Loving Michelle by Carla Chapter 25

Republisher’s Note: Danny and Michelle are still in pain and apart.

Loving Michelle by Carla – Chapter 25

“Come on in, Danny,” Amy Morgan said as she pulled the door open in invitation. She smiled at Danny and he couldn’t help but feel both suspicion and remorse at being invited to the home of Amelia’s sister.

“Are you sure, Amy?” Danny said. “I don’t know if this is a good idea or not,” he admitted. Just then two pint sized whirlwinds raced across to the room and encircled his legs, with each of them grabbing one and holding on.

“Unca Danny” Alaina, the oldest proclaimed. “You came to see us! We missed you SO much!” she said still attached to his leg. He looked down and saw that Seashell was also holding on to his leg. She grinned when he made eye contact with her and he felt his heart turn over.

He had missed these two little angels so much. He had honestly never thought he would ever see them again especially after what happened with their aunt two months ago. He doubted they knew the circumstances of their aunt’s death but he knew that Alaina was old enough to understand that her Aunt Amelia was gone and would never return.

He scooped Seashell up with one arm and brought her close enough to inhale her sweet, innocent toddler smell. He breathed in deep the mixture of Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and peanut butter and held it in his nostrils for a minute, reluctant to let the first real emotion he felt in two months escape him just yet.

Alaina began protesting her younger sister’s monopoly of Danny’s attention and began to tug on his pant leg impatiently. With minimal effort, he lifted her up with his free arm and soon they were all laughing.

“Okay girls, “Amy said softly but firmly “Go and play with your new tea set. Mommy and Uncle Danny need to talk. I will call you in a little bit and we can all have some cookies,” she said and the girls squealed their delight and scampered from the room.

Soon, they were alone in the living room and Danny began to shuffle nervously. Amy watched him for a minute and then laughed and said “Sit down Danny, I am not going to bite you,” which prompted a smile of his own.

Danny sat on one of the plush sofas and looked around. He didn’t know how to act in this home. He had been thoroughly amazed when Amy had called him and asked him to come over and visit with her this afternoon. He had a pretty good idea of what she wanted to talk to him about. He was going to finally get blasted for his part in her sister’s untimely death.

The family had been suspiciously civil to him since he had called them that awful day and told them of their loss. They had flown to the Dominican Republic to claim her body and then made all the arrangements to bring her back to Springfield.

There had not been one accusing eye cast towards him which only made him feel worse. He needed someone to blame him as much as he blamed himself. He would not receive absolution until he could ask someone for forgiveness but no one seemed to blame him which only added to his confusion. Perhaps this visit with Amelia’s sister could lay all of his questions to rest.

Amy brought Danny a cup of coffee from the silver tea service and handed it to him. He politely thanked her and took the cup as she sat down on the same sofa next to him. She then began to speak.

“Danny,” she started “You must be wondering why I asked you here today,” she said and he nodded his head dumbly. She chuckled as she continued, “Don’t worry Danny. I wanted to talk to you today because my family feels like it owes you an apology and they asked me to be the one to give it.”

Danny nearly dropped the fine porcelain cup with the tiny pink roses at her revelation. Surely he couldn’t have heard her right. Did she just say they wanted to ask for his forgiveness? What was going on?

“Amy, I don’t understand. It is I who should ask for your forgiveness,” he said.

“No, Danny, you are wrong. We should have never let things go as far as they did but Amelia seemed so happy, you know. She really seemed to love you and we thought that this might work even though we all knew in our hearts that it wouldn’t. We knew from the beginning that you didn’t love her and that you still loved your Michelle. We cautioned her about this but she just wouldn’t listen. She had it in her head that she could make you love her and she wouldn’t listen to any of us and we reluctantly agreed to go ahead with the wedding for her sake. We wish we had tried harder to convince her of what a mistake she was making, and maybe she would still be alive,” Amy said distantly.

“No, Amy,” Danny interjected. “It’s my fault. I told her from the beginning how I felt but I thought she could make some of the pain go away. I wanted to have children and I was willing to have them with her. I was the one who should have put a stop to it. My gut was telling me to stop it when she walked down the aisle but I thought she didn’t deserve to be humiliated on her wedding day by a selfish son of a bitch who couldn’t stop loving his ex-wife. That was not her fault and the blame lies with me for her death. If I had just been man enough to put a stop to it before it got to the day of the wedding, then Michelle wouldn’t have had to interrupt it and I wouldn’t have worried about Amelia’s feelings and none of this would have happened. I appreciate your kindness about this Amy, but I know in my heart the blame is mine and I am prepared to live with it,” he concluded.

“That is bull, Danny!” Amy said. “It wasn’t your fault that Amelia killed herself any more than it was Professor Anderson’s fault,” she said cryptically.

Danny was completely baffled. He had never even heard of any Professor Anderson. What did he have to do with any of this? “Amy, I don’t understand.”

“I know you don’t Danny. Let me explain. Amelia was a very beautiful woman who never had any trouble attracting men but she never had any confidence in herself so she would go completely overboard and end up scaring the man away. She was engaged twice before you but the men backed out before the wedding and we couldn’t blame them. She never believed that there was anything to love about herself so she ended up pushing them away with her overindulgence. It was sad because both of the men really seemed to love her but they couldn’t handle her insecurities,” she said pouring herself a cup of coffee and taking a sip.

“No one knows for sure when her problems began and we all feel guilty because we never realized what was going on with her. She put on such a good front and she fooled a lot of people you see. But I need to backtrack a minute and you perhaps you can understand what I am saying.”

“Amelia was a very bright student, top in her class actually and when she went to college, we were all filled with such hopes for her. Then she met Professor Anderson.”

“He was her History Professor and she developed feelings for him immediately despite the fact that he was married. She pursued him relentlessly, even going so far as to get herself appointed as his aide and things just got worse. Her tenacious pursuit paid off in a one night stand that the professor lost his job over. It was very ugly and he almost lost his marriage but still Amelia pursued him until one night he was very cruel to her and told her in no uncertain terms that he never wanted to see her face again,” Amy said pausing and wiping an errant tear out of her eye.

“She took an entire bottle of sleeping pills over his rejection and she almost died. We got her to the hospital just in time for them to pump her stomach. Daddy didn’t think she needed the psychiatric counseling that they recommended and thought a change of scenery was all she needed and we moved away from the scandal and moved to Springfield” she explained. “So you see, Danny,” she continued, “It wasn’t your fault. Amelia had problems that we never forced her to address and her death will forever rest on our shoulders and not yours. We should have told you this sooner and we are more sorry than you will ever know. Do you forgive us?” she asked as she took his cup from him and refilled it.

Danny cleared his throat and began to speak. “There is no forgiveness necessary. It sounds like Amelia had us all fooled and I just hope and pray that she has finally found some peace, at last,” he said and Amy nodded her agreement.

“Danny, I want to tell you something and please tell me if you feel I am interfering okay?” she said and Danny nodded. “I think you should go after your wife,” she said “It is very obvious that you still love her and from the way she as looking at you when she interrupted the wedding, the feeling is mutual. Go after her Danny and don’t spend the rest of your life mired down with guilt that is not yours,” she plead.

“Michelle is gone,” Danny said surprised to find himself confiding in his dead fiancĂ©e’s sister.

“Where is she?” Amy asked sympathetically.

“Europe,” he answered flatly.

“Well, why don’t you go and get her then if you know where she is. You are free now. Go find her and make a life with her. This is your second chance and not many people get them you know,” she said.

“I know but she wants to be divorced. We never got to meet with Mr. Wallace down in the Dominican Republic but she found someone in the states soon enough. Carmen called me and told me she had the divorce papers with Michelle’s signature on them. She doesn’t want me in her life anymore and I can’t blame her. I have caused her nothing but pain and heartache and I will do the right thing and let her live her life the way she deserves,” he explained.

“Did you ever stop to think that she only signed those papers because of what happened with Amelia? ” Amy said “You and I know that Amelia wasn’t above using guilt to her advantage and I imagine your Michelle is as honorable as you are and was willing to stand back and not interfere with someone else’s chance at happiness,” she said. “Now I think you have suffered enough and it is time for you to find some happiness yourself. Go to her, Danny!” Amy reiterated.

Just then Alaina and Seashell came running into the living room asking if it was time for the cookies. “Of course it is,” Amy said with a smile. “Danny, will you be joining us?”

“Can I take a rain check?” he asked as he bent down to give each child a kiss on the top of the head. “I have something that I have to do,” he said.

Amy smiled and said, “No problem. Come back anytime and please bring Michelle. You two are always welcome in this house,” she said and kissed Danny on the cheek as he turned to leave.

“Come on girls,” Amy said smiling as she closed the door behind Danny, “let’s go get those cookies.”

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