The First Touch of Sunlight
Meredith – Deleted Chapter
Copyright © Len Webster 2016. All rights reserved.
* * CAUTION SPOILERS * *
This chapter didn’t make it into the final book because, well, it was removed to add suspense and worry (I’m sorry!) towards the end of the book. But since you’ve read the epilogue, this is safe to read. This chapter would have been chapter 28.
Six years ago
Meredith shivered as she made her way across campus.
It was finally Friday.
The end of her introductory week for the start of the spring semester next week. She hadn’t particularly wanted to attend, but it was compulsory.
The reason she was able to get an early acceptance to Rotterdam University was because of her grandfather. He was alumni and had been a literature professor during the 90s. Growing up, she wasn’t close with her grandparents. They wrote and sent her cards. But her parents had immigrated from the Netherlands during the late 80s. At first, she was terrified about her grandparents saying no to her returning to Rotterdam, but they had welcomed her with opened arms.
Since the New Year she had been adjusting to life in the Netherlands without her parents. They had come to Rotterdam with her. But they had to return to Australia several weeks ago. It had taken her a while to pluck up the courage to take a water taxi down the river. Rotterdam was gorgeous. It was modern and beautiful. During World War II, the city had been heavily bombed. Delfshaven, where her grandparents lived, was her favourite part of the city. The historic buildings were stunning. She felt as if she were back in time.
However beautiful Rotterdam was, it wasn’t home.
She didn’t feel like she could be herself here.
She could be anyone, and she still couldn’t let go of the Meredith who was in love with Samuel Michaels.
She had tried so hard to.
But being away only made her lonely.
She missed her parents, her dog, and her friends.
She also missed Sam.
Meredith glanced down at her phone and pressed on the weather app. When she saw that it was seven degrees, she sighed. Normally, she was used to over thirty-degree weather during late-January. Just as she was about to tuck her phone into the pocket of her thick jacket, it had buzzed.
It was a text message from Margot.
Her best friend had cried when Meredith told her that she was leaving. She had understood, but she could see the hurt in Margot’s eyes. They were supposed to have gone to university together.
But Meredith had gone to Europe.
To be as far away as possible.
Margot didn’t text often.
It was expensive to call. They decided that texting was only for emergencies or updates. For everything else, they’d communicate through Facebook and emails. The only other person that knew that she was in the Netherlands was Margot’s brother, Cooper. She had turned up at their house for advice, and he had told her to go. To experience what life was like outside of Warren Meadows. To be free from everything and everyone that had caused her pain.
Margot: Sam’s now a father. His name is Joshua Michaels. And he’s healthy.
She blinked at the message.
Immediately, she feels the warmth in her chest.
She was happy for him.
He now had a son.
But the heat that consumed her reminded her of her heartbreak.
That Sam had chosen Beth.
He had chosen his son.
And Meredith had chosen to leave.
She didn’t reply. She knew Margot wasn’t expecting one. So she slipped her phone into her pocket and a small smile developed. She never held any resentment towards his son.
She still didn’t.
And Meredith knew she never would.
I know you’re going to be an amazing father, Sam.
“I’m proud of you,” she whispered.