The Unexpected Wedding (Comfort Crossing Book 5)(9)By: Kay Correll
Keely came behind the counter. “Sure. I’ll finish up the after-lunch chores. Take your time.”
Becky Lee turned to him. “Back this way.”
They headed towards the back of the cafe and he squared his shoulders, readying himself to give her the news.
An uneasy feeling pulsed through Becky Lee as she led the way to a back table. She sat down across from Cal. He was obviously about as nervous as she was. The muscle at his jawline twitched slightly and he clenched and unclenched his fists, even though he was seemingly oblivious to the gesture. “Well, what is this about Theresa Jean?”
“It sounds strange to hear her called that. I mean, I know that’s her given name, but I’ve always known her as TJ.”
“Well, I’ve never known her as TJ, but when you called her that… well, she’s the only sister with those initials, it wasn’t a big leap. I haven’t heard from her in over eight or nine years. She got into a row with Pops and left town. She always was a stubborn, independent person. I thought she’d come back eventually. Or at least contact me or one of my sisters. Do you know where she is now?”
“I… um… yes, I do.”
“I think you need to just get to the point.”
“I have some news about your sister.”
“You’re killing me slowly here.” Becky Lee pinned him with her best cut-to-the-chase stare.
“She’s been in an accident.”
Becky Lee sat up straight. “Is she okay? Where is she?”
“She’s okay. No.” Cal shifted uneasily in his seat. “Well, she’s in a coma. She’s been in one for about three weeks now.”
A pang of regret and guilt stabbed Becky Lee. She should have tried harder to find her sister after she left. She’d always figured Theresa Jean would come home when she was ready. She hadn’t been that close to her younger sister. They had a ten-year age difference and were worlds apart in personalities, but that was no excuse. “How—what happened?”
“It was a car accident. She survived but then needed surgery a few days later. She’s been in a coma ever since.”
“I need to go see her. Where is she?” Becky Lee’s heart wrenched in her chest.
“That’s the thing. Right now the best thing for her is to not go see her.”
“You’re talking crazy. Of course, I need to go be with her. Talk to her. See if I can make her wake up.”
“Please, listen for a minute. That’s not what she wants. We talked before the surgery. Things are complicated. My brother—her husband—died in the crash.”
Becky Lee saw the raw pain in Cal’s eyes. “Theresa Jean was married?”
“Yes. To my brother. They were so… happy. The perfect couple.” Sorrow flashed through Cal’s eyes. “This whole thing is… awful.”
“I’m sorry about your brother.” It seemed the right thing to say to him but so not enough. She was sorry a man had died. A man married to her sister. A man she hadn’t even known existed. Her thoughts whirled and she leaned forward. “So, tell me why I can’t go see my sister.”
“Because she wants you to stay here and help take care of your nephew.”
Her heart caught in her throat and she sat in dazed silence.
~ * ~
“I have a nephew?” Becky Lee sat across from him, a stunned look on her face, one hand resting at her throat.
“Scotty is my nephew? I thought he was your son?”
“No, he’s my nephew, and as you can imagine he’s reeling from all the changes in his life.”
“Why aren’t you and Scotty with Theresa Jean?”
“Still feels weird to hear you call her that. You two look so much alike. Same smile, some of the same mannerisms. She’s like a brunette version of you.” Cal knew he was stalling. It was time to tell her just how complicated things really were.
Becky Lee sat silently with her head cocked to one side, waiting for an answer to her question.
“She asked me to come here with Scotty if anything happened.” He paused not sure how to say it and soften the blow. “In case… she didn’t make it.”