Read Where Forever Lies Online
Authors: Tara Neideffer
Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary Romance, #Sweet Romance, #Love Story, #Womens Fiction, #Chick Lit, #Love, #Romance Novel, #Cowboy, #Dating, #Family Life, #Sex, #Passion, #Adult, #Lust, #Flirting, #Grief, #Psychological
By Tara Neideffer
This book is a work of fiction. The characters, names, places, and
incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used
fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons,
living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2014 by Tara Neideffer
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or
portions thereof in any form whatsoever.
Edited by Dragonfly Editing
Cover art by Najla Qamber Designs
Dedicated to those who have lost and loved.
In the distance the phone rang.
In her dream a leafy vine blew
towards her. She caught it and then watched as it broke from her
fingertips and sailed away into the darkness. She turned her head and
watched it float with the wind, falling to the pavement a little ways
The sound of ringing drifted
through Paige Griffin’s mind, again. It was muffled and far
away and she was too tired to wake up and answer it, but it would not
stop ringing. It felt like it had been ringing for hours.
Her mind was still in the fuzzy
haze of her dream and she was running from something. She didn’t
have any shoes on and she was still in her pajamas as she ran. The
only thing she heard was her bare feet slapping against the blacktop.
It was nighttime and the air was hot and sticky as it clung to her
skin. There was something terrible trying to get to her and all she
wanted to do was run away. If she got away, whatever it was would not
be able to find its way to her and bare its ugly truth.
She was missing something
though. She felt an undeniable absence in her life and almost stopped
where she was to go look for it. There was something that was gone,
that she needed. Whatever was gone was important to her.
The phone rang again.
She finally woke up completely,
looked over at the clock, and wondered who could possibly be calling
at two fifteen in the morning. She lay there willing it to stop. It
finally did and she breathed thank you to the wonderful sound of
silence as she rolled over and pulled the covers up to her chin and
quickly drifted back to sleep. After only a second, the phone started
again. She groaned and decided to answer it before it woke up her
Whoever is calling had better
have a good reason,
Aggravated, she shoved the
covers off, got out of bed, readjusted her pajama bottoms which were
uncomfortably crooked, and trudged down the hall to the living room.
she moaned, irritated and still half asleep.
“Yeah.” It took her
a moment to realize who it was but then her tired brain connected the
soft voice to the person. “Kyleigh, is that you?”
“I’m s... s... s...
sorry I’m calling so late, but something has happened that I
think you should know about,” Kyleigh choked out, her words
coming out in a mumbled slur, sounding like they were full of tears.
Paige thought she sounded
either upset or drunk and figured she and her boyfriend, Brad, must
have gotten into another argument, because that’s usually why
Kyleigh would call her this late. “What’s wrong?”
she asked as she rubbed her tired eyes, hoping it was nothing too
serious. She couldn’t count the nights she had stayed up late
with Kyleigh, talking about guy problems while they drank coffee. She
took a seat on the couch, knowing by the way she was acting that this
was going to be one of those long nights.
Kyleigh took a deep breath and
blew it out. “Well, um, Randy was in a serious motorcycle wreck
tonight and, well I don’t know how to say this Paige... but, oh
my God, Paige, he didn’t make it. I’m so sorry to tell
you over the phone but I thought you needed to know as soon as
possible before you see it on the news in the morning. I was hanging
out with David earlier when he got the phone call. I told him I would
tell you before someone else did.” She sniffled and there was a
ruffling on the phone as she wiped at her nose.
“What? What do you mean
he’s dead?” Paige yelled, not believing what she was
saying. It couldn’t be true. This was just a misunderstanding,
that’s all. There’s no way Kyra’s dad just died, he
was only twenty-four years old, she was wrong.
Kyleigh. You must not have heard the person right,” Paige
yelled, and then lowered her voice to where it was just a whisper,
“It’s not possible.”
“Paige... No, I’m
sorry, but it’s true...”
As Paige got up and started
pacing the living room, her mind flashed to memories of him. She
heard Kyleigh in the distance, mumbling something, but she couldn’t
make her mind listen to what she was saying. Her mind was drifting,
sailing away into a blur of confusion. She felt lost and she felt the
hot tears rolling down her face. She shoved her fist into her mouth
to stifle her sobs. She couldn’t wake Kyra up now and let her
see her this way. Her stomach churned from the shocking news and she
found herself pushing the end button on the phone without saying
goodbye. She sat down on her couch and curled herself up into a ball.
Her living room was dark—just like her thoughts—and for
hours she just sat there, feeling numb. She was alone, the only thing
keeping her company were her haunting memories.
What was she going to tell Kyra?
Nothing in this world can
prepare you for the sorrow that comes when a loved one is yanked
unexpectedly from your life. At the moment, Paige knew that feeling
like the back of her hand. That feeling was crawling around inside
her body and making a home there. It had been a rough couple of days
since she’d found out the devastating news about Randy, and as
she looked at her reflection in the bathroom mirror, she grimaced at
the sight of her tired eyes. She had been crying constantly since
she’d found out, the tears didn’t seem like they ever
wanted to stop. She was so shocked and overwhelmed at what had
happened that she couldn’t sleep for the past few days, and
when she had tried, she only tossed and turned, trying to keep the
nightmares from coming up from the depths of her mind.
She glanced down the hall at her
daughter playing on the floor with her toys, and smiled. Kyra was
sitting on an old striped pea green rug that her grandmother had
passed down to her. It looked out of place in a young woman’s
home but she couldn’t bear the thought of getting rid of it.
Her toys were sprawled all over the rug and she was jabbering to
herself as she played make believe with two stuffed ponies, a thin
strand of drool slowly dripped from her small mouth. She looked so
sweet and innocent, but at only three-years-old, they usually did.
Paige loved the way her red curls hung just slightly above the
shoulders, and wished it would stay that way forever, but knew that
it wouldn’t. Watching her daughter made too many painful
memories resurface and she quickly turned away to continue getting
She loosely curled her own long,
brown hair, put on a little make-up to cover her red puffy face,
brushed her teeth, and thought about what she was getting ready for,
another funeral. This would be her second one in six months. The
first had been her friend, Natasha, who had, unfortunately, committed
suicide. And now, it was her daughter’s father, Randy. Even
though they had not been seeing each other for the past year, she
still felt an overwhelming sadness for the loss in her and Kyra’s
life. Randy had been her first love, he had given her a beautiful
daughter and he would forever hold a special place in her heart. Her
little girl would never get the chance to know her father; and Paige
could already feel her daughter’s unknown hurt wrapping around
her heart, squeezing and tightening, festering inside her until that
horrible day came when she would have to tell her what had happened.
She snatched up her purse and
keys from the counter and leaned down to pick up her daughter. Kyra
raised her arms obediently, her big blue eyes looking up into Paige’s
as she said, “Mommy, bye-bye?”
“Yes, honey. Come on, we
have to leave now,” Paige said, as she lifted her curly haired
daughter into her arms. What was she going to tell her when she was
old enough to understand what had happened? That when she was three
her father died and left them both behind? She wondered what type of
impact it would have on her and how she would cope with the emotional
burden when she was older. She sighed, miserable at the idea of
explaining it all when she was old enough and having to see the pain
in her little face. She walked across the room to the front door of
her apartment, and as she shut the door to her life behind her, she
couldn’t help but think about starting a better life for her
and Kyra. She just didn’t know where to begin.
Thirty minutes later, she pulled
into her mom’s driveway and saw a huge smile appear on Kyra’s
face when she saw her grandma come walking out the front door.
Susan Griffin stood on the front
porch smiling warmly while resting her plump hands on her hips. She
had been eagerly anticipating spending time with her granddaughter
today, but wished it was under better circumstances. A slight gust of
wind blew strands of dark hair across her face, and she absently
swiped them away. She moseyed painfully out to the driveway to greet
them as they came to a stop, her hand reaching down and rubbing her
right knee as her arthritis began to flare up.
“Mamaw!” Kyra yelled
“Hi, honey. Are you ready
to spend time with mamaw?” Susan asked as she waved to Kyra who
was enthusiastically jumping up and down in her car seat.
“Mamaw! Mamaw!” Kyra
yelled again, squirming in her seat.
“Yes, honey, I see her,
now hold on so I can get you out,” Paige said, looking up at
her mom with a haggard smile as she reached in to pull Kyra out,
while dodging a flailing tiny hand. “I shouldn’t be long.
Kyleigh and I don’t plan on staying too long after they do the
burial,” Paige said, as she walked up to her mom and handed
“Oh, don’t rush,
we’ll be fine. Won’t we, Kyra?” Kyra, now calmed
down, tiredly shook her head, yes. “So, has anyone called to
see how you are doing, or just to give you any details?” her
mother asked cautiously, doing her best to avoid saying anything
about the incident at the showing yesterday and knowing that after
she and Randy had broken up most of his family didn’t want
anything to do with them.
“Well, David did call the
other night to see how we were doing and to see if I was bringing
Kyra to the funeral, but other than that, no one else. If it wasn’t
for Kyleigh and David, I probably wouldn’t have found out about
it until I saw it in the papers. He’s the only one who ever
calls on that side of the family anyway.” She let the last
sentence slowly trail off as she opened her car door and propped her
leg on the edge of the interior.
“Well, it’s their
loss isn’t it?” Susan said sympathetically, the corners
of her mouth turning down in disappointment.
“Yeah, it is. I tell
myself that all the time, trying to make myself feel better about the
situation and about Kyra not knowing that side of her family, but
sometimes it’s hard to deal with. Especially going through
something like this. I tried, but it’s their decision whether
or not they want to be involved now.” Paige traced her finger
along the blue paint of her car, fighting to keep the tears from
Kyra smiled and bounced her hand
up and down, clumsily waving bye to her mother.
She brushed her thoughts aside
for now and waved to her daughter. “Bye, honey, I love you,”
Paige said as she blew Kyra a kiss. “Well, I’d better get
going. I don’t want to show up late.”
“Don’t worry Paige,
things will get easier, whether you believe that or not. You’ve
done well for yourself and for Kyra, I’m proud of you,”
Susan said, reaching up and pulling Paige into a hug.