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Table of Contents

Answers on the Run

Bonus Story: When You Need a Friend

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About the Author

The soft sand sank under Olive’s feet. One step. Then another. She pushed off, digging deep, felt the burn in her calves, her legs, felt a burn in her stomach that had nothing to do with the running or the pounding of the surf beside her. A third step, a fourth, another mile down. Still the sand continued, stretched outwards, a beach so long it disappeared into both coast and horizon, never ending. Just as Johnny had disappeared into the horizon, waving once in his bright red ’67 Mustang. Vintage. His father’s, though never her father-in-law. Olive kept running, the thought spurning her on. The burning grew, intensified. She gasped for air, her tears clogging her airways. She stumbled. The sand seemed to rise up. Arms open, urging her to come closer, to give up. Give up like Johnny had given up when she told him, give up when her mother had thrown the coffee pot against the kitchen counter. Glass shattered and crumbled the way the waves crumbled on the shores. At least the waves kept going. Like her. Like she had to, even if she wanted, wanted…why? Olive didn’t know, only that she had to keep going, keep running. She had no other choice, no other options. Running was all that was left to her. The running. The beach. The sand that would never end, but would always welcome her. Welcome her like now. One foot. Then another. Somehow Olive kept going just as Johnny had kept going. Not looking back, not regretting. Only forward. All that was left for her and her dreams and that young woman who’d waited on the porch for Johnny to come back, waited to show him the picture, the first one, the one the doctor had taken even though she’d been alone. All alone. Not alone anymore. Not here on the beach with the sand, the surf, the baby harbor seal flapping on the wrong side of the sand. Not alone because here it was Olive, the memory of Johnny, even though Johnny had gone and left them behind, left her and her baby behind.

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