A Matter of Trust
That was the first time
that I saw Mom cry.”
    “But your mom and dad are back together?”
she said. If a man did that to her, she would never take him back.
Letting his kids go hungry…even with all the issues she had with
Jack, she knew he’d never, ever do something so awful.
    “Yeah, they worked it out.” The way he said
it, she knew there had to be more, way more.
    “And your brother Logan? He sounds like an
amazing brother,” she said. Carrie could respect any teenager who
would step in like that and do what Logan had done. She wouldn’t
mind meeting him one day.
    “Logan and Dad…well, it was rough for a bit.
They gave each other a wide berth, but there was no room for two
heads of the household. It was a confrontation that had been long
coming. I guess my dad had just had enough of all of us boys going
to Logan all the time. Old habits, you know? We could always depend
on Logan. We knew he would never turn his back on us. You know how
there’re just people you know are rocks? There were fights, though,
battles between him and Dad. Logan never gave him the respect he
had before. On his eighteenth birthday, Logan enlisted in the
marines and was gone. It was never the same. He’s still my big
brother, though, and every time he had leave, it was us he came to
see. It was always us he wrote to. I’d do anything for him.”
    “I envy you having a brother like Logan, all
your brothers,” Carrie said. “You must be so close.”
    He started the truck as if letting her know
he was done talking about it. “Not as close as we should be,” he
said, and he pulled back onto the road to drive her home.

Chapter Eleven
    The full moon against a clear, dark sky had
Ben just staring upward outside his darkened cabin, considering all
that he’d shared with Carrie. He was unsettled, and maybe the
mystery exuding from the moon only added to that feeling. He didn’t
know why he’d told Carrie everything he had about his childhood.
Those had been dark times, a past he never shared. The memory was a
giant ripple that affected the bond between Ben and his
    The fact was that they’d come through so
much, and his parents were happy now. Those bad times were years
past, and he believed his father felt bad for how he’d treated
their mother and them. As Ben stared up at the sky, he tried to
remember what had made their dad come back to them. He still
remembered the day his dad had driven in with his suitcase and his
mom had opened the front door. Nothing had been said as they
watched each other, and whatever it was that passed between them in
those moments had terrified him. But then his mother had taken a
step back and let his father in. They never spoke about it to Ben
or his brothers, though the boys had wondered, of course.
    Maybe one day Ben could take his dad out and
the two of them would sit with a couple of beers and talk. Not that
Raymond was a talker—he was far from an open book. He was a quiet
man who held everything in, but now Ben recalled something his
father had said not long ago: “There isn’t a man around who hasn’t
done something he’s ashamed of, and saying you’re sorry doesn’t
always work. It’s a start, a way to make things right, but it’s
what you do next that makes the difference. It’s actions that
separate a boy who knows nothing from a man.”
    Ben hadn’t really understood then what he
was saying, but he knew his father carried a world of regrets, and
their mother…well, Olivia had only told them that it took two to
create a problem, and sometimes the right thing to do was to
    There was one thing that had come out of
that hard year: Logan would always be the one Ben and his brothers
would look up to, and he was also the one always checking up on
them now. Ben would have to call Logan and his new wife, Julia,
maybe stop in and see how they were doing, when he was done
    He opened the door to his cabin and flicked
the lamp on, taking in his room. The bed was

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