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"I'm so glad I told Jake that I loved him, Mom," sighed Abby. "You're right, he needed to hear me say it. You know, it's surprising, but I think I needed to hear me say it, as well."

"You've done a lot of growing up this summer," replied her mother, a little sadly. "I don't know what the coming months will hold, but I want you to know that your family is behind you, every step of the way. You don't have to go through this alone."

"You're not still trying to move me back into my old room, are you?" Abby correctly guessed.

"Did I say anything about your old room?" Izumi innocently smiled. "Did I mention that none of the baby furniture has been put up yet?"

"Mom," sighed Abby, "I have a home."

"Just for a few months?" pleaded Izumi. "It would make your father feel so much better."

"You mean, it would make you feel so much better," smiled Abby. "I'll think about it," she promised.

The next morning, Abby showed up for work at the tackle shop. Mr. Winkler offered to give her more time off, but Abby had insisted that she was ready to resume her job. Everyone who knew her, and what was happening to Jake, pretty much stayed away from the store. No one was trying to be rude, but they simply didn't know what to say or how to act around her. However, the people who came to be taught fly casting, were mostly from out-of-town, so Abby found no awkwardness with them.

As quitting time drew close at the end of the day, Dennis saw Abby anxiously eyeing the clock.

"Jake promised to call me at five-thirty," she explained.

"Go on," smiled Dennis, "I can finish putting everything away here. I don't know why I'm offering though, because you have plenty of time to get home for his call."

"Thanks!" she exclaimed, tossing him a small tin of bait one of the students had left behind.

Abby hurriedly drove home and raced to the telephone. Of course, she was twenty minutes too early, but this was only the second time that she had talked to Jake since he went away, and she was eager to hear his voice once again.

A few minutes before the half hour mark, John knocked on Abby's front door. After inquiring if she was all right and if she needed anything, John went home. By now, Abby knew that her mother had told him everything, and that probably even Terry knew that Jake was about to call any minute. She felt badly about not letting them in on this call, but Abby was a little embarrassed about discussing something so deeply personal in front of "the guys." That was her mom's department, and Abby had correctly trusted Izumi to relate the information, so she wouldn't have to.

Right on time, the telephone rang. It was him.

"Jake!" she cried, holding the receiver close. "How are you? Are you all right?"

"I'm beginning to notice," he replied with a smile in his voice, "that those are always the first two questions out of your mouth."

"I can't help it," she said, relieved to hear him sounding calm. "Oh, I forgot to tell you yesterday, but everyone in our church is praying for you."

"Please, tell them I appreciate it," relayed Jake.

"So," she asked, "are you all right? Have you had the rape kit yet? Have you seen any doctors?"
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