Remember to Forget

Remember to Forget by Deborah Raney Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Remember to Forget by Deborah Raney Read Free Book Online
Authors: Deborah Raney
Tags: Fiction, General, Romance, Contemporary, Religious, Christian
table, the Henrys were standing by their table, in animated conversation with another couple about their age.
    She nodded and started to slip back into the booth. Rick interruptedhimself, stopping her with an upraised hand. “Meg, this is Ted and Corinne Blakely. They’re old friends of ours. Can you believe we just happened to stop at the same diner for breakfast? Especially this time of morning?”
    “Hi.” Maggie gave a weak smile, wishing she’d stayed in the rest room a few minutes longer. She slid behind Sandy into the booth.
    While the husbands and wives carried on simultaneous and noisy conversations, she felt as if she were eavesdropping. She pleated accordion folds into her napkin and rearranged her silverware on the empty plate, as if these were tasks of great importance.
    “Did you hear that, Meg?”
    She lifted her head at Rick’s effusive question. “Sorry . . . no.”
    “Ted and Corinne are going through Columbus. They said you’d be welcome to ride on with them.” A satisfied grin split his face, as though he’d just handed her an expensive gift.
    And in truth, he had. “Really?” She sought Mrs. Blakely’s eyes, trying to read the sincerity there. What she saw was the kindest, most welcoming expression she could have hoped for.
    “Of course. We’d love to have the company. Wouldn’t we, Ted?”
    Her husband nodded but looked pointedly at his watch. “We’re kind of needing to get on the road. We’re headed on to Kansas City, and our daughter’s expecting us for a late supper. We’ll pick up I-70, but whereabouts in Columbus do you need to go?”
    “Oh, you can drop me off anywhere. I . . . my friends can come and get me wherever you drop me off.”
    “Well, we’ll see how the time goes,” Ted Blakely said, checking his watch again. “Maybe your friends can meet us somewhere. Don’t want to leave you stranded.”
    “Oh, that’s okay. I’m grateful for the ride.”
    Mr. Blakely turned to the Henrys and offered his hand. “Sure good to run into you guys.”
    They exchanged warm good-byes, then Mr. Blakely turned to Maggie. “We’ll drive over to where Rick is parked and get your bags.”
    Rick stepped in to explain, saving her from repeating the lie.
    “Well, all right then. This way.” He took his wife’s arm and ushered her toward the exit. Maggie followed.
    “Good luck to you, Meg.” Rick tipped his Stetson.
    “Thank you for everything.”
    “Glad to help,” Rick and Sandy said as one.
    Mr. Blakely held the door for her, and from the corner of her vision, she saw the Henrys walk toward the cashier.
    She was torn between wanting to hurry out to the Blakelys’ car before Rick and Sandy discovered she’d paid for their meals, and wanting to go back and say good-bye and a proper thank-you. An odd lump rose in her throat as the door swung closed and the Henrys disappeared from sight. Was she so needy that she’d formed an attachment to complete strangers in the space of a few hours?
    The Blakelys drove a small Toyota. Half of the backseat was packed with cardboard boxes, but Ted Blakely transferred them to the trunk before motioning for her to climb inside.
    “Are you sure you got everything, Ted?” Mrs. Blakely turned to Maggie. “All my garage-sale goodies are back there . . . stuff I picked up for our grandkids.” Mrs. Blakely’s voice was apologetic, but her eyes bright with pride.
    “Oh? How many grandchildren do you have?” Maybe if she could get them talking about themselves, they wouldn’t ask her too many questions.
    “We have six and one on the way. Only two of them are in Kansas City though. The others live in Buffalo . . . just an hour from us.”
    Her ploy worked. The woman turned and propped an elbow over the back of the seat. For the next fifty miles, she prattled on about her family. Maggie tried to follow the detailed descriptions of the grandchildren, tried to smile in the appropriate places, but she soon felt herself grow drowsy.

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