Becca’s heart shattered as she watched Charles walk, no run, away from her. She collapsed onto the seat he just vacated and dropped her head to the table. His scent still lingered, one she wasn’t familiar with, but stirred emotions deep inside that she was afraid to name.
Tears flowed from Becca’s eyes to the table below her, creating a pool of her misery. A hand landed on her shoulder, but she didn’t bother to look up. She’d only been working there a few weeks and didn’t know her coworkers well. She wasn’t prepared to tell anyone the whole story, even Abby, who had become a friend quickly.
“What did he say to you?” Abby asked. “He’s always been so nice. I’ll tell Fred not to let him back in.”
“No,” Becca said quickly. She didn’t want to ostracize Charles, but she knew there was more to her assertion that he not be banned. She wanted to see him again. “He’s an old friend. Someone I haven’t seen in a while. It just brought back a lot of emotions.”
Abby tilted her head to the side and studied Becca. There was no doubt she wasn’t telling the whole truth and she knew Abby was well aware of that. Still, she clamped her mouth shut and refused to say more.
“I’ll get the whole story out of you one day, Becca. A woman doesn’t cry like you are over a man who didn’t crush her heart. I’d put money on you being in love with him and him being an ass about it.”
“Charles was never an ass. He never knew how I felt. It wasn’t like that.”
Abby watched her closely then passed her a napkin. “I’ll let it go for now, but we’re going out after work. You’re either going to tell me all about tall, dark, and sexy or you’re going to get over him by kissing a stranger. Or going home with one.”
Becca grinned. Her friend knew she’d never gone home with a stranger, and probably never would. It didn’t stop her from pushing her to get out of the slump Becca admitted she was in. One she’d been in for years. One she didn’t think she could ever claw her way out of.
Because doing so would remind her of how much she’d lost, and how much her brother would never have.