Sarah hated conflict. She always had. Yet here she was face to face with Agnes, the woman who had altered the course of her childhood. The woman whose lies and deception had caused her to be abruptly uprooted from her loving happy home with Grandma Rose. There had even been whispered rumors that her manipulations may have even led to the death of Sarah’s young parents.
She couldn’t say for sure how long she had been standing there, her mouth open, her mind racing. Sarah had traveled to her childhood home for one reason only – to find healing, and with that healing to find peace. She had hoped that by returning to this cherished farmhouse she could find the answers for which her heart so desperately longed.
She had brought her long forgotten birthday bible with her. The one Grandma had so lovingly given her that last year they were together. Sarah had hoped that perhaps by sitting once more in Grandma’s wing chair and reading her own version of Grandma’s softly worn black leather bible, she could uncover the secret to the peace that had pervaded her grandmother’s difficult life.
It had only been two short weeks since Jonathan had asked her to marry him. The question had come as no surprise to her. They had been friends for so long, their lives becoming ever more entwined. But the weight of the commitment had staggered her. Her hesitations drove them apart, and she spent days avoiding him. Sarah recalled the hurt and confusion in his eyes, and the memory broke her heart again. She had no reassuring explanations to offer him, just the desperate plea, “Jonathan, I need to go home.”
But where was her home? Until now Sarah had thought it was here at Grandma’s farmhouse…her heart had brought her here, her prayers had brought her here. But now, standing before her was Agnes…
Sarah shrank back, away from the door, away from Agnes, away from the painful memories. She stepped back and ran across the verandah and down the wooden steps. She could hear the hollow pounding of her heart. Tears began streaming down her cheeks and sobs choked the air from her throat. She reached the car, fumbled for the keys, started the engine, and bumped down the long driveway in a cloud of dust. Squinting through her tears, Sarah stared into the rear view window at Grandma’s porch, only to see Agnes standing where Grandma had once stood.
She looked away and continued down the long dusty road. The road she had ventured on just this morning, so eager, so full of hope and expectations. Her shoulders drooped with disappointment and her heart hurt with the pain of the long forgotten memories Agnes’ face had awakened.
Sarah did not have the energy or the understanding to begin the long journey back, so she decided to drive though town and find a place to stay. At any other time she would have paused to become reacquainted with the small town, relishing its old-fashioned appeal. But not today. The experience of the morning clouded her eyes and dulled her senses. She remembered seeing a “motel” sign earlier that morning. Sarah was relieved to see the “NO” remained unlit beside the red “VACANCY” announcement.
Pulling up to the guest entrance, she left the car running and numbly went to check in. Once inside the room she threw herself on the bed and escaped into the vacancy of sleep.
Later, awakening to a darkened room and a lonely feeling in her heart, Sarah became aware of the emptiness of her stomach. She sat up, determined to break out of the darkness and despair.
Driving down the quiet, softly lit streets, she found an appealing diner in the older, familiar part of town. Sarah entered the diner and waited to be seated. It was then that she saw him.
At first she wasn’t sure – it had been so long and his head was turned slightly away from her view. Then she saw his beloved profile and she knew. Her heart pounded and her cheeks flushed. She was not ready, not now, not yet. She looked down, but it was too late. He had already turned and their eyes had met. He stood and smiled and she moved toward him. He opened his arms and she walked in. It all came flooding back – so many memories, so much feeling. His tenderness overwhelmed her.
As his warmth and strength enveloped her, Sarah knew it was here that she belonged. It was here she felt at home.
If you’re new to “Paladini Potpie” or haven’t visited in awhile you might want to read about Jane Jardscg and how this Novel Adventure came to be.