“Blair, you’re back.” The secretary, Alice if I remember right, looked me over and smiled. “You’ve changed. Interesting thing with the hair, it’s a lot longer than what I recall. You always wore it so short. And you’ve gained some weight.”
I shrugged. “It’s been five years. Is he in?”
“No. Sorry. He’s at home. He just got back from a business trip and was beat so he’s taking the day to recuperate.”
I thanked her and left. The moment I stepped out of the building I started to shake. As soon as I’d boarded the bus last night I’d had second thoughts as the adrenaline rush from making my decision faded and fear took over. But by then it was too late. The bus had dropped me at the airport just as I’d planned and I got a seat on the first plane here. Here being where I grew up. The place that I’d run from.
I don’t know why I thought facing my demon in his office would work. Hope that he’d have changed maybe and would promise to leave me alone? This could be the most insane thing I’d ever done, coming back. But I knew that somehow he’d find me again, just as he had at the bookstore. Because deep in my heart I knew it had been him, as much as I’d tried to tell myself otherwise. And if he did find me I would have run, leaving Quinn and my new life behind.
I smiled as I thought of Quinn and it calmed me. I was doing this for him, for me, for us, because there couldn’t be an ‘us’ with this hanging over my head.
Taking a deep breath I started walking down familiar streets towards the house where I’d grown up. As I turned one last corner and saw it I froze in fear. It hadn’t changed. It looked just the same, so neat and tidy on the outside with its white paint and green shutters. Even the flowerbeds were the way I remembered them. But inside…
My fear grew and only picturing Quinn’s face allowed me to move forward. Hesitantly I stepped onto the porch and turned the doorknob. The door was locked of course. Why had I thought it would be otherwise? I knocked, once, and waited.