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Authors: Debbie Macomber

Reflections of Yesterday

BOOK: Reflections of Yesterday
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Reflections of Yesterday
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

2015 Debbie Macomber eBook Edition

Copyright © 1986 by Debbie Macomber
“The World of Debbie Macomber” by Kevin Weaver copyright © 2014 by Random House LLC

All rights reserved.

Published in the United States by Debbie Macomber Books, an imprint of Debbie Macomber, Inc.

Distributed by Random House LLC.

D
EBBIE
M
ACOMBER
B
OOKS
is a registered trademark of Debbie Macomber, Inc.

Originally published in paperback in the United States by MIRA Books, New York, in 1986.

eBook ISBN: 978-1-941824-07-8

www.debbiemacomber.com

v3.1

Contents

Dear Friends,

I’m so very pleased to be able to share with you
Reflections of Yesterday
. Although I wrote this story early in my career, it remains a personal favorite. Because I’ve been blessed with a long publishing career, it’s exciting to me to have this book available for the first time in an eBook format.

I hope you’ll enjoy the tender love story of Angie and Simon. I’ve always felt there was something special about young love. The two meet while in high school, and then their parents and college and difficulties tear them apart and … It’s hard for me not to tell you more, but I’ll leave you to discover the rest of the story on your own.

Feedback from my readers has been a guiding force in my career. You can reach me any number of ways: my website at
DebbieMacomber.com
; through Facebook: or if you’re so inclined, you can write to me at P.O. Box 1458, Port Orchard, WA 98366.

Now, settle back on a big, fluffy pillow, put up your feet, and enter the world of Angie and Simon as they discover that first love is something meant to last a lifetime.

Warmest regards,
Debbie Macomber

Prologue

An iridescent moon lit up the sky above Groves Point, South Carolina. Simon Canfield sat in his Mercedes, opening one aluminum can after another until he’d downed the six-pack. Beer cooled the burning ache in the pit of his stomach. Beer helped him remember. For three hundred and sixty-four days of the year he successfully curtailed thoughts of Angie. Only on June 7 did he pull out the memories, roll them around in his tortured mind, and relive again the golden days of his abandoned youth.

After ten years it astonished him that the memory of Angie’s passionate young body under his held such power. Closing his eyes produced a flood of images and a sensation of almost painful pleasure. He hated her, and in the same breath realized that he’d go to his grave never having loved another woman the way he’d loved Angie. Only thoughts of her were capable of reducing him to this pensive melancholy. Rarely did he indulge himself the way he had tonight.

Normally, Simon Canfield lived his life as a respected citizen, vice president of the local bank, the man who made decisions that set the course of an entire community.

Tonight he drank beer instead of whiskey sours. Tonight he wore jeans instead of a pin-striped suit. Tonight he yearned for a time long past, and the young man who had loved with a passion he never hoped to recapture.

Simon’s grip compressed around the hard steering wheel. The pleasure of those youthful days had been swept away by the pain that had followed in the backwash of her deception.

A turn of the key fired the car engine to life. Simon drove carefully, his convertible cruising through the dark streets unnoticed. His first stop was outside the Catholic church, Saint Elizabeth’s. His figure hadn’t darkened the doorway in ten years. Fleetingly he wondered if the priests kept the church doors locked these days.

Without conscious direction, he headed through town, ignoring the changing message of the time and temperature flashing from the sign above the bank. In the still, silent streets he drove over the railroad tracks until he was parked outside of Angie’s old house. The white paint had peeled and the flowerbeds were sadly neglected, the once-well-groomed lawn forsaken. A string of toys and a tricycle on the sidewalk assured him the house wasn’t empty. Somehow,
Simon doubted that the halls rang with music as they once had.

A surge of anger rose within him until the taste of bitterness erupted in his mouth. He’d wanted children even then. They’d talked about what they would do if Angie were to have a baby. Ironically, their last conversation had been over the possibility of her being pregnant. He could picture her as clearly today as he had ten years before: Her long brown hair had been pulled away from her face and tied back with a red chiffon scarf, her brown eyes as round as a deer’s, mirroring her troubled heart. She’d looked so unhappy, but she had quietly assured him that there wasn’t any need to worry, she wasn’t pregnant. Oh, he wished she had been.

Now there would be no children for him. He was twenty-seven, and with one disastrous marriage in his wake, he wasn’t about to try again. He’d like to blame Angie for that fiasco. But he was the one foolish enough to marry a woman he didn’t love, and he had paid dearly for the mistake. He wouldn’t marry again.

The ache grew within him until his chest hurt with the intensity of it. Dear sweet heaven, he’d loved Angie.

Simon drove around for what seemed like hours, not surprised that his unplanned route led to the backwoods. His parents had owned these twenty acres. Simon had purchased the land after his divorce from Carol was final. He’d built the house a year later. But it wasn’t the welcoming of his home he sought now. Instead, Simon drove down the long driveway that stretched from the road to the back of his house. The harsh slam of his car door echoed through the quiet night. Enough was enough. The ax was stored in the garage, and with an impatience he couldn’t understand, Simon fetched it, then carried it deep into the twenty acres to the small clearing. He hadn’t come here in years, and the memories this land evoked were bittersweet. But Simon had neither the patience nor the desire to explore its significance.

He located the large pecan tree with some difficulty. The only light was the silken shine of a distant moon, slowly creeping toward the horizon.

On the first swing, the ax met the tree’s bark with an unrestrained violence. The second and third that followed were born of anger and frustration. Blow followed blow, and he paused only once, to remove his shirt. Uncaring, he tossed it aside and resumed his task until his muscles quivered with the effort and his shoulders heaved with exertion.

The huge tree began to fall, and a panting Simon stood back. His lungs hurt as he sucked in huge gulps of air. His naked torso glistened with perspiration in the glow of the moonlight.

“It’s over,” he mumbled, chest heaving, as the mighty pecan slammed against the earth.

One

The day was as flawless as only Groves Point could be in the summer. The golden sun shone brightly from a sky as clear as the Caribbean Sea. Angie Robinson stood outside the hotel. Her fingers toyed nervously with the room key in her pocket as she glanced down Main Street.

Nothing was different, but everything had changed. A traffic signal had been added in front of Garland Pharmacy, and the JCPenney store had installed a colorful awning to shade the display windows. The beauty shop was in the same location, but the neon sign flashed a new name—Cindy’s.

Drawing in a deep breath to calm herself, Angie walked toward the bakery at the end of the block. A quick survey inside revealed that the small Formica tables and the ever-full, help-yourself coffeepot were still there. But Angie didn’t recognize the middle-aged woman behind the counter. The clerk caught her eye through the large front window and smiled. Angie’s smile in return felt stiff and unnatural.

She crossed the street and was halfway down the second block before she noticed that the bank had put up a sign that alternately flashed the temperature and the time of day. For a full minute she stood in a daze, watching, as if it could tell her what would happen once she walked inside the double glass doors.

Angie had expected to feel a surging wave of anger, but none came. Only a blank, desolate feeling. A hollow emptiness that was incapable of echoing in the dark emotion that had dictated her life these past twelve years.

She took a step in retreat, swiveled, and walked away.
Not yet
, she thought. She’d been in town only a few minutes. A confrontation so soon would be unwise.

Crossing the street at the light, Angie’s quick-paced steps led her to the beauty salon. Cindy would tell her everything she needed to know. Cindy had been her friend. Her best friend. She’d loved working with hair and talked one day of opening her own salon. This must be Cindy’s salon.

“Can I help you?” A blue-eyed blonde at the reception desk glanced curiously at Angie. The girl transferred a wad of gum from one side of her mouth to the other as she waited for Angie’s response.

“Is Cindy available?” she asked, trying to keep her voice even.

“Sure, she’s in the back room. If you’ll wait a minute, I’ll get her.”

“Thank you.”

The girl slid off the stool and headed for the back of the salon. Empty chairs and a stack of magazines invited Angie to sit down, but for now she preferred to stand.

The bead curtain that covered a rear doorway made a jingling sound as a tall brunette appeared. Two steps into the room she paused in mid-stride. “Oh my heavens, Angie.” A rumbling laugh followed. “Good grief, girl, where have you been all these years?” Before another moment passed, Angie was hauled into open arms and hugged as if she were a lost child returned to a worried mother. “I don’t believe it.” A hand gripping each shoulder pushed Angie back. “Let me look at you. You haven’t changed at all.”

A smile lit up Angie’s soft brown eyes. Cindy was one person she could always count on to welcome her. “Neither have you.”

The musical sound of Cindy’s laughter followed. “When did you get in town?”

“Just a few minutes ago.” Angie felt breathless and a little giddy. Her friend looked wonderful. Cindy had been the tallest and thinnest girl in class; now she possessed the womanly curves that rounded out her height.

“Can you stay?”

“I’m only here for a couple days.”

“Angie, Angie,” Cindy murmured, and released a long, slow sigh, “it’s good to see you.”

Her friend’s unabashed enthusiasm for life had always been infectious. Angie had often thought that if someone could tap into Cindy’s knack for seeing the bright side to everything, the world would be a much happier place. “Tell me about everyone. I’m dying to know what’s been going on in Groves Point.”

“Filling you in on the last … twelve years … Has it really been that long?” Cindy shook her head in slow amazement. “Mimi, I’ll be at King Cole’s. Call me if something disastrous comes up.”

Mimi smiled. “Don’t worry, I’ll hold down the fort.”

King Cole’s was one of three restaurants in town. The food had always been moderately good and relatively cheap. Angie’s father used to take her there for dinner once a month on payday. She’d never told him that she would have preferred hamburgers at the A&W on the
outskirts of town.

BOOK: Reflections of Yesterday
12.63Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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