The Doctor's Secret Bride

By: Ana E Ross

PROLOGUE

Michelle placed her order at the counter and was just about to sit down at a corner table in Mama Lola’s, her favorite diner on Elm Street, when she heard someone call her name.

“Michelle,” the familiar voice said again.

Michelle looked around and immediately burst into a wide grin when she saw the aged, but easily recognizable face smiling back at her. “Mrs. Hayes.” She took the few steps toward the booth the woman occupied. “Oh my gosh,” she cried, bending down to give her a big hug and kisses on both cheeks. “I haven’t seen you in ages.”

“Not since you and Robert moved out of the neighborhood—say about twelve years ago? But I would recognize you anywhere, my child. You look just like your mother. She was a beautiful woman.”

Michelle smiled at the mention of her mother. “Lucky me, huh? So how have you been?” she asked as pleasant memories of Mrs. Hayes rose to the surface of her mind.

“The Lord has been good to me. I can’t complain. I’ve already eaten, but I’d love it if you’d sit with me while you eat.” Mrs. Hayes pointed to the seat on the opposite side of the table.

Michelle glanced warily at the newspaper tucked under her arm. It was her lunch hour from the temp job she was currently working, and she’d intended to browse through the Want Ads over her favorite turkey sandwich. She usually packed her lunch to save money, but the battery in her alarm clock died during the night, and by the time she rolled out of bed, she barely had enough time to make the bus this morning. Since Mama Lola’s was in her old neighborhood and in walking distance from her job, she’d decided to eat here, just for old times sake.

“You in a hurry?” Mrs. Hayes asked at her hesitance.

Michelle stared into the gentle brown eyes. How could she refuse this kind old lady who’d taken such care of her since she was a baby? Mrs. Hayes had kept her and Robert fed and warm many winter nights when their father was nowhere to be found. “No. I’m in no hurry.” She scooted onto the vinyl seat, dropped her bag and newspaper down beside her, and placed her bottle of water on the table.

Mrs. Hayes’ face relaxed and she leaned back into the seat.

“What are you doing in Manchester?” Michelle asked. “Last I heard you’d sold your house and moved out of town.”

Mrs. Hayes took a sip of her iced tea. “I’m visiting a sick friend. You remember Thelma Parson? She lived in the apartment house behind mine.”

Michelle thought for a moment. “Oh yeah. She had that stupid dog that wouldn’t stop barking, and a bunch of cats that kept having kittens.”

Mrs. Hayes laughed. “Yes. That Thelma. She had a hip replacement recently, so I stopped by to spend some time with her. Poor thing; she has no one to help her out. Since I was already in the neighborhood, I decided to stop by to see Lola, but she’s away on vacation.” Her eyes lit up with curiosity. “So what have you been up to since the last time I saw you?” She glanced at Michelle’s left hand lying on the table. “I see you haven’t been snatched up by some lucky young man, yet.”

Michelle chuckled. “No, not yet. I guess I’m too picky. I’ll probably end up as sad and alone as Thelma and hope that some dear friend comes by to pay me a visit in my old age.”

“I doubt that very much. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with being picky. You should never settle. When you make that kind of commitment, you want to make sure it has a chance to last forever.”

Forever was one thing Michelle didn’t want to think about. It was hard enough making it from one day to the next, or more specifically from morning to night.


The waitress brought over her sandwich, and Michelle immediately bit into it. She didn’t have much time before she had to be back behind her desk at Reagan Electronics.

“How is Robert?” Mrs. Hayes asked when Michelle put down her half-eaten sandwich to take a sip from her water bottle.

“He’s well. He has a dental practice in Boston, and it’s really flourishing,” she said with pride bubbling in her heart for her big brother.

“Good for him. I always knew he’d make something grand of himself. What about you, Michelle? What have you done with your life?”

Michelle took a deep breath. She’d done something well with her life, too, but it had been ripped away from her. Stolen. “I’m doing okay,” she lied. No need to burden the old woman with her sad life’s story.

“What is okay?” Mrs. Hayes reached across the table and covered Michelle’s hand with hers.

Hot Read

Last Updated

Recommend

Top Books