about time you got here,” Burt spat when he saw
Judith standing in the
doorway. “I thought you said you
were coming right out?”
“I came as quickly as I could.”
She strode confidently into the barn and pulled off the scarf she’d had
wrapped around her head while carefully maneuvering to avoid any of the typical
stable obstacles. “In case you
haven’t noticed, there’s a storm coming.
That wind is so strong it nearly blew my car off the road as I came
around the lake."
Judith stood ever so still for a moment, the scarf clutched
in her hands, and looked at Burt. She
couldn’t help but notice the vast distance between them – not only the
physical distance, but the emotional distance as well.
It was such a stark and drastic change from how they once were with each
“Over the phone you said you had something important to
tell me,” his voice finally broke the silence.
“You said it was something about Janet – something that would change
“It is! It
is!” She rushed to him, almost
half hoping that he would take her into his arms just like he used to.
When he deliberately avoided her grasp, she couldn’t help but register
her deep disappointment on her face. “There
are things about your… wife… that you don’t know.”
“I highly doubt that.”
His tone was cool and measured as he folded his arms across his chest in
almost a defiant stance. “If you
have something to say, Judith, get on with it.
Janet’s up at the house waiting on me to come back and finish
“To hell with Janet!” Judith spat as she began to feel
her blood pressure start to rise. “Janet
can wait until hell freezes over for all I care!
She ruined my life – our
barely reacted to Judith’s seemingly impulsive rant.
None of it was anything he hadn’t heard what seemed like a thousand
times before. All he could really do
was shake his head and let out a long exhale.
“This was obviously a mistake,” he said, pushing past
her and heading for the door. “I
don’t know what I was thinking agreeing to meet you here like this.
You made it sound like something important.
Because of the sound of your voice, I almost thought you might’ve been
telling the truth, but it’s pretty obvious now that this is just another one
of your petty little rants against Janet and I refuse to listen to another
“Burt, please, you have to listen!
You have to!”
Judith lunged for him, reaching out to grab him by the arm
in an attempt to stop him from leaving, but he swiftly jerked his arm out of her
voice quivered as a well of buried emotions began to rise towards the surface.
“It’s about the baby – our baby – and the night that… the night that…”
The catch in her voice stopped Burt in his tracks.
Despite everything that had happened since, she had meant something to
him once and they did share the loss of a child.
When he turned back to face her, he found her with tears in her eyes and
every heartbreak etched on her face. Unable
to ignore the deep emotional pain she was clearly in, he went to her and took
her into his arms.
“Judith, what’s this all about?” he asked as he held
her tightly. “What’s so damned
important about… the baby… that you had to see me tonight?
What does any of this have to do with Janet?”
remember,” she muttered softly. “I
finally remember everything about the night I fell – about the night I lost
“That’s… that’s wonderful!
Maybe you can finally manage to put all of this behind you and move on
“She was there, Burt!” Judith blurted out.
Her moment of emotional weakness had passed and her steely resolve had
returned. “Janet was there!
“Of course she was there.
We’ve already talked about all of this.
Janet’s the one who found you after…”
don’t understand, Burt!” She
paused and looked him dead in the eyes. “Janet
was there before I fell.
And she didn’t just find me, she….”
“W-what in the world is going on here?”
Both Burt and Judith turned towards the door of the barn to
see Janet standing in the doorway, a look of sheer terror on her face.
“Janet, don’t get upset,” Burt said softly as he left
Judith’s side and went to his wife. “She
phoned earlier and sounded upset and said that she needed to talk and I knew
that you wouldn’t….”
what are you doing?” Janet acted
like she hadn’t even heard a word Burt had said as she stepped further into
“I’m finally telling Burt the truth, Janet dear.”
“J-Judith, you… you can’t!”
Janet’s lower lip began to quiver in panic.
“Okay, what’s going on?”
Burt’s eyes darted from Judith to Janet in confusion.
There was clearly something happening that he knew nothing about.
“Go ahead, Janet,” Judith smiled confidently.
“You heard your husband. Tell
him what you did to me and his baby. Tell him!”