or if you would even allow me—” He waited. “Is it all right? Were you busy or resting?”
Maddy took her time. “I can talk to you now.”
There was silence again. He stood and paced the room, running his hands through his hair.
“I’m waiting,” Maddy said softly.
“I know. I’m thinking. I have so much to say, and I’m figuring out what to say first. Maddy, I want to tell you first how sorry I am for lying to you. For not telling you who I was. I’m sorry for causing you pain, I’m sorry for not being there for you all these years. I know I told you that—or tried to tell you—but it didn’t come out the way I wanted. Everything I intended to do I failed. I guess when I saw you I was just thrown a curve ball. I didn’t know how to react. Madeline?”
“How are you? Are you all right?”
“I worry about you.”
“Don’t.” Maddy spoke firmly. “I’m a grown woman. I can take care of myself.”
“I didn’t say I worry because I didn’t think you were strong. You are strong and independent and—” He paused, his chest aching. “Maddy, I’ve missed you so much.”
“I’m not going to run out and cut my wrists, Peter, if that’s what you’re worried about. You can relax and get on with your life.”
“You know I can’t now.”
“What do you mean ‘you can’t’? You don’t owe me anything.”
“Hear me out, Maddy, please. I didn’t call to check on you and get closure. I called because I—”
“Because you what?”
“I called because you are the most incredible woman I’ve ever met. I thought you were incredible years ago, and even then you weren’t a fraction of the woman you’ve become. Being with you the other day—it made me feel, oh, Maddy, as though we had never been apart.”
“How can you say that?” Maddy cried. “You haven’t seen me in over twenty years. You know nothing about my life and me. I don’t know anything about yours.”
“You’re so defensive! I’m talking about the girl I sat with at Frani’s that night twenty years ago. The woman I walked with through St. Bartholomew’s School during recess the other day. When you didn’t know I was Peter, but we were just talking—we weren’t like strangers meeting for the first time. I felt as if time hadn’t really touched us.”
“I haven’t changed? I haven’t? I’m nothing like I was before.
The Shoebox by Lisa Fernandez.epub
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