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"No," she answered, trying to steady herself. "You didn't hurt me." Abby stood up and took a few deep breaths. Maybe, it would come back to him. "You didn't hurt me," she repeated, walking to his bedside, "but you bruised your forehead getting out of the jeep." Abby leaned forward to touch his forehead, but Jake pulled away from her, just as he had always done in the past. "I'd better check the eggs," she mumbled in a dazed voice.

Abby slowly walked to the kitchen, sore from the night that Jake didn't remember. She never felt like crying more than she did at that very moment.

Sensing that something was wrong, Jake hurriedly dressed and went to the kitchen. He found Abby staring at the crunchy eggs in the skillet, lost in thought.

"Are you mad at me?" he asked, his voice full of concern. "I know you really wanted that job."

"I wouldn't take it now, if they offered it to me on a silver platter," she replied, turning off the fire under the skillet.

"Then, what's wrong?" pressed Jake.

Abby looked at him sadly. She grabbed the kitchen hand towel and buried her face in it. Bewildered, Jake helplessly stood by and watched. He guessed that she was trying to shield him from the fact that deep down, she HAD wanted the job, but was trying not to make him feel any worse about it, then he already did.

"Do you want me to call the marina and tell them you're not coming in, today?" he offered, lamely trying to help.

"Yes, thank you," she nodded, dropping the small towel onto the countertop. "I'm going to soak in the bathtub for awhile. Are you finished with the bathroom?"

"I'm finished," he replied. "Aren't you going to eat?"

"I'm not hungry," she declined, turning to go.

"Abby," hesitated Jake, "could I ask you something? Last night, did I... did I undress myself?"

Abby saw the troubled look on his face and did her best to relieve his anxiety.

"Unless you smuggled someone else into the house," she tried to reply lightheartedly, "you undressed yourself."

Jake let out a deep sigh of relief.

Biting her lip, Abby quickly went into the bathroom and shut the door. She turned the bath water on and sank to the floor, smothering her face in a towel so Jake couldn't hear her cry. Stifling one heart-wrenching sob after another, Abby soon heard Terry's voice in the hall outside the door.

"Hey, little fishing buddy," he called to her through the door, "how did it go last night? Was it a success?"

Abby couldn't answer without betraying the fact that she had been crying. To her relief, she heard Jake lead Terry back to the living room, no doubt, to tell him that he had blown her chance at a good-paying job. Then, she heard footsteps outside her door once more.

"Abby," said Jake, "Terry's going to drive me in to work. Can I get you anything before I go?"

Knowing that she would cause alarm if she didn't respond, Abby replied,


That one word told Jake what Abby had been trying to hide: she was in the bathroom, crying.

"Do you want me to stay home?" he offered, struggling between guilt and concern.

"I'm fine," she replied. "Go to work, Jake."

Then Abby heard Terry's voice coming up the hallway.

"Are you all right in there, Sweetheart?" he asked. "There'll be other opportunities. The yacht club isn't the only place people fly fish."

"Would you both just leave me alone for awhile?" she pleaded.
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