Sherri straightened her spine and rested her palms loosely on her thighs, getting comfortable before she started talking. The last question... that was the important one and, she supposed, the beginning of the story. "He wasn't a good man. I couldn't prove it, of course. There was no proof, just things covered up that shouldn't have needed covering. I just knew it, but dad would never have believed me. After all, he was Leroy Preston, how could he do anything wrong?
"I left because I had to, because if I had stayed I would have been marrying that man regardless of my feelings about it. It might have turned out just fine in the end, but I couldn't take that chance. I'm sorry I didn't tell you, but no one could know. I couldn't risk word getting back to dad.
"My first stop was in a little town in Idaho. There was no real reason to stop there, except that I had to fill my tank, and have a hot meal. After that, I just stayed. I found a job at a used book store, and a little apartment, and I was getting by. Of course..." Her lips twisted into a wry smile. "Our father had to choose a man who traveled to marry me off to. Someone brought in fliers about a revival in the area, and I saw his name and knew I had to leave.
"I kept moving east from there. Again, I'm not sure why. I was just drawn in one direction, and I didn't see a reason to turn another. I would stop and work again, but he always seemed to be following behind me, and I would always leave. I'm not sure why here, except that it's about as far east as I can go. This building was the first that had a vacant apartment in my price range, but I'm really not sure why here, either. I'm glad that I am here, though."
There was a lot Sherri had left out. She hadn't mentioned her fear, how many times she'd nearly turned back, how she was less and less certain as time went on that she was right about the man she had been engaged to. She hadn't mentioned the times her car had broken down, or when she hadn't been able to afford to eat. Joss didn't need to know about any of that. She reached out and took her sister's hand. "It was never you that I was trying to get away from."