She’d been driving for hours.
She wanted to turn around so many times because she felt like crap but she will drink a shake on the bus.
In her mind, she’d turn around a thousand times to go back to P&E and strangle the living daylights out of him.
But her body didn’t react.
Her foot was still on the gas pedal and her beetle was roaring forward.
She’d cried a lot today. Was still crying in fact. The tears just didn’t want to stop.
She couldn’t believe that she made the choice to go to her father. The one person who always but always disappointed her.
Well, he wasn’t alone carrying that title anymore.
There was another who carried that title too and his disappointment was twenty times worse than Charles Scallanger.
She thought about how she got the signs so wrong.
She thought that he wanted to get a place for them, a place to be a family in.
She thought that he would never break her heart or leave her like that.
She told him about Jamie, about her mother, her father. How all of them abandon her.
The only person that didn’t disappoint her was her best friend Bern.
She must know that Holly was gone by now.
With no clue where she had gone too, but no one is going to tell her to get an abortion, no one.
She tried to think when did it gone all wrong.
She knew absolutely nothing about the married woman. What if she was a doctor, what if she was working at P&E. Cause that's where it all went wrong.
More tears run down her cheeks.
This couldn’t be good for the baby, but she couldn’t stop. She tried.
How could she have given her heart so easily away after what Brandon did?
And the worst part was, that Brandon didn’t even hurt her as much as Jake had.
If she knew that this was how her life was going to turn out, she would’ve married Brandon instead.
She would’ve never met Jake.
She was so upset, but mostly to herself for falling for someone like Jake.
They had way too many options to choose from. There was always another fish in the ocean.
She placed her hand on her belly. She was so tired.
Time go by as her mind kept thinking about everything that happened the past six hours.
She pushed herself so hard.
Stop at a gas station, bought herself some water for her shake around nine that evening to drink it.
She had to get to Atlanta.
What was she thinking to drive.
She was almost halfway there and she needs to carry on. Just push through.
She could sleep on the bus.
She carried on driving. Too upset to go back to sleep anyway.
Fear of losing the child weighed heavy on her mind.
But she prayed like she never prayed before.
She can’t lose the baby.
In the morning she finally reached the bus stop and bought herself a ticket to Seattle.
She was so tired and was glad that luck was on her side as she didn’t have to wait too long.
She bought herself a sandwich and drank her shake.
She didn’t even have a phone. She wanted to phone Bernie, but she couldn't. She had to let her go.
It was a 39 hour drive with the bus. She would go to her father and beg him to help her.
He was loaded and praying for a chance to reunite with Holly.
This was it.
She didn’t know what she would do if he wasn’t going to help her. She had no freak’n idea. She wouldn’t make it. Mara told her she would die if she was going to keep the baby.
She didn’t care anymore. She would rather die than abort.
She would never live with herself if she was going to abort.
On the bus she fell asleep faster than she could count to three.
She woke up with a startle around three in the afternoon with Mara’s yelling that Jake didn’t want the baby and his nine words, ‘it is what it is. I’ve got to go.’
She started to cry uncontrollably and an old lady approach her.
“Are you okay, dear?”
She looked friendly. Had a heart shaped face and could easily be a mother or grandmother even.
Holly nodded but then shook her head. Why did she shook her head?
The chair next to Holly was empty and the woman sat into it.
She wrapped her arms around Holly, and she just cried her heart out.
A stranger was comforting her. How empty her life was going to be.
She was so tired when she finally calmed down.
“You want to talk about it? It’s always good to get it out there. You never know who is listening.”
She sniffed and smiled. It didn’t matter who was listening. No one was going to help her out of this mess, but to Holly’s surprised she opened up to the woman and told her everything.
It took hours to finally finish her story.
“And that is what he said. No goodbye, not a sorry. Just those nine words.” Her lip vibrated again but she wasn’t going to start crying again.
“You just pack your things and run. Didn’t see this boy?”
She shook her head and wipe her tears. “You don’t know what he is like, Mirriam.” She sniffed. “He would find a way to make me see things his way and I would do it. I would hate myself after a while and hate him. I can’t live in a world where I would hate him that much.”
“Oh you have it deep. But I disagree about that friend of yours. She’s been there for you, after everything. You can’t do this to her, sweetheart. Finding one good friend is just as hard as finding the one.”
“I can’t,” she whispered. “He will find me.”
“Oh for heaven’s sake, dear. Then let him. I will strangle him for you.”
“My grandson will be lucky to have a girlfriend like you. Phone her, doesn’t matter who her husband is friends with. She must be livid with him already. You never know. So the way I see it, it’s not worth it for losing your dear friend over an idiot like that. You are going to need her. I can feel it.”
She nodded. “I wouldn’t want to have a person like your boyfriend in my life as a friend. Let her choose. Don’t make this decision for her, Holly.”
She sighed. “I don’t have a phone. He bought me a phone and I left it behind.”
“You know her number?”
“Here is mine.” She handed Holly her phone. Holly looked at her.
“Thank you, Mirriam.”
“I know there was a reason I had to take this bus.”
“What do you mean?”
“My grandson offered to drive me to South Dakota. But I told him, I will take the bus.”
She smiled. “I’m glad you did.” She was honest.
Mirriam was right. And Holly didn’t even thought about that. Bernie would know what Jake had done and she would scold him and break all ties with him. Forcing Leo to do too. She needed to know where Holly was heading to, at least.
She dialed Bern’s number after yawning. It just rang. She looked out the window. The sun was already setting and their next stop was about an hour away.
She need to drink her shake again.
She finally picked up. “Bernie hallo.”
Holly started to cry when she heard her voice.
“Holly,” she yelled. “Where the fuck are you? We are going out of our minds!”
“It’s Holly?” she heard Leo asking.
“What happened?” Bernie wanted to know. “Is there something wrong with the shake.”
“What?” She closed her eyes. What a bizarre thing to ask.
“Answer me please.” She was going out of her mind.
“No, the shake is fine. Why are you asking me that?”
“What happened? It’s been almost three days, Holly.” Bern’s voice broke bringing on Holly’s tears again now that she heard how concern Bernie was.
She cried again.
“Stop crying, just tell me what happened. You know this isn’t good for the baby.”
“He wants me to get an abortion.”
“Jake, Bernie. He doesn’t want the baby anymore.” She sniffed and took a tissue from Mirriam. She mouthed thanks.
Bern grunted. “He told you that.”
“I phoned him, he confirmed it.”
“What did he say?”
“It is what it is, he got to go.”
She kept silent and then sighed. “Now tell me from the beginning what happened. Deep breathes, it’s going to be okay.”
“Bern, I can’t. It’s not my phone and that story is way too long to tell. I just...”
“The number is showing. I’ll phone you back.” She interrupted and put the phone down.
“She said she’ll phone back,” she told Mirriam just as the phone rang again.
She picked it up. Taking a deep breathe.
“From the beginning.” Bern didn’t even say hello.
She told Bernie the story just as she told it to Mirriam. Bern listened without interrupting and then she finally reached the conversation with Jake.
“She started to laugh. Someone is going to die today. I’m telling you now. Where are you?”
“On a bus. I can’t do what he wants Bernie.”
“Nobody can’t make you, Holly.”
“I know, but you know him. You know me. If I stayed I would’ve…”
“No, you wouldn’t. Where are you going to go, Holly?”
“Seriously.” She was immediately upset. “That is the last fucking person I would ever think you would go to.”
“I need money to help me through this, Bernie. He has loads.”
“True,” she sighed. “Where are you now?”
“Almost in Missouri.”
“How do you feel? I mean pregnant wise. You taking your shake?”
“Yes, I am. I’m a bit stressed out. It’s a miracle I haven’t lost the baby, yet.” Her voice broke.
“Okay. Give me half an hour. I’m going to phone you back okay. Half an hour, Holly.”
“Okay. Please dont’ tell him. Bern.”
“Calm down. Everything is going to be okay, Holly. I promise. I love you and thank you for phoning me. I wouldn’t know what I would’ve done if you didn’t.”
“Love you too,” she said and they disconnected the call.
“Thank you Mirriam.”
“What does she say?”
“She is going to phone back in half an hour.”
“Okay. I’m going to put it on charge. You don’t want to miss that call.”
She shouldn’t have phone Bern, she knew it was wrong, but it was too late now.
They have been busy two days on the list to make sure that they had all the hospitals in the United states. Derick had another case going on that couldn’t help them immediately but he tried a few things on the side lines. He asked for a few days. It was excruciating just sitting here trying to think of things to do.
Jake hope Derick would find something. He was good and he knows it’s not hopeful to put all his faith on the Private investigator.
His dad used him a couple of times already for business and he always finds what he was meant to find. Jake just hope that he would find something before it was too late.
Why didn’t she wait?
A part of him still wanted to believe Bern’s story. But he couldn’t as his mother, the woman that birthed him, was the villain in hers. She said his mother was behind this, but Mara Peters was denying it like crazy, even start to cry and she never cried. It was making him so confused.
Making the list these past two days was all he could do now. His mother didn’t like it one bit and fought with Gus like crazy because Jake was not at the hospital.
Even Leo took off.
The list was still not done.
Bern and Leo just left. They were dead tired, just like he was, and he knows none of this was easy on Bernie. She was so set in her ways. Know Holly the best.
He could understand why his mom chased her out of the house that night. She got him doubting, even his father was contemplating things, trying to find out what could be wrong with the shake. He had been with Tiff, her gynecologist, on the phone a few times now. Trying to find out where it all went wrong. Tiff was just as surprised that she just left, not voicing anything to this to her.
That is what made them doubt his mother the most.
She wouldn’t do that. He knows he screwed up with her rules, but she wouldn’t do that.
Not to him.
“It’s okay,” Amelia told him numerous times. They were working at her place as his mother didn’t want Bernie in her house.
His mom had a surgery, a few to be honest and said she needs to stay busy to not think what Holly was about to do.
It really upset her.
He was drinking and just listening to his dad and sister dotting down more hospitals.
It was like six in the evening and his eyes burned from the lack of sleep.
His phone rang and saw it was Leo.
“She phoned Bern.”
His heart dropped into his stomach and tears of relief welled up in his eyes. “What?”
“She is on the phone with Bernie.” Leo breathed out loud.
“You sure, where is she, Leo?”
Gus looked at Jake first but he didn’t look at his father.
“Babe,” he heard Armand yelling at Amelia who was busy in the kitchen.
“I don’t know.” Leo said. “Bern went into the room to talk to her. She is so angry at Holly for running.”
He was angry too.
“Jake,” Leo said sounding a bit taken aback.
“What is it?”
“Holly was crying.”
“Why?” He looked at his father who squinted at him.
“They found Holly,” Amelia ran into the living room.
“Shhh,” Robin silence her.
“It’s the thing that doesn’t make sense. I know Bern is way out of line with your mother and everything, but I heard it over the phone. It’s how she knew it was Holly.”
Silence lingered as Jake closed his eyes, doubting his mother’s story more.
“Something isn’t right. I hate saying my wife is right but she knows Holly, I do too,” Leo said.
“I’ll be there in a few.”
He put the phone down.
“They found her?” Amelia asked first.
“She is on the phone with Bernie. I need to go find out where the fuck she is.”
“I’ll drive, you are dead tired,” his father said and got up.
“I’m coming with.” Amelia said.
Armand also followed.
“I’ll stay, clean up. Hope it’s really her Jake. Good luck," Robin said and he walked with huge strides to Armand’s SUV.
“What did Leo say?” Gus broke the silence first as Jake sat in the back with his sister.
“He thinks Bern is right, dad. He heard Holly’s crying.” He leaned his head into his hands.
“What?” Amelia asked.
“Sweetheart, stop. We don’t know anything yet.”
“Dad, if she is behind this, I will never speak to her again,” Amelia yelled.
“Just don’t phone your mother, please.” Gus yelled back and she threw her phone on the floor.
The rest of the drive was silent, but he heard his sisters sniffing as she kept staring out the window.
His dad’s reached back a few times to touch her knee, to calm her down.
It felt like eons for Armand to get to Leo’s house. It was a good thing that he drove. Jake would’ve probably made an accident if he was behind the wheel.
When he stepped inside Leo was alone in the kitchen with Sam.
“Where is Bern?”
“Still on the phone, just wait, Jake. Please.”
“Okay. You sure it’s her?”
“Yes, it’s her.”
They took a seat in the lounge. “Bud, you want some coffee?”
He shook his head.
“Anyone else want some?”
“We are fine, thanks Leonard,” Gus said.
“Do you know where she is?”
“No, all I know she is phoning from someone else’s number. Bern left before I could hear where she is and she is still speaking to her.”
A door room opened up. He heard footsteps stomping loud on the floor. “I swear, if Jake is lying I’ll strangle him tonight.”
Jake frowned at Leo and she finally appeared. She glared at Jake. “Good you are here.”
“What did she say?”
“You spoke to her, Jake!?”
“When?” He asked, felt like he wants to go out of his mind.
“Before she ran. I told you she would leave if you told her to get a fucking abortion.”
“What!?” Amelia yelled.
“I didn’t speak to her Bern. I was in that OR the entire fucking day. I didn’t even had my phone with me. She said I spoke to her?”
She nodded her nostrils flaring.
“What happened?” He roared.
“What I told you would happen. Wait, what do you mean you didn’t have your phone with you?”
“It was in my locker, Bern. Huyo doesn’t like phones in his OR.”
“Jake, calm down, please.” Gus tried. “Bernie, what is she saying happened?”
She shook her head, looking petrified.
“Bern, please.” Jake begged.
“You are not going to like it, Jake. If you didn’t send her that message and you didn’t speak to her, something seriously fucked up is going on here.”
“What did she say?”
“She said she got a message from you to meet you at your mother’s house, to speak to her, make her see.”
“A message from me?” He was dumb strucked and felt his stomach turning.
“I’m sorry, Gus. She said the shake is working. She is still taking it but I’m worried about the baby, what she has been through.”
“Bern, where is she?” Jake had now tears in his eyes.
“On a bus. She said their next stop is Missouri. She drove straight through to Atlanta for crying out loud, to get the bus there. She was going to go to her dad.”
“The guy she would never go to, Bern.” Jake was furious.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t think she would, Jake.” She yelled at him.
“I want to know everything.”
“You are not going to like this at all.”
“I don’t care.”
“Just tell us Bernie,” Gus said in a bit more patient tone.
“Okay. When she got to your mother’s place you weren’t there and your mom spoke to her. She said you changed your mind about the baby.”
He closed his eyes and his hands were trembling from anger.
“She said your entire family is behind you. That Gus had taken her off the trial, she won’t get the shake anymore and that although Amelia hated it, blood is thicker than water, she stands behind your decision.”
“What?” Amelia yelled and grunted.
“She didn’t believe your mother and she told Holly to phone you. She said that was when you spoke to her.”
“How, I was in that OR?”
“I don’t know Jake. But she is petrified and it can’t be good for the baby. Not with what she went through.”
“How many shakes does she have with her?” Gus asked and Jake didn’t like the urgency in his tone.
“She has one full tin and the bit that is in her other tin.” She answer Gus’s question.
“Bern phone and tell her to take a double doses please. She needs to get off at Missouri and go to South East Health Center it’s open 24 hours. I’ll make arrangements for her. Please explain what happened.”
“Dad,” Jake said. His father was on full alert and he didn’t like it one bit. His dad never panicked like that.
“We can deal with your mother later.” He looked at both him and Amelia. “ We need to get to that hospital.”
“Can I please come with?” Bern asked.
“Okay, pack a bag while you phone her.”
“Bern I need to speak to her please. She needs to know.”
“Jake, let me just explain it to her first please.”
“Okay,” he said and she went to her room to pack her bags.
He grunted in his hands that covered his face.
He was so angry.
He then looked at his dad, who looked worried back at him. Amelia was crying again.
“Just between us. This was the last time your wife interfered in my life, Dad. The last fucking time. I’ll do this without her.”
His dad nodded.
He was going to rip her apart. He still wants to know what the fuck he told Holly.
How the hell did she pull it off? He will find out and then it was going to hale fire on that woman.