We all love deleted scenes right? Whether it’s from movies, tv shows or books. Here’s a scene that didn’t make Abby’s Journey but one I really enjoyed writing. Please note…this has not been completed edited so if you see mistakes, that would be why.
Many of you have told me how much you love Millie, so I hope you will enjoy this special scene.
“I swear, if that man doesn’t bring her, I’m going to go kidnap her and…” Millie’s voiced trailed off as she paced the front window of the Wandering Table.
“Come sit down, woman and eat your soup before it gets cold.” David shook his head while he looked at her empty seat pointedly.
She frowned. “Don’t you tell me what to do.”
“Someone needs to. You’re getting yourself worked up for nothing.” David muttered. “He said they were coming.”
Millie let out a really long sigh and looked up the street again for Josh’s vehicle. “Then why aren’t they here yet?”
Her husband didn’t say anything, just dipped his spoon into his soup, letting his silence speak more than she wanted to hear.
“Fine.” She huffed. “Although, I seemed to remember you promising never to tell me what to do in our marriage vows.” She sat down and tasted her soup. She was impressed. Darla Kay, Gloria’s daughter, recently took over the kitchen for her mother and Millie had to admit, the soup was pretty good. Once upon a time, she would have claimed only Gloria could make the best cream of broccoli soup in the county, but her daughter didn’t do too bad.
“That list keeps getting longer and longer.” David winked.
“Happy life happy wife, right?” Millie leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.
They recently celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary and Millie still couldn’t believe her luck in snagging a man like David. She’d given up on love, grown accustomed to being alone and had been happy with that. But David…he’d been there for her through everything. Claire’s death. Abby’s illness. Her own insecurities. And with it all, he remained her rock, never wavered, never turned his back on her even when she was obnoxious and difficult.
But then, when wasn’t she difficult, right?
“What are we going to do if she gets sick again?” Millie didn’t like to worry, in fact, she tried so hard not to but she couldn’t help it.
The fear was always there. Always.
“The same we always do. Pray and be present. There’s not much else we can do.” David leaned back in his seat and frowned. “Why the concern? She’s been fine, hasn’t she?”
“Then stop worrying about something that isn’t there. Why not focus on your idea to celebrate her clean bill of health?”
“Oh!” She’d forgotten all about that. David was right. Focus on the positive, not the negative.
“I may need your help in convincing Josh.” She reminded him.
“I think you’ll do fine on your own. You’ve stood up to him enough these past few years when it comes to Abby, this won’t be any different.” David disagreed with her, which frustrated her and yet, he spoke the truth.
“So you think it’s still a good idea?” She asked.
He nodded. “I’d give that son-in-law of ours a heads up though, Millie. You know he’ll need time to think it through.”
She winced. “We’re running out of time though if it’s going to happen. Maybe…” maybe she wouldn’t wait for Josh to say yes.
“What?” She placed an innocent smile on her face and fluttered her eyelashes.
David guffawed loudly which had Millie looking around the room with embarrassment before she joined in, a little more quietly than him.
“You haven’t bought the tickets all ready have you?” His eyes narrowed and she shook her head.
“But I will. I’ll be kind of hard for him to say no then, won’t it.” She sipped her hot cup of tea and stared out the window, searching to see if they were coming yet. “Besides, Claire told me to.”
“You think he’s going to believe that?”
She shrugged. “I’ll show him the letter if I need to. Hopefully I won’t. He might not appreciate the other stuff she said to me – especially the stuff about him.”
Millie jumped up the moment she caught sight of Abby. She ran to the door and stood outside, arms crossed since she didn’t have her coat on and hopped from one foot to the other as Abby ran towards her.
Her granddaughter was dressed up like a snowman, with her coat, thick scarf, hats and woollen mitts.
“You’re here!” Millie shouted out just moments before Abby plowed into her and gave her a huge hug.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.” Abby repeated with excitement. “I don’t know what you said to Dad to convince him but I’m so excited! Can we go now, please?”
“We were promised some soup and hot chocolate don’t forget,” Josh said as he held the door for them. “Besides, the market isn’t going anywhere.”
“Oh, and you’ll love the soup.” Millie placed her arm around Abby and squeezed.
She was beyond thrilled that Josh brought her. She’d been worried he wouldn’t. He’d coddled Abby for so long, all with good reason mind you, but she was an adult and needed to be treated like one.
“Well, look who’s here,” David got up and slapped Josh across the back before engulfing Abby in one of his bear hugs. “Good to see you kid,” he winked at her before pulling out her chair. “Your grandmother was about to go hunt for you but I held her back.”
Millie’s brows rose at his comment. “Oh you did, did you?”
All David did was nod but it was enough to place a smile on Abby’s face.
Millie enjoyed having Abby out with her, she always did. She loved spending time with her and treasured every single moment of it. While Abby was just a child, Millie never knew how long they had left with her and she’d consider each day a blessing. Now that Abby was older and healthier (she hoped) she couldn’t wait for Abby to experience life the way it was meant to be lived.
Not stuck at home or within the confines of a hospital room, but outside, seeing the world for herself.
Abby forced them all to rush through their soup and biscuits, barely eating all of hers, before she was shrugging herself back into her coat, wrapping the scarf tight around her neck and making sure her ears were covered.
“Can we go now, please? I feel like a child, cooped up all day and just wants to go out and play.” She tugged at her father’s arm.
“That’s exactly how you’re acting too,” he said to her.
“Oh enough,” Millie interjected. “Come on, child. You and I can get started and the men can catch up.” She linked her arm through her granddaughters and walked outside with her.
Abby stopped and breathed in deep. A huge smile covered her face as she tilted her head up towards the night sky. Snowflakes fell lightly all around them.
“I love winter,” Abby said with the softness of breath. “I feel so free. More so than any other time of the year. Why is that I wonder?” She turned towards Millie.
“You were always meant to be free, Abby.” She loved to see that smile. It made her feel young again, to see the vibrancy and joy in her granddaughter.
“Do you realize it’s been years since Dad let me go to the market at night?”
“Honey, it’s been years since he let you go to the market, period. Last year it had been cancelled due to the storms, the year before that you were in the hospital and—”
“I’m always sick at Christmas.” Abby interjected.
Millie sighed. It was true. Normally around the end of November she’d get hit with the sniffles which would turn into a cold which would always lead to pneumonia, no matter how hard they tried to fight it. Her granddaughter had the worst immune system.
“But not this year. This year is going to be different.” There was a note of confidence in Abby’s voice that was contagious.
“Yes, it will be.” It had to be. “Come on, I hear there’s a whole table full of gingerbread and I need a new wreath for my door.” Millie pulled Abby’s hand and led the way as they crossed the street and into the town park.
After having to cancel last-minute last year, it seemed like the town of Heritage wanted to outdo themselves.
“Oh,” Abby inhaled. “It’s beautiful!” She refused to budge as she took it all in.
The whole park sparkled with white christmas lights. The park was surrounded by trees that dazzled as strands wound themselves up the trunks and through the branches, small shrubs were covered as well and candle lit mason jars marked the paths through the park. Wooden huts decorated with vibrant green boughs and red and white ribbons and outlined with even more christmas lights filled the grounds.
“The lanterns were my idea. David found a supplier who donated all the fake tea lights and everyone donated a jar or two from their pantry. Doesn’t it look amazing?” Millie was quite proud of the look. She’d seen something similar on Pinterest.
“You did this?” Abby sounds amazed which filled Millie with pride.
“Your old grandma is full of surprises still, huh?”
Abby snorted. “You’re not old, Millie. Just…wise.”
Millie patted Abby’s hand, thankful for the words. She might be almost eighty now but she didn’t feel like it.
“Then let this wise old woman give you some advice.” She glanced behind them and caught David and Josh behind them. David waved so she waved back.
“If it’s about Dad, I don’t want to hear it.” Abby glance over her shoulder as well.
“Because you think you know so much?”
Abby shrugged. “Dad is…” she sighed.
“Having a hard time letting you go, accepting that you’re growing up.” Millie finished for her. “Be patient with him.”
They stopped at a booth full of hand-painted christmas balls. Millie picked up one and studied it before she smiled at the girl in the booth.
“Is that your advice?” Abby asked. She had picked out a similar ornament painted with fine brush strokes. “This is so pretty,” she said as she lightly traced the christmas tree design.
“No, that wasn’t what I was going to say.” Millie set the ornament down and moved on. She waited till Abby joined her before linking their arms once again.
“There’s a secret to enjoying these markets. One that many don’t know.” Millie leaned in close, as if to share a secret.
“Really.” Millie waved at her best friend, Elizabeth Dorn, who stood at her own booth full of fresh-baked good. “This booth is the only one worth buying and baking from, for one.”
“Abby!” Lizzie exited the back of her booth and walked around to give Abby a huge hug. “How are you enjoying yourself?” She took the cup Abby held. “Don’t drink that weak stuff. I have something special I keep with me just for my favorite people.” She took Millie’s cup as well and then went back into her booth.
Millie smiled with anticipation and savored the first sip of her flavored hot chocolate once it as handed back to her.
Lizzie kept a thermos of godiva liquor flavored hot chocolate with her every night during the market.
They both watched Abby as she took her first sip and waited for her expression.
Abby’s eyes widened as she took one sip and another and then another. “What’s in here?” She asked.
“A special ingredient.” Lizzie admitted.
“Don’t tell your father.” Millie cautioned.
Abby laughed. “You’re kidding me right? He’d freak out if he knew.” She took another sip. “What is this?”
“Godiva chocolate liquor.”
“It’s heaven, is what it is.” Abby held the cup tight between her hands. “Is this why you love the markets so much?”
“Has she told you the secret to the markets yet?” Lizzie asked.
“Not this bloody secret again.”
Davids arms snaked around Millie’s waist and he pulled her close.
“You’re not filling our girls’ head with your foolishness are you?” He placed a kiss on her cheek and then stole her cup, taking a sip himself and sighing. “Ah, now that is good.”
“David, you can have your own cup, you know.” Lizzie held out a white Styrofoam cup for him.
“Where’s Dad?” Abby asked. She glanced behind David.
“Oh, he got stopped back at the entrance by one of his students.” David said. “Now, should we get going before he catches up with us and says it’s too cold out?”
“You’ll want to take a look at the last booth at the end,” Lizzie mentioned. “Abby will love it.”
Millie glanced down the row, suddenly curious. “Let’s go then, and I’ll share my secret with you.” She held on to David’s free hand and blew a kiss towards Liz. “See you soon.” She doubted Abby would be staying long once Josh caught up with them and she’d already promised Lizzie she’d help her in the booth for the evening.
“All right, spit it out,” Abby said once they started walking.
The air held a slight nip to it and their breath crystallized with each puff.
“It’s quite simple, really. It was your mom who taught the secret to me, actually.”
Millie nodded. She leaned in closer to David and as she remembered that day, so long ago now.
Claire had always loved Christmas, claiming it was the one time of the year where people joined together with love in their hearts for someone other than themselves.
Growing up, it became a tradition for them to take weekend adventures to the various markets and eventually even volunteering at the Heritage Christmas market together. Together, they’d probably visited hundreds of markets throughout the christmas season and had even made plans to visit the markets in Germany one year in the future. It had all been Claire’s idea after discovering the first Christmas tree originated from Germany when she was a teenager. She even had a list of the various markets they would visit, starting off in Bavaria and making their way north towards Hamburg and then west towards Cologne.
It’d been a cold Sunday afternoon and Claire had been maybe thirteen years old. They were on their way home from the city and came across a small town in the middle of nowhere hosting a christmas market. Claire begged for them to stop. Millie hadn’t wanted to, it was getting dark and she hated driving at night but Claire was adamant they needed to stop.
She parked on the main street of the town and checked her watch. The market sat in the middle of the town park, which was less than half the size of Heritage’s park, so Millie gave them a half hour to check it out.
“You can’t rush an experience, Mom,” Claire had chastised her. “You need to enjoy it, take in every moment so you can find all it’s hidden secrets.”
“Secrets?” Millie remembered looking around the small town and laughed. “Honey, there are maybe a dozen stalls to check out. I doubt there is anything hidden here.”
“How do you know? Maybe there’s a retired toy maker who lives here or a world-famous baker who only makes their award-winning gingerbread for this town? You never know what you’ll find.” Claire had a determined look on her face, as if she knew there was something here for her to discover.
Millie laughed but watched her daughter carefully as they meandered their way through the stalls. As much as Millie had wanted to rush, Claire lallygagged her way from one table to the next, looking through every item for sale, asking questions and enjoying all the stories she was hearing.
Time didn’t seem to matter after the sixth booth and a fresh cinnamon bun, or at the ninth booth when Abby did indeed discover that baker she sought after. It had been an elderly Polish woman who baked the best melt-in-your-mouth lebkuchen Millie had ever tasted and Millie had tasted a lot of gingerbread cookies.
Somehow her daughter had walked away with that woman’s recipe and a promise to keep in touch.
Looking at Abby, Millie saw so much of her daughter – from the way her eyes crinkled when she smiled to the way she tilted her head to the side, just a fraction, whenever she was trying to figure out if you were telling her the truth or not.
“Grandma?” Abby asked.
Millie pulled away from David and placed both her hands on the side of her granddaughter’s face, touching her lightly.
“You’re just like your mother,” Millie’s voice broke as Abby smiled.
“The secret, Millie. Tell her the secret.” David nudged her.
Millie nodded. “Right.” She looked around and breathed in deep.
“Your mother taught me was to walk through each market ready to discover it’s secret. She said you never knew who could be there, you never knew their past or their talents unless you took the time to thoroughly enjoy the experience.”
“You’re kidding me, right?” The look on Abby’s face was priceless. “That’s the secret? To take your time to enjoy the experience?”
Millie nodded. “Watch everyone else. Some are stopping to chat and look at things while others are just rushing through, merely glancing at things before they move on to the next booth. They’ll walk away thinking this market had nothing to offer and probably won’t come back, which is a shame.”
“Did you really think I’d do anything but enjoy this time?” Abby took another sip of her cocoa and walked over to the first booth. Millie waited to see her reaction.
“Just like her mother.” Millie said softly.
“Like you’re surprised.” David placed a kiss on her cheek. “Why don’t you go join her?”
“There you are.” Josh joined them, stopping her. His shoulders hunched as he stuffed his hands into pockets. “Sorry about that David. I didn’t mean talk so long.”
“Does that happen often? You getting cornered like that by your students?”
Josh shrugged. “From time to time. Where’s Abby?”
Millie pointed to the right.
Abby stood at the booth, phone in hand and was taking one photo after the other. She would pause and talk to the woman behind the booth of christmas ornaments before taking another photo.
Knowing her granddaughter, all these photos would soon be online and she’d be up late writing a blog about her night. She couldn’t wait to read it.
“Let me guess,” he said after watching her for a while, “you told her about Claire’s secret.”
Millie looked from her granddaughter to her son-in-law and then to her husband. Abby was off discovering, her husband was smiling and Josh seemed relaxed. Now was as good time as any.
“Guess it depends on which secret.” She said.
Josh sighed. “You’re kidding me right? Millie what have you done now?”
Millie chuckled. “Nothing yet, Josh. Don’t you worry.” Yet being the optimal word.
She’d wait until Abby got her test results back and if she was as fine as she claimed to be, then nothing would stop her from doing the one thing Claire had asked her to do with her granddaughter.
I shouldn’t have to add this but…please do not copy and use this to add to your own personal writing or within a book that you are working on. This is primarily meant for you enjoyment.
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