A/N: OK, yes, I haven't updated in forever and yes, it does say ON HOLD in the summary but only because I'm concentrating on another story I want to put up here. It'll be the first of probably a trilogy. But you'll hear more about that as the publication date draws nearer! I'll just get on with the story, shall I?

Disclaimer: Don't own it.

Life's Big Decisions

Chapter Two: Decisions

I awoke the next morning, when the sun rose high enough in the sky to peek through the tiny window in my room and warm my face. My eyes fluttered open and I looked drowsily around the room.

It was small but convenient. A bed, chest of drawers, desk and chair were crammed into the room. A set of chimes hung from the ceiling and tinkled when I set my eyes on them.

A moment passed before I realised where I was. Holly and Billy had offered me a room for a few well earned days of rest, free of charge. Overwhelmed by their generous offer, I had readily accepted.

I sat up and stretched. My watch read eleven o' clock.

Getting out of bed, I realised that Cary would be out at sea by now. If Uncle Jacob were still alive, Cary would be following orders; now, he was probably giving them.

I gathered a skirt and blouse and went to the bathroom to shower.

While washing my hair, my thoughts turned to Aunt Sara and May, Cary's deaf, younger sister. They would be taking Uncle Jacob's death pretty hard. Poor Aunt Sara probably cried herself to sleep every other night, thinking they were doomed.

May wouldn't know what to think. She'd be so confused. Her father had just died, the man who was supposed to last forever. I had experienced the same thing only a year ago.

Cary, though, would be strong. He would look after them; give them hope. He was like that, my Cary, strong and silent. Cary could face any obstacle and get over it successfully.

I towelled myself off and smiled. Cary would take care of things.

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I walked into the shop and found it empty but for Holly and Billy who were talking about the properties of amethyst.

"Morning," I said, cheerfully.

They turned to me and said, "Good morning, Melody."

"I guess I missed breakfast. Sorry."

"Don't worry about it. You obviously needed the sleep. You've been through a rough time," said Holly.

"Yeah, that or you were jet lagged," Billy said and laughed.

I smiled and couldn't help but giggle.

"Come on," he said, "I fix you something to eat."

I followed Billy back into the kitchen where I sat down and watched as he sliced and diced and finally put a bowl of fruit salad on the table in front of me.

He sat and watched me eat for a while, and then he said, "Melody?"

I looked up at him, my mouth full of peach. A smile tugged at the corner of his mouth and he raised an eyebrow.

I blushed crimson. How unladylike! I chewed and swallowed then laid down my spoon.

"Yes, Billy?"

"Holly and I were talking last night after you went to bed. We've decided that you can stay as long as your heart desires. A few weeks, a few months. Forever, if you like. You can work in the shop so you won't get bored. Someone interesting always comes in."

I stared at him in shocked silence.

"That's only if you want. We'd understand if you want to go back to Provincetown."

Stay here? I thought. Stay here in New York with Holly and Billy who meant so much to me? That would be wonderful.

But what about Aunt Sara? What about May? Theresa, Grandma Olivia, Grandma Belinda, Kenneth?

What about Cary?

They all needed me. Or did they?

Ever since I had been left at Cape Cod by Mommy, I had been nothing but a burden. If I stayed, Grandma Olivia need never set eyes on me again. I wouldn't have to play Laura for Aunt Sara and Kenneth could go on with his life without having to look at Mommy's face everyday.

Of course, I wouldn't be able to see Grandma Belinda and I had only just discovered her. I would miss May, with her hands like birds, and Theresa, the Brava who had been my first friend on the Cape.

And Cary? He would be better off. What did he want with me in the first place? No, he didn't need me. He deserved someone better. I was holding him down. Free of me, he would be able to soar, or sail, rather.

I looked into Billy's eyes and smiled.

"Thanks Billy, I'd love to say."

"That's great! You finish eating and I'll go tell Holly."

Billy rolled away and I returned to my salad. This was best for all concerned and it wasn't like I'd lost touch with them forever. I could call and write and maybe visit one day. But if I was so sure I'd made the right decision, why did I feel a storm approaching?

A/N: That's it for now. Please review, I only got a couple for the last chapter!