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Unjust Suspicions

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Unjust Suspicions
by
Caseytlk

     

Chapter Fifteen

Angela got up late on Sunday morning. She hadn't slept well at all and she was still tired. There had been a thunder storm during the night and they always unnerved her a little. Snowy trailed her to the kitchen, making it very plain how she felt about a late breakfast. "Snowy... I hear you sweetie... hang on." She fed the cat and poured her coffee before going to get the paper. The Sunday paper was extra thick and she decided to make breakfast halfway through reading it.

She made herself scrambled eggs and bacon. She'd become quite a good cook, out of necessity, but she still liked scrambled eggs... at one time that had been all she'd known how to cook. She smiled wistfully as she stirred them, remembering the day Luis had informed her that scrambling eggs wasn't cooking... that it was an accident. A tear gathered in the corner of her eye at the thought of Luis and she wiped it away angrily... forcing herself to think about Beth and the baby... hardening her heart just a little. She got her breakfast cooked and went back to the paper. The classifieds were next... she didn't read all the ads of course... she wasn't in the market for a new house or car after all, but she did read the personals. She found them amusing.

She chuckled now, as she read an ad from a man looking for a lady... his only requisite was that she be willing to bait his hooks on fishing trips. Angela had a suspicion that there was a sexual metaphor in there somewhere, but she wasn't that familiar with the fishing terms he used so she wasn't sure. She read on to the next ad and her breath caught in her throat. Her arm froze halfway to her mouth with a fork full of eggs. She dropped the fork, sending it clattering to the floor, the eggs landing on Snowy's head. The cat gave her an indignant look and wandered away in a huff, but Angela didn't notice. The ad she was looking at held all her attention. She drew a shaky breath and read it again:

Desperately seeking Sheridan:
If you see this ad please come home. I know we've had some misunderstandings but I love you and we can work it out.
Love Luis

Angela read the ad a third time, although this time the words were blurred by the tears flowing from her eyes, down her face. At first her heart soared with hope... he loved her and they could work things out! She desperately wanted to believe that, but her head suddenly gave her heart a good whack and she came to her senses. What was she thinking? This ad didn't change anything.

So Luis claimed to love her... it was nice, but it didn't change the fact that he'd been cheating on her with Beth and that they'd created a baby together. Luis was and always would be a user and there was no way she would end up being used again. She was no longer Sheridan Crane, the woman who simply rolled over and accepted the fact that she was born to be used. No... she was Angela Baker now... and Angela Baker was used by no one! She folded up the paper and tossed it into the trash can, wiping the tears from her eyes. She was halfway to her bedroom, intending to dress, when she stopped. Shaking her head, she went back to the trash can and pulled out the paper. She tore out the ad from Luis and returned the rest of the paper to the trash. Okay, so Sheridan Crane wasn't entirely gone... the part that still loved Luis remained and that little part couldn't allow this minute link to him be thrown away.

Angela went to her bedroom and sank onto the bed. she reached over and opened the drawer of her bedside table. There, inside, was her little shrine to Luis. The compact he'd given her rested on top of several other things she'd saved. There were a couple newspaper clippings she'd hoarded, from the various times he'd saved her life back in Harmony. There was a dried rose that he'd given her in Paris. To this meager little pile she added the clipping from today's paper and closed the drawer slowly.

Lying back on the bed she wondered if she would ever be able to bring herself to throw away the things in the drawer. She smiled sadly. She would never throw away the compact. Even though it now resided in the drawer, never to be used again, it remained her most prized possession. She remembered the day he'd given it to her like it was yesterday. He'd seemed so nervous... so afraid she wouldn't like it because it wasn't an antique like the one he'd broken. Little did he know that she'd have loved it and treasured it even if it had been made from plastic. No gift she'd ever been given had been chosen with such thought or given with such sincerity and she would never again receive one that would mean as much to her.

"Oh Luis..." she whispered to herself, "Why couldn't you have been the man I thought you were? Why? We could've had everything together..."

Luis spent Sunday afternoon mowing the lawn and then helping Theresa weed the flower beds. He knelt on the ground beside his sister, pulling out weeds without even seeing them. "Uhh... Luis?" Theresa murmured. "Huh? What?" Theresa pointed to the petunia that now rested on the weed pile. "We're supposed to pull up the weeds... not the flowers." "Oh... yeah." Luis looked a bit sheepish as he replanted the flower and proceeded with the weeding.

Theresa watched her brother with concern. "Luis... you need to snap out of this. Sheridan isn't coming back. It's time you faced facts and got on with your life." "I can't Theresa... I can't just let it go. I love her and she's the only woman I'll ever love."

"There will be other women Luis... really there will. Sheridan... well, she isn't the woman you thought she was or she wouldn't have disappeared like that." Luis looked at Theresa and frowned. "It's not like that Theresa. I've never told you, but I found out why she really left. It was a stupid misunderstanding... one that really hurt her." He went on to explain about what he'd learned from Gwen and about Beth's baby and how all of it had led to Sheridan's disappearance. "So," he said after he was through, "It's not Sheridan's fault really. Who could blame her for running after what she thought?" "Well, she could've hung around to find out the truth." Theresa said disdainfully. "Yeah... well it doesn't matter... I'll never give up on finding her... never." Luis stood and wiped off his jeans. "Listen Theresa... I don't feel like weeding right now. Leave it and I'll finish it later, okay?"

"Okay Luis. Where are you going?" "Just for a walk... I won't be long." Luis wandered away, headed in the direction of the park. Theresa watched him until he was out of sight and then she went into the house. She changed from her gardening clothes and grabbed her purse and the keys to Luis' jeep. She had to speak to Ethan. She had an idea that she didn't think anyone had thought of yet.

chapter 16

       
     

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