A Place In the Sun
Gillian heard a glass crash to the floor in the next room.
I didn't mean to, Gillian heard a small voice plead. It was an accident. I'm clumsy little brat! Ray yelled. You did it on purpose, you know you did. the little girl yelled.
Katalin! I'm coming! Gillian yelled, running down the hall.
Stay back, Gill, she broke the glass, now she has to be punished, Ray said, taking off
Katalin obediently bent down and pulled up her shirt, closing her eyes, waiting to be
Ray! No! Gillian yelled.
He brought the belt down over Katalin's back.
Ray, Kata's too young, Gillian pleaded. Stop, Ray, hit me instead.
Ray raised the belt again to strike Katalin. As he started to bring it down, Gillian ran in
to block her daughter from the blow. Gillian felt the sting of the belt on her face.
The child deserves to be punished, Ray yelled at Gillian.
Ray, Kata's only four years old, it was an accident, and it was only a glass.
Gillian knew that no amount of pleading would help. She was still crouching over her
daughter. Katalin shot out from underneath of her and ran down the hall.
Ray started after her, but Gillian jumped into the doorway.
Leave her alone, Ray, Gillian pleaded again.
The clock on the wall chimed for eight o'clock.
Ah, you win for now, Gill, I've got to get to the card game. But I'll see that that little
bastard child of your's gets the discipline she deserves.
Ray slammed the front door as he left.
When Katalin heard the motorcycle start and speed off down the street, she came back
out to Gillian.
Mommy, he scares me, Katalin said softly to Gillian.
Katalin's words echoed in Gillian's head. Kata hadn't said she was scared; she said that
Ray scares her.
Oh, Kata, I'm so sorry, Gillian said, picking up her daughter.
It's not your fault, Mommy, Katalin said, looking up at Gillian with her eyes full of
compassion, yet so sad. Katalin wiped the tears from Gillian's face.
Gillian hugged Katalin close and then told her, Hurry, put some of your things in your
napsack, we're getting out of here.
Katalin and Gillian quickly gathered what they were going to take and were out in the car
within ten minutes.
Gillian drove off in the still, dark night, not knowing where she was going or where she
wanted to end up, but she knew it was anywhere but here.
I wish you were here to see this, Julia said to the photograph of Noah.
Noah had been killed in an accident at his work three years earlier.
Julia had received word from Jackson Montgomery that it was safe now for her to return
to Pine Valley. At least as safe as it was for her to be anywhere else.
As the news that Julia could come back spread to the rest of the family, Mateo, Rosa, and
her mother had planned a sort of family reunion for them all. They had also spoken with
Anita and Bobby and they were planning their first visit to Pine Valley in six years.
Are you ready yet? Rose called up to Julia from the kitchen.
Just about, Mama Rose! Julia yelled back. Ever since her and Noah and Rose had been
sent away, she'd considered Rose as her mother, also.
C'mon, we need to get to the airport!I'm coming! Julia picked up her suitcase.
It had been nearly six years since she'd been in Pine Valley. She didn't know what to
expect, or how things had changed. She knew that nothing could ever be the same as
before Rose and Grady had come into their lives, not with Noah gone, and especially
with Maria gone. Her family could never be the same as it had been.
Anita stood at the sink, packing up her makeup and hair bag.
Bobby came up behind her and leaned down to kiss her on her neck.
I'm so excited, Bobby! Anita said. We finally get to see Julia again. I can't wait to
go home.I thought our home was here, in Chicago, baby, Bobby said.
Oh, c'mon. We've been through this before now, she said, going into their bedroom.
You haven't seen Sammy in so long, you know you can't wait to see how he's grown.
And he'll be so happy to see his , Edmund is Sam's father, you know that. Anita hesitated. I talked to Edmund last nigh, before you got home. Kelsey's
come back to Pine Valley. He said she came home with Joe and Ruth after her
she causing trouble for Edmund again?No, Edmund said she didn't even approach him about seeing Sam, he ran into her at
SOS and he suggested that she come see Sam. Kelsey hadn't seen him in nearly as long
as you haven' , I haven't seen Sam in nearly six years! He probably doesn't even remember me,
I have no right to see , you could go see him as your nephew, couldn't you?
Bobby looked up at her, with a confused look.
You are Sam's uncle, also, Bobby still looked confused. Ugh! See, Anita drew
pictures in the air, there's me and Maria, sisters, then there's you and me, we're married,
so that makes Maria's children our niece and nephew, and even though her son is
biologically your son, he is also your , Inever thought of it that way, Bobby said, obviously not impressed, zipping up
his suitcase. C'mon, we need to get to the airport.
Bobby picked up their luggage and went out to the car.
They drove to the airport in silence.
Bobby didn't want Anita to know how nervous he was. He hadn't seen Sam in six years.
His baby wasn't a baby anymore, and he'd missed the greater part of his childhood.
When Julia arrived in Pine Valley that night, she didn't go to Isabella's like she'd
She slipped into the Wildwind grounds unnoticed.
She entered the mausoleum silently, but the big door let out a deafening screech as she
She looked around, looking for that certain name.
Julia walked to the back of the mausoleum when she found what she was looking for.
She lifted her hand and traced the letters.
Maria Santos Gray, Julia read aloud, November 27, 1967, to August 12, 1997.
Julia stepped away from the wall.
Is it a coincidence that I came back on this day? Julia asked.
She turned and left the mausoleum.
The wind had turned the August night cool as she walked back to the cab that was
waiting for her.
she heard someone ask.
Julia whirled around to see who it was.
she said, relieved.
What are you doing here? he asked her.
Same as you, I'm 's been six years, Edmund. Maria's been gone for six years.I know, Julia, he said as she started to tremble. He pulled her close to him and held her
as she cried.
Gillian drove down the highway in silence. The only sounds were the hum of the tires
and the steady sound of Katalin's breathing. Shortly after they'd left, Kata had fallen
asleep in her carseat.
Gillian turned on the radio, looking for a good country station playing a song with a
sadder story than her own.
You say that when he does come home
He only puts you down
Well you ask me my opinion
What I think you should do
As far as I can see
There's just one road left for you
Don't give up cause its hard to hear
You'll never know your strength
Until you face your fear
You go girl cause you know girl
Where he is ain't where you belong
If you stay girl, you will pay girl
He's only gonna do you wrong
You can try girl, but you'll cry girl
Cause he ain't work the holding on
So you go girl, cause you're already gone
Gillian switched the station. That was not what she needed right then. She needed to
take her mind off her problems, not hear a song that only made her think more.
She drove down the highway lost in the songs on the radio.
Pine Valley, five miles, she read the sign hanging from the overpass. After four years
of being away, she was being drawn back there.
She didn't see the brake lights in front of her until it was too late. She slammed on her
breaks. She heard the squeals of tires and the clash of metal.
Gillian could hear the terror in her daughter's voice.