THE GARDENS RESTAURANT
continued to look at Penelope closely as he silently searched his mind of a hint
of memory. Finally, he decided that he didn't know her. Maybe
she just had one of those faces that looked like a thousand others.
"Well, I'm sorry to
disturb you," Charles finally spoke as he nodded to both Burt and
Penelope. "I'll let you get back to your meal."
"It was so good to
finally meet you, Mr. Callison," Burt smiled as he stood in a display of
politeness. As Charles walked away, Burt turned his attention again to his
mother. "Ma, are you alright?" he asked as he reached over and
took her hand. "You seem to be off in another world."
"I'm sorry, Burton,"
she smiled sheepishly as she lowered her head. "I was just thinking
about how wonderful it is to be with you here tonight." Silently, she
was heaving a sigh of relief that Charles didn't seem to know who she was.
Penelope smiled to herself as she remembered how rambunctious Charles once
was. Of course, they were both much, much younger then. He was
always into something and so excited by new adventures and new ideas.
Though his charm had clearly changed in tone, she could tell he still had quite
a mesmerizing way about him.
narrowed his eyes and looked at her closely. "You've drifted off
again. Is it Mr. Callison? I know how you feel about that
family. I hope that his showing up here hasn't upset you. I don't
want anything to ruin this special celebration."
"Um, no, Burton.
It's nothing like that." She quickly turned her head to hide the
warm, yet painful, memories that were beginning to flood over her.
He continued to watch her
closely and quickly realized that she was not being completely truthful with
him. There was clearly something on her mind...something very
troubling to her. Burt looked across the room at Charles who was now
seated with a woman and enjoying their conversation and dinner. Did Mr.
Callison's presence force her to think about the long ago hurts and transgressions
that she seemed to be fighting to keep hidden? Burt lifted his hand to his
chin and thought. What deep, dark secret could his mother be hiding and
how could the Callison family be involved. He was more determined than
ever to find the answers to this mystery.