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   Chapter 21 Missing

Broken Past By Arathi Characters: 9839

Updated: 2019-01-21 11:33

Gwen bent low to pick up the shattered remains of her cup. When she stood, the mysterious woman had disappeared. She furrowed her brow, dropped the ceramic pieces, and ran out of the kitchen.

"Hey, wait a minute, " she yelled. "You can't say something like that and just disappear."


In her hurry, Gwen wasn't watching where she was going and ran straight into Aunt Jasmine. "I'm sorry... I'm so sorry... Are you hurt?" Gwen asked.

Aunt Jasmine brushed Gwen's concern away politely, "No harm done."

As Gwen helped the older woman to her feet, she was confronted with a bunch of questions, duly punctuated with vigorous arm movements.

"Where were you rushing off too? Whom were you talking to? And why on earth are you awake at this hour of the morning?"

They seated themselves in the kitchen and put on fresh coffee as Gwen explained the morning's events. She did mention her dream but chose to leave JT out of it. She described the mysterious woman she was chasing and asked Aunt Jasmine what her name was and whether she knew her.

"Are you sure that's what she looked like? And you say she spoke perfect English?" Aunt Jasmine tapped her fingers on the table as she searched her memory. "No, I'm afraid dear, I'm not sure if someone of that description lives at the shelter."

"No, no I am certain about what I saw and heard, " Gwen insisted, pouring hot coffee for the two of them.

"Okay, " nodded Aunt Jasmine. She ran her fingers around the rim of the cup as she spoke, "I guess at my age, my memory could fail me about these things. I don't exactly spend as much time here as I used to. It is possible that I do not know all the new faces so well. Tell you what. We'll ask Mrs. Puri and see if we shelter someone with that description."

"Thank you!" Gwen exclaimed, clapping her hands in excitement. She felt a weight lift off her shoulders and boy did that feel good! It was unsettling to know that the mysterious woman knew what Gwen had been thinking. Even more upsetting was the fact that she seemed knowledgeable about Gwen's dream and what it meant. It would not do to not have answers!

It was also somewhat eerie. You don't just walk up to someone say something mysterious and then poof! Disappear. In a way, Gwen was excited. She finally had something else to focus on, other than her situation with JT. At that thought, her smile turned into a frown, and Aunt Jasmine seemed to catch the change in her emotions.

"Is everything all right dear?" The older woman asked, leaning forward and rubbing Gwen's shoulder.

"Yes ...yes, fine, " Gwen mumbled not wanting to discuss it. JT and Aunt Jasmine were close relatives. It was simply impolite to be explaining what had passed between the two of them. She was also confident she would sound ungrateful if she shed light on JT's and her own less than appropriate behavior. She didn't know Aunt Jasmine well enough to be able to gauge her reaction.

planation enthusiastically. He looked over Tom, quickly checking for indications that no serious injuries lay hidden beneath the superficial cuts and bruises. Satisfied that nothing was worrisome about his 'accident, ' he instructed a male nurse to stitch the gash on Tom's chin. He quickly scribbled a prescription for antibiotics, painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines and then disappeared into the staff lounge.

Tom wanted to yell and scream at the doctor to give him some message about being taken against his will. However, he kept quiet. This was a military hospital. The staff would never believe Tom over men they had probably tended to numerous times before. He would have to think of another way to escape.

Just as the needle began its work, slipping in and out of the skin around Tom's chin, JT's phone rang.

JT frowned as Aunt Jasmine's number glared at him. Something didn't feel right about this call. He quickly slid his thumb over the screen and raised the phone to his ear.

"She's gone, James!" Aunt Jasmine cried even before JT could say hello.

"Who is gone?" JT asked, his eyes closed, and his mind madly praying that her answer wouldn't be 'Gwen.'

"Tara" came Aunt Jasmine's sobbing response.

Relief flooded JT, and his eyes snapped open. It wasn't Gwen! She was safe. Probably still furiously upset with him, but safe nonetheless.

"Who is Tara? Is she new? When did you last see her?" he asked. He thought he was pretty sure he knew every woman sheltered in that house. However, this name was new to him. His brow furrowed as he mentally ran through images of the women that lived at the shelter, hoping to be able to place a face to that name.

"No, " Aunt Jasmine sighed with frustration. "Tara is what the other women call Gwen. It was easier for them to pronounce."

The silence stretched on for what seemed like an eternity as the information sunk into JT's brain.

"Gwen's gone, James." She whispered.

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