Okay, Carolyn this is for you!! ;) For everyone else, don't let this post confuse you. Just scroll down to the last post, read the beginning of the story and then pick it up here.
Her steps slowed as the neighborhood park came into view. The swings swayed and creaked in the gentle late afternoon breeze. She wondered if those swings had changed from the last time she sat there fifteen years ago. Her shoulders sagged further. She fingered the rusted chains and closed her eyes. She could hear the laughter of a young girl, filled with hope and inspiration and confidence. She remembered the way goosebumps ran up her arms when Andy laced his fingers through hers and they swung side by side neither of them saying a word because they both knew what had to be said.
"I'll call you as soon as we get the phone hooked up in my dorm," she'd promised, finally breaking the silence.
"You'll have to call my mom and get my new number," he'd reminded her.
Silence covered the early August evening. Their futures bright and promising stretched in front of them in different directions.
"So Thanksgiving, huh?" he'd mumbled.
"Yeah, Thanksgiving," she whispered swallowing the tears that threatened. "And then we'll have two weeks at Christmas."
"Two whole weeks," he'd squeezed her fingers.
The breeze turned into a sharp, blowing wind pulling Alisha back to that moment. She sank into the same swing she'd left fifteen years before and wondered what had happened to Andy. Last she heard he'd stayed in Ohio to finish medical school. Surely by now he had a family and a life. Funny how time changes everything.
She leaned her head back and felt the thrill of the rise and fall of the swing. If only she could bring her work to the playground and teach a few manners like her gradeschool teachers had. But manners would do those people no good. Her heart beat faster as she thought about the papers stashed under the passenger seat of her car. She wanted to shred them, burn them, destroy them, but she knew that would only make matters worse. Where was the girl who knew what she wanted and feared nothing and no one who walked into her path? That girl would know what to do.