The Long Road to Happiness: Lyn & Thomas

Stefanie Daby-Pabins
85 min readJan 8, 2021


Lyn was a high school freshman at Olympic High School in her hometown of Camden, Maine. She was your typical teenager, hanging out with friends, going to the movies, and watching hockey games on the weekends. And this Friday started out as any other day had. Lyn had gone to school and then went to hang out with her friend, Anne.

Lyn and Anne were on their way up main street and took a short cut through the hockey arena. As they were walking, they were laughing and making their plans for the weekend. Anne stopped for a minute and started talking to this boy Lyn did not know. He had blue chin length hair, dark brown eyes that drew Lyn in, and a smile that sparkled. Anne introduced Lyn to Thomas. He went to school with Anne’s brother at the local private school. He was there for hockey practice.

The three of them talked for a few more minutes and then Thomas had to get to practice. He told the girls about his hockey game that weekend and said they should come. They agreed they would and headed on their way to main street.

Once they were out of the arena, Lyn asked Anne about Thomas. Anne told her he was from Colorado Springs, was a freshman, and a really great guy. Then Anne started picking on Lyn about having a crush. Lyn got a little red from embarrassment and told Anne that Thomas was a little strange having blue hair. They laughed and continued on their way. Lyn was staying at Anne’s house that night and then in the morning they were going to get ready to go to Thomas’ hockey game.

The next morning the girls got up and got ready for the hockey game. At the game they met up with a couple other friends, Marie and Savannah. The four girls watched the game and had plans to go to the movies later that night. Thomas was the goalie for the team. Seeing the color of the team jerseys made Lyn realize why his hair was blue. Lyn wanted to get to know Thomas a little better, but she was the shy girl in the bunch. Thomas’ team won the game. After the game Thomas came up to the girls and asked if they wanted to hang out.

The five headed to Camden Bagel Cafe. Lyn went outside to say hi to some friends she saw walking by and when she got done, she headed back into the cafe. Thomas came up to her and asked what her plans were for the night. She told him that she was going to the movies with Anne, Marie and Savannah. She told him he was more than welcome to join them. He said he would and asked if after the movie she would like to go for a walk with him to the harbor. She agreed.

The five of them went to see the Flintstones that night. Thomas was sitting next to Lyn and they were talking and getting to know each other a little better. The movie started and Lyn had a smile on her face thinking about her walk after the movie. As she was sitting there, she felt her hand being touched and it was Thomas trying to hold her hand. She let him and looked at him and gave him a smile of approval. Anne leaned over and whispered into Lyn’s ear and asked what she wanted to do after the movie. Lyn told her she was going to the harbor with Thomas, but they could meet up later if she wanted. Anne said she’d meet her at Lyn’s house at 11pm and she wanted details of the “walk”. Lyn smiled and nodded.

After the movie Lyn and Thomas headed to the harbor. It was a nice night out; the moon was bright. The harbor was beautifully lit by the moonlight and the few lights dotted throughout. They walked out onto the pier and sat overlooking the water. They started talking and finding out things about each other. Lyn couldn’t understand why someone from Colorado would want to go to school in Maine, but Thomas said they had a really good hockey team and he liked the area. Lyn knew just because he was there this school year didn’t mean he’d be back. So, she wanted to keep some distance, but she liked Thomas already. They talked until 10:30pm. Thomas had to head back to school and Lyn had to go meet Anne at her house. They made plans to meet up the next day and exchanged phone numbers. Thomas leaned in and gave Lyn a quick kiss and they said goodbye.

Once Lyn got to her house Anne was sitting on the front steps waiting for her. Lyn couldn’t stop smiling. She told Anne about the harbor and the two went into the house and started watching Lyn’s favorite movie, Grease. Lyn told Anne she was meeting Thomas the next afternoon and asked if she wanted to go. Anne couldn’t she had to be home and get homework done.

The next morning Lyn and Anne were having breakfast and the phone rang. Lyn answered, it was Thomas. He asked her how her night was and where she wanted to meet that afternoon. They decided to just meet in town and look at the shops. They could change their minds later. Lyn walked with Anne to her house and then continued on to meet Thomas. They met up and started walking and talking some more. They ended up at the beach. As they were talking Lyn started getting chilly, Thomas saw this and wrapped her up in his arms. He asked her if during the week she would come visit him before his hockey practice. She said she would. That evening they said goodbye to each other and gave each other a kiss.

That week they talked on the phone every night and Lyn went and saw Thomas before his practices. That weekend they wouldn’t be able to spend too much time together because Thomas had a tournament that weekend. Lyn told him she would be there to cheer him on. One game was between her school and his school. She was still going to cheer Thomas on.

Lyn kept her promise and was at all his games during the tournament and they spent what time they could together. Lyn was truly happy in life for once in a long time, but at the same time she tried keeping some distance. Things went great between Thomas and Lyn for the rest of the school year. During summer break Thomas and Lyn called each other at least once a week. Thomas told Lyn he would be back in September for another school year. Lyn couldn’t wait.

Once September came and Thomas was back in Camden, his one thing he wanted to do was see Lyn. But it had to wait until the weekend. When they met up, they hung out and caught up about their summer break. Every weekend until October they would spend at the movies and beach.

Once October came, hockey started again. Things were back to the same routine of Lyn going to Thomas’ games and cheering him on. Things were going great for them for the next couple of months. Then Thomas had asked her if things were okay because she would pull back from talking about things sometimes. She told him everything was fine.

The truth was Lyn wasn’t okay. She was carrying around a few things that she never wanted anyone to know, even Thomas. The first weekend in December Thomas had another big tournament. He expected to see Lyn at all his games like she always was. Lyn was at his first two games and then disappeared. Thomas saw Liz, one of Lyn’s friends and asked where Lyn had gone to. Liz told him she had gone home. She wasn’t feeling good and had a bad headache. Thomas was still worried. He tried calling her but there was no answer. He finished his tournaments thinking he would hear from Lyn later on, once she got some rest. He finally heard from her Sunday evening. She had to call him and tell him she wouldn’t be able to see him that Monday after school because she wasn’t going to be in school. He asked why not. She told him Saturday when she went home, she attempted suicide. She had taken all the medication in the medicine cabinet, which included her dad’s heart pills, blood pressure pills and her mother’s pain pills. Amy, a friend of Lyn’s had walked in as she was taking the last of the pills. Amy had asked Lyn if she was okay, she had seen her leave Thomas’ game. Lyn said she was and just had a headache, so she came home to take something for it and to rest. Amy didn’t believe Lyn because she didn’t look right. Lyn went and laid on the couch and Amy went into the bathroom and saw all the empty pill bottles and thought Lyn had taken them so she called the cops and they came and made Lyn go to the hospital where they pumped her stomach. Lyn had a choice, she could either be put in the hospital on suicide watch or promise to go to the county therapist that Monday. She opted to go and see the county therapist. Thomas couldn’t believe what Lyn was telling him. He asked her why she had done it and if he had done something to make her. She assured him it had nothing to do with him, she would explain to him when she could. He told her to get some rest and he would call her the next day to see how the appointment went.

Monday morning came and Lyn’s father took her to her appointment with the county therapist. She wouldn’t tell the therapist much. So, she was ordered to see the school therapist three times a week. Lyn was not looking forward to that. She didn’t want to talk about anything that had happened. Thomas called that night, but Lyn told him she couldn’t talk. She would come see him the next day after school.

Tuesday when Lyn got to school, everyone was staring and asking her what had happened. She just told them, she had a moment where she didn’t want to go on living anymore, but that things were fine. Anne came running up to Lyn and gave her a big hug and told Lyn never to scare her like that again. Lyn just smiled and told Anne she was sorry for scaring her. After school Lyn headed to the arena to see Thomas. She didn’t have much time to talk because she was supposed to go straight home from school. She handed Thomas an envelope and told him she would talk to him later. When Thomas opened the envelope, it had a mixed tape and letter inside.

Thomas began reading the letter:

Dear Thomas, December 4, 1990

I want to start out by saying I am sorry for what I did. I can’t explain why I did it, but maybe one day I will be able to tell you everything. I hope you understand. I made this mix tape for you and hope you listen to it. Please know that what happened has nothing to do with you. I have been thinking about this for a long time and I just couldn’t get past things and finally broke.

I hope this doesn’t change how you look or feel about me, but if it does, I will totally understand.

I hear you did really good at your tournaments. I’m sorry I missed them. I will make it up to you and be at every single game you have as long as I know you. I’m keeping this short, but I think once you listen to the tape you will realize I really do care about you.


Lyn. “

Thomas got back to his dorm and put the tape in. The first song to come on was “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men. Thomas listened to the whole tape and wanted to call Lyn and tell her he was there for her no matter what she had going on. He wanted to help her through things, but he didn’t call.

That weekend, Lyn was allowed to go hang out with her friends. She met Thomas at the movie theater, and they went in with their group of friends. It seemed like Lyn was back to her old self. After the movie on Friday night Thomas and Lyn went for a walk and ended up at the harbor. They sat down to talk, and Lyn told Thomas she had something to tell him, but he had to promise not to ever tell anyone. Thomas took Lyn’s hands and told her she could tell him anything. He wouldn’t tell anyone ever.

They sat down at picnic table and Lyn told him that it was really hard for her to tell him this, because it’s something no one knows and if people found out it could get her dad hurt. Thomas again assured Lyn he would not tell anyone whatever it was she wanted to tell him. She asked him if he remembered asking her why she had a wall built up around her. He said he did. Lyn went on to explain why she does. She told him when she was six years old, she was playing out in her yard and a man came and dragged her to the pond behind her parents’ house. Lyn started to choke up but pushed through. She continued to tell Thomas how the town drunk had raped her while a kid watched for anyone coming. The only reason the guy stopped when he did was because the police were calling for Lyn. Her parents had called them because they couldn’t find her. The guy told Lyn that if she ever told anyone including the police that he would hurt her father. Lyn had been carrying this secret around for nine years. She told Thomas that was why she tried to kill herself. She had run into the man earlier that day and it brought back every detail and she couldn’t go on with that in her head.

Thomas was speechless. He couldn’t believe what Lyn had just told him. He wrapped her up in his arms and told her that her secret was safe with him and that he was glad she finally opened up to him. Lyn was glad she had also but scared at the same time. Lyn sat in Thomas’ arms and they looked up at the moonlight and stars until Thomas had to head back to school.

The next couple of months they were doing good. Then one day something in Lyn scared her to the point she didn’t want to see Thomas. She was falling in love with him. Her thoughts were she was too young to be falling in love.

Lyn didn’t know what to do so she avoided Thomas. She went to the movies one night with a group of friends and after the movie they decided to go to the local pizza joint. Lyn thought that would be safer than their regular stop at the bagel cafe because Thomas would surely be there, and she wanted to avoid him. She had been doing a good job at it so far. As they were walking, they had to pass the bagel cafe and Thomas was there with some of his friends. Lyn noticed that Jon, one of Thomas’ friends was looking at her with a puzzled look. Lyn hurried passed. She told her friends she had to go do something and she would meet them at the pizza place. Lyn took off.

Thomas saw Anne and the group and went out and called to Anne. Anne went back and was talking with Thomas. He asked where Lyn was and why she was avoiding him. Anne said she thought Lyn was home, and she didn’t know why Lyn was avoiding him. Thomas told Anne, if she talked to Lyn to let her know that he wanted to talk to her. Anne said she would and then left to catch up her group.

At the pizza parlor Anne told Lyn about what Thomas had said and Lyn said she couldn’t talk to him. They dropped the conversation. Monday came and after school Lyn was running uptown to go shopping. As she was walking by the arena, she heard her name being called. She thought it was Thomas, but when she turned around it was Jon. Jon asked her why she didn’t stop at the bagel cafe when he saw her walking down the street over the weekend. She told him her and her friends were going for pizza. He then asked why she had been ignoring Thomas. She said she just needed time. Jon told her she needed to talk to Thomas. He was worried about her. Lyn talked with Jon a little while longer and when she was leaving, she told Jon she would call Thomas. They said goodbye and went their separate ways.

Lyn waited until Thursday to call Thomas. They made plans to go to the movies the next night. At the movies Lyn and Thomas talked but Lyn never gave him an explanation of why she stopped talking to him. Jon saw them there and he gave Lyn a smile. Things seemed to go back to normal between the two and Lyn’s feelings were getting stronger, but she didn’t tell Thomas.

Lyn started meeting Thomas after school again and they were at the movies on the weekends. To everyone they seemed like they were happy, and things were going to work out. After a Saturday night movie, the group that had gone to the movies decided to go to the arena and hang out. Thomas told Lyn he had to go back and check in but would meet her at the arena. He kissed her and took off towards school. Lyn thought it was weird he had to check in. Normally if they went to the movies they didn’t have to check in till midnight, but she let it go and continued with everyone to the arena. As they were walking Aaron hung back and was talking to Lyn and asked where Thomas has gone. Lyn told him he had to go check in at school and then was going to meet them at the arena.

They got to the arena and everyone was joking and laughing. Lyn realized they had been there for an hour and Thomas wasn’t there yet. She went to the payphone and called. When she asked for Thomas, she was told he wasn’t there. When Lyn told them, he went back to check in, she was told he didn’t have to check in. Lyn thanked them and hung up. She didn’t know where Thomas had gone. She was standing there and thinking about whether she should go look for him or not. Aaron came up to her and asked if Thomas was on his way back. Lyn told him Thomas hadn’t made it back to school and didn’t have to check in. Aaron and Lyn walked back in to join the group. Lyn decided to walk around the rink and try to figure out where Thomas was. As she was walking Aaron came running up beside her and started walking with her. Aaron stopped Lyn and they went and sat in some of the chairs to talk. Aaron told Lyn that Thomas didn’t deserve her and to stand her up like that was wrong. She should be with someone who doesn’t stand her up. Lyn told Aaron she was sure there was a reason and she’d talk to him the next day. Aaron told Lyn she should just break up with Thomas and be with him. She looked at him and kind of chuckled. She told Aaron even if she wasn’t with Thomas, she wouldn’t be with him either because Anne liked him. Aaron told Lyn he thought of Anne as more like a sister and would never date her, he liked Lyn. Lyn told him it didn’t matter she wasn’t going to date someone her friend liked and besides she was with Thomas. Aaron got up and went back to the group on the other side of the rink. Next thing Lyn knew Jay was coming and taking a seat next to her. She looked at him and he started asking why she wouldn’t date Aaron. Lyn explained she was dating Thomas and Anne liked Aaron and Lyn wasn’t going to do anything to Anne or Thomas. Jay told Lyn he wasn’t supposed to say anything, but he knew where Thomas was. He didn’t have to go back to school he used that as an excuse so he could go meet up with another girl. Lyn couldn’t believe what Jay was saying, but it was making sense in Lyn’s head. Why else would he say he had to go back to school when he didn’t have to. Jay then told Lyn she should just be with Aaron. Lyn explained again why she would not date Aaron. Jay got up and went back to the group and was talking with Anne. Lyn got up and went to the window overlooking another rink where ice skating practice was going on. As she was watching the practice Aaron came up to her and pulled her into a kiss. Before she could stop him, Anne saw her kissing Aaron and took off. Lyn went to go after Anne, but Aaron stopped her. Lyn looked at Aaron and told him that’s why she didn’t want to date him or anything. She wasn’t going to ruin a friendship over a boy. She had to go after Anne, but Aaron told her he would talk to Anne the next day. Lyn, Savannah, Jay and Aaron headed out. Lyn and Savannah were going to Savannah’s house and Jay and Aaron back to school. Before they split into their groups Lyn asked Aaron not to say anything to Thomas about what happened. She wanted to be the one to tell him. Aaron promised and told her he would call her the next day. He kissed her goodbye and him and Jay started running back to school. Lyn and Savannah headed into Savannah’s house. Lyn sat down and told Savannah what Jay had told her about Thomas meeting another girl. She asked what Savannah thought about the whole thing. Savannah told Lyn, she never thought Thomas was right for her, but seeing her with Aaron seemed right. Savannah just wanted Lyn to be happy. Lyn was so conflicted, she loved Thomas, but she had fun with Aaron too. Lyn didn’t sleep that much that night worrying about what Thomas was going to say for not showing up at the arena and because she didn’t want to lose her friendship with Anne.

The next morning Lyn got up and called the dorm and asked for Thomas. She was told he didn’t want to come to the phone. They took a message, but he didn’t call her back. Later that morning Anne called Lyn and told her she was sorry for running out like that. She said Aaron had called her and they talked, and Anne wanted Lyn to go for it with Aaron. Plus, Anne had a crush on someone else, Brett. After-all it was high school, and crushes changed daily. Aaron called Lyn that afternoon and asked if she wanted to hang out. They met up and hung out. She told him she tried to call Thomas, but he wasn’t taking her phone calls. Aaron told her not to worry about it. They had fun that afternoon and Lyn let things go.

Every day after school for the next month Lyn had volleyball practice and games. Aaron would come visit her before she left for her practices or games. One day they were walking through her school together and one of the teachers stopped them. They asked Lyn where she was going and who this was with her. She said she was heading to the bus and he was walking her there, it was her boyfriend. The teacher kind of chuckled and said oh okay, I was going to ask when you got a twin brother. Lyn looked at her teacher mortified, and the teacher apologized and said they looked a like, same color hair, freckles, skin tone, it was all the same and they were about the same height. Lyn looked at Aaron and was like let’s go. They headed out to the bus. He wished her good luck on her game and gave her a kiss. He told her he wouldn’t call that night because he knew she was going to get home late, but since neither of them had school the following day he asked if she wanted to hang out. She agreed and got on the bus.

She told Anne what the teacher had said, and Anne just laughed. She told Lyn they didn’t look like brother and sister and that the teacher didn’t know what they were talking about. They both laughed.

The next day Lyn got up and tried calling Thomas again. She had been trying him for the past month and just wanted a reason of why he stood her up. But he still would not take her calls and avoided her when he saw her. She thought to herself that she should just give up trying. Aaron called a little while later and they decided to go hang out. They went for a walk and then Aaron asked if she wanted to go back to his dorm. Lyn agreed and they headed to the dorms. As they were making their way up to Aaron’s room, a teacher stopped them. Lyn was sure she was going to get kicked out because girls weren’t allowed in the boy’s dorm. Aaron told the teacher that it was a friend of his from back home who was thinking of going to the school, so he was showing her around. The teacher accepted that went on his way. Aaron and Lyn made it to his dorm. It was nothing special, a very small room with a bed and a desk. His hockey gear took up most of the room. They started making out and it started to look like they were going to have sex. As they were just about to have sex, Thomas’ face popped into Lyn’s head. She realized she could not go through with this because she still loved Thomas. She told Aaron she was sorry, but she had to go home for dinner. She got dressed and Aaron snuck her back out. He told he would call her later. Lyn got home and was relieved no one was home. She went up to her bedroom put on some music and started writing. She had fallen asleep and was woke up by her dad calling her for dinner. After dinner she went back up to her room. She was hoping Aaron wouldn’t call because that night she just wanted to spend quality time with herself and her writing. Aaron didn’t call until Sunday afternoon. Anne was at her house when Aaron called. When Lyn answered Aaron said he had to ask her an important question. Aaron asked if it was true that she had been raped as a child. Lyn couldn’t believe what she had just heard, how did he know about this. She asked where he heard that, and Aaron told her Thomas told him. Lyn said it was true and that she thought her, and Aaron were better off as friends. Aaron agreed. When Lyn hung up the phone, she called the dorm and asked for Thomas. Lyn was furious, he broke a promise to her and now her secret was out. Thomas wouldn’t come to the phone. After Anne left, Lyn laid in bed and cried. How could Thomas break that promise to her. She had trusted him with something she never wanted anyone to know. Lyn was going to confront Thomas on this and find out why he had done that.

After school the next day Lyn knew Thomas would be at practice. She went to the arena and waited for his practice to end. Thomas tried walking past Lyn, but Lyn made him stop. She asked him why he told Aaron about her being raped. He had promised he would never tell anyone. He looked at her and said he was sorry, he let it slip out because he was so mad when Aaron told him that he and Lyn had slept together. Lyn looked at Thomas and told him she never had sex with Aaron. She admitted she was about to, but then his face popped into her head and she couldn’t go through with it. Lyn was reeling from everything, Thomas told Aaron that she was raped, Aaron told Thomas he slept with Lyn. Lyn had to get away. She started walking through the arena and she heard her name being called. She didn’t want to talk to anyone, so she kept going. She ducted into one of the rinks and took a seat in the chairs to try and figure out how life got so messed up in a matter of 3 days. She heard someone behind her, she turned, and it was Jay. He had seen her yelling at Thomas and then run off and he wanted to make sure she was okay. He asked if he could sit and she told him he could. She then asked Jay if Aaron had really told Thomas that he slept with her. Jay confirmed he had. Jay told her that even though Aaron had promised not to say anything that first night when Thomas didn’t show up at the arena, he had gone back and told Thomas that he had stolen his girlfriend. That’s why Thomas wouldn’t answer her phone calls. Lyn couldn’t believe this. She was happy when she was with Thomas and now everything felt like it had come crashing down around her.

That weekend Lyn and Jay hung out together. He asked her if she wanted to go back to the dorm. She knew what he wanted, and she wasn’t going to let Thomas’ face stand in the way again. She agreed and they went back to his room. It was the same set up as Aaron’s room, small but quiet. Her and Jay had sex. Lyn couldn’t believe she had gone through with it, but she couldn’t go back now. Jay and Lyn had an understanding it was a one-time thing and they would remain friends, which they did. Lyn started going to the hockey games again, as she had stopped because she was so mad at Thomas and Aaron. Lyn had started dating Gibb, a senior at her school. They had grown up together and decided to start dating. Things were going good between them, but she couldn’t get Thomas off her mind. One night she went to the movies with Hope. It would be a movie that Lyn would never forget. Hope and Lyn headed in to see Jungle 2 Jungle. They got their seats in the back row and were sitting there talking when all of a sudden Hope stopped talking. Her eyes got big. Lyn turned around to see what Hope was looking at and there stood Thomas. He asked if he could join them. Hope said he could, even though Lyn said no. Thomas sat down next to Lyn. Lyn turned and started talking to Hope some more as if Thomas wasn’t there. The movie started and Thomas leaned over and whispered in Lyn’s ear that he missed her, and he was sorry for everything. She told him to be quiet and watch the movie. That didn’t last long. They started kissing and making out. Lyn felt horrible because of Gibb. After the movie, the three of them walked to the arena. Thomas asked if he could talk to Lyn for a minute alone. She told Hope she would be right back. They went to the other side of the arena and sat down. Thomas again apologized and told Lyn he missed her. He asked if they could try things one more time. Lyn took a deep breath and told Thomas, she would love to, but she couldn’t. He asked why not, and she told him she was seeing someone. She said she shouldn’t have been making out with him during the movie because she had Gibb. Thomas looked at her and told her she had a way with messing his life up. He never wanted to see or talk to her again. He got up and walked out. Lyn sat there for minute and then just started crying. Hope came over and wrapped Lyn into a hug and asked what happened. Lyn told her. Hope told Lyn that Thomas was just hurt and he didn’t mean anything he said. She said the two of them belonged together and would find their way back to each other, it was just going to take some time.

Summer break had finally come, Lyn and Gibb had broken up but remained good friends, and Thomas, Aaron, and Jay had all gone home for the summer. Thomas tried calling Lyn a few times, but she didn’t want to talk to him. Lyn started working and that kept her busy. That summer, Lyn met KT. She had seen him around school before the year ended and since he was friends with Gibb when she hung out with Gibb KT was there. She left a note in his car one night saying she would like to date him. And then one night while they were all hanging out, she was sitting in KT’s car and he walked up and took her hand. KT had just graduated high school but Lyn had two more years to go.

Lyn’s sister Mary had a son and Lyn spent a lot of time with him. She ended up raising him because her sister was working three jobs. One day, during Lyn’s senior year in high school, Mary asked Lyn if she wanted to go to a hockey game with her and Lyn’s nephew, Stillman. Lyn said she would. So that night Lyn, KT, Stillman and Mary went to the hockey game. Lyn had no idea who was playing her school’s team. Mary hadn’t told her. They got to the game and the teams started coming out. The Torches were playing the Wolfs, Thomas’ school’s team. Lyn looked at Mary and asked if she knew that’s who was playing. Mary said no and asked if Lyn wanted to leave. Lyn said no, she wasn’t even sure if Thomas still went to school there as she had not seen him in almost two years. Once his team was out in the box, Lyn caught this guy staring up at her. She looked and realized it was Thomas. He was giving her a glaring look. She tried to ignore him, but she couldn’t. KT didn’t know anything about Thomas and Lyn wanted to keep it that way. Later that night Lyn was home and the phone rang, it was Thomas. He asked why she went to his game. She told him she didn’t know he would be there. She went to watch her school and didn’t know they were playing his team. They got into a fight and Lyn told him, that he was not to call her anymore. She had moved on and he needed to do the same.

Right before senior graduation Lyn was working at a local shop in town. She was outside one day watering the plants and Thomas walked by her with his girlfriend. Lyn was hoping he hadn’t seen her, but when she looked up, he was staring back at her. Lyn went inside the store. A few minutes later someone entered the store, Lyn went to help them and saw it was Thomas. He had left his girlfriend at the bagel cafe and came back to see her. She told him, they had nothing to talk about and that she was busy working. He left. Lyn knew it was graduation time for him too and he would be going back to Colorado Springs in a few weeks. Lyn didn’t see Thomas anymore after that.

Lyn and KT had been dating for three years and when they decided to move to Virginia Beach, Virginia together. Lyn didn’t know how bad things were going to change. Once they were out of their small town and away from everyone they knew, KT became very abusive towards Lyn. It wasn’t just physical abuse, it was verbal, mental, and emotional as well. Lyn had withdrawn and lost contact with her family. She would call them on holidays but that was it. She didn’t want them to see how much pain she was in.

Even though it had been so long since she had actually had a conversation with Thomas, she still thought about him every day. She hoped he was happy. She still loved him but couldn’t go back and undo the past. With things getting so bad with KT, Lyn didn’t know if she was going to make it through this alone.

Lyn and KT had been dating for seven years when Lyn became friends with a guy from work. He could tell Lyn was in trouble and he had Lyn open up to him. Lyn told him about KT and how he treated her. She admitted she was scared of him. This was not how she had pictured her life. Lou told Lyn she had to get away from KT and he would help her if she wanted. It just felt good to talk to someone. Lou ended up leaving Virginia and went back to California. He kept in touch with Lyn and then told her she needed to get away from KT and she should come to California. He could help her with a job and a place to live. Lyn told him she would think about it.

One day she was at home and the mail came. She was going through it and there was a letter addressed to her from Colorado. She opened it. It was a letter from Thomas. He had written her to tell her he still thinks about her every day and that he was sorry for everything that had happened. He wanted her to know he was sorry. He had called her parents’ house and when they told him she had moved to Virginia he searched for her and found her address. He gave her his phone number and address. He hoped to hear from her.

Lyn waited a few weeks and then sent Thomas a letter. She told him she still thought about him every day and she was sorry too. She gave him her phone number. A week later she received a phone call from him. It was so good to hear his voice. He asked how she was, and she started telling him about how she was thinking of moving to California to get away from her abusive boyfriend. Thomas thought that was a good idea.

Thomas and Lyn started talking every day. Between Thomas and Lou, Lyn was getting things ready to pack and leave in the middle of the night. Thomas asked Lyn if she would stop and see him. She said she would. He wanted to see if they still had their connection and if they could make things work. She told him she would stop on her way to California. KT found out Lyn was planning on leaving and he beat her up bad. She was so scared she stayed. But she kept thinking of Thomas and when she told Thomas what had happened, Thomas made her promise to get out of there.

One-night Lyn decided she was getting out. She packed up what she could in her car and headed west. She was excited to see Thomas again and see if they could be together. But the drive was a long one. Lyn had a lot of time to think. She thought about everything that had happened between them and then the fear set in. She was afraid she was going to hurt him again or that he would hurt her again. She turned around in Saint Louis, Missouri and headed back to Virginia. She wanted Thomas to be happy and she was afraid that wasn’t going to happen with her.

For the next few months, she avoided Thomas’ calls. She met August and the two started dating. She still thought about Thomas but tried to push him out of her thoughts. August was getting ready to move to Nevada and asked Lyn if she wanted to move with him. She accepted and uprooted her life to move to Nevada. One day while Lyn was online, Thomas buzzed in. He asked how she was and what she had been up to the past six months. Lyn told him she was living in Nevada with her boyfriend. Thomas got upset. How could she move with some guy she barely knew but couldn’t make time to go see him and see if they could be together. She didn’t want him to know she started out to see him, so she told him, they were the past. Thomas got upset and Lyn didn’t hear from him until two months later.

When Lyn heard from Thomas again, he had told her he had joined the Coast Guard. He wanted to prove to her he could provide her with a good life. He asked if she would at least think about it. She told him she would. She again avoided him. She was with August and she was still afraid that her and Thomas would hurt each other without meaning to. Things between Lyn and August had gotten rough and they split up. Lyn had moved into her own place and she was getting her life back on track. She saw Thomas online and she buzzed him to see how he was. He said he was good. He liked his job in the coast guard. He also had something to tell her. He was getting married in a month. Lyn’s heart broke, but she congratulated him. He asked how she had been and how August was. She told him they had split up. She was living on her own and getting her life back on track. She told him she had to go but she wished him all the happiness in life and in his marriage. Lyn knew it was her fault she had really lost Thomas. If she wouldn’t have let fears stop her from going and seeing him, maybe they would be happy together, but instead he was getting married to someone else. That’s when the what ifs set in. What if she had gone to see him, what if she would have talked to him senior year, what if she had left August for him. All these and more were running through her head. But it all came back to she had her chance and lost it.

Lyn kept busy with work to keep her mind off things. Then one day August called her and asked if they could talk. She agreed. When they met up to talk, he told her he missed her and wanted them to get back together. She wasn’t sure if it was the right thing to do, she was dealing with a health issue and stressed on how to pay for it. She had the beginning stages of cervical cancer, but August moved in with her and two months later they were married. Lyn knew she had lost Thomas forever, so she needed to move on.

August’s job kept the couple moving every couple of years. He worked for the CIA. They ended up moving to Washington state and had been there a couple of months when August had to leave on an assignment. He was going to be gone for 18 months. Lyn was used to him not being home much. When she was home alone, she would think about Thomas. Even after all these years he was still on her mind and in her heart. She was doing some work when Thomas buzzed her.

They talked for a while and she found out he was out on a deployment. He asked her if she ever thought about what could have been between them. She said she had. He asked why she never came to visit him. She told him she just couldn’t. They caught up and he had to go but told her he would talk to her later. After they got done talking, Lyn sat there and thought about it. Lies had ruined their relationship before, she didn’t want to lie to him anymore. So, she sat there and wrote him an email. She told him she had headed out to Colorado but turned around in Missouri because she let the fear of hurting each other get in the way. She told him she now wondered the what ifs. She didn’t want lies to ruin their friendship like it had their relationship. She told him everything from how she felt about him to how bad it hurt to hear he was getting married.

A couple days later Thomas got on and told her he had the same feelings as she did. He was hurt to hear she had gotten married even though he was married and how he wondered the what ifs also. He told her that he wished she was his wife. He told her how he had dreams that she was there with him only to wake and see his wife laying there. The two talked every day for the next year. Thomas was coming home from his deployment. He asked Lyn if she would come visit him in Virginia where he was stationed. She said she didn’t think she could because that would just cause more pain.

Lyn thought about going to Virginia to see him, maybe it would clear up the what ifs. Then for her job she had to make a trip to Virginia. She took that as a sign. When she got to Virginia, she called Thomas and told him she was there, but she was only in town for two nights. He told her he would come see her. The two met up for dinner and talked. Lyn felt nervous around him, it was like she was that shy teenager again. At the end of the night they were saying goodbye and Thomas leaned in and kissed Lyn. His lips felt so good against hers. She had missed his kisses. She knew these feeling was wrong. She wanted to invite him up to her room, but instead she pulled out of the kiss and told him, she thought it would be best if they said goodbye. Thomas asked her if she meant for the night or forever. She told him forever. They were both married, they didn’t have a time machine to go back and fix all the mistakes they made with each other. It was causing problems for Thomas and his wife already and Lyn didn’t want to cause any more problems. She was leaving in a couple days and then they would be out of each other’s lives. Thomas asked her not to say that, he didn’t want her out of his life. Lyn just leaned in gave Thomas a kiss on the cheek and got out of the vehicle. She leaned back into the car and told Thomas, she would always love him and even though they couldn’t talk anymore or see each other it was for the best and she would still be thinking of him. She said goodbye and walked into her hotel room. She started packing up her items. She had already had the meetings she went there for except the one first thing in the morning and she had booked a flight out right after the meeting. She couldn’t stay any longer in the same area as Thomas.

When she got back to Washington she settled back into work and home. August called once a week when he could. Lyn didn’t tell him about what happened in Virginia and she had no plans on telling him. She started thinking about Thomas less as she buried herself in her work. Then out of the blue, Thomas called her. She didn’t answer the phone. He left a message saying he missed her and wanted to hear her voice. Would she please call him back. She deleted the message. Thomas tried calling every day for the next month, Lyn would delete the messages without listening to them.

August got to come home for two weeks in late September. They spent the first week catching up with each other and seeing friends. They decided to get away and take a trip. They went to Hawaii. They had only been there for two days and still had five days left when August got a call. He had to go back to Germany early. The case he was working needed immediate attention. He told Lyn he was very sorry and told her to stay and enjoy Hawaii. He would call her when he got to Germany. He caught the next flight out to Washington, got packed and headed back to Germany. Lyn took the time in Hawaii to think about things.

Once back in Washington, Lyn got back to everyday life. That December she had planned on going home and seeing her family for Christmas. She hadn’t been home in four years. When she arrived in Camden, she let out a sigh. This place held so many memories and she did truly love it there. She got to her parents’ house and met up with her two brothers and their families and her one sister and her daughter. It was good to see the family again. Her four nieces and two nephews came running up to her and locked her in a hug. They had all gotten so big since the last time she saw them. She was missing out on so much with them. She was glad she had this time with them. Lyn was in town for a week and then had to head back to Washington. While she was there, she took a drive and drove by Camden Woods Private School, Thomas’ school. She looked up at the building and had a flood of memories, both good and bad. The school had made some improvements done to it, but it was still the same place. The kids that attended where all on winter break, so the grounds were empty. Lyn wanted to call Thomas and tell her where she was, but instead she drove away from the school. She had to go get ready as she had promised she would take all the kids to the movies that night. The kids were all excited when she arrived back at her parents’ house. There was a tradition of at Christmas time every year the theater would play “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

Once at the theater, she got everyone their drinks and snacks and they got settled into their seats. As she was sitting there and all her nieces and nephews were talking at once, she heard her name. She turned around and was surprised to see Carla. She stood up and gave Carla a hug. Carla had said it looked like she had her hands full and asked if she minded if she joined them. Lyn turned to her nieces and nephews and asked if Carla could join them, they all jumped up and down and said she could. Lyn joked by telling Carla thanks for the rescue. They all enjoyed the movie and afterward Carla told Lyn to call her before she left, and they would make plans to meet up and catch up. Lyn did. The week had gone by so fast and Lyn didn’t want to leave. She promised she would come back soon and visit.

As Lyn was heading to the airport, she got a phone call from her job telling her she had a change and had meetings in Washington D.C. So instead of flying there, Lyn rented a car and made the drive. Lyn bounced around the country for the next month going to different meetings. Once she finally got home, she started going through the mail that had stacked up while she was gone. There was a letter from her sister with some pictures in it from Christmas and one of Camden Woods. On the back of the picture of the school her sister had wrote, “I know this place brings back memories, but they aren’t all bad ones. You never know what’s going to happen in life so remember all the good memories so you can cherish them later.” Lyn started thinking about Thomas and started to cry. She just had to let him go. She put her sister’s letter and pictures aside and continued on with the mail sorting. She came across a letter from her husband and he told her he was doing good. He missed her and he was sorry he had to leave Hawaii. He promised to make it up to her. Then she saw an envelope without a return address on it. She opened it. It was a letter from Thomas;

My Dearest Love,

I know you said good-bye, but I can’t stop thinking about you. I still love you with all my heart. Seeing you in Virginia brought back so many beautiful memories. I know we have had a rocky relationship with a lot of ups and downs, but I want you to know I will always love you too, until the day I die. Don’t ever forget that.

I know when we were dating all those years ago, I never told you I loved you, but I did. Some people may laugh at that because of things I did that hurt you and you aren’t supposed to hurt those you love. For that I am sorry. If I could go back and tell you I love you I would. Then maybe you would be the one lying next to me every night.

I was going through some old boxes and found that mixed tape you made for me. I have been listening to it every day. I hope one day we can see each other again and make more happy memories together.

I Love You Lyn. I have since the day I first saw you and I will to the day I die. You will never leave my heart, no matter how much distance is between us. If for some reason we really never talk again, please remember I never stopped loving you.



Lyn put the letter down and felt something inside the envelope, she looked in it and it was a picture of her and Thomas after one of his games. Lyn thought how happy they were and how simple life was back then. Lyn couldn’t do this, not right now. She set all the mail aside and started getting her things ready for work. Lyn got back into working her twelve plus hours a day and pushed Thomas and the letter out of her mind.

That July she got a call from her mother. Lyn’s father was in the hospital and the doctors said to call all the family together. Lyn told her mother she would be on the next flight. Once Lyn arrived in Camden, she went straight to the hospital. She walked into her father’s room and he lay there, looking so pale. Lyn’s mother told Lyn that he had a massive heart attack and there was nothing the doctors could do. Her mother stepped out so Lyn could have time with her father. She walked over and sat next to his bed. She took his hand and he opened his eyes. She told her dad she loved him very much and he told her he loved her. He told Lyn that at the house in her room was a letter for her. He had hidden it many years ago. He told her to look under the rug in the closet. She told him she would. She leaned over and kissed him on the forehead and gave him a hug. He was too weak to hug her back. Then her mother, brothers, and sister came into the room. Her father motioned for her to come closer he whispered to her not to tell anyone about the letter. She told him she wouldn’t. As they all gathered around, he told them all he loved them and then the monitors started going off and the nurses came in. He was gone. Lyn didn’t know how her rock had left her. She told her family she would meet them back at the house and she left. She went to her parents’ house and got the letter. She then drove to the harbor. She sat there awhile not wanting to read it. But she promised her father she would. She opened it.

To Daddy’s Little Angel,

If you are reading this, I am either very sick or I have passed on. I want to tell you that I love you very much. I want you to be happy in life. Right now, as I write this letter to you, you are my little angel. You are my tomboy, my partner. We have had a lot of good memories together and I want you to remember them all. I want to let you know; in my will you get our cabin. You loved that place more than anyone. Your mother knows you get it. I hope you make many new memories there with your family.

I know you will grow up to be a great mother and wife. You will be successful in whatever you set your mind to. Know that I will always see you as daddy’s little girl. No matter how old you are, you are always going to be my little girl. Take care of yourself first. You have always had a big heart and took care of everyone else. Take time for you. Don’t let your life slip by and then when you look back you have regrets.

Enjoy the cabin. I love you Little Angel.



Lyn closed the letter and started crying. She had already failed her father. She had regrets about her life. She sat at the harbor and watched the sunset. Then she realized just how late it was and headed to her parents’ house. She walked in and everyone asked if she was okay. She told them she was she had to go do some thinking and had lost track of time.

Over the next couple of days Lyn helped her mother get the funeral arrangements in order. One night after everyone had left Lyn and her mother were sitting in the living room and her mother told her she didn’t know what she was going to do now. She had lost her partner. Lyn got up and gave her mother a hug. She told her mother that she was going to be fine. She had six grandchildren that would help her through it. Lyn’s mother went to bed.

Lyn couldn’t sleep. So, she walked to the bar. She sat down and had a couple drinks. As she was sitting there Anne and Savannah walked up to her. She hadn’t seen them in about ten years. They told Lyn how sorry they were and if she needed anything to let them know. She thanked them and headed back to the house.

The next day was her father’s funeral. It was a very tough day for everyone. It seemed like the whole town was there to pay their respects to her father. She was glad the town would be there for her mother once she left in two weeks. After the funeral the family went back to the house. Her mother went straight to bed. Her brother’s wives were going to watch all the kids so that all the siblings could go out for a few drinks.

While at the bar, Lyn’s phone rang, it was August. He called to see how she was to tell her how sorry he was that he couldn’t be there for her. He had just gotten the message. She told him it was fine; she knew he had a job to do and she had the support of her family there. They talked for a few more minutes and then hung up. When she turned to go back into the bar, Thomas was standing in front of her. She asked him what he was doing there. He told her he heard about her father and wanted to make sure she was okay. She told him he shouldn’t have come. Right now, was not the time. He told her he was at the funeral and her speech was very moving. He just wanted to make sure she was okay. He couldn’t bear to think that she was going through this and he couldn’t be there to help her through it. She told him she didn’t need his help. She had her family. She asked him to leave and she walked inside. Lyn’s sister had noticed that Lyn was very upset and asked what was wrong. Lyn told her Thomas had shown up and she told him to leave. Lyn’s sister looked outside, and Thomas was still out there. She went out and talked to him. She told him her sister was hurting right now and needed some time. Thomas explained he just wanted to be there for her to help her through this. Her sister told him to give Lyn her space, when she was ready, she would let him know. He agreed and left. Everyone was ready to go a couple hours later. Lyn told them she would see them later. She wanted to go for a walk alone. They all asked if she was sure and she told them yes.

Lyn walked to the beach. She sat down by the water and looked up at the night sky. She started talking out loud asking what she should do and why she keeps losing the ones she loves. She said, “I’ve lost my father, I’ve pushed Thomas away, I have regrets about my life and for that I have failed my father.” She put her head into her knees and started crying. She jumped when she felt two arms wrap around her, ready to scream, she realized it was Thomas. He looked at her and told her that she had not pushed him away and she had not failed her father. She told Thomas she had failed her father, he wanted her to be happy in life and not have any regrets. Thomas told her not to regret anything, she has done what she thought was the right thing to do. She shouldn’t regret that. Thomas took her in his arms and held her tight. She pressed up against him and just continued to cry. He told her he would walk her home and she told him she didn’t want to go home right now. So, the two got up and started walking. They went to Thomas’ hotel. He put her in bed and covered her up. She asked if he would hold her. He laid next to her and held her until she fell asleep, then he got up and went and slept on the floor.

The next morning when she woke up, she saw Thomas on the floor. She laid there watching him sleep for a few minutes. When Thomas woke up, he asked how she was feeling. She told him she was still pretty numb from everything but that she would make it through it. She thanked Thomas for being there for her the night before. He told her he would always be there for her whenever she needed him. She smiled at him and life’s problems seemed to vanish for a few minutes. She had to get back to her mother’s house before the family started to worry, but she asked Thomas if he had planned that night. He said he didn’t. She told him she would call him later, but she wanted to do something nice for him. When she got to her mother’s her mother asked if where she had gone. She told her mother she went for an early morning walk. Her mother asked if she needed anything to eat and Lyn told her no thank you. Lyn asked her mother if it would be okay with her if Lyn stayed at the cabin that night. Lyn’s mother told her that would not be a problem, after all it was her cabin now. Lyn’s mother handed her the key. Lyn’s sister asked if she wanted her to stay there with her and Lyn told her sister no, she wanted to be alone. But the truth was she wasn’t going to be alone. She was going to be with Thomas.

Lyn went upstairs to pack for the night. As she was packing, her sister came up. She asked Lyn where she had disappeared to the night before. Lyn told her she went to the beach and was sitting there thinking about everything and Thomas showed up and lent his shoulder for her to cry on. She stayed at his hotel, but nothing happened. Lyn’s sister then asked if she was going to be alone at the cabin, Lyn told her no and her sister just smiled and went back downstairs.

As Lyn was at the grocery store, she called Thomas. She told him to be ready in a half hour. She had plans for him. He said he would be. As she was shopping, she ran into some people she had known growing up. They gave their condolences about her father. She caught up with them for a few minutes and then headed on her way to pick up Thomas.

Once Thomas was in the truck, he asked where they were going. She said he would have to wait and see. She was kidnapping him for the night. He sat back and looked at her. He thought how strong she was being about just losing her father. He knew they were really close, and this had to be really hard on her. He just thought how amazing she was.

Thomas and Lyn arrived at the cabin. Thomas had never been there, but he remembered Lyn telling him about it when they dated. She loved it there. It was a small log cabin, right on the lake. There was an island not far from the shore that Thomas remembered Lyn telling him her and her dad would go out there and fish. It really was a beautiful place, just as she described. Lyn went inside and started a fire in the wood stove. The cabin had a little chill in it from being locked up. She looked around and had a flood of memories come rushing in. She sat down for a minute to process through all the emotions she was having. Thomas came in and put his hands on her shoulder. She looked up at him and he knew she was having a difficult time. He had her stand up and he just wrapped his arms around her. She felt so safe in his arms.

Lyn lifted her head off his shoulder, and she kissed him. It was a long passionate kiss. When they stopped, she told him how amazing he was and how much she appreciated him being there for her. She told him she had a surprise for him. She went to the kitchen and grabbed a picnic basket. Then she took his hand and led him to the boat. She took him out to the island where her and her dad fished. Once there she found a clearing and set up the picnic lunch. They sat there talking about her dad. It was really helping her to talk to someone about him. She missed him so much. Thomas knew how to get her to laugh a little. He missed seeing her smile. He asked her if she remembered the time, they were at her house watching a movie and were cuddled up on the couch, and her dad walked in and asked him what the hell was going on. Lyn laughed and said she remembered that and the look on his face. She had never seen Thomas look so scared. They both laughed because her dad was just giving Thomas a hard time. Her dad always liked Thomas. To get her dad’s approval was a big accomplishment. She told him that her dad had asked about him a few times over the years. That made Thomas smile. It seemed to him that he had her father’s approval and that meant her father thought he was a good person for her. But now their lives were so complicated.

It was a beautiful day out and a perfect day for a picnic Lyn thought. She didn’t want this night to end. They laid there on the island in each other’s arms enjoying the nice weather and sunshine. They fell asleep and when they woke up it was dark out. The stars were shining brightly in the sky and the moon seemed so big and so close that they could reach out and touch it. They gathered their things and headed for the boat. Once back at the cabin, Thomas told Lyn he was making dinner. She had done all this for him he wanted to at least cook dinner. As Thomas made dinner, Lyn sat out on the deck thinking about her dad, thinking about her husband, and thinking about Thomas. How come life is never what you expect it to be or picture when you are younger. She never pictured a white picket fence and a perfect life, but she never expected she wouldn’t be happy in her marriage, she would be a workaholic and she never expected to lose her dad so soon. But with everything she was going through at that moment she could find happiness when spending time with Thomas. He made all of life’s problems disappear. That thought made her sad again, he was married, she was married. They could never be together.

Thomas went out to get Lyn for dinner. As she walked in, he had set up such a romantic setting. She knew he was trying to keep her mind off everything, and she appreciated it so much. They ate dinner and then Thomas went and turned on the radio. He pulled a cassette tape out of jacket pocket and put it in the player. Once Lyn heard the first song, she knew what tape it was. It was the one she had made him almost twenty years before. He took her hand and they danced. He told her that he knew the tape was made during a low point in her life, but it always made him feel close to her. They kissed and ended their dance.

Later that night when they were getting ready to go to sleep, Lyn couldn’t help but feel guilty that she was about to climb into bed next to someone else’s husband and a man that was not her husband. But they were not going to sleep. They climbed into bed and started kissing and then they made love. It was something like she never experienced before. It was like they connected; they had become one person. Laying in Thomas’ arms all night felt right.

The next morning, they awoke and made love again. Some may say it was just sex, but it wasn’t. The connection they had all those years ago was still there. No matter what had happened, how much time had passed and what life events had happened, they were still connected.

That afternoon Lyn dropped Thomas off at his hotel. He was leaving the next day. He asked if she would go to dinner with him that night, but she told him she couldn’t she was going to be with her mother and family that night because the next day they had to go for the reading of the will. He understood and told Lyn he would call her as soon as he got back to Virginia. She gave him one last kiss and drove away.

Once back at her parents’ house. She went upstairs to rest. She was feeling guilty, but happy at the same time. Her sister came up to check on her. They talked for a while and her sister told her, after all these years her and Thomas still had a connection. Her sister could see the connection when they were dating and always thought they would end up together. Lyn had remembered something her therapist had told her “find someone in your family you trust and tell them what happened when you were just a little girl”. Lyn asked her sister if she could tell her something, but it had to stay between them. Her sister told her she could tell her anything. Lyn went on to tell her sister about the rape and how she had told Thomas about it when they were dating, and he promised to keep the secret but broke that promise and that is when their problems started. Lyn didn’t feel she could trust Thomas after that. Her sister told her she was glad she told her and that even though Thomas broke his promise out of anger, and that was no excuse, she really felt Thomas was sorry he had. She could tell he still loved her and that she still loved him. Her sister left and told her she would wake her for dinner.

Lyn closed her eyes and fell asleep. She had been sleeping about an hour when her phone rang. It was her husband. He was calling to check on her and the family. He couldn’t talk long as he was getting ready to head out to work but wanted her to know he was thinking of her. They said their I love you’ s and hung up. She had a feeling that her husband was calling for some other reason, but she couldn’t place what it was. She laid back down.

Lyn’s sister came up to wake her a few hours later. Lyn went down and joined her family. She told them August sent his love to everyone and wished he could be there. Her mom looked at her and asked if she wished him a happy anniversary. Lyn looked at her mother and then realized that it was her tenth wedding anniversary. Lyn felt even more guilty then she had before. How could she forget her anniversary? How could she be with another man on their anniversary? Once they were all done eating, they all went into the living room and talked.

The next morning everyone got up and got ready to go to the reading of the will. It was a very hard day. Thomas called Lyn that morning and asked if she was going to be okay and if not did, she wants him to stay in town longer. She told him she had her family for support. He had to get back to his family and job. He told her he would call when he landed that evening. The will reading was very hard for everyone to cope with. It made it permanent that her father would not be coming home ever again. When they arrived back at the house, her mother went into bed and brothers and sister went and started packing. They were leaving to go back to their homes in the morning. Lyn was staying in town for another week to stay with her mother and make sure everything was taken care of. Lyn decided to head to her room and get some work done.

As she was working, her phone rang it was Thomas. She answered it and he told he just landed in Virginia. He asked how she was after the will reading. They talked for a while and then hung up. She sat back and started thinking. She was hoping that seeing him and getting things out that she had wondered about would help her get closure with Thomas. It didn’t. It just made her ask more questions and want to be with him more. She decided it was time to close the chapter of her life with Thomas in it. She already had regrets about letting him go all those years ago and her father didn’t want her to have regrets. It was time to let Thomas go once and for all. She had to focus on her family and her marriage.

She sat there and decided to write Thomas an email. It wasn’t the best of way of doing things, but it was all she could handle, otherwise she wouldn’t do it all.

Dear Thomas,

This is really hard for me to do, but I hope you will understand why I am making this decision. I want to start out by saying how much I appreciated you being here for me these past couple of days dealing with my dad’s death. It meant a lot to me and I will never forget it.

I don’t totally regret anything that happened, but at the same time I do. You have a wife and I have a husband. What happened between us should have never happened under these circumstances. I will always love you, but we need to cut our ties.

I now realize I will never have closure with you, but I am okay with that. It’s going to hurt not talking to you, but it’s for the best. Now that I have had you both body and heart, it has raised more questions and caused more pain. Neither one of us should have to lie to our spouse and yet now we are.

Do you know I didn’t even realize that I was with you on my ten-year anniversary? What does that say about me as a person. I was more caught up in the moments with you, then being there for my family and remembering my anniversary.

I will always keep you in my heart, but I have to say good-bye to you. And this time it has to be for good. Things are always going to be complicated between us, but we have to come to terms with that. I’m going my way and you go yours.

I wish you and your wife nothing but happiness. That is all I have ever wanted for you. Good-bye my love. Until we meet again in another life.

Love Always,


She hit the send button and her good-bye was off.

The next morning her brothers and sister left with their families. She told them she would visit them all soon. She went in to check on her mother. Her mother just wanted some alone time. Lyn told her she would go for a walk and let her mother be alone. As she was walking Thomas called. She didn’t answer and he left a message for her. She deleted the message without listening to it. She hadn’t stuck to this before, but she was determined to this time.

The next two months Thomas tried calling at least twice a week, but Lyn always deleted the messages without listening to them. He was like a drug to her and she was in the detoxing stage. She thought there was one more thing she had to do and then she would be able to completely move on from Thomas. She was going to record herself talking to him like he was there. She was going to get everything out. Then she was going to put the tape recorder and tape in a safe deposit box. In her will it would say that it went to Thomas. She felt if she could get everything off her mind about him, it would help her get over him. Besides what did she really have to lose at this moment by doing it. Even if he never got it, at least she would get everything off her mind.

Life started to get back to normal over the next year. Her husband had come home for a week and they went hiking and fishing. He had got extended for an unknown amount of time. It depended on how his assignment went. When he left to go back to work, he didn’t know when he would be home again. Lyn threw herself into her work again. She had gone home a couple times to visit her family. She still thought about Thomas almost every day, but she worked through the thoughts and pushed him out of her mind. She got a letter from her husband every once in a while, but mostly she didn’t know what was going on.

Then one day she got a phone call from her sister. Her mother was in the hospital. Lyn hopped on the next plane and went home to see her mother. Her mother had a massive stroke and fell into a coma. Lyn stayed by her side every day for a week. The only time Lyn left was when the doctors and nurses made her leave. On one of these occasions the doctor came in and told Lyn to head home for some rest. She gathered up her things and started to head out. She got to the nurses’ stations and heard a buzzer and then saw nurses running into her mother’s room. Lyn ran back. The doctor closed the door and told her he would be out to tell her what was going on. She sat there feeling helpless. When the doctor came out, he told her they couldn’t resuscitate her mother. Lyn, her sister, and brothers went in and said their last good-byes.

Back at her parents’ house, Lyn was feeling restless. She sat up all night getting details in order for her mother’s funeral. She had lost both parents in a matter of a year and she had no one to talk to. After the funeral and will reading Lyn stayed to pack up the house while Mary and her brothers went back home. Lyn was going through things as she was packing and came across a box titled Lyn’s pictures. Lyn didn’t even know she left pictures at the house. She opened the box and started going through them. Halfway through the box she found some pictures of Thomas playing hockey and pictures of the two of them. She set the box aside and left the house. She ended up at the bar. She drank her problems away that night and every night for the next two weeks. She tried to figure out what to do with the house. She was left the house in the will. She really loved it in Camden, but her life was in Washington now.

Lyn had expected to hear from Thomas, but she didn’t. She thought about calling him but talked herself out of it.

Lyn had decided to rent out the house. She didn’t want to get rid of it. She found a couple that rented the house and moved in. Lyn headed back to Washington. She was reeling from everything that had happened in her life recently. She got back into her work routine and pushed all other emotions out of her mind. She was still surprised she hadn’t heard from Thomas but figured that he finally let her push him out of her life.

Over the next six months it was work, traveling for meetings, and packing. Her job was moving her to New York City. She had put her husband’s stuff in storage and packed her stuff into a trailer. Her husband still didn’t know when he would be coming home, but he told her during one of their conversations that he would get a transfer to New York City when he got back.

As Lyn got settled into her new office, new home, and new city, she heard from her husband less and less and figured he was busy with his assignment. Two months had passed and no word from him. That was the longest she had gone without hearing from him in some form. She decided to call his office in Seattle and ask them for an update. They told her they would find out and call her back or have him call her.

Lyn went out shopping one day and was walking through Time Square and saw a familiar face. It was Thomas. He saw her too and came up to her. They hugged and Lyn asked what he was doing there. He said he had been living there for the past three months. She told him she had been there for few months. He asked if August was with her. She explained how he was still on assignment and she hadn’t heard from him. She asked about his wife and he told her that she had died of cancer about eight months before. He told her that’s why he didn’t come to see her when her mother had died, he was dealing with the death of his wife. He told her he wanted to call her but knew she wanted him out of her life. She told him she was sorry for his loss and it was good to see him, but she had to go. As she turned to walk away, Thomas grabbed her hand and said it was fate they ran into each other again in New York City of all places. He told her he wasn’t letting her out of his life again. He gave her his number and told her she had better call him. She smiled and walked away.

When she got home that night, she had a message from her husband’s office asking her to call them. She called and they informed her that her husband and his team were missing. They had another team out looking for them, but the clues were not leading them anywhere. She asked if there was anything she could do to help. They told her they would keep her informed on the progress. She hung up the phone and sat down to process this information. She started going through letters and emails from August looking for a clue of where he may be. She couldn’t find anything. She didn’t sleep that night. She just sat there trying to think of what she could do.

The next day she went into the office and talked to her boss about her husband missing and asked if there was anything, they could do to help her. She also asked for time off so she could go to Germany and see what she could find. Her boss said that he could spare a couple of guys but would rather her not go on this trip. She told him she had to find her husband and his team, and her boss understood that. He told her to keep him informed on her progress and if she needed anything let him know. She thanked him and went home. She was cleaning out her purse and found Thomas’ phone number. She threw it in the trash.

She had to focus on her husband and his team, not on Thomas. She got packed, got a flight to Germany and went to bed. She left early the next day. When she got to the airport, she was met by Carl and Roy. They all boarded the plane and headed to Germany.

They landed in Frankfurt eight hours later. They got to the hotel and got settled in. Carl and Roy came to Lyn’s room and she filled them in on everything she had been told. They sat down and started devising a plan of how they were going to go about this.

The next day Lyn went to the CIA office and explained who she was and that her and a couple of her co-workers from the FBI were there to look for her husband. She explained they were not there as FBI agents; they were there as civilians and she was going to find her husband and his team. They didn’t like this, but they said they would help her anyway they could without compromising anything on their cases. They gave Lyn a copy of her husband’s notes and said that would be a good start. She took the notes and headed back to the hotel. Carl and Roy came to her room and they started looking through the paperwork.

After about three hours of looking at paperwork, Roy found a picture attached to a report from London. The report stated that the team was heading to Canvey Island. It was an island separated from the mainland of England by creeks and is also notable for its relationship to the petrochemical industry. Lyn read the report three times on Canvey Island trying to understand what August was saying. She knew he used code a lot in case his notes got taken. She had to break this code. She felt if she broke the code, she would have the next clue. Carl and Roy left about 11 o’clock that night and Lyn stayed up all night trying to break the code. She finally gave up and started on the next section of August’s notes.

When Carl and Roy came the next morning, they all decided to follow the trail. They were heading to Canvey Island. They arrived in Essex, England and caught the ferry over to Canvey Island. Once there they started looking around for items they found in the notes and people to talk to and see if they could help with finding the next clue. They came across a constable and asked if they could ask him a few questions. Lyn explained her husband was there on vacation and had disappeared. They were trying to find him. The constable sat down with them and Lyn showed him the picture of August and his team. The constable looked at Lyn and told her he had helped them track down someone they were looking for. Lyn asked who and where. The constable told them they were looking for an Australian man and he had told them he knew he was heading to Ireland. He said the last he talked to them they were getting ready to head to Dublin. The Constable gave Lyn a piece of paper and she thanked him for his time, and they headed back to their hotel in Essex.

Once back at the hotel they sat down and looked at the piece of paper from the Constable. It read: “I know your husband was not a tourist and I will give you the same warning I gave him. Be careful the man he was looking for is not a friendly man and has many dangerous connections. Tread Lightly and don’t trust anyone.”

Lyn, Carl, and Roy were not going to let this stop them. They sat there reading more of August’s notes and trying to figure out their next move. All of a sudden there was a knock on the door, and they all jumped. Lyn got up to answer the door. When she opened it, there stood Thomas. She stepped out of the room and asked what he was doing there. He said he called her office when she failed to call him, and they told her she was in Germany. He asked what was going on, so she told him to come in. Lyn filled Thomas in on everything and introduced him to Carl and Roy. Thomas said he was going to help them. They all sat there and went over the paperwork. Thomas proved to be a good asset to the team because he could read the code her husband had written in. Thomas knew it from his time in the Coast Guard. The next morning, they packed up and headed to Dublin.

When the four arrived in Dublin, they got settled at the hotel and got a little rest before they started trying to find answers. Once rested and ready to find answers they split up into teams and headed out to see what answers they could find. Thomas and Lyn went to the local A Garda Síochána, which was Ireland’s National Police Service. They explained they were looking for Lyn’s husband. No one would answer them and told them they had no answers for her. When they left Lyn felt that they weren’t being told the truth. Frustrated that they hadn’t gotten anywhere they headed back to the hotel to meet up with Roy and Carl who had gone to the Mansion House to speak with the Mayor of Dublin. When they all joined up at the hotel, Roy and Carl had given Lyn a photo that the Mayor had given them. It was August and team standing in front of St Patrick’s Cathedral. Lyn noticed there was another man in the picture. She showed the picture to Thomas and they both agreed it was a man they had seen at A Garda Síochána.

They decided to get some lunch and go back and try to talk to the man and see if he could be of assistance to them. When they arrived, the man saw them and went into an office. They asked if they could speak to him and were denied. Lyn showed the man she was talking to the picture and said she just wanted to ask him about the photo. The man went to talk to the guy in the picture and came back out and told them to have a seat and he would be right with them. After about thirty minutes of waiting, the man from the photo came over to them. He took them into an office and closed the door. Lyn showed him the picture and told him that one of the men in the photo was her husband and he was missing. She just wanted to find him. The man told Lyn and Thomas that he had run into them while they were in Dublin and they had asked him about an Australian man, but he didn’t have any information on the man they were asking about. Lyn asked why he hid from them if he had no information for them. He said he didn’t want to get in the middle of the situation especially not having any information. He liked to blend and didn’t want people looking at him and wondering if he was dirty by talking to the Americans. Lyn opened the door and thanked him for his time and stated that she was sorry for bothering him when he had no information. He nodded and closed the door behind Lyn and Thomas.

Dublin ended up not yielding any clues. They packed up and headed out to London. Lyn placed a call to the CIA headquarters in Frankfurt and asked if they had anything else, they could share. Jack said he would fax over some more paperwork that she could look through. Lyn received another hundred reports and pictures to go through. Roy, Carl, Thomas and Lyn spent the next two days going over the reports and pictures. They didn’t want any wilder goose chases and wanted to find August and his team.

After going through all the reports and pictures, they decided to head to Sydney, Australia. They arrived late and headed to a hotel and got settled in. The next morning, they were going to set their strategy.

Lyn woke up and went out and bought breakfast and brought it back for everyone. They were going to need the energy to get to the bottom of this.

Once they had eaten, Roy and Carl went out to see what they could find out from the locals. Thomas went to the Australian Federal Police station to see what he could find out and Lyn set up her computer and started sifting through old newspaper articles. Lyn came across an article about five Americans in the area that had disappeared while out sightseeing.

That afternoon they met up and compared what they had each learned. Roy and Carl had said people were a little weary of talking to them, but they did talk to one man who told them he had seen five Americans and they were asking questions about a man who had ties to one of the most powerful gangs in Australia. He then noticed a week later that the five men were no longer around. Lyn remembered the article about five Americas disappearing while sightseeing. Thomas said the police had told him they searched the area but figured the Americas had just left so they called off the search. Lyn asked where the police said they had searched. Thomas told her it was in Royal National Park. Lyn pulled up the news article and let Thomas, Roy and Carl read it. Everything was leading to they needed to search that area and the national park.

They went out and bought the equipment they were going to need and got everything organized for their search. They were going to get a good night rest and head out in the morning. Lyn felt they were getting close to getting answers. She also had a bad feeling in the pit of her stomach. She pushed everything out of her mind and went to sleep.

The next morning the team woke up just before dawn and got packed up and headed to Royal National Park. They signed in under alias’ so as to go undetected and set off into the park. They had been walking for a couple of hours when they saw a little hut. They decided to take a break and see who lived in the hut. Carl knocked on the door, but no one answered. Roy peered into a window and could tell no one had been in the hut in a very long time. Carl tried the door and was shocked that it opened right up. They went inside. They sat down for a bit and had a snack before they were going to continue. Lyn looked down and saw a picture. She picked it up. It was a Polaroid picture of August and his team tied up in this very building. Lyn showed it to the others, and they all knew they were on the right track. Lyn’s bad feeling turned to dread, and she suggested they keep going on their search. About a mile from the hut, they came upon a clearing. Thomas had noticed that the ground had been disturbed. They went over to check it out.

As they touched the ground, they could tell it was loose and they started pushing it away. They had gotten about a foot down and found the ids of August and four others which was August’s entire team. They broke out the shovel and dug deeper but didn’t find anything. They searched the area for more disturbances in the ground. They found two over by the tree line. They dug down and after three feet found the remains of a body. Lyn pulled out her satellite phone and called Jack. She gave him their location and he was sending out a recovery team.

Carl, Roy, Thomas, ad Lyn set up camp and waited. Six hours later as the sun was setting Jack and a team showed up. Lyn showed Jack the id’s they had found and showed him where the remains were. It was getting to dark to get the remains out that night so they would wait till morning. Lyn knew the remains were of August and his team. But they would have to be identified properly before the final results could be determined.

At first light, Jack and his team started removing the remains. They were taking them back to Frankfurt to identify and perform an autopsy on the remains. Lyn and her team headed back with them. It would take about a week for the results to be in. It seemed like the longest week in Lyn’s life. The results finally came in and it was confirmed that it was August, John, Frank, Stillman, and Chris found in the shallow grave along the tree line. The bodies were sent back to the USA.

Lyn started preparing for August’s burial service. August and the rest of his team were being buried in Arlington National Cemetery. August’s family arrived, Lyn’s family arrived to show their support and the other members of August’s team started showing up. The night before the funerals there was a get together for the families to share the memories they had of their loved ones. Carl, Thomas, and Roy were there to show their support for Lyn. At the end of the get together the families of John, Frank, Stillman and Chris stood up at the front and thanked Lyn, Thomas, Roy and Carl for bringing their family members home to them. Lyn told them she was glad they could bring them closure and wished they could have brought them home alive. They all had a tearful hug and said their good nights.

The next day was the funerals and after the funeral Lyn and her family, along with August’s family went out to dinner and said their goodbyes. Lyn needed a break from everything, so she was heading to Camden for some relaxation.

Lyn arrived in Camden and got settled in. She was ready to process everything. She went for a walk since it was nice night out. She thought that might help clear her head. She sat there thinking about how everyone she had loved was dying. She lost her dad, then her mom, and now August. She was totally exhausted from her search efforts. She headed back to the house and got ready for bed. She needed a good night’s rest. She hadn’t had one in months.

The next morning Lyn woke up and went out on the porch and drank her coffee. She sat there thinking of all the things that went on during her trip searching for August. She wanted to know what August was uncovering and who this Australian man he was after. What was so bad that he would get killed over it. Lyn couldn’t stop thinking she hadn’t finished her search yet. She brought home the men who were killed so their families had closure, but she wanted to know why they died. She still had the paperwork and pictures that Jack had sent when she was looking for August. She went upstairs and grabbed the papers. She started laying them out on the living room floor. She was going to finish what her husband and his men had started so that they hadn’t died for no reason. She sifted for hours cross referencing everything she came across. She had to get a name of the man that her husband was going after. She called Jack and asked him if she could have that information. He told her he wasn’t allowed to release that since they were still after the man and didn’t want to spook him into hiding. Lyn knew that was going to be the answer. They do the same thing on FBI open investigations. Lyn sat there for a minute and wondered how she could get the name of the man.

She called her boss and asked him if there was a way to get the name. He said he would see what he could do and call her back. She waited anxiously for the call back. Sam called back about an hour later and told her the man that August was searching for was Jayden Lawson. He was a member in the Coffin Cheater Club which is a biker gang that has a lot of influence in Australia. They are known for crime and violence. Now Lyn had a starting point. She thanked Sam for his time and help and told him she would be back to work soon. He told her to take the time she needed.

After Lyn hung up with Sam, Roy called to see how she was. She told Roy that she had to finish what August and his men had started. Roy asked if he could be a part of it. She didn’t want to talk about it on the phone so he told her he would be in Camden in the next couple of days and they could discuss their plan of action.

Roy showed up the next day with Carl and Thomas. Roy had talked to them and they wanted to help finish the case and they already knew a lot of the information. Lyn filled them in on the fact that she now had a name of the man that was being sought after. She also showed them what she could find on him so far, which wasn’t much. They had to find someone who would talk out about the Coffin Cheaters and Jayden. They had to find out why the CIA was after him.

They got to work setting up office in Lyn’s house and researching Jayden and the Coffin Cheaters. It came to light that the Coffin Cheaters had devised a plan to bomb the US Embassy in London. And the person who was responsible for carrying out the plan was none other than Jayden Lawson. Now that Lyn and the guys had a who and why, they had to find out where Jayden was hiding out. Lyn didn’t trust that the Australian Federal Police would help because it seemed they had covered up the murders in the first place by saying that the men disappeared while sightseeing.

Over the next week Lyn and the guys sifted through any information they could find on Jayden. They followed the paper trail that Jayden was leaving as he bounced all over Australia, England and Ireland. It was like Jayden thought since he had killed the people that were known to be after him, he was safe and could continue with his plan. This was working in Lyn and the guys favor.

Jayden’s was leaving a trail everywhere he went, but for the past week he had spent a lot of time in Sydney, Australia. He had an apartment there and most of his family ties were there. Lyn talked to the guys to see if they thought it was time to head to Sydney and see what they could figure out. They agreed it was time and that maybe this could be over once and for all.

The next day Lyn, Thomas, Carl and Roy boarded a plane bound for Australia. Once they arrived, they found a hotel that was a block from Jayden’s apartment. They put Jayden and his apartment under surveillance. They followed him for the next week. He was still working on his plan to bomb the US Embassy in London. He planned on putting his plan into action in just a few weeks. So, Lyn and the guys had to work fast to take him down.

Two days before Jayden was going to execute his plan, Lyn got a phone call from Sam. He asked her to meet him at the Sydney Airport. She went and to her surprise Jack was with him. They came to help take down Jayden and stop the bombing.

Once back at the hotel, Lyn filled Sam and Jack in how they were going to stop Jayden. Jack made a call to the US Embassy in London and explained the situation to them and how they had to act like didn’t know anything about a bombing.

Jayden was getting on a plane that night for London, so the plan was set in motion. Lyn and the guys headed to Jayden’s apartment when they saw he was home packing. When Lyn knocked on the door Jayden answered and was shocked to see them. He had been expecting a package that contained the details and materials needed for his mission. Jayden didn’t put up a fight and was questioned right there.

Jayden thought he was going to get out of this situation, but little did he know, Jack had an extradition order in hand. Jayden was taken into custody and Jack and Sam were heading to the airport with him to bring him to trial in the United States.

The next day Lyn, Thomas, Carl and Roy headed to London. They were meeting with ambassador at the US Embassy. Once they arrived, they filled him in on the plan and how Jayden had been taken back to the United States to stand trial. The ambassador thanked them for their hard work and determination.

Once back in the states Lyn returned to Camden and could finally relax. She relaxed for a week then headed back to New York City and to work. Jack kept her in the loop while the trial proceeded. She was going to have to go to Washington DC and testify during the trial. Jayden was being charged with five counts of murder of federal agents and terrorism. He would never see the outside world again if he was convicted.

Two weeks into the trial Lyn headed to Washington DC and testified at the trial. A week later it was closing arguments and the jury came back with guilty verdicts on all counts. Lyn was so happy this was finally over. She had brought home the men that were doing their job and she finished out what they had started so that they hadn’t died for no reason. She couldn’t have done any of it without the help of Carl, Roy, Sam, Jack and even Thomas.

After Jayden was sent off to the maximum-security prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Lyn, Jack, Sam, Roy, Carl and Thomas all got together and celebrated. Jack thanked them for not giving up and for finishing what August and his team had started. Jack told Lyn that August would be so proud of her, but he would kick Jack’s ass for letting her do something so dangerous.

They went back to everyday life. Lyn was back to be a workaholic in the New York City office. Thomas and Lyn would meet up for dinner once a month to catch up.

One night at dinner Thomas asked Lyn what she thought about them going on an actual date and seeing if they could rekindle what they once had. Lyn wanted to say no, but she had learned that you have to take chances and live life to its fullest every day because you never know what is going to happen.

Lyn agreed to the date but told Thomas it was going to have to wait a couple weeks because she was heading out of town for work once again. He told her he would be patiently waiting for her to return and their date.

When Lyn got back from her assignment, she called up Thomas to see how he was. He asked if she was free that weekend? She told him she was, and they set up to meet for their date. He told her he would be by to pick her up Friday night at seven.

Lyn was nervous all-day Friday. She hadn’t been on a date in years and she didn’t know how it was going to go. She still loved Thomas, that had never changed, and they had been through so much lately she didn’t know if that was going to hurt their chances or help them.

Finally, the time came, and Thomas was prompt and picked her up at seven on Friday night. He had in his hand a dozen red tulips. He remembered that was Lyn’s favorite flower. She thanked him and put them in a vase. As they were walking to Thomas’ car, he told Lyn how beautiful she looked. She blushed and thanked him. She returned the compliment by telling him how handsome he looked.

They went to dinner at a quiet little cafe on Fifth Avenue. They talked and laughed and after dinner decided to take a walk to Time Square. Lyn was really enjoying herself and her nerves had calmed. At the end of the night when Thomas dropped her off, he gave her a kiss on the cheek and said he would call her in the morning.

Lyn fell right to sleep. She was woken up by her phone ringing and it was Thomas. He told her to come outside. She threw on some clothes and headed outside. There stood Thomas with a breakfast picnic basket. He told her to get in and they took off. He had a spot all picked out in Central Park for them. They enjoyed a nice morning together, but Lyn had to go get ready for work. So, Thomas dropped her off and they made plans for later in week when she wasn’t quite as busy.

After a year of little surprises from Thomas, he had one last surprise for her. It was an unseasonably chilly night on October 16th, exactly twenty-five years since she had met Thomas in the arena after school. He picked her up and took her to Central Park where a horse carriage was waiting for them. They took a ride around Central Park and stopped in front of Belvedere Castle, which was the weather station in the area, but Lyn loved the castle even though there was nothing to it really. He took her hand and helped her step out. They walked up to the top and Thomas got down on one knee and asked Lyn to be his wife. She accepted of course. They got locked into a long passionate kiss. Then went back down to their carriage and finished the ride. They walked around for a while just smiling and hanging onto each other tight. They didn’t want to let each other go.

Thomas knew Lyn had to work early so he took her home, and they sat by the fire for a while and just cuddled while they watched the flames dance. This was one of the nights that Thomas spent the night at Lyn’s, so they headed up to bed. When they got to bed, Lyn asked Thomas if he wanted to stay in New York City. He wasn’t really sure. He liked it there but didn’t want to raise a family there. Lyn then asked what he thought about Camden. He smiled and said he loved it there, it’s where their story had started and there were so many great memories for them there and it’s a great place to raise a family. Lyn fell asleep with her head on his chest, and Thomas watched her sleep for a while thinking he was the luckiest man alive.

When Lyn got home from work the next day, Thomas had dinner ready and they sat and talked about the wedding plans. They decided on the date of October 16th because it was such a special date to them. They wanted the wedding in Camden. They picked Hunter Green and Silver for the colors because those were their favorite colors. They just had to pick a venue, cater, band or DJ and who was going to be in the wedding.

They finally decided on the venue and picked The Camden Yacht Club. It was beautiful right on the water and just seemed to be perfect for them. They picked Megunticook Market as the caters. They would have Maine Crab Cakes, grapefruit, avocado, and tomatoes along with a breadbasket, Beef Tournedos with Maitre d’hôtel Butter julienne vegetables with fresh dill horseradish mashed potatoes and Baked Stuffed Lemon Sole Cellardoor Trilogy Blanc white wine cream dill sauce

sautéed spinach, Potatoes Anna. And dessert besides the wedding cake from Starlight Custom Wedding Cakes, would be Chocolate Mousse Trio dark, white and milk chocolate Belgian Ganache served in mini martini glasses with chocolate dipped strawberry. And they decided on two people for the music. One was Maine Wedding Harpist Ms. Langford. She played a Lyon and Healy style 25 Concert Grand classical pedal harp. She would play the wedding ceremony. And then they hired DJ Jaz Music & Entertainment for the reception. Only thing left to do was pick the wedding party.

Lyn put in for her transfer out of New York City and up to an office near Camden. Sam said he would push it through for her. He knew this moment was coming, he just hadn’t known when. Lyn would still work for Sam and would still have to travel at times, but when she wasn’t traveling, she wanted to be home with Thomas. She would have loved to have a desk job so she didn’t have to travel at all, but she knew that would never happen. She was still thinking of who she wanted in her wedding party. She wondered if Thomas had picked anyone yet. All she thought about was how after all these years, she was finally marrying Thomas. She always thought he was the love of her life and everyone told her they thought they would have been married after high school, but it took a long time to get to the point they were at.

After a long day at the office, Lyn got home, and Thomas was there waiting for her. Thomas usually got done work before Lyn and would have dinner all ready, this night was no different. Dinner was just finishing up cooking and Thomas had the table set with candles. Lyn felt like she was on cloud nine when she was with Thomas. She knew she was the luckiest woman alive. They enjoyed their dinner and talked about their day. After dinner Lyn picked up the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen. Then they went in to watch a movie and cuddle. Lyn loved cuddling with Thomas. Lyn had fallen asleep during the movie and Thomas really didn’t want to wake her, but he did, and they went in to bed. They always made sure they told each other they loved them and then cuddled together while they fell asleep. They knew life was not promised to anyone and wanted to let each other know how they felt.

A month later Lyn came home from work and as usual Thomas had dinner ready and waiting for her. They sat down to dinner and Thomas couldn’t notice how happy Lyn seemed. He asked why she was smiling so much, and she said her transfer had come through. She had two more weeks before they would head to Camden. Thomas was so happy. He already had his transfer and so now he could give them a date of when he was leaving New York City. He ran behind Lyn and took her hand. He pulled her up and pulled her into the biggest hug he could muster up. She gave him a big kiss and they danced around the kitchen for a few minutes before sitting back down to finish dinner. They were finally going to be where they wanted to be and to start their new life together. What was more exciting than that.

They didn’t have too much packing to do as they had been doing that since they decided to move to Camden. They just had the everyday items to pack. They sold a lot of their stuff to make moving easier because the house was furnished already since they were moving into Lyn’s parents’ house. They wanted to redecorate and redo some items in the house, but they could take their time on that.

Moving day finally came. The movers arrived at eight o’clock in the morning and started loading the truck. Thomas and Lyn were driving up the next day. The movers were all packed by noon. Then they were on their way. Lyn and Thomas cleaned the apartment and then headed to the hotel room for the night. They were staying at their favorite hotel the Excelsior Hotel right next to Central Park. There were things they were going to miss about the city, but they were ready for their new lives in Camden. The next morning, they woke up got packed up and went to have breakfast. Then they headed out on the road. They looked at each other and Lyn asked Thomas if he was ready to start their new journey. He smiled the biggest smile Lyn had ever seen and he said he was definitely ready and then he kissed her. They set off heading North. They took turns driving and would stop to look at things along the way. It was a mini moving vacation to them. They wanted to cherish this journey together and enjoy every moment of it.

Thomas was driving and Lyn was in the singing along to the radio when she just looked over at Thomas and just smiled. She had never thought this moment would come, the moment where she felt her life finally had meaning and that she was where she was always supposed to be. Thomas glanced at her and asked why she was smiling at him. She told him, she was just happy he was on this journey with her and that she was the happiest person alive. He took her hand and said that’s not possible because he was the happiest person alive and there isn’t any other journey he would rather be on. Lyn leaned over and kissed him on the cheek and went back to singing to the radio and bopping along. She couldn’t help but be so happy and giddy.

Once they arrived in Camden, they got to the house and went to open things up. The movers would be there in a couple days as they had stops along the way, which was fine because the house was already furnished and ready for them. They went straight to bed that night. They laid there in each other’s arms and fell asleep pretty quickly. It was a long drive and they were exhausted.

They slept in the next morning and Lyn woke up before Thomas. This was very unusual, normally Thomas was the first one up. Lyn’s sister, Marie, had done some grocery shopping for them so Lyn went down and made eggs, bacon, toast, and hash-browns. She got the coffee done and made Thomas’ just the way he liked it. He was still sleeping, so Lyn took a try up and surprised him. He was always doing things for her like this and she really wanted to repay him and show him how much she loved him. When he woke up a few minutes after she got upstairs, he saw she was standing there holding his breakfast and coffee. She set it down on his lap after he sat up and went back to get hers. Once she was back upstairs, they sat there eating breakfast in bed in their new home, in their new town, and enjoying each other. They spent the day just lying in bed watching movies together. They knew once they went back to work, these days would become less often. But even though they would become less often they always made time for each other every day to see how the others day was, and if they had any news and just to show that they really cared and loved each other. If there was a problem, they discussed it before it went too far. They knew the key to keeping the happiness was communication, honesty, and trusting each other. They knew no matter what, no matter where you lived, people are going to talk crap, but they always dealt with it head on. They didn’t let it fester until it exploded into something huge. They would nip it in the bud at the start. And that’s how they made it to where they were.

There had been times when things came up and if they would have let it fester until one of them exploded, they would not be where they were today. They would not be three months until their wedding, they would not be as happy as they were, they would simply not exist as a couple. But they were a couple that had overcome all the obstacles thrown at them and proved that true love wins out in the end.

Over the next couple of months, they got the house organized and the living room redecorated. They finalized all plans for the wedding and honeymoon. Everyone was set to help them celebrate their special day and their amazing love for each other.

The day of the wedding finally came, October 16, 2014. Lyn was nervous, excited, and extremely happy that this day had finally come. Thomas was feeling the same way. Thomas was standing up front with his best man and two groomsmen. The best man was Thomas’ best friend and the person who back in high school talked some sense into Lyn, Jon. The two groomsmen were Lyn’s brothers, Adam and Zack. Lyn’s Maid of Honor was her sister, Marie and her two bridesmaids were her sister in laws, Alice and Cheyenne. The ring bearer was Lyn’s youngest nephew, Joe and the flower girl was Lyn’s youngest niece, Faith. Thomas was an only child so the only people from his family at the wedding was his parents.

The wedding was as magical as they had envisioned. When Thomas saw Lyn walking down the aisle, he knew she was having a hard time because her father was not there to walk her down. In his place was Lyn’s oldest nephew, Stillman. Thomas couldn’t help but tear up a little bit realizing that he was about to the marry his soul mate and she couldn’t have looked more beautiful than she did walking down that isle towards him. He saw she had a smile on her face and couldn’t take her eyes off him. She was thinking how handsome he looked and how she was the luckiest woman alive. She got to the front and Thomas came and took her arm. They stood there and the justice of the peace started the ceremony. When it got time to say their vows Thomas grabbed a piece of paper from Jon and Lyn grabbed a piece of paper from Marie. They had written their own vows.

Thomas’ vows brought Lyn to tears.

“Lyn, Today I am marrying my best friend, my soul mate, my one true love. I couldn’t be any happier than I am today. It has been a long road for us and a trying one, but here we are in front of all of our family and friends. I know your parents are looking down on us and smiling. They are very proud of you and are always with us. We are starting a new journey together side by side and there is no one I would rather be traveling this journey with then you. You are the most beautiful, caring, compassionate, stubborn, honest, hardworking and all-around awesome person. I am glad we finally are getting our happy ending together. I will love you every day for the as long as there is life in me. No matter what life throws at us, we will overcome it and laugh in its face and show life we are stronger than anything it has for us. I love you today just as much as I did twenty-five years ago and just as much as I will love you another fifty plus years from now.”

Well of course Lyn is balling by now and she has to compose herself so she can read her vows to Thomas.

“My dearest Thomas, you are my world, my soul mate, my best friend. We have traveled a long and winding road to get here today, but we are finally where we are meant to be. You make me the happiest woman alive and I promise to show you that every day. I promise to show you how much I love you, appreciate you, and that there is no one else in the world I would rather be with. You have always been my rock. I’m glad my life hasn’t been perfect and that it has led me to you. You are the most caring, thoughtful, romantic, hardworking, honest, trustworthy person I know. I am glad we get to take this journey called life together forever. That first time I saw you twenty-five years ago today, I knew there was something about you. I knew then you were where I wanted to be. We hit some bumps in the road, but we overcame them and here we are getting ready to start a new journey together and I couldn’t be happier. You are my life and today we start that life as one. I will be by your side every step of the way cheering you on with your dreams and lifting you up when you feel like giving up on a dream. I loved you twenty-five years ago, I love you today and I will love you forever. Nothing will ever change that. I love you to the moon and back and always will.”

Well by now pretty much everyone had tears in their eyes. It got to the you may kiss the bride part and Thomas took Lyn in his arms and gave her the most passionate kiss as everyone cheered for them. Lyn was still crying and smiling. She was finally married to the man of her dreams; he soul mate and she couldn’t have been any happier. After they got out of the ceremony they went and had pictures taken by the ocean, and all over the property. Everyone could see the love and happiness in their eyes and the way they were with each other. Everyone that knew them knew this was going to be a forever. No one had any doubts about that.

The reception kicked off with the announcement of “please welcome for the first time Mr. & Mrs. Davis.” Everyone cheered and everyone had a great time. After the amazing dinner that was presented the dancing started. Thomas and Lyn picked a song that had meaning to them for their first dance as a married couple. They picked “On Bended Knee” by Boys II Men. It was the second song on the tape Lyn had made for Thomas back in high school. And every time they heard that song they always thought about the other even when they were apart. Lyn missed the father daughter dance, but since her nephew was standing in, she did have a dance with him. They danced to “I Loved Her First” by Heartland. The reception lasted until after midnight and Lyn and Thomas were both getting pretty tired. They weren’t leaving on their honeymoon until the 19th. That gave them a few days to rest up before heading to Bora Bora for a week. Thomas and Lyn left the reception and headed home. They were so blessed to be together and to have so many friends and family that cared about them and came to share in their special day.

Once they got home, there was another surprise for Thomas waiting. Lyn had hired her cousin to come in and set up candles, and tulip pedals and put on the cassette tape that Lyn had made Thomas back in high school, and Thomas had kept all these years, right before they got home. Lyn took Thomas’ hand and they danced and held each other so close. They both couldn’t wipe the smile off their faces. Lyn started undressing Thomas and he helped her out of her clothes, and they made it to the hallway going to the bedroom and made love right there. They had the most passionate love making that night.

The next couple days they spent getting ready for their honeymoon, going through all the cards and gifts from the wedding, making lists of who to send what thank you to. It was pretty hectic for them and they couldn’t wait to get on that airplane and head to Bora Bora.

They finally got their happy ending;



Stefanie Daby-Pabins

Grew up in a small town, have moved around in my adult life, and found a love for writing.