After Jennifer left Miranda turned to Robbie a questioning look in her eyes “what was that all about?”
Glancing at his feet hoping for inspiration. He hadn’t wanted to tell Miranda about the baby that might have been. Hadn’t wanted her to know about time travel. Now it couldn’t be avoided. Running his fingers through his hair he looked up at her “it’s a long story and you’re not going to like it.”
“Just tell me,” she sighed in frustration sitting at the table waiting for him to join her.
Sighing he did after a moment or two. He looked at his hands as he spoke. Telling her everything that he had seen and experienced while traveling through time. “I wanted to stop but Jennifer wouldn’t….”
“Wouldn’t let you,” Miranda finished for him “so she deliberately went back to break us up?” He nodded looking steadily at his hands afraid to meet her gaze. “When were you going to tell me?” she asked.
“I…I..didn’t think I…” he stammered.
“You didn’t’ think I needed to know?” she said pushing away from the table “you thought I couldn’t handle knowing the truth. Handle knowing that you manipulated me into liking you…”
“It wasn’t like that,” he protested standing up from the table “I loved your then and love you now. I never manipulated you. I didn’t even know where you were…”
“So we just conveniently bumped into each other?” she waved her hands around in agitation “do you really expect me to believe that?”
“Miranda what difference does it make?” he pleaded “I didn’t tell you because I didn’t think you needed to know about the baby that ceased to exist because of what Jennifer did. I was only trying to protect you.”
“Protect me,” she shouted “I should have listened to my mother,” she cried running from the room. Slamming the bedroom door shut behind her. Falling to her knees crying.
Robbie watched her flee from the room. Flee from the ugly truth. Flee from him the embodiment of all things evil. Silently he went and leaned against the bedroom door. “Miranda I’m sorry,” he yelled through the door.
“Leave me alone,” she cried burying her head in her hands. How could she have been so wrong? She thought he loved her but all this time he was manipulating her.
Tearfully Robbie staggered to his feet. He couldn’t believe he was losing her all over again. Maybe this was his destiny. Maybe he and Miranda were only to be together for a brief time before falling apart. Maybe they had to produce this one child for some future deed they had no idea why or when. No matter the lies he told himself it didn’t lessen the pain. Wiping his eyes on the back of his hands Robbie grabbed some paper and sat down at the table. He pondered what he could say to help Miranda to understand and in the end he wrote.
Dearest Miranda, I love you no more no less than I always have. I never meant to deceive you. I only wanted to protect you. I know you don’t want to hear this but I love you. I’ll love you with my dying breath regardless of whether you ever forgive me. If you truly want me gone I’ll leave and never come back. I’ll leave the decision up to you. Call me. I’ll be at the Riverview motel. With all my love Robbie.
He let his fingers slide across the words he just wrote hoping that when Miranda calmed down she read it and come for him. He went to the closed bedroom door a barrier between his future and happiness. Lifting his hand he was about to knock when he shook his head letting his hand drop to his side. He knew she needed time to think before she would even consider seeing him. His best chance would be to give her the space she needed. Before turning from the door he whispered “I love you.”
Taking a deep breath Miranda took her phone and dialed the familiar number “daddy,” she cried.
Hearing the anguish in his daughter’s voice Greg dropped everything he was doing to listen to her “baby what’s wrong?”
“I think I made a terrible mistake,” she blubbered into the phone pouring out everything she had learned about time travel and alternate time lines.
“Whoa sweetie you’re not making any sense,” he cut into her dribble “even if any of that were true Robbie still loves you…”
“He manipulated me…” she cried.
“How?” that was the single most powerful question Greg could have asked. It caused her to pause to think.
“I….I don’t know,” she admitted.
“Baby girl I know you feel that things are out of control right now. That’s not Robbie’s fault. He loves you.” he paused listening to her breath on the other end of the line “go to him. He’s hurting too. Miranda when you do listen to him this time.”
“Ok daddy,” she sniffed loudly into the phone “I guess all the things mom said about him all came to mind and I freaked out.”
“It’s ok baby. Call me anytime.” Greg assured her.
“Thank you daddy,” she disconnected the call. Wiping her eyes she moved to the door. She expected to find Robbie waiting for her “Robbie,” she called into the silence of the house. A chill ran through her. Had he believed her when she told him to go? “Robbie,” she called again rubbing her hands along her bare arms feeling the chilly air around her. The house felt empty, lifeless. Walking into the kitchen she found the note.
Taking it she read it with trembling fingers. Finishing it she ran to the door hoping he hadn’t gotten far she called out into the night Robbie please come back. I’m sorry.” Sinking to her knees she said “I love you.” The wind whipped her words away. Turning back to the house crying she dialed the number to the local motel. “Robbie Olivia’s room please.” What do you mean he’s not there?” “Alright thank you.” She disconnected feeling dejected and alone.
Robbie moaned trying to move within the cramped hard area he was in. Where was he? What happened? Heart pounding he tried to remember. To think. His brain kept coming up blank. He couldn’t think beyond the pounding throbbing headache. Trying to relax he willed himself to be calm despite the overwhelming desire he had to scream until someone came.
Breathing was becoming difficult in the stale dark quarters. He couldn’t help but wonder how much air he had and how long it would last. He tried to undo the bindings around his wrists but they seemed to grow tighter the more he struggled. Trying to sit he rammed his head into an unyielding hard surface a few inches above his face. Was he tied up in a trunk of a car? His heart began to pound in his chest. Concentrate he commanded himself. If he panicked how was he going to get free?
Sighing he eventually let his mind drift and bits and pieces came to him of what happened. He had left the house debated whether or not to take the car. He decided to walk to the motel fearing that Miranda might need the car if she went into labor. He had walked maybe a mile or so down the road when something was slammed into the back of his head. He fell smacking his face into the hard surface of the road. Finally waking up here. Where was here? Who would do this to him? Why would they do this? Most importantly was Miranda alright?
Sitting in the dark Miranda jumped when someone knocked on the front door. Hoping it was Robbie she rushed to the door. He would knock before coming into the house if he thought she was still upset with him. Throwing open the door in anticipation she frowned upon the sight of the woman standing in front of her. “Mother what are you doing here?”
Pushing her way past her daughter Naomi looked around her surroundings with obvious distaste. “So this is the hovel that creature has you trapped in.”
“You’re not supposed to be here,” Miranda followed her inside “I have a restraining order.”
Shrugging “call the cops if you want. If you do you’ll never see your creature again.”
“What have you done mother?” Miranda demanded as fear and concern threatened to overwhelm her. Gasping in pain she grabbed her stomach as she felt the first unexpected contraction.
Turning Naomi smirked “I arrived just in time. We can get rid of the creatures spawn and the creature all at once.”
“No mother” Miranda said backing away from her “this is my child. I won’t let you harm by baby.” As quickly as she could maneuver she bolted for the bedroom door. Throwing the lock she tried to push the dresser against the door. Another contraction has her doubling over in pain screaming. “No no baby please not now,” she begged as the contractions kept coming. Stumbling towards the bed she fumbled for her phone. “Daddy I need help.”
“Miranda what’s wrong?” Greg yelled into the phone as he pressed his foot on the gas causing the car to shoot forward.
“Mom’s here and the baby’s coming….”
“Listen to me sweetheart,” he said calmly into the phone pushing his panic aside “I need you to hang up and dial 911 they’ll send help…Miranda are you listening?” He gripped the phone pressed into his ear he could hear her labored breathing…..then nothing….Silence. He could only hope she was doing as she was told.