Broken Promises

Broken Promises by Terri Reid Read Free Book Online

Book: Broken Promises by Terri Reid Read Free Book Online
Authors: Terri Reid
Tags: General Fiction Speculative Fiction Suspense
just keep singing to them and I’ll find a bathroom and be back with you in a few minutes.”
    “Really?” Clarissa asked.
    “Really,” Becca replied. “Now, get your breakfast so we can get over to the Nursing Home before it’s too late.”
    ###
    Forty minutes later they had walked the four blocks to the inner city Nursing Home and were signing their names at the reception desk.
    “Good morning, Clarissa,” Goldie, the receptionist, greeted them with a friendly smile. “Are you going to sing to us again today?”
    Clarissa nodded. “Is that okay if I sing to the grandmas and grandpas?” she asked. “Are they awake today?”
    Goldie laughed. “Well, some of them is and some of them ain’t,” she said. “But they all love a good show and they doubly love cute little girls.”
    Clarissa liked the sound her shoes made against the hard linoleum floor, “click, click, clack.” She stomped her feet harder to make the noise louder.
    “Shhh, Clarissa,” Becca said. “There are some people who are still asleep here.”
    Instantly remorseful, Clarissa began to tiptoe. “Sorry, Mom, I forgot.”
    Becca smiled down at her daughter. “I like the sounds your shoes make too,” she whispered. “Maybe we can go to a museum some day and then your shoes can echo even louder.”
    “Really?” Clarissa asked, excitement sparkling in her eyes. “When?”
    Becca’s smile lessened for a moment. “Well, soon, I hope,” she replied, reaching over and patting her daughter on her head. “Very soon.”
    “Can angels hear shoes?”
    Her mother stopped walking and looked down at her. “Why I imagine they could,” she said. “Especially loud ones like yours.”
    Clarissa giggled. “Then we should go to a museum soon,” she announced. “So daddy can hear my shoes.”
    Sudden tears formed in Becca’s eyes and she quickly wiped them away. “Yes. Yes we should,” she replied, “because Daddy always liked your loud noises.”
    Nodding, Clarissa glanced down at her shoes. “And he never got to see these shoes, did he? ‘Cause we got these at our special store.”
    Becca nodded, remembering the bags of clothes and shoes they purchased for only a dollar at the thrift store three blocks away from their home. They had been lucky enough to find quite a few items that fit Clarissa perfectly, although they were worn and some needed to be mended. She wondered again if she’d done the right thing. She hadn’t given their real names to anyone. She was working for less than minimum wage in order to work without a Social Security number. She couldn’t apply for welfare, because she didn’t want anyone to be able to track them down. And, worst of all, she couldn’t go to a free clinic to get her prescriptions because she was afraid Gary Copper knew about her disease and would somehow be able to trace her medical information and find them. She sighed, took Clarissa’s hand, and together they walked down the hall toward the recreation room where dozens of elderly patients sat in chairs or wheelchairs.
    She sent up a little prayer for forgiveness before they went through the large double doors and then smiled down at Clarissa and they both went inside.
    Joyce, the Activity Director, a large woman with a warm and friendly smile, crossed the room to greet them.
    “Hello, it’s so nice of you to visit us again,” she said. “Now help me remember your names again.”
    Clarissa smiled up at her. “I’m Clarissa…,” she paused, making sure to remember their new last name, “Newman and this is my mom, Becca Newman.”
    “Wow, aren’t you a smart young lady,” Joyce replied. “I don’t know if I mentioned this last time you came, but ten o’clock is the time we have to give all of our patients their medicine. So, it’s a little crazy here.”
    “Oh, I’m sorry,” Becca said. “I believe you might have said that. Are we in the way? Could Clarissa still sing to some of the residents?”
    Joyce nodded. “Oh, of

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