Morgan was pulling to a stop in front of her house at the same time most of the other Davis family friends were parking their cars at the cemetery. Not that she didn’t want to be at the graveside service. Morgan would have liked little more than to be standing at Lorna’s side, supporting her as Claudia was lowered into the ground. Her friend needed the support, especially since Wade had never showed up. But she had other things to do, things that were just as important. She had offered to host a dinner for Claudia’s loved ones. Though she knew the women she had given a house key to and allowed into her kitchen were perfectly capable of preparing the food and setting it out, Morgan still felt that she needed to be there to help.
And besides that, Abby needed her help.
Morgan opened her door and walked around the car. Abby had already opened her door and was sliding her feet out of the car. Morgan hurried to her side, holding out an arm to steady the young woman.
Bringing Abby with her had not really been in the plan. After spending one night in the hospital, Abby had been given a clean bill of health. Her parents stayed with her one extra night before heading home. She was now on her own again, and planned to do things her own way. Though many of her new friends thought spending the day on her feet would be too much stress and strain on Abby, no one was willing to tell her no. The sadness on Abby’s face was mixed with a fierce determination; she was going to say a proper good-bye to Claudia, no matter what anyone else said.
When the service was over, though, Morgan saw the tired look on Abby’s face. She stared at her for a moment, watching as Abby massaged her belly with one hand and rubbed her lower back with the other.
“Get her to leave with you,” Frankie had said. “Abby needs to get off her feet. Claudia would want her to protect that baby.”
As Frankie made her way out of the funeral home, Morgan walked toward Abby. Emily was there first, and Morgan overheard part of their conversation.
“I think I’ll just sit in the car,” Abby said. “I don’t know how long the service will be, and I really don’t think I should be on my feet for long.”
“Do you want me to give you a ride home?” Emily asked. “Shane is riding with the family anyway.”
Abby shook her head. “No, I don’t want you to be late. I can just wait in the car for you.”
“Or you can come home with me,” Morgan said. “I need to get some things ready for the dinner. You can get comfy on my sofa with your feet, maybe take a little nap before everyone gets there.”
“Oh, are you sure you don’t mind, Mrs. Lawson?”
It had been easier than Morgan expected to get Abby to leave the funeral home. She didn’t want to baby her, but she did want to protect her. She had an arm around Abby’s waist, letting the young woman lean on her as they headed to the front door. Morgan heard a car door close, but assumed it was one of the neighbors. She was surprised when she heard a male voice she didn’t recognize call her name.
Morgan turned toward the man. “Can I help you?” she asked him.
“I’m looking for Morgan Lawson,” he said. “Do you know her?”
“I am Morgan Lawson.”
“Then this is for you.” The man produced a thick envelope.
“What is it?” Morgan asked, slowly closing her fingers over the envelope the man pressed into her hand.
He didn’t answer. He only nodded and walked back to his car. The man drove off without another word.
Morgan looked down at the envelope. She recognized the name in the return address, and did her best to ignore it by shoving the envelope under her arm. Slowly, Morgan wrapped her arm around Abby again and they began walking back up the walk.
“What was that about?” Abby asked.
“Nothing you need to worry about,” Morgan told her with a forced smile. She opened the front door. “Let’s just get you off your feet for a while.”
She helped the younger girl get settled onto the sofa, dropping the thick envelope onto an end table. If Morgan was right about the name on the return address label, there was only one thing the envelope could hold. It would have to be dealt with, but not now. Right now, she had to focus on getting a meal ready. There would be time to think about papers from a lawyer later.
As she walked out to the kitchen, Morgan had a thought about one of her favorite characters. She’d seen Gone with the Wind more times than she could count and had read the book at least three times. Each time, she’d laughed at Scarlett O’Hara’s procrastination. It was like the girl thought putting off everything for a new day and a better time would make all of her problems go away.
For the first time, Morgan felt the same way. She hoped that leaving that envelope for another time would make the words inside it hurt less.
Not that she thought anything would make hearing her husband of nearly 30 years say he wanted a divorce hurt less.