Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio

Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio by Serena B. Miller

Book: Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio by Serena B. Miller Read Free Book Online
Authors: Serena B. Miller
    “Fooling you was never my intention.”
    She traced the delicate wings of Bobby’s eyebrows with one finger. “I am not someone who has to tell the things I know in order to look important. This need is like a sickness in some, but God saw fit to give me strength in that area. If someone confides in me, it stays with me. Do you believe me when I tell you this?”
    “Yes. I believe you.”
    “Then I want to know why it is that when you were cutting weeds behind the barn and Bobby could no longer see you, he wet his pants from fear that you would not come back.”
    “He did that?” Joe felt sick.
    “We dealt with it.” Bertha rocked faster and clutched Bobby tighter. “I do not care who you are or what you are running from. Oh, yes,” she said in answer to his questioning glance. “I know you are running. But all I care about is this sick child and how to help him. If you will trust me with the answer to why you are running, I will better know how to help you.”
    “We aren’t your responsibility, Bertha. I’m sorry we have become a worry to you.”
    “You became my spiritual responsibility the moment I allowed you to come under my roof. I believe I have earned the right to know why this child I hold in my arms weeps in his sleep…and why his father groans in his.”
    Joe leaped to his feet and leaned over Bobby. Sure enough, the little boy’s cheeks were wet with tears—the evidence of yet another bad dream.
    He collapsed onto the couch. For once he was grateful for the lack of electric light in the house. It was easier to talk with nothing but pale moonlight in the room. He searched for words to describe the unspeakable.
    “My wife was murdered,” he said. “While I was gone. Someone locked Bobby inside his room. He was there for hours before I returned. He doesn’t seem to have seen or known anything, except that his mommy wouldn’t come for him when he called.”
    “Do you know who did this terrible thing?”
    “No. That’s the problem. No one has any idea.”
    Bertha rocked and rocked as she digested this. “And what were you doing that was so important to take you away from your family?”
    “I was in another city, tending to business. It seemed important at the time. Believe me, if I could go back in time and change things, I would.”
    “Why are you running?”
    How could he explain? His life in LA was so different from her simple, rural Amish lifestyle. He knew he could never truly explain, but she deserved some sort of an answer.
    “I-I’m someone who has been in the public eye for many years. When my wife died, I couldn’t even hear the minister at her graveside for the sound of news helicopters. People took pictures of me and my son as though they thought the funeral were entertainment. I shielded Bobby the best I could, but no matter how much I asked for privacy, they wouldn’t leave us alone. Finally, I just headed out. To grow this beard and keep moving from one place to another was the only thing I could think of to stay out of the public eye.” He rested the back of his head against the couch. “It’s probably impossible for you to understand.”
    Bertha leaned forward. “You think I do not know what it is like to be the object of another’s curiosity?” Her eyes were blazing. For a moment, he got a clear picture of the fierce young woman who had faced down thieves in order to protect the orphan children.
    “When my father died, Englischers took forbidden pictures of our people. When my uncle Isaiah was hurt in a buggy wreck, Eng-lisch passersby grabbed pieces of the broken buggy for souvenirs.” She settled back again. “As individuals, we may not be as famous as you are, but we deal with intrusiveness every day of our lives. For us, just to go to town for a spool of thread during tourist season means stares and Englisch children pointing at us. This is our life too, Joe.”
    He felt chagrined. These peaceful people endured more prying into their day-to-day

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