“Hello?” she answers.

“Hey, Abbs. I’m sorry…” I start.

She takes a deep breath and lets loose on me. “ Are you kidding me? Meg, you can’t just disappear like that. What the hell happened?”

I hear her muffle the phone like she’s talking to someone and then I hear a door slam.

“If you’re at work, I can call you later,” I tell her. I know that Jackson is probably somewhere close by and I don’t want him knowing I’m on the phone.

“No, no. It’s fine. I took a break and came outside. Where are you?” she asks me.

“A cabin in the woods,” I tell her generically. I don’t want her to know exactly where I’m at, since I know she will tell her brother.

“A cabin in the woods? Come home. This is crazy. Jackson is worried sick about you. He looks like hell and is barking orders at everyone. Please come home and work this out.”

I wipe at the tears falling down my face. I thought I could hold it together, but obviously not. “He’s back with Emily.”

“Bullshit!” she yells into the phone. “There’s no way.”

“Abby, it’s okay. I don’t want this to come between you and Jackson. This is between me and him,” I tell her worriedly. I definitely don’t want this to affect their relationship.

“It’s bullshit, Megan. There’s no way they are back together.” I swear I can picture her with her hand on her hip wanting to give me a ‘what for.’

“It’s true, Abby. I wouldn’t have believed it either if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. I went to his house and she answered the door in nothing but his T-shirt. He was in the shower. She told me – she told me they were back together.” I try to hold it together, but I start sobbing into the phone.

She’s quiet for such a long time I start to think she hung up on me. “Abby?”

Quietly, she responds, “Megan. I know you are convinced of what you saw. But it’s not adding up. He’s a mess. He was so upset when you didn’t show up at his house. I’ve never ever seen my brother this torn up. It just doesn’t sound like something he would do.”

I can’t stop the hope that flares in my chest, but almost instantly I dampen it down. I know what I saw.

“Yea, uh, it’s fine though. I want him to be happy. I thought he seemed to have gotten over Emily really fast. You can’t blame someone for trying to work things out. I get it.” I blabber on and on to her.

“Just come home. We can work this out,” she pleads with me.

I look out at the mountains in front of me and a peace comes over me. “I’ll be back tomorrow sometime. I have to work on Thursday. But there’s nothing to work out. It was a fling. I don’t really have a lot of time anyway, you know, with the coffee shop and everything.”

“Oh, Megan,” she says softly and I can hear the pity and the worry in her voice.

“So, I’ll be home tomorrow and maybe we can get together this week for dinner or something. I just wanted to call you so you would stop worrying. I’m fine. I love you, Abbs!” I smile into the phone.

“Love you, too Meg. Please be careful.”

Chapter 8

Jackson

I didn’t realize that Abby walked off the job site until I asked someone and they pointed at the door. When I go outside, I hear her say into the phone, “Just come home. We can work this out.” And instantly I know that Megan is on the other end.

I walk straight up to Abby and try to take the phone. She gives me the death glare and points her finger in my chest. I’m like three times her size, I know I can overpower her, but there’s something in the look on her face that stops me.

When she hangs up the phone, I ask her, “Where is she? Is she okay?”

“What the fuck did you do?” Now, my sister was raised in construction. Our dad always had us at the construction site when he was working. Enough that Abby and I followed in his footsteps. But she never usually cusses. Unless she feels she needs to get her point across.

I hold my hands up in front of me like I’m surrendering. “What? I didn’t do anything.”

She eyes me for a minute and then really calmly explains, “She said she went to your house the other night. She said that Emily answered your door wearing only your T-shirt. Emily told her that you were in the shower and you two were getting back together.”

It’s like a bomb has been dropped. My mind is whirling. My eyes dart everywhere as I try to puzzle all the pieces together. Seconds go by and then it finally hits me. “That bitch,” I scream.

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