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Heartland #9: Every New Day

Huten suddenly came out of his reverie and leaned forward in his chair. He searched Amy's face with his dark eyes. "How well do you remember your visit here, Amy?" he asked her.

Amy thought back. "Not very well," she admitted. "I don't think we were here very long. But I remember that Mom seemed really happy."

She exchanged glances with Lou. Nine years ago their mother had still been coming to terms with the fact that her husband, Tim, had left her. He had been an Olympic show jumper, but after being seriously injured in a terrible accident, he had deserted the family without a word.

Huten nodded. "Yes. She was happy because she was finding her true self - her healing touch."

Amy listened. It was weird, meeting a stranger who understood what her mom had been through.

"And in her newfound happiness," continued Huten, "she made a promise - a promise she never kept."

"What kind of promise?" Amy asked, feeling anxious. She hated hearing anything negative about her mom.

"She said she'd come back," said Huten. "She said she'd bring one of her horses for us to work on together." He paused. "She said she'd know when the right time had come, and then she'd find me."

Amy shot Lou another glance. Over the last few months, they had discovered many things about Marion that they hadn't known before.

"But she never came back," Huten carried on. "That right time never came, and now her time has gone."

Amy took a deep breath. "Heartland was always really busy," she said. "I guess…" she trailed off.

Huten smiled slowly. "I know. I understand," he said. "The right time has a habit of hiding itself. It always lies just out of our view."

A silence fell around the table. Amy pondered Huten's words and avoided Lou's gaze. She could sense that her sister was feeling a bit uncomfortable. Amy herself felt that what he was saying was slightly strange. It was as though, in some way, Huten knew more about their mother than she and Lou knew themselves. And now it sounded like he felt offended, having been cheated of her promise. She didn't know what to say.

The Whitepath family seemed at home with the silence, and Bill asked for another piece of pie.

"We brought back your book," said Amy eventually.

Huten nodded. "I know the one," he said. "Hearing the Silence."

Amy nodded. She reached down into her bag and fished out a small hardback book. The cover was blue and faded at the edges. "Here it is." She handed it to Huten. She hesitated, then said, "You wrote an inscription. 'When this book no longer holds any answers, the time is right.' I think I know what you mean now."

"Thank you," he said quietly.

Amy hesitated. "I'm really sorry the right time never came."

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