Chapter 21

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Perhaps the vulnerability that Mitch sensed in Abby with her eyes red and cheeks puffy, another dark haired cherub, gave him the urge to nurture her.  Mitch put his hockey stick in his hand with the duffel leaving the arm closest to Abby free to put around her shoulder, which he did.  Abby reached up with her outside arm and touched Mitch’s hand.  Thinking Abby was going to remove his arm Mitch relaxed to let her.  Abby did not push his arm away.  She moved close to him, walked in step, and pulled his arm tighter around her shoulder.

Abby and Mitch walked silently to the arena and once inside she let go of his hand so he could set down his duffel.  Abby motioned to the large ice rink with the Plexiglas towering above the removable sidewalls.

“This place makes me feel so nostalgic,” said Abby.

“You and Caroline came here to learn how to skate?” asked Mitch.

Abby’s cherub cheeks spread wide with a toothy smile, “And later as young teens to meet boys.”

“I see.”

“I think they are still playing the same music.”

“Some things don’t change.”

The music that played low through the sound system was the same as twenty some years before.  How ironic that now Abby was with a boy she liked inside the arena while Caroline was with her fella outside.  She felt good in a giddy way.  If anything, Abby had needed a distraction and what better distraction than Mitch.

Pleased as Mitch was that Abby had come to the fairgrounds he did not like seeing her so upset.

“Would you like to go over to the Lakeside for a tea?” asked Mitch.

“Yes, the Lakeside Diner would be lovely,” said Abby.

Mitch and Abby exited the arena and made their way across the fairgrounds toward the village corners and the Lakeside Diner.  Mitch made small talk to help Abby to relax.

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