Consequences

Two years ago I lost the man I wished to spend the rest of my life with: two years exactly.

Today, April twentieth, I feel all over again the hurt from that day. Kent, has now been dead for two years, and, to this day, I blame myself.

I'm engaged again, this time to General Hughes whose first name turned out to be Henry.

It was on April twentieth that I first met him, though the timing was not the best. He delivered to me the news of Kent's death.

His funeral was a week later, and General Hughes had shown up in honor of the young soldier.

"He was a good man," Hughes had said, "dedicated and strong. No one could have predicted this."

I nodded, unable to speak normally. I was hurt, my engagement ring stuck to my finger, for I was unable to bring myself to take it off; it felt, to me, if it came off, Kent was really dead, and I was not yet ready to accept that.

"Well, I can't imagine the amount of pain you feel, but I am more than willing to listen. You're a beautiful person, inside and out, and things like this should never happen to someone like you."

My breathing stopped as I heard his last words. Before Kent had proposed, when I fell off of the horse, Kent's exact words were "things like this should never happen to someone like you". I wondered if the General knew more about Kent than he was letting on, but his smile was sincere and he seemed truly upset.

"Thank you General," I replied, "but I'm really not ready to talk about much."

"Of course not, it's just, if you were ever free and needed some advice..."

He was interrupted by a blonde, tall man, making his way over to us, yelling my name. In a funeral home, this was usually looked down upon, especially one for a soldier, but I couldn't help but grin at the man.

"Amber! Finally! Sorry about the noise, but I drove all the way from Kentucky to get here! Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find anything in North Carolina? I suppose not since you live here, but I don't so it was hard. Anyway, Cameron is here..." he began looking around as he talked, searching for Cameron.

"Pete, it's good to see you," I said, pulling my brother into a hug. "Kentucky? What were you and Cam doing there? I thought you moved to California?"

He smiled, turning his full attention back to me. "We decided to take a vacation to visit mom and dad. They're sorry they couldn't be here, mom's got a couple job interviews and dad's not going anywhere without her."

I smiled at the memory of my parents, the way they swapped stereotypical roles. My dad stayed at home while my mom worked. I loved it.

"Anyway, Cam and I have decided you need us, so we're moving back to North Carolina. We have a beautiful house two blocks from your apartment."

My smile disapeared and I suddenly became serious again. "Peter, I love that you're here, but I really don't need babysitting. I'm going to be fine, I promise you."

For a moment Peter and the General shared a glance that I didn't understand, as if they both knew something I didn't. I looked from one to the other until finally the General spoke.

"Amber, I need to go take care of some paperword on Kent. Again, I'm sorry for your loss, and if you need anything, just give me a call."

I shook his hand and thanked him. The truth is, if I wasn't so in love with Kent, I would have concidered him. He wasn't bad looking, in fact he was rather cute. His brown hair was cut short and his face was tan and flawless. He wasn't Kent, but definitely not ugly.

"Amber, I'd love to go back to California and I know you'll be fine on your own, but there is no way you will be able to convince Cameron to leave. She has bought the house already, put our California home up for rent while we're gone, and, let's face it, she's stubborn as hell. If you can convince her you're fine on your own, then by God we'll leave."


My house was never as gorgeous or decorative as Cameron and Peter's, but I loved it just the same.

As soon as I stepped in, the first thing I could see was the two way parting stair case. On the right of the staircase, there was a single couch, and to the left there was a kitchen. None of the rooms had been finished yet, as this was to be mine and Kent's home when he returned and we were married. Now, it was only a reminder that it would never be that way.

"Oh Amber!" Cameron cried, "this is beautiful! Imagine what a little bit of paint could do in here! Oh it will be gorgeous!"

Pete gave me a sympathetic look, but I pushed it away; Personally, I was looking forward to moving on, and letting Cam rearrange my apartment may just be that first step I so desperately needed.

"She has been looking forward to re-decorating for a while now. She says it's the best way to... well, you know."

Pete smiled, watching Cameron survey my window curtains, obviously noting they needed to go first.

I turned to him and smiled. "I think she will get more out of this than I will, but it's worth a shot. Thank you for trying to help, it really does mean a lot to me."

He pulled me into a hug, laughing like we used to. "Baby sister, I'd do anything for you. You know that right?"

I half-smiled, "Yes, I know you would."





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