Planning and looking forward to her wedding made Abby’s final days in the hospital speed by. The upcoming wedding totally consumed her thoughts, and left her no time to think of much else. Even the physical therapy sessions were a little easier, know it would be behind her soon, and she would be starting a whole new life, with a man she knew truly loved her. She found herself scared and excited all at the same time. For the first time in months, Abby thought of Jay. How was he going to react when he discovered she wasn’t dead, and had married another man? The thought made her tremble.
“Home, sweet home.” Gary said as he helped Abby through the door of her new apartment. This apartment was only temporary, since after Abby and Gary were married, she would move into his house. As she made her way to the bedroom, she could hear Gary talking from the living room. “Let’s order take out for dinner, what are you in the mood for?” “Anything but hospital food!” She said with a chuckle. “How about pizza? He asked. “Sounds great to me, I’d eat anything right now, I’m starving!”
Soon they found themselves seated at the kitchen table, over a pizza and candlelight. “This is the best thing I have eaten in three months.” Abby stated, as she struggle with a long string of gooey cheese. “It’s so great to have you out of that hospital, I was beginning to wonder if I would ever get you to myself.” Gary said, reaching across the table to put a hand over Abby’s. Abby felt a shock go through her, even though his touch was very gentle. Abby fought the urge to pull away. Every time Jay had ever touched her hand, he was trying to control her. Sensing her discomfort, Gary pulled his hand away, and stood to clear the table. “Feel like watching a movie, or would you rather call it a night?” Stifling a yawn, Abby moved from the table, to join him. Gently he wrapped both arms around her. “I love you, but I think it is time for me to throw you out, I need some sleep. Maybe we can watch a movie tomorrow night.” Abby said. “Okay, you get some rest, and I will see you tomorrow afternoon.”
As Abby settled into her own bed that night, for the first time in three months, she thought about how nice it was to be back at home. Being in the hospital for an extended time had given her a peek into what her patients went through while being treated for cancer, or after a surgery. Her patients probably got the same feeling she did when they finally got to go home. Being a patient had changed her view as doctor, but also as a person. Abby didn’t intend to ever take her abilities for granted. She would never complain about have to walk a mile, because her parking spot was so far away, or complain about standing in a long line, because at least she could walk and stand.
“What about this one? It’s really pretty.” Kimberly asked, paging through the bridal magazine. She and Abby were seated on the couch in Abby’s apartment, magazines and books spread out in front of them. “Are you kidding me, with these hips?” Abby said, slapping her hip for emphases. “What hips? Kimberly asked, in mock confusion.
Jay watched the two women, laughing and talking, and his anger began to surface. He had to do something, but Jay was going to really have to plan, because of all the security blanketing his target. He couldn’t have been more shocked when he saw her picture in the morning paper, smiling and happy, in the arms of another man. How dare she cheat on him like this! Abby wasn’t even bothering to hid her affair. It had only taken him a couple of hours to find her new address. The connections he had in various places helped his search along. Jay would leave for tonight, but he would be back, and Abby would pay for what she had done to him. This time, Jay was going to make sure she didn’t live to tell about it.
As she entered her office for the first time in six months, Abby stopped, and enjoyed the feeling. She was back at work; doing the thing she loved most. Everything seemed to be just as she had left it. Even the fact that Jay was still out there somewhere couldn’t dampen Abby’s spirits today, she wouldn’t let it. Jay would be found, and when he was, Abby was going to make sure he paid for what he had done to her. Abby might have lingered longer, but a nurse came, telling her a patient was waiting. Abby slipped into her white lab coat, and left the office, to begin her day. She wasn’t scheduled for a full load, knowing this would be too much, too soon. “Abby, it is great having you back!” “We have missed you so much around here!” Abby heard it dozens of time that day. People shocked to see her back at work, much less walking. By the end of the day, Abby felt she had been hugged until she would break. The only person not surprised to see her back was Kimberly, who had never lost confidence in Abby, and her determination. If it had not been for Kimberly, Abby might not be back on her feet. She had never given up on Abby, and had refused to let Abby give up on herself. Kimberly had always known Abby would walk again, and never wavered. Gary was always there for Abby, but he was never pushy, demanding she quit feeling sorry for herself. He held her when she cried, and always tried to encourage Abby the best way he knew how.
As Abby walked out to her car at the end of the day, she found herself looking over her shoulder. Jay was out there somewhere, and she never knew where he might turn up. It had been a long day, and Abby knew she was not able to fight Jay in her weakened state. As she fumbled for her keys, Abby felt her hands shaking. When she got the door opened, Abby locked herself inside, and sat there for a moment, trying to clear her mind.
The ringing of her cell phone nearly made her come out of her skin. “Abby, it’s Gary. I was wondering if you wanted to meet me for dinner, I’m in the city, and I know you are just getting off.” Abby felt herself relax at hearing Gary’s voice. “That sounds great, where do you want to eat?” Gary chuckled; they always had this discussion when they went out to eat. “It doesn’t matter to me, you pick.”
Abby and Kimberly sat, drinking coffee and watching a movie. They were having a “girl’s night”. Abby had been unusually quiet all evening, and Kim was really beginning to wonder what was up. “Abby, I’m your best friend, whatever is bothering you, I hope you know you can tell me about it.” Kim said quietly, not want to push the issue, but wanting Abby to know she was there for her, no matter what. “It would break Gary’s heart if he knew what I have been thinking lately, and I just can’t bring myself to tell him the truth, but I know he knows something is wrong. The truth is, I’m not sure if I am ready to get married. I know Gary isn’t Jay, but I can’t stop thinking maybe I am making the biggest mistake of my life.” Both women sat for several moments, not sure what to say next. “I don’t want to push you, but Gary is a good man, and he really loves you, he would never do anything to hurt you, and I am sure he would understand if you wanted to push the wedding back for a while.” Kim said honestly. “ I guess I really need to talk to him.” Abby said as much for herself as Kim