Keith was waiting impatiently at the airport. It had been a long time since his baby girl had admitted she needed him. He didn't know what this was all about, but he did know that Veronica didn't sound like the confident, strong woman he had seen last Christmas.
"Daddy, I need to come home. Can you pick me up at the airport?"
That was eight hours ago. He hadn't asked any questions; he was sure she would talk to him about it once she was settled. She was coming home. Her plane had landed and she was making her way to him.
Veronica's eyes scanned the crowd for her father. She was not exactly sure of the very moment that her life went wrong, but she was bound and determined to make it right. As she had sat on that park bench in Central Park, talking to that lovely woman about life and love, it had all seemed to become clear. She was so afraid of continuing to hurt the ones she loved and being hurt herself that she had pushed all the people she truly cared for away. She just kept running. It didn't make things better; it just made her lonely. Veronica hadn't realized until the sky started to darken that she'd spent the entire day talking to a stranger. What she had realized was that she couldn't run anymore. She needed the people she loved in her life now. If only she was sure they wanted to be there.
That was why she was here. Standing in the middle of a crowded airport, looking for the one man in her life who was always there. Who she had treated just as poorly as she had everyone else, maybe worse. He was her first stop on making amends. As a tall heavy set man picked up his bag and moved towards the airport gift shop, she saw him.
There was mostly silence on the ride home. Some discussion of her flight, what they should do for dinner, and how Keith had set up a room for her was the extent of it. After dinner, they sat on the couch as Veronica told her father about the little old woman in Central Park. She told him of her regrets and her plans to make amends with all those she cared about.
He sits in his usual spot, toes buried into the coolness of the grainy sand, staring out into the ocean. His wetsuit is pulled down at his waist and his board stuck in the sand at his left. Every night since he's been back, he comes here to think-mostly of her-and surf. He sees her walking along in the foam of the waves that have washed ashore. This night seems different from the rest. She seems vivid and bright. Her long blonde hair blows in the breeze as her sundress wraps around her legs. She is a vision, even if it is only a mirage.
Heading out for one last ride, he stands to pull up his wetsuit, grab his board and run towards the water. Just like every other night, he expects the image of her to disappear when he runs past into the cool waters, yet this time, as he passes, he hears her.
He stops. She sounds broken, hesitant, maybe a bit scared. Frozen in place, he calls to her in a whispered breath, "Bobcat?" He doesn't turn around for fear that his mind is playing tricks on him. Looking down at the water washing over his feet, he closes his eyes and waits. His breath becomes labored and that feeling he gets is deep in his gut. He believes...he hopes...this time is different. Is she really here? He can't hope. This illusion has haunted him every day since she left. He has enacted this encounter a thousand times and it never seems to play out the same way twice. Just when he has convinced himself that this is just another one of those times, he hears her again.
"Logan, I….I know I don't deserve….. I had hoped... the years would soften the anger you might have about the way I left things. Lo, I am sorry."
He was the one who couldn't live up to the man she wanted him to be. That is why she left, wasn't it? He'd come a long way from the broken boy she left behind. He wasn't sure when he'd finally hit rock bottom, but he does know he's worked really hard to be the man she deserved since then. Not that he ever thought he would get the chance to be that with her.
When he does open his eyes and dare to look at her, his Veronica is right here. The years have grown on her. He takes his time to really look at her. She'd dropped onto the sand at the water's edge. Waves washed up over her ankles and her dress showed signs of the wet. Every day, he'd imagined her here with him, and, now that she is here, he never expected this Veronica. It was as if he was looking down at an abandoned and abused animal. What had happened in those years she was gone? A lot had changed in his life and he was sure the same was true for Veronica. He stabbed his surfboard into the sand and sat down beside her. This is where they spent many hours, here on this beach together. Here he could sit with her forever, even if in silence. They sat and watched the waves along the shore. He'd never felt more content.
After sitting for what felt like nothing short of an eternity, Logan reached over with his left hand slowly, cautiously, and unwrapped her arm from around herself, interlocking their fingers together. Veronica watched his movements closely but didn't stop him. When he slightly squeezed her hand, she looked up and their eyes met. Logan gave her a small grin and replied, "Bygones."