APtS: Chapter 11 Page 1

Cade… Cade… Cade… you mysterious boy….

Enjoy page 1 of chapter 11. I’m posting a bonus scene later this evening.

It is a bright morning. Ryan and I are sitting at the kitchen table. He is staring into my eyes and holding my hand. I can see his light tan, and a smattering of a beard covering his jaw. His light brown hair is growing out.


“Rhae, honey, do you want sorghum on your biscuits?”

What? “Mama? Is that you?” I start looking around but all I can see is white light. I can’t see anything other than Ryan and the kitchen table. “Mama where are you?” I shout as I look frantically for her.

“Aww baby. I’m here. Calm down. I’m making you some biscuits. Sorghum?”

“No. I don’t want anything to eat,” panic is filling me from my toes to my head. “Mama, let me help you!”

“The only way to help me is to help yourself. You know what needs to happen. Call your Dad. He can help. Tell Jess and Marie that I love them.”

Confused, I turn to Ryan, “Why are you still here?”

He shakes his head, “You’re holding grudges. I asked you to be Melody’s friend. That’ll help you let go of the anger you have for me. That’s the only way.”

“Everyone can kiss my ass! I don’t know what I’m supposed to do anymore!”


I feel tears welling up and I wake up. A dream. God, I can’t do this.

These dreams are killing me. I can’t fix this. Why do they all think I can?!


Several days have passed. Cade still hasn’t called me. I’m completely numb and worthless. I go to work, come home, eat, drink and sleep. I’m a living machine. My routine is a spiral into non-existence.

Nothing makes sense. Going out with friends is unappealing. I don’t call anyone. I think about the fresh start plan and then I lose focus. I spend hours thinking through every moment we spent together. Analyzing every conversation for hints of things that I did to piss him off. I don’t land on any one thing. I briefly consider that he’s just dealing with his grandfather’s passing. What I can’t rationalize is why he wouldn’t allow me to help him through it. I need him here. He held the dreams off. The dreams that rip me to shreds every time I close my eyes.

By the end of the week, I’m more than hurt, more than numb. I’m angry. Nearly a week without a word? Nearly a week! Sucking up my pride, I decide it is high time to do something. I need to quit my job. It occurs to me that I might hurt Bill or Alana, or maybe Lucy and Julie. Echoes of my private meeting with Irma resonate in my mind. I need to do this now. I need my mama and Ryan to rest and stop showing up in my dreams. I know if mama is in my dreams, she’s in the dreams of Jess, Marie, and Dad. They are too proud to admit they believe or that it’s possible.


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