Never Too Far (Fallen Too Far)By: Abbi Glines
The wooden planks cracked under my feet as I stepped back onto the front porch of Granny Q’s house. I let the screen door close behind me with a loud bang before remembering it was old and its springs were long ago rusted. I’d spent many days of my childhood on this front porch shelling peas with Cain and Granny Q. I didn’t want her upset with me. My stomach twisted.
“Sit down girl and stop looking like you’re ready to cry. God knows I love ya like you’re my own. Thought you would be one day.” She shook her head. “Stupid boy couldn’t get it together. I hoped he’d wake up ‘fore it was too late. But he didn’t, did he? You done gone and found ya someone else.”
This had not been what I was expecting. I took the seat across from her and began shelling peas so I wouldn’t have to look at her. “Cain and I were over three years ago. Nothing that is happening now is affecting that. He is my friend, that’s all.”
Granny Q made ahmph sound and shifted in the porch swing she was sitting in. “I don’t believe that. You two wereinseparable as kids. Even as a boy he couldn’t keep his eyes off you. It was funny to watch how much he adored you and didn’t even realize it himself. But boys hit them teenage years and lose their ever loving minds. I hate he did. I hate he lost you, girl. ‘Cause there won’t be another Blaire for Cain. You were it for him.”
She hadn’t mentioned my pregnancy tests. Did she even know I’d bought them? I didn’t want to recap my past with Cain. Sure we had history but there was so much sadness and regret that I didn’t want to go there. I’d been living in a lie my father had constructed then. Remembering it hurt. “Has Cain come by here today?” I asked.
“Yeah. He came by this morning looking for ya. I told him you’d not come back home from your early escape. He looked worried and turned and left without telling me anythin’ else. He’d been crying though. Don’t reckon I’ve ever seen him cry before. Least not since he was a boy.”
He’d been crying? I closed my eyes and dropped the peas into the large plastic bucket Granny Q was using. Cain wasn’t supposed to be upset. He wasn’t supposed to cry. He’d let me go a long time ago. Why was this so hard on him? “How long ago was that?” I asked, thinking about the hours that had passed since I’d bared my soul to him in the parking lot of the pharmacy.
“Ah, ‘bout nine hours ago I’d guess. It was early. He was a mess, girl. At least go find him and talk to him. No matter how you feel about him now he needs to hear from you that things are okay.”
I nodded. “Can I use your phone?” I asked, standing up.
“Of course you can. Eat you one of them fried pies while you’re in there. I made enough for an army after he ran off this morning. They’re his favorite flavor,” she said.
“Cherry,” I replied and she gave me a smile. I could see so many things in those eyes of hers. I knew Cain. Nothing about him surprised me. I understood him. We had a past. I loved his family and they obviously loved me too. This was safe.
Bethy was standing on the other side of the door sipping her glass of sweet tea and holding her phone out to me. She’d been listening. I wasn’t surprised.
“Call the boy. Get this over with,” she said.
I took her phone and walked into the living room to give myself some privacy before dialing Cain’s number. I knew it by heart. He’d had the same number since he got his first cell phone when we were sixteen.
“Hello,” came his reply. I could hear the hesitation in his voice. Something was off. He sounded like he was talking through his nose.
“Cain? Are you okay?” I asked suddenly worried about him.
There was a pause then a long sigh. “Blaire. Yeah… I’m fine.”
“Where are you?”
He cleared his throat. “I, uh… I’m in Rosemary Beach.”
He was in Rosemary? What? I sank down on the sofa behind me and gripped the phone tighter. Was he telling Rush? My heart slammed against my chest and I closed my eyes tightly before asking, “Why are in you in Rosemary? Please tell me you didn’t…” I couldn’t say it. Not with Bethy in the other room and more than likely listening to me.
“I needed to see his face. I needed to see if he loved you. I needed to know… because, I just needed to know.” That made no sense.
“What did you say to him? How did you find him? Did you find him?” Maybe he hadn’t found him. Maybe I could stop this.
There was a hard chuckle on the other end of the line. “Yeah, I found him alright. Ain’t real hard. This place is small and everyone knows where the rock star’s son lives.”
Oh god, oh god, oh god... “What did you say to him?” I asked slowly as horror washed over me.
“I didn’t tell him. I wouldn’t do that to you. Give me some damn credit. I cheated on you because I was a horny ass teenage boy but dammit Blaire when are you gonna forgive me? Will I pay for that mistake the rest of my life? I’m sorry! GOD I’m so fucking sorry. I would go back and change everything if I could.” He stopped and made a grunt that sounded like he was hurting.
“Cain. What’s wrong with you? Are you okay?” I asked. I didn’t want to acknowledge what he’d said. I knew he was sorry. I was too. But no, I was never going to get over it. Forgiving was one thing. Forgetting was another.
“I’m fine. I’m just a little battered. Let’s just say the guy isn’t crazy about me, okay.”
The guy. Rush? Had Rush hurt him? That didn’t sound like Rush at all. “What guy?”
Cain sighed, “Rush.”
My jaw fell open as I stared straight ahead. Rush had hurt Cain? “I don’t understand.”
“It’s okay. I got a room for the night and I’m sleeping this off. I’ll be home tomorrow. We have some things to talk about.”
“Cain. Why did Rush hurt you?”
Another pause and then a weary sigh. “Because I asked questions that he didn’t think were my business. I’ll be home tomorrow.”
He asked questions. What kind of questions?
“Blaire, you don’t have to tell him. I’ll take care of you. Just… we need to talk.”
He’d take care of me? What was he talking about? I wasn’t going to let him take care of me. “Where are you exactly?” I asked.
“Some hotel just outside of Rosemary. They think their shit don’t stink in that town. Everything there costs five times too much.”
“Okay. Stay in bed and I’ll see you tomorrow.” I replied then hung up.
Bethy stepped into the room. She cocked one of her dark eyebrows as she stared at me waiting. She’d been listening. I’dknown she would.
“I need a ride to Rosemary,” I told her standing up. I couldn’t let Cain lay hurt in a hotel room and I couldn’t chance that he’d go back and try to talk to Rush again. If Bethy could drive me there I could check on him and then drive him home.
Bethy nodded and a small smile tugged on her lips. I could tell she didn’t want me to see how happy she was to hear this. I wasn’t staying. She didn’t need to get her hopes up. “This is just about Cain. I’m not… I can’t stay there.”
She didn’t appear to believe me. “Sure. I know.”
I wasn’t in the mood to convince her. I handed her the phone and headed back to my temporary bedroom to pack some things.