Nancy Lee Grahn: Woman Extraordinaire

Day One: A New Beginning
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"Day 1: A New Beginning"
"There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That is the beginning." ---Proverb
The cool autumn breeze brought tingles down her small frame.  She tugged on the blue cashmere scarf that hung loosely around her neck, protecting every inch of skin from the frigid gust of wind.  It was a moonlit evening --- a perfect night to clear her head of unwanted thoughts.    She sighed and eased herself on the cold wooden bench.  She could smell the saltiness in the air and a hint of fresh gardenias.  A memory of a once forgotten night in Puerto Rico invaded her mind.  That's where it all began.  She suspected long before and she even tried to deny it, but deep down she knew.  That night sparked a train of events.  It was unstoppable and inevitable --- something that was a long time coming.  Was she wrong to feel it?  She yearned for something more when that something more should be left alone.  She wanted and feared it.  She knew it wouldn't last.  His lifestyle --- his business, contradicted with her morals and everything that she was.  She remembered the night when he put the hit on A.J.  "You can't do this to me.  I put everything that I am on the line for you!  If A.J. Quartermaine turns up dead tomorrow, I am no longer your lawyer and I'm certainly not your friend!"  It was her ultimatum.  She drew the line that evening.  And he chose her over his pride, power and his lifestyle.  That evening, the line they've drawn that bounded their relationship to a simple lawyer-client turned friendship, got blurred.  They crossed the line and it lead her her --- the respected legal eagle turned mobster mouthpiece, and five months ago today, got knocked up by alleged mobster.  Her hand slowly made its way to the  familiar bulge of her ever growing stomach.  "Despite all, I don't regret a second of it because he gave me you, Little One,"  Alexis whispered to her baby, but moreso to herself.   
He stood in the shadows and watched her.  She had that long expression on her face.  The same long expression she wore when deep in thought or reminiscing.  Did she remember?  Was she thinking about the same thought that invaded his mind every sleepless night?  Her hand massaged her tummy in slow circular motions.  His child was in there.  She denied and claimed that it was Ashton's but he knew it was his.  He longed to be with this woman and their child but he dared not speak his desires.  Her sister was caught in his war, another innocent woman dead from his enemy's wrath.  Four months ago it happened.  That was the last they spoke --- the afternoon of Kristina's funeral.  It drove Alexis mad and she blamed it on him --- another death on his head.   It would destroy him if another body count was made and Alexis and his unborn child became a victim of his mistake.     
She felt his scrutinizing eyes on her, but she chose to ignore it.  She wondered how long he would stay hidden in the shadows of the darkened pier.  She closed her eyes and inhaled a heap of air, preparing herself for what was to come.  She heard familiar footsteps approach the bench and the mild smell of cloves numbed her senses.  The shadow stood and lingered near her.   
He didn't plan on revealing himself but he couldn't resist.  In a matter of moments, he found himself approaching his destination.  He propped himself down to the empty space on the opposite edge of the bench.  
"A hundred and twenty-two."
"You haven't missed a day."
"We have."
They sat there in silence, watching the water while contemplating their next words.    
"Is it over?"  she asked in a matter-of-factly tone.
"Then tomorrow makes a hundred and twenty-three."
"Or maybe it should start from one, since..."
"Since tonight happened," she interrupted.
"It doesn't count though."
"Why not?"
"Because it's not how it used to be."
Silence ensued again, as both were momentarily brought back to the past --- their past, before his mistakes caught up with him, and ruined her life.  
"I'm sorry about..." he began but stopped short, unable to speak her name.
"I know."
"I missed this."
"Me too."
"So, what happens next?"
"Does anyone ever know?" she retorted back.
"Well, what are we exactly... to each other, I mean?"
"We... we're in tolerable terms." 
He smiled at her choice of words and stood to leave the bench.  He walked away from her and didn't look back.  He knew it had to be this way, until the conflict was resolved.  For her sake, and the safety of their baby.   
The water's hypnotic dance lulled her to a tranquil state.  "That was your father, Little One.  One day you will meet him, and love him, and will see for yourself what a wonderful man he is.  I know he'll love you and he will want you."  She said as she unconsciously rubbed her stomach with her dominant hand and wiped her tears with her right.  She looked up at the night sky and saw her shred of hope --- a shooting star.  She closed her eyes and wished for her impossible dream.  She stood from the bench and tugged on the blue cashmere scarf that was draped around her neck.  It was a chilly moonlit evening --- the perfect night to clear her head of the past and to focus on the future.  On that bench she left a part of herself that fed on her pain --- the same bench where day one began.  It was the bench of their new beginning.

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