Broken Vows Chapter 1

Republisher’s Note: Manny divorced and Michelle fled to Canada. Danny first went into “the business” with a vengeance, but eventually realized he never wanted that life and started working in legitimate business. It’s almost time for the Bauer BBQ. The Chelsea married to Rick is Chelsea Reardon.

Broken Vows – Chapter 1

Michelle stepped out of the airport and onto the sidewalk. She used her hand to shield her eyes against the glare of the sun. The road in front of her was shimmering with heat. She didn’t remember summers in Springfield being so miserably hot; she was glad she’d worn a sleeveless dress.

She hadn’t told anyone she was coming home, so no one was there to meet her. With a wave of her arm, she hailed a taxi, and as she gave the driver the address, it suddenly occurred to her that maybe she should have given Rick some notice. She’d always considered the Bauer house home base, belonging as much her as it did her brother or her father, but she’s been gone for almost two years, and Rick and Chelsea had only recently gotten married. It wasn’t exactly fair for her to assume that she could just show up and reclaim her old room.

Michelle dug around in her large, black leather purse, finally coming up with her cell phone from among the jumble of receipts, half-empty packs of gum, and loose change. Over the past twenty-one months, she’d learned a lot about what was really important in life, and an organized pocketbook was not essential for her happiness. She dialed the number at the house, and was relieved to hear Rick’s voice.


“Rick, hi, it’s me,” she began.

“Michelle! Hi, sweetie. How’re things north of the border?”

Michelle couldn’t help but smile. It would be so wonderful to see her big brother again. She realized now that he had, without complaining, taken over the role of her father after Ed voluntarily checked out of both of their lives, and she couldn’t imagine what she would’ve done without him. “Actually, I’m not in Toronto. I’m here. In Springfield. On my way to your house, actually, if that’s okay,” she said.

“Are you kidding? Of course it’s okay! It’s about time you got around to visiting us,” Michelle winced; although Rick had sworn to her that he understood, she knew that he’d been hurt that she hadn’t come home for his wedding. “Wow, sis, I can’t believe you’re here. How long are you gonna stick around?”

Michelle drew a deep breath. “Indefinitely. I’m finally ready to come home, Rick.”


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