Hearts United – Chapter 9

by: Rebecca Taylor

            “I didn’t need this right now,” said Todd sitting down with his plate for supper after a long day out in the field. “I have no idea how Miss Sienna Abbott knows about me and my daughter. I contacted an investigation firm, her record is completely clean. She lives alone with her cat, is an only child, her parents are still married and the only thing different right now is that she is getting a lot more mail than usual because of her search for me. It seems that other men would be quite willing to date her and there seem to be all sorts of online theories about this.”

            “Like she’s delusional?” asked another of the men pouring himself a glass of water.

            “Or lonely, or needy, or feeling like her biological clock is ticking away,” answered Todd. “But why me? She knows about my daughter – knows her by name. It would have been one thing if she came out and said I had a dream that some guy named Todd Brody was going to love me some day. The name is popular enough that I would say – coincidence, or maybe she saw the name somewhere and started to fictionalize it.”

            “Man, it’s ya she’s lookin’ for,” said Jack. “She knows ya age, ya job and that ya have a little gal.”

            “And that scares the hell out of me,” said Todd pushing the food around on his plate distractedly.

            “Could it be fate?” asked Carrie Rimico, the only woman in their unit.

            “I don’t know if I believe in fate. I’ve had too much reality in my life.”

            “Then what about faith that a higher power is looking over you?” she asked.

            “I believe in God and the afterlife if that’s what you’re asking.”

            “What would the harm in contacting this woman? Testing the waters?” asked Carrie.

            “I don’t want to get her hopes up,” said Todd, “If I fall in love again, I want it to be because I really love the woman, not that she stays with me or pretends because of some dream she had.”

            “Ya have to find out how ya feel about her, then ya can see if she is for real.”

            “Not now,” said Todd, “I’m over here and she’s over there. If we are meant to meet, it can wait until I’m back home and can meet her face to face.”

            “That’s another five months,” answered Carrie.

            “Don’t I know it, I cross off the days every morning, counting down to when I’m back with Caralee but I know that what we are doing over here is making a difference. It’s war and it’s peace and it’s about trying to make things better however complicated that is.”

Hearts United – Chapter 8

by: Rebecca Taylor

“Mail, mail and more mail,” said Sienna leafing through another pile of letters that she brought in. “But nothing from Todd. Self-help groups, dating services, men wanting to go on dates. Some of them sound nice but they’re not Todd Brody. I need to know is he real or isn’t he.”

“Mrrow,” said a voice interrupting her thoughts.

“Yes, Pumpkin, I’ll feed you in a minute.” She put the letters down and headed to the kitchen, opened the cupboard and proceeded to put cat kibble in the dish. Why does this have to be so complicated. Why couldn’t I just meet someone at the coffee shop or my office or something, but no, the person that I think is right for me came to me in my dreams. And what if my dreams were just a way to get me out of my shell as some of these letters are telling me – a lily pad to my future as one person wrote. Ugh, this is all so frustrating. The shrill sound of the telephone interrupted Sienna’s thoughts and she went to answer it.

“Hi, Sienna, it’s your dad.”

“Hi Dad,” answered Sienna laughing internally, her dad always told her it was him when he called. She had caller id and had known him for her twenty-six years, she was well aware of his voice.

“Would you like to come to supper Saturday night?” he asked.

“That depends,” she replied, “is it going to be a nice family dinner or do you want to decide how much counseling I require.”

“Honey, we love you, we just want what is best for you.”

“I love you too, but I’m an adult and I have to make my own decisions. I know being on TV might be a bit out there but it seemed like the best solution at the time. People write to me all the time because of it, I’m still hoping that there will be a letter from him or someone who knows him. I still dream of him, and he matters a lot to me.”

“But, Sienna, you don’t even know if he is real.”

“You’re right, I don’t, but maybe someday soon I will. It’s been several months now that I have been thinking about him and the dreams aren’t going away. I can’t just give up – I won’t.”

“Come to supper anyways, I promise we will talk about other things. It’s been a while since I’ve seen you and I miss you.”

Hearts United – Chapter 7

by: Rebecca Taylor

Jack Lawrence was checking his e-mail on his downtime at base. He had one from his mother and he was surprised when he read it. It mentioned his friend and fellow soldier Todd Brody. Jack signed out and went to find him. He was sitting on his bunk.

            “Hey man,” he said, “there’s some woman looking for ya back on home soil, says she’s had dreams about ya. She knows your name and that you’re a soldier with a little girl.”

            “Who is this woman?” said Todd looking up from the letter he was reading.

            “Her name is Sienna Abbott, the e-mail from my mam doesn’t say much else. She went on a television show to talk about wanting to find ya.”

            “Jack, you making this up?”

            “No, man. I know it sounds weird.”

            “You’re right about that.”

            “So, what are ya going ta do ‘bout it?”

            “Find out who she is, she knows about my daughter and that isn’t something I can take sitting down.”

            “What if she was sent to ya?”

            “By who?”

            “Maybe Theresa picked her out.”

            “Leave Theresa out of this,” said Todd getting up and heading to the small room that held the computer. Jack didn’t follow.

            “She doesn’t have a criminal record, not even a speeding ticket,” said Todd a few minutes later emerging from the room, “and the way she talks it’s like she knows me, says I come to her in dreams.”

            “How do ya know how she talks?” asked Jack.

            “Video clip on the internet.”

            “You goin’ to contact her?”

            “I don’t know, she’s young and pretty but there’s not even just me to think about. I’d like it if Caralee had a mother again but I never thought I’d find a woman like this. I’m going to have to think about this, make some more enquiries, see who she knows, who she might have talked to, where she found out so much about me.”

            “In her dreams,” answered Jack with a serious grin on his face. “Cupid’s gonna get ya Buddy.”

 

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Hearts United – chapter 6

by: Rebecca Taylor

A few days later, Sienna went to her mailbox, her cat trailing behind her. She put the flag down and opened the grey box. She started to pull out the magazines and invoices and at the back was a large brown envelope from the television station. It’s thick, I wonder what it is. It doesn’t feel like a tape of the interview. I’ve been hoping for something ever since it was on TV but I was thinking more along the lines of a letter.

“Mrrow,” said her cat rubbing up against her leg.

“Come on, Pumpkin, let’s go see what this is.” Sienna’s hands shook as she sat at the kitchen table and pulled the envelope open. Several envelopes were inside and Sienna took the first one out and opened it. She unfolded the plain white sheet of paper and began to read it.

 

Dear Sienna,

 

I saw you on television and wanted to tell you how brave I thought you were to go out like that and tell people how you are feeling about Todd Brody. I don’t know if he is real or not, but I think he sure is to you. Some people say I’m silly to believe in fate, but I think we all have to believe that somebody’s out there watching over us with a plan even when we don’t know what it is.

 

Don’t give up.

 

Gracie Heimer, Age 17

 

Great, thought Sienna, now, someone’s looking up to what I did and telling me I’m brave and she’s just seventeen. My mother thinks I need help, and I haven’t spoken to my father yet, so who knows what he thinks. My mother says counseling but she tends to blow things out of proportion. To be feeling this way about a man my own age would be hard enough for a lot of people to understand, let alone this. She set the letter aside and pulled out the next one.

 

Dear Ms. Abbott,

 

I enjoyed watching you on Ellen Young’s show this week. Your passion when you spoke of Todd Brody was engaging, however, as a professional matchmaker, I must tell you that there are other ways to find someone you love, someone real. Give me a call and I could set you up with someone who has qualities just like the ones you care so much about in your Todd Brody.

 

Sincerely,

 

Louisa McGrath

Matchmaker

Connected Hearts Matchmaking Services

 

Do I just want someone? wondered Sienna petting Pumpkin who was sitting on the table watching her intently. But’s he’s real to me, cried a voice inside her head. A woman doesn’t need a man to be happy, but this one makes me so happy, that I don’t know why I wouldn’t try to find him.

 

Hearts United – Chapter 5

by: Rebecca Taylor

Sienna was nibbling on caramel popcorn waiting for her interview with Ellen to come on TV. She was so nervous to see herself on the screen and to hear how she sounded and wondered if Todd Brody would come forward even if he was real. Maybe he’ll be afraid of what I think I know about him. Maybe he’ll laugh and think I’m crazy, maybe he won’t want me anywhere near his daughter. Wait until my mother sees this. She always watches this sort of thing and when she finds out I didn’t tell her…maybe I should have told her…no, I’ve done the right thing, I didn’t want her to influence me in this.

“And next an interview with Ellen Young,” said the television announcer.

Sienna set her bowl on the coffee table and sat up straight on the couch. She noticed that her hands were shaking.

“I’ve got to find you,” she whispered, “are you even going to see this, probably not, especially if you’re overseas but somebody in your life probably will.” A commercial for an exotic travel destination came on and Sienna sighed, her agony was being prolonged. She got up and got her portable telephone, she knew it would start ringing the moment the interview was over.

“Sienna, dear, your father and I have talked it over and we’re willing to send you for some counseling.”

“Mom, I don’t need counseling.”

“Yes, dear, you do. What were you thinking going on TV looking for some soldier that you think you’re in love with and his daughter?”

“I’m trying to find him, Mom, see if he’s really out there somewhere. It’s a chance I have to take.”

“Dear, you’re lonely, that’s clear. You need to date, not make up someone so you think you’re in love.”

“He’s real to me, Mom, and if I’m fortunate he’ll actually be real and I’ll meet him and see what happens.”

“No, dear, he’s your dream man. You want children and he would give you a ready-made family. He’s a soldier – it means he has strong ideals.”

“Mom, how would you feel if you knew that Daddy was out there somewhere and you had to find him but didn’t know how?”

“Now, dear, you’re being silly, your father is right here with me and if he were missing, I have pictures, information about him that would help me find him. I’ve been married to him for thirty-five years, this isn’t the same thing.”

“Mom, I knew when I started this that you would think I was crazy, but this is something I have to do. I cannot wonder for the rest of my life if I let the opportunity to be with a wonderful man pass me by.”

“I have friends with sons your age; let me get you set up on a blind date.”

“Mom, I’ve dated before, I’m not doing this for attention even though some people will think I am. I’m doing this because I believe with all my heart that Todd Brody is out there and that we are meant to meet. Maybe he doesn’t know or maybe he does and doesn’t know how to find me.”

“But, the man you described is so much older than you. What woman wants to marry a man who is practically her father’s age?”

“Mom, I’ve had time to think about this. People are not defined by their ages, it’s their personality. When I think about Todd, I think about him being the man for me, not how old he is.”

“You’re at different places in your life; your ages will make it so you want different things.”

“People with age differences have been getting together for a long time; I need to know if he’s out there and if we can be together. If I meet him and we aren’t supposed to be together, I’ll learn to accept that.”

“Will you or will you believe in the fantasy you’re got in your mind.”

“Mom, I’ve been over every argument out there, and I know that I have to do this.”

“But on TV?”

“Do you have a better way of finding him?”

“No, but I don’t think you should be doing this. What if he’s dangerous?”

“Mom, I promise that if we meet, it will be in a public place with lots of people around, besides I have to find him first.”

“If he’s in the military, he knows how to use a gun.”

“Mother, you’re being paranoid.”

Hearts United – Chapter 4

by: Rebecca Taylor

Sienna brushed her hair in front of the bathroom mirror and reapplied her make‑up hoping to look half-way presentable for the TV cameras. It was pouring rain outside and she had gotten soaked coming out of work. Thankfully, she was wearing a jacket and when she took it off, the depth of her drenching didn’t show. She walked out of the ladies’ room and headed down the hall to the reception area where she sat to wait for Ellen Young. Her hands were shaking a bit and it wasn’t from the cold. She was nervous about the meeting and what the interviewer would ask. She knew that she had written sounded somewhat crazy and under normal circumstances, Sienna would have raised an eyebrow at the thought of doing what she was doing, but she felt miserable sometimes, wondering about Todd, and whether or not he could love her, if he was safe, what kind of a mother she could to his little girl.

Sienna had been waiting about five minutes when Ellen came to get her and together they walked into her office.

“It’s nice to meet,” said Ellen, “I must say you have an interesting story to tell.”

“Yes,” answered Sienna, “And I know it probably sounds silly, but Todd is so real to me. If he exists, which in my heart, I believe he does, I want to find him. Otherwise, why could I see him so clearly in my dreams?”

“There are no guarantees that he’ll come forward if he is out there,” replied Ellen.

“I know, but I want to try, if you’re willing to give me a chance.”

“We’ll give it a try, and we’ll get our researchers looking for him too, but if he is military like you think, it may not be possible to find him through the usual channels. Have you tried finding him on social media?”

“I’ve looked online but there are so many Todd Brody’s, I don’t know where to start and it’s so nerve wracking trying to think of what to write to a man, one who I love so much, and how do I weed out the ones that aren’t him. Ms. Young, I’m usually a private person, but I feel like I’m losing myself wanting to meet my Mr. Right.”

“What if Todd Brody isn’t him? What if you meet him and find out that he’s nothing like you’ve fantasized?”

“I think it would be easier to deal with the truth than to keep wondering.”

 

 

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