I Won't Forget

I look at him, his blue eyes, his brown hair. Claire has that. He smiles at me, a little smirk, enough to make me want to run back into his arms again. Enough to make me want to put behind all our conflicts and have him next to me. I almost let that feeling overcome me. But then I remember what I had just seen. How much that had hurt me . . .no. How much he had hurt me. I won't forget.

Follow Kate and Adam as they discover love, what it means, what it is, who deserves it, and how they can make theirs work.

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2. Chapter 2: Present

"Claire!" I call down the hallway. I reach for the bread and place it next to the meat I'm using to prepare Claire's lunch. I hear thuds behind her door. "What do you think she does in there?" I ask my mother, who sits at the kitchen table reading the newspaper. The headline reads: Teen Girl Killed By Psychotic Boyfriend. I shake my head.

My mother has been living with Claire and I since I decided to give up my college dreams and rent out my own apartment. It's small, two bedroom, one bathroom suite, but for three residents, it works just fine.

"She's a girl, Kate, let her get ready," my mother says, giving me a knowing look.

I was surprised at how receptive my mother was to the news that I was pregnant. I was never one to engage in such risque behavior, but she didn't ground me forever, and she didn't throw me out of the house. She knew my heartbreak was punishment enough.

"Mom," I sigh, finishing Claire's sandwich and putting a juice pouch into her Hello Kitty lunch box, "she's three."

She shrugs in reply, and I laugh, putting a small bag of carrots into Claire's lunch. I hear more thuds, and then Claire comes bounding into the kitchen, her brown curls are a knotted mess on the top of her head and she dons a pink skirt and a bright green top. They don't match at all, but I can't help but smile at the shining blue eyes of my three-year-old daughter.

"Claire, come here," I say, grabbing the brush off the kitchen counter and carefully fixing her curls. She occasionally makes a face, because I've pulled too hard, but when I've finished, I hand her the lunch box and gesture her to the door. "C'mon, time for day-care. Mommy is going to be late for work!" I urge and Claire skips to find her shoes.

I return to the kitchen to grab my car keys and quickly say goodbye to my mom, but as I turn to go,I hear her voice call after me.

"Kate?" Mom says and I turn around. "I just thought you should know something..." She stops and gives me a look, almost like...pity?

"C'mon Mom, I've got to go, out with it!" I say, tapping my fingers against the table.

"Well, I was speaking to Mrs. Dawson this morning..." I make a face. "and she says that Adam is back this summer. He's finished two-year college and is taking a gap year before he goes off to get his master's degree."

I can see she's waiting for my reply. I bite my lip. "I'm very happy he's successful," I say through gritted teeth, wanting to say something much worse, and turn on my heels. "See you later, Mom. I'll be back at six."

"Six?" she asks, "Don't you get out of work at 5?"

I look over my shoulder and smile at her, "I think I'm going to go visit an old friend." Then I take Claire's hand and walk out into the burning sun of July. 

 

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