This is the continuation of a short fiction series. To read the other parts, click on the links.
“Why did you leave, Cassie?”
His words echoed in my head. I left because of you. Because of her. There was nothing left for me there. Nothing but pain and heartache.
But I can’t say those things. I needed a snappy comeback. A cursory comment that wouldn’t let him know my true feelings. Somehow the words wouldn’t come.
“Cassie? Did you hear me? Why did you leave?”
Jarred from my thoughts, I turned to him and said, “Sometimes we need a change. My grandparents were getting older, and they needed someone to run this ranch. Maybe I just wanted to get away from the day-to-day routine.”
“I would think raising horses would be more of a daily routine than being a cop. At least we never knew what each day would bring.”
“Maybe that’s what I wanted to get away from. I needed stability. I needed to feel like I bel—” I stopped before I said something to embarrass myself.
“I grew up here. Guess in the back of my mind I always knew I’d come back one day.”
“And I remember someone once saying they wanted to get away from the drudgery of living on a ranch. Isn’t that why you went to the police academy?”
“What’s this? Twenty questions? Like I said earlier, people change. Maybe it just took me a while to figure out what I wanted in life. And it’s a good thing I did come home. Now that Gran and Gramps have passed on, this place is my responsibility.”
“Guess you have a point.” He walked across the room and put his hands on my shoulders. “I know I wasn’t there for you, but I am sorry for your loss.”
“It’s not like I told anyone. You couldn’t have known.”
“I’d like to think we are friends. At least we once were. Friends are always there for one another. In good times and bad.”
Friends. That’s what he thought of us. Just friends. Superficial feelings at best. I hated to admit that after he showed up, I begin to believe once again if we couldn’t have something more than friendship. Maybe an old spark could be rekindled. Guess I was wrong. So why was he here?
No way will I put myself through torture. I need to know why he showed up on my doorstep. Whatever his reasons, I can take it. But no more dancing around. I took a deep breath.
“I have a question for you. Why are you here?”
Inspired by the daily word prompt, Superficial