In life we all have to face things we don’t necessarily want to face. Some of those things are more difficult than others, some can even destroy us, if we let them. In Return to New Parish, I chose to present a difficult thing that many women have had to face. Hannah faces all the emotions, fears, and heartbreak of this very difficult thing… Throughout her journey in Return to New Parish, she gains the courage to deal with this, and finds a way to move forward in her life. She has some great support in her sister, family, and Alex… but in the end, it’s all up to her to deal with what happened.
Excerpt from Return to New Parish:
Chapter 12 – Alex
“Have you talked to Uncle Alex?” Sarah asked.
“We talk all the time,” Hannah avoided what she knew Sarah meant.
“About Nathaniel?” Sarah probed.
“No,” Hannah returned firmly.
“You need to tell your husband about the man who nearly raped you,” Sarah insisted.
“Who’s Nathaniel?” Alex asked from behind them. “What happened?”
Hannah sighed and gave Sarah a disapproving frown, “I’d rather not talk about it.”
“It’s too late for that,” Alex said gently. “I heard what Sarah said.”
“Okay, but later,” Hannah pleaded, holding Annie close, almost like a little shield.
“Yeah, but we will talk,” Alex nodded and returned to the paddock and the girls.
“Grrrr,” Hannah growled softly at Sarah, so as not the scare Annie.
“Growl all you want,” Sarah shrugged. “He’s got a right to know, especially since you’ve decided to not have a physical relationship. He is your husband after all.”
Hannah sighed and tried not to think about the conversation she knew was inevitable. Holding Annie and watching the girls ride helped distract her mind, but not completely. She didn’t want to tell Alex but she knew Sarah was right, she knew she had to tell him, she sighed again.
That night as Hannah finished tidying up her sitting room, she heard a knock on her door. She thought, “I have plans for spending the evening on the balcony, and then moving to the big tub before bed.”
When she opened the door, she found Alex standing there.
“It’s not my night to fix your dinner,” she said quickly and somewhat panicky, hoping she didn’t lose track of which night she was supposed to fix his dinner.
“Nope,” Alex chuckled rubbing his tummy. “I’ve already had my dinner. Can we talk?”
“Sure,” Hannah said, stepping aside so he could come in.
Alex motioned for her to sit on the sofa and he joined her, “So, who’s Nathaniel? And, what happened?”
Hannah sighed heavily, feeling like all her emotions had just deflated and were filling back up with fear, dread, and anxiety. She looked out at the balcony she’d planned on spending the evening on, then back to Alex. “We’d been dating for a couple of months,” Hannah began. She watched his expressions as she spoke, “I’d just finished all my course work and passed my last exam. So, we went out for dinner to celebrate. We’d ordered our drinks, non alcoholic champagne, and we were ready to order our food. I was checking out the menu when the waitress told me that she saw Nathaniel put something in my drink. He denied it, but I could see a small pill dissolving quickly at the bottom of my glass,” Hannah paused to take a deep breath and try to settle herself. “He laughed, like it was some kind of joke,” she took another deep breath to try and control her emotions. “It scared me so bad, I of course left the restaurant and went back to my apartment.
Alex remained quiet listening to every word, as she answered his questions.
“I’ve been scared ever since,” Hannah sighed. “I’ve never been intimate with a guy, I wanted that to be with my husband, the man I would spend forever with. He was going to take that from me, something that was mine to give to who I choose, not his to take,” Hannah knew there was anger in her voice now, but she couldn’t help it.
Alex sighed softly and put his arms around her, he pulled her close and whispered, “You’re safe here sweetheart. If I ever meet Nathaniel, it’ll hurt.”
Hannah sighed, she did feel safe in his arms, she put her arms around him not wanting him to let go. He caressed her face and gently brushed her hair aside, then gently kissed her forehead. He held her for a long time.
A few tears escaped, but, Hannah thought, “It’s not fear, not anger, not even sadness.” She decided to analyze later, for now, she thought, “I’m going to just be glad I am where I am.”
Things between her and Alex became easier, more comfortable, and exactly what Hannah needed them to be.
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