Remember

Free Remember by Karen Kingsbury

Book: Remember by Karen Kingsbury Read Free Book Online
Authors: Karen Kingsbury
Tags: Fiction, General, Christian
nurses had created a marvelous love story in their minds, marrying the two of them off before Christmas.
    That was fine. People could believe what they wanted to. She and Landon knew the truth. Despite their history, and despite the attraction they felt for each other, a romance between them would never work. It couldn’t. They were simply too different. Regardless of how things looked to her family and friends or even to the nurses at St. Anne’s Hospital.
    Ashley walked down the hall and turned into room 312. Landon was sitting gingerly in bed, keeping his weight off the bandages that covered his burns, staring at the television monitor anchored near the ceiling. A baseball game played silently on the screen.
    “Hi.” She smiled at him, clutching her crocheted bag to her waist. She sat in the chair beside his bed.
    “Hey, I didn’t think you were coming.” His eyes met and held hers. What was it she could see there? Regret? Anger? Uncertainty? Ashley wasn’t sure, but something was definitely wrong.
    “It’s Erin’s birthday.” Ashley leaned back in the chair and set her bag on the floor. “Baxter dinner parties can run pretty late.”
    Landon’s smile did not erase the distance in his eyes. “I’m sure.”
    Ashley studied him. “You look good.” There was more color in his face. “How long before they let you go?”
    “Not sure. No skin grafts, so that’s good news. They want my lungs to function better.” He grinned. “I have a strict doctor.”
    “You’re telling me.” Ashley rolled her eyes, a smile tugging on her lips. “I grew up with him.”
    They were quiet, and Ashley looked at the television again. This was the moment, her chance to ask him what he was thinking. But before she could find the words, Landon broke the silence.
    “Why, Ash?”
    Her eyes returned to his. “Why, what?”
    “Why are you here?”
    She shifted positions, her heart thudding against the wall of her chest. She couldn’t back out now. “I’m worried about you.”
    “I get that.” He motioned toward his monitors. “But I’m not in danger now. I haven’t been for twenty-four hours.” He looked at her, his gaze working its way deep into her soul. “So why are you here?”
    What should she tell him? Had he heard the words she’d spoken when he was near death the other day? Was he waiting for her to say them now, to his face? She bit the inside of her lip and searched desperately for the answers. “I’m your friend, Landon. I care. That’s why.”
    Landon let his head fall back against his pillow. For a moment he watched the ball game again, staring at the screen while a burly batter missed two pitches and hit the third out of the park. Ashley watched, too, not sure what to say.
    When the game broke for a commercial, Landon used his remote control and clicked the Off button. The screen went black.
    Once more Landon turned his attention to her. “I heard you.”
    Ashley felt the blood drain from her face. “What?”
    “The first night, when I was unconscious.” Landon peered at her through eyes laden with emotion. “I heard everything.”
    “You . . . you couldn’t even breathe. What do you mean you heard everything?”
    “Look, Ashley, as far back as I can remember I’ve tried to figure you out.” He tossed out his hands, his eyes darting about the room, looking for answers that had long since eluded him. “What would Ashley want? What would Ashley think? Why doesn’t Ashley want me?” His gaze met hers again. “God’s given me everything I’ve set my mind on, Ashley. Everything . . . except you.”
    The heat in Ashley’s cheeks felt strong enough to warm the entire room. He had heard her, just as she’d feared. And now they were both too confused to know how to act, what to say, how to move ahead from here. Her tone was soft. “What did you hear, Landon?”
    “No, Ashley.” He worked the muscles in his jaw. “You tell me. Tell me the same thing you told me that night. Then tell

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