Remember to Forget
Chapter One A lofty full moon painted a jagged swathe of light across Lafayette Avenue. Maggie Anderson glanced at the digital numbers on the dashboard.Four o'clock in the morning. An eerie calm hovered over New York, the street absent its...
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Chapter One A lofty full moon painted a jagged swathe of light across Lafayette Avenue. Maggie Anderson glanced at the digital numbers on the dashboard.Four o'clock in the morning. An eerie calm hovered over New York, the street absent its typical bumper-to-bumper congestion. At least she would make it back to the apartment in good time. Maybe for once she wouldn't have to give him a play-by-play to justify every minute she'd been out of his sight. A vagrant staggered into the crosswalk ahead of her, beckoning her with a leer. She averted her eyes and reached across the console of the Honda Civic to pat the brown paper bag buckled into the passenger seat beside her, testing again to make sure it was secure. Before driving away from the liquor store, she'd tightened the seat belt around Kevin's precious bottle as if it were a child. It might as well be. She would pay dearly if she slammed on the brakes and sent his next fix flying through the windshield. For a split second the thought caused a cynical smile to tug at her mouth...until an image of the probable aftermath came into focus. She rubbed her left wrist, remembering his last tantrum, and forced her mind to blank out the scene. No use spoiling these brief minutes of freedom with a dose of reality. Crossing Clinton Street, she changed lanes and reached to adjust the air-conditioner vent. The cool air caressed her face, a balm for early June temperatures that had barely dropped during the night. She leaned back against the headrest and let out a slow breath, willing her thoughts to carry her to the one place that never failed to bring her peace. She'd become adept at conjuring the scene. The city streets receded to the periphery of her vision, and there it was... The riverbank, soft beneath her bare feet. Cool water lapping at her toes. And overhead, towering trees that whispered in the breeze, calling her to step deeper into the river's flow. She lowered her eyelids to half-mast, letting herself drift. Behind her eyelids, a moon like the one that hung over New York tonight cast a yellow glow over the countryside. Except the moon of her imagination was far, far from the city. Where, she didn't know. It only mattered that it was far away from where she was now. Opening her eyes, she reoriented herself to the road. But the scene remained, warming her from the inside out -- in a way that had nothing to do with the sticky summer heat. She tried to go deeper into the daydream, but ahead, a traffic light turned from green to amber. Hers was the only vehicle in the intersection. She could run the light and probably get away with it. Instead she tapped the brakes and prepared to stop. The light meant she could spend another ninety seconds in her tranquil fantasy world. She could truthfully tell her boyfriend it was just the traffic. No help for that. He couldn't blame her. She rehearsed her excuse and touched the paper bag once more to reassure herself that her cargo was safe. Closing her eyes again, she counted out the seconds before the light would turn green and returned to the riverbank in her mind. The cool water, lapping at her -- Boom-boom-boom!A series of sharp thuds vibrated the hood of the car. Hot air and acrid exhaust fumes rushed over her, carrying with them the city's distinctive music of distant sirens and taxi horns. Maggie jerked to attention. A blurry image loomed in her driver's side window. A man dressed in gray sweats...a hooded jacket over his head. A fleece-clad knee held her driver's door open. He pounded again -- louder -- on the roof of her car. "Get out! Get out of the car!" He spit the words like machine-gun fire. Heart racing, Maggie tried to yank the door shut on his knee. But his leg pried it open wider. Fingers of steel reached through the opening and clamped around her arm, wrenching her sideways from the
One morning changed "everything" about her life^But could it also set her free? ^Maggie Anderson ^Graphic designer Maggie Anderson has lived under her boyfriend's tyranny for nearly two years...until she's carjacked in New York. Will this terrifying experience be the end for Maggie -- or the beginning of a freedom greater than she dares imagine? To gain that freedom, she'll have to remember to forget everything about her old life... ^Trevor Ashlock is existing, day by day, in the little town of Clayburn, Kansas. Surrounded by too many painful reminders of all he's lost, he fills his time with work, trying desperately to forget. ^Then a compelling and lovely stranger shows up in Clayburn and turns Trevor's world upside down. ^
Deborah Raney's first novel, "A Vow to Cherish", was awarded a ýSilver Angel from Excellence in Media and inspired the acclaimed World Wide ýPictures film of the same title. Since then her books have won the RITA Award, ýthe HOLT Medallion, and the National Readers' Choice Award; Raney was also a ýfinalist for the Christy Award. She and her husband, artist Ken Raney, make ýtheir home in their native Kansas.