Sherrie Sushko
                           Author
 

Lost Love

April 25, 2014 by Sherrie

Life has never been better for Eric.  Newly engaged to his soulmate, Abby, and starting a promising business, his future has never been brighter – until he receives an unexpected communication from a past love, threatening his world as he knows it.  Should Eric reach out and help an old love at the risk of losing a new one?

Read the first chapter of Lost Love below:

CHAPTER ONE

Eric walked into the crowded restaurant, his eyes scanning the room.  It was just like Scott to pick such a bustling place to meet up at, lively even on an early Monday evening.  Eric was about to give up his search when he suddenly spotted Scott, waving him on frantically from the bar area.

“May I help you?” the hostess flashed a smile at Eric, finally aware of his presence.

“No, thank you, I found the party I’m looking for,” Eric replied, nodding in Scott’s direction.

“Great, enjoy,” she grinned, quickly turning to the next patron.

“Hey!” Scott said, as Eric approached the table, “I was beginning to think you were standing me up!”

Eric sat down across from Scott.  “Have I ever done that?”

“No, you’re a man of his word,” Scott paused.  “And speaking of which, congratulations!”

“Thanks,” Eric said, picking up a menu.

“I mean it, I can’t think of a nicer couple.  You have my blessings,” Scott continued.  “And just think – you’re the first one in the group that’s getting married.”

“That I am,” Eric agreed.  “When you find the right one, you can’t let her go.”

“Absolutely!  And don’t you forget that,” Scott laughed.

Eric was in a good place and he knew it.   He felt extremely optimistic, almost invincible, which was something he hadn’t always experienced in the past when things had been quite different.

“Where’s your better half tonight?” Scott asked.

“Abby is wrapping things up at the school and then going out with some fellow teachers afterwards,” Eric said.  Abby taught Kindergarten at the local public school which had just reopened after the holiday break.

“Yeah, I guess it is that busy time of year again,” Scott said.  “Send her my best.”

“I will, and we’ll all be getting together soon enough,” Eric added, although he wasn’t so certain that they would be.  Scott had been dating Abby’s best friend, Cassie, for quite some time and it was Scott who had introduced Abby to Eric.  However, Scott and Cassie were going through a rough patch at the moment, and the two couples hadn’t gotten together in a while.

Eric listened intently, or at least he tried to, while Scott filled him in on the latest events of his life.  He had just landed a high paying job at an accounting firm.  Eric barely heard bits and pieces as his attention was drawn elsewhere.  Something had caught his eye in the back of the room.

“I’ve wanted a job at this firm for a long time, now,” Scott said, “Persistence has finally paid off.”

“That’s great,” said Eric, “I’m happy for you.”  He leaned forward slightly, still trying to get a better look at the far wall.  Scott didn’t seem to notice.

“How’s it going with you?”  Scott asked.  “How’s the world of web development?”

“Pretty good,” Eric said, still obviously distracted.  “I’m freelancing now, you know.”

“I did hear something about that,” Scott said. “What are you looking at?” He turned around to get a glimpse.

“I thought I recognized someone,” Eric replied, “but I guess not.”

“Well, if you did there’s nobody there now,” Scott shrugged, picking up the conversation from where they’d left off.

***

After saying their good-byes in the parking lot, Eric jumped into his car and headed for home.  Although the evening was fairly young, he was already tired and knew that tomorrow would be a full day.

He drove passed Abby’s house and could see that she wasn’t home yet.  The windows were all dark and closed up tight.  Abby lived in her parent’s two-family house and her unit was in the back.   He always felt concerned when she got home after a certain hour but her parents did keep an eye out for her and he was certain that she would be calling him when she got home.

Driving down the quiet road, Eric’s thoughts left Abby and went back to the restaurant.  He wasn’t sure what he had seen now and thought that maybe his eyes were playing tricks on him.  On the far wall beyond the bar he had seen her, or at least someone who resembled her, staring straight ahead.  She seemed out of sorts, unhappy, and then she had looked right at him.  He could have sworn it was her when their eyes met.  It was at that moment that Scott had distracted him for only a second, but long enough for her to get up and slip away.  The bar had still been full and she had gotten lost in the crowd.  It was as if she had disappeared or had never been there at all.

Afterwards, when Scott had gone to the restroom, Eric had gotten up and walked to the back of the room where he had seen her.  He figured there had to be a logical explanation as to how she had left so quickly.  When he reached the far wall, he realized that it was mirrored from floor to ceiling.  Eric was surprised to discover that there were absolutely no tables in the back, which made him thoroughly confused.  Standing by the bar, he gazed intently into the mirrored wall across the way, when realization struck him.  She must have been sitting at the bar with her back to him, facing the back wall.  He hadn’t seen her directly at all, but instead had seen her reflection in the mirror, just as she had looked back and seen his.

Noting that his eyes had deceived him with the layout of the bar, he noted that they might have very well deceived him in other ways.  There was a good possibility that he hadn’t seen her at all.

Eventually, Eric arrived at the apartment complex where he lived.  It was a small structure with six units, each with their own parking space.  He parked the car in his designated spot and made his way towards the building, glad to finally be calling it a night. His thoughts about his night out were temporarily forgotten, and were replaced with hopes of talking to Abby real soon.

 

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