claremont ridge

what comes around

Slow days at the police station back in Scotland were Alex’s worst days. But he could always get through them because he knew what - or, more accurately, who - he was going home to. Lina. She had been the light of his life; she still was, even though he had torn his heart in two and left her. It was something he never went an hour without thinking about. But if slow days in Scotland had been hard, then slow days in Claremont Ridge were unbearable. People here were either too good, or too good at hiding that they weren’t.

He left work at dusk, and the air was cold when he left the station. The wind bit at his cheeks and reddened them, a drastic contrast to his usually pale and almost sickly complexion. He didn’t own a car, and didn’t think the 15-minute walk from his flat to the station was worth cab fare, so he walked home most days. On his way home, he would always walk by the biggest park in town, on the edge of Ghost Pines forest. It was peaceful, and there was hardly ever anyone there. But today he saw a figure off in the distance on a bench, a woman, and he found it odd, but ignored it.

He nearly fell over when he saw her. His legs felt like jelly, and his face went stale-white again. Lina. How was she here? Why was she here? Alex had never felt his heart race so fast, and it only quickened when he felt his legs taking him to her, as if some unknown force was pulling him closer to her – it always did, though, didn’t it? Even though he knew she hated him – how could she not? – he couldn’t help the smile, the first real smile in months, from breaking onto his face as he got close enough to see her, and let her see him.

“Lina, wh–” He started, but then saw what was sitting next to the bench. A stroller. A baby. Lina had a baby. A baby… His hand went to his sternum, and he knew, he just knew from looking at the wee little crying babe, that it was his. “Is that…” He tried to swallow, but his throat constricted. “Oh, god, Lina.” And that was all he could say before he lost his balance, and had to lean on the bench for support.