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"I'll go with you," replied Dr. Jacoby. "But, Abby needs to hear this from you. I'll explain where I can, but you have to face her."

Jake stared at the psychiatrist and groaned. He knew Dr. Jacoby was right.

When Abby came home from work that day, she found an unexpected surprise sitting on her parents' living room couch. Jake glanced up at her, and then quickly looked down at the floor, unable to confront her deep blue eyes. John had been talking to his son-in-law, but quickly stopped when his daughter entered the house.

"I guess I'd better get back to work," smiled John, standing up and excusing himself. "Terry is in the middle of a conference call with a client in Boston, so I'd better see how's he faring. We're all delighted about your test results, Jake," he added. "It's a true answer to prayer."

After her father left, Abby took off her coat and sat down across from the couch.

"Your doctor called me at work," she smiled. "It's really great news, Jake. I'm so happy for you!" Abby found it difficult to voice the relief and joy she was feeling, when Jake looked so nervous and uneasy. She was half afraid of showing too much emotion, lest she should scare him off.

All this time, the young man remained silent and rigid, his eyes fixed on the toes of his shoes.

"Abby," said Dr. Jacoby, "Jake has something he wants to ask you."

At the sound of these words, Jake audibly groaned and seriously eyed the front door, as if contemplating escape.

"What is it?" she asked, suddenly becoming even more concerned than she already was. "What's wrong?"

"I want to come home," said Jake, in a low voice.

In a sigh of great relief, Abby smiled. However, Jake couldn't see this, for he was alternately eyeing the toe of his shoe and the front door.

"I'm so glad to hear that," she replied, trying to steady her voice. "I was beginning to think you couldn't forgive me for what I said that night."

At this, Jake looked up in surprise.

"I said I forgave you," he replied. "Didn't you believe me?"

"I suppose I did," she admitted, "but you wouldn't talk to me, so how could I be sure?"

Jake was silent.

"There's something else Jake would like to ask you," pressed Dr. Jacoby, "isn't that right, Jake?"

The young man shot a look of dread to his psychiatrist, and then stared back down at his shoe.

"I guess so," he mumbled.

"Is there something else?" asked Abby, trying hard not to be impatient. She was dying of curiosity. What could he want to ask her that was so hard to say?
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