The Broken Road, part 9
By Courtney & Lori
Resa looked around the room at all the people she was sharing
with before she said, "I have to go upstairs for a minute. I promised my
parents I'd call and wish them a happy New Year."
"Well, don't take too long. Midnight's almost here," Jeff replied.
"I won't," Resa smiled before she headed up to her empty apartment and into
the room she shared with Jen. Digging into her jeans, she pulled out the
piece of paper that she'd written a phone number she'd gotten from Felicity's
phone book on before. It was Ben's. Debating for a minute about whether or
not to actually do this, she picked up the phone and dialed.
"Is Ben there?"
"Yeah, can I say who's calling?"
"He won't know my name. Tell him it's a friend of a friend."
"Okay," the voice on the other said before Resa heard him shouting for Ben.
"Hey Ben, get your butt down here. You've got a phone call."
A few minutes later Resa heard a voice say, "Hello?"
"Is this Ben Covington?"
"Uh, yeah. Who's this?"
"You don't know me but my name's Resa Bancroft and I know Felicity."
"You do?" Ben's voice took on a note of excitement.
"Yes, I do. Now, I didn't call to tell you where she is, just to let you know
that she and the baby are okay."
"Yes, really," Resa smiled. "Look, I have to go. Have a good New Year, Ben."
"You too, and thank you."
"You're more then welcome." Resa hung up the phone and then she picked up
again to dial Paris.
* * * * *
Felicity sat in the backyard of the house with her tape recorder in hand.
It'd been a long time since she'd done this and she'd never sent one to
anyone other than Sally. But the times there were a changing to quote the
song so she'd have to change with them. Pressing record she took a deep
breath before starting.
"Bet you're surprised to hear my voice. I should let you know first off that
Noel did give me the letter and it brought conflicting emotions out in me. I
was so sad to know how much pain you're in mainly because I am too, but I was
happy, too, because you still love me as much as I love you. And trust me on
this, Ben, I love you.
"You should know that at the moment I'm sitting in the backyard of my new
home on New Year's Eve. It's a few minutes till midnight and all I can think
about is the pact we made to spend the last moments of nineteen ninety-nine
and the first ones of two thousand alone together out on the fire escape no
matter how cold it was. I wish we were doing that now.
"Yesterday a friend of mine gave me a chart that helps pinpoint the date of
delivery by using the date of conception and it hit me when the baby was
made. I remembered the night in the shower and Elena wanted to know why I had
such goofy grin on my face.
"I'm listening closely and I can just hear the people inside counting down.
Five....four....three....two....one. Happy New Year, Ben. I love you.
Felicity turned off the recorder and slipped the tape from the recorder into
an envelope with Ben's name on it. Then she went inside to wish her friends a
happy new year.
* * * * *
Ben sat staring down at the phone long after the caller had hung up. He
briefly thought about trying to have the call traced, but decided against it.
When Felicity was ready, she'd contact him. For some reason he was sure of
that now more than ever.
He finally cradled the receiver and put his head on the back of the
couch. Sean came out of his room then and looked at him curiously. "Who was
that woman asking for you?" he wanted to know.
"A friend of Felicity's," Ben replied, not letting his excitement show.
"Felicity? Really?" Sean said as he made his way over to the couch and
sat beside Ben. "Well? What did she say?" he asked.
"Just that she wanted to let me know that Felicity and the baby are
okay," he answered, a grin tugging at his lips.
Sean laid a hand on his shoulder. "I'm glad to hear that, man. So, Chloe
and I are going to go out and have a drink. You wanna join us?"
"Nah, you two go ahead. I think I'll stay here," he said.
"You're sure?" Sean asked as Chloe appeared in the living room.
Ben smiled slightly and nodded. "Positive."
"Okay, well, we'll see you later then," Sean told him.
"Bye Ben," Chloe said as they walked to the door.
"See ya," he called as he watched the door close behind them. He was
alone again . . . but he didn't feel quite as alone as he had these past few
months. Just knowing that Felicity was okay made him feel better about
He got up from the couch and walked over to the tree that was still
brightly lit in front of the large window. He reached beneath it and pulled
out two small boxes. They were both from him to the two most important people
in his life. One was for Felicity. It was small and square and wrapped in
gold foil paper. The box contained a ring; an engagement ring. He'd bought it
on a whim as he did his Christmas shopping. He knew that she was the one he
wanted to marry. He wasn't sure that she'd ever have him, but just in case,
he had the ring. Someday, when he saw her again, he might even get the
courage to ask her.
The other box was also square, but bigger and flatter than a ring box. It
was for his daughter. He wasn't sure why, but he just had this feeling that
the child Felicity was carrying would be a girl. He was almost sure of it.
The box held a sterling silver baby bracelet that he'd also found during his
Christmas shopping. He'd even had it engraved. The underside of the tiny
piece of jewelry read "Love Daddy." He hoped that some day his daughter would
be able to wear the bracelet and know who her daddy was and that he loved her
so very much.
Ben sighed as he looked down at the two unopened packages. He wondered
how long it would be before they got to their recipients. He knew that it
could take a very long time. He was willing to wait, though, because his
heart told him that eventually they'd all be together. And he knew he had to
have faith in that.
* * * * *
"Hey Noel, you decent?" Felicity called from the other side of the bedroom
"Yeah, come on in," Noel called.
Felicity walked into the bedroom that Noel had been using during his visit
and shut the door behind her. "Noel, I need you to do something for me."
Noel looked up from his packing at his friend. "What?"
"I need you to give Ben something from me." She held out an envelope, much
like the ones she used to send to Sally, only this one had Ben's name on the
front of it.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, I'm positive. I need you to give this to him. It's important. I'd ask
Elena, but I know she wouldn't give it to him."
"Alright, I'll do it." He took the envelope and put it into his carry-on bag.
"Thank you, Noel."
"Anything to put that smile on your face again."
Felicity smiled before she hugged Noel. Then she left him to his packing once
* * * * *
Ben hurried across the street to the front entrance of the University of
New York library. He walked quickly to the elevators, punching impatiently at
the button for the third floor. As soon as the doors opened again, he dashed
out and looked around for the face he was seeking in the crowd. Spotting the
person he'd come to meet, he walked hurriedly over.
"Noel," he said as he sat at the table across from the other man.
"Hi Ben," he said in reply. It was the closest they'd come to friendly in
"You said you had something for me?" Ben asked quickly, his voice hinged
with a hopeful lithe.
"Yeah, I do," Noel replied. He reached down into his bag and pulled out
the manila envelope from Felicity. "Here you go, she wanted me to give you
this," he told him as he handed Ben the object.
"She . . . thanks . . . thanks, Noel," he replied as he clutched the
envelope in his hands. He stared down at his name written in her neat
penmanship across the front and a light filled his eyes. It really was from
her. He couldn't wait to open it.
"Don't tell Elena I gave it to you. She'd kill me," he said.
"Elena hates me anyway. We never talk," Ben assured him. "And, I promise,
I'd never tell her."
Noel nodded and rose to leave.
"Noel, wait . . ." Ben said, catching the other man's arm as he passed.
Noel turned back to look questioningly at Ben. "She's, uh . . . she's okay .
. . right? I mean, the baby and everything . . . everything is okay?"
Noel could hear the concern in Ben's voice and it made him feel a little
better about his decision to deliver the letter to Felicity, and then to
deliver her reply. "Yes," he said with a smile. "They're both doing fine," he
Ben smiled and nodded. "Thanks."
"Anytime," he said, and then turned to leave. Ben sat back down and
looked at the envelope again. Getting up, he went over to one of the private
study rooms that was currently free and closed the door behind him. He sat
down and carefully opened the envelope. Inside, were several things. First,
there was the tape. He'd figured that was what the package contained, but he
was still excited to see it for himself. The prospect of hearing her voice
again made him smile.
There was also a picture and a note. He read the note first. "Dear Ben, I
wanted you to know that I'm doing well and I want you to see that our love
still exists. I sent you a picture as proof. Love, Felicity." He picked up
the picture and realized immediately what it was. A sonogram picture . . .
the first picture of their child.
Tears filled his eyes as he stared intently at the photo. It was amazing.
It was hardly anything to see, really, but the fact that he knew it was there
was all that mattered. Felicity had this life growing inside of her . . . a
life he'd helped to create. The very thought of it just blew him away.
He stared at the picture for a long time before he finally reached into
his backpack and found the tape recorder he used for class sometimes. Opening
it up, he inserted the tape from Felicity and pressed play. His ears were met
with the sound of her voice and it brought a smile to his face. He listened
to her words and was both deliriously happy and painfully sad to hear her
final 'I love you' before she said, "Love Felicity." He stopped the tape, his
mind whirling out of control. God, was it possible to miss someone so much
that you actually physically hurt to be without them? He was sure that it
was. His whole body seemed to ache to hold her, to kiss her, to tell her face
to face how much she meant to him.
He sighed. At least he knew that she still loved him. That was something.
He gathered the precious objects from the envelope and carefully placed them
back inside, then put the envelope in his bag along with the tape recorder.
As he left the library, he felt better than he had in months.
* * * * *