Family Fiction posted November 8, 2023 Chapters:  ...12 13 -14- 15... 

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Talking to Aaron

A chapter in the book Miranda's Trouble In Paradise

Waiting Is The Hardest Part


Miranda Jessup Buckley is back to find out what happened to Dougie Wilcox.
So far, Miranda is being tormented by someone connected to Dougie Wilcox. She and Mitch have parted ways over a misunderstanding. She calls and leaves a message. Now she waits for him to call back ... or not.


After locking up and waiting for Preston's ride to come for him, I slump down in my car and start it. I'll be honest, I was hoping Mitch would be out here waiting for me. But the lot is deserted. It makes me want to cry all over again. I blew a good thing. I should have been more understanding. He loves me. I know this.

Enough. I'm not going to fret over something I have no control over. I extended the olive branch. He will either take it or he'll ignore it.

I'd like to think that, if I could go back to this morning, I would handle it differently, but Momma was right. I would probably handle it no differently.

I blame the lack of red flags with Mitch. For me, red flags are the things I brush aside, right or wrong. But, Mitch is pretty much perfect. I've never dealt with perfect. I remember reading an article once, probably in Cosmopolitan or Marie Clair magazine. It said that women who pick the wrong guy, time after time, don't do it because they want that kind of guy. They do it because they know what to expect. There is a certain security in repetition.

I turn into the Garden of Eden Park and the headlights bounce over Waylon and Aaron tossing a football in the front yard.

"Like old times," I say, mustering up my happy face.

"Why'd you and Mitch break-up?" Waylon asks, pausing as he winds up to toss the nerf football to Aaron.

It shouldn't surprise me that he found out. But how did he come about this information? "And you heard this how?"

"Your mom came by. Man, was she pissed off," he says, then laughs at the memory. "She forgot you were at work."

"Well, thank you for calling to warn me."

He shrugs. "Hey, you always tell me, 'Don't do the crime, if you don't want to do the time'."

I try to level him with a look but he continues to smirk. "So, are y'all done?"

Aaron shakes his head. "Waylon, show a little sensitivity. Love, both reciprocated and unrequited, are not something to joke about."

"Any calls?" I ask, ignoring the odd remark.

"One from the women's detention center, and no, before you ask, I did not accept the charges. Mail is on the table."

I trudge up the steps and as I go to open the door, I glance to see Aaron. There is something in his eyes. Something I don't like. I've seen it before and ignored it. It's interest. I won't say love because I seriously don't think he knows any better. But, his knowing Mitch and I aren't a thing at the present time, that might not be good.

"Homework done?" I call out.

"Yep. I even took the trash to the dumpster. Figured you'd be all mad when you got home."

I have no sooner gotten inside when my phone rings. I move faster than a fat kid reaching for the last cookie.

"Hello," I practically yell into the phone.

"Did you talk to him yet?" It's Momma.

"I left a message."

"A message? You need to talk to him, Miranda."

I pinch the bridge of my nose. "I know that. But it's hard to talk to someone if they won't answer the phone."

"You hurt his pride and his ego, he may need a few days."

"How did I hurt his ego?"

Momma sighs before answering. "He wants to take care of you. When you were in the hospital after Missy attacked you, he kept telling me how he should have been there. He was afraid of scaring you off. Miranda, honey, that man wants to take care of you. He's a good man. And you deserve a good man."

I bid her goodnight and walk back to my room. It's amazing how clear things are when you're standing on the outside looking in. But when you're smack dab in the middle, everything is jumbled.

If it's meant to be, he'll call back.


I sleep fitfully. Between waking up thinking about Mitch and the fifty other ways yesterday morning could have played out and the way Aaron was looking at me, I probably don't get more than four good hours of rest.

I give up at four-thirty and go hop in the shower. Waylon will be getting up in just over an hour. I brew my coffee, then grab my jacket to take it out on the porch.

The air is crisp. It can't be much warmer than fifty degrees. The good thing about living here on the coast, the morning is cool, the afternoon is perfect. Cold weather is rare. Snow is just a word we use in our imagination. I hold the hot mug between my hands and bring it close to my face.

As I bring it close to my mouth, the telephone inside rings.

"That's got to be Mitch."

I set the cup on the deck railing and race inside.

"Hello," I say, breathless with anticipation.

"Stop trying to find me."

My blood turns cold. It's a male voice. It's not Mitch.

"Dougie?" I whisper.

The line goes dead.

If it is Dougie, where has he been? If it isn't, who wants me to stop looking for him ... and why?

I stand there for a minute, the receiver in my hand. I'm shaking.

A noise behind me causes me to turn. There stands Waylon.

"Was that my dad?"

I feel a wave of cold roll over me. "I, I can't be certain but it sounded like him."

He looks around frantically. "What did he say? Is he okay?"

I blink as the reality of what's happened hits. "He told me to stop trying to find him."

Waylon moves to the couch, crumbling like a house of cards. He buries his face in his hands and moans.

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