Goldfish on the Mountain Chapter 17

Chapter 17

The next three days he had spent going through every phone book and year book he could find. Not a single person who he knew or had any contact with had a clue as to the whereabouts of old Ashley Taylor. Surely someone had to know if she got married, what her new name would be, or where she ended up. He tried looking up her parents but sadly they had passed away.

Everywhere he turned it was leading him in circles. He had to find her, he was determined to get his life back and his life was to be with the woman of his dreams. Finally he caught a break, he ran into his old Piano teacher’s grand-daughter at the super market in their old neighborhood. She told him that she knew where Stephanie lived and that yes, she had been married but was divorced now. That was perfect, he figured she realized the mistake she made and he would be seen as her knight to the rescue.

There it was, the house his soon to be lover was living in. He double checked to make sure he had the right address. He brushed back his hair, checked his breath and proceeded to walk to the front door. He knocked on the door and waited, his heart pounding in his chest.

A young boy, a teenager about 13 or so answered the door.

“Hello there son, is your mother home?” The boy slammed the door in his face.

He sat there blinking in confusion, was it his outfit, did he look too much like a Mormon or something? He decided to wait a couple of seconds to catch his breath and tried again.

The door opened

“Can I help you?” called an old woman that was standing there. He leaned in and said,

“Hello, I am looking for a Ashley Taylor, I’m not sure what her married name would be but I was told she lived at this address.

“Ashley doesn’t live here anymore; can I ask who wants to know?”

He wasn’t sure how to respond so he just went for the truth,

“I’m George, an old boyfriend of hers from school, and I was in the neighborhood and thought I would stop by and get caught up.”

The woman looked him up and down and then politely offered him to come in. He entered the neatest house he had ever been in. It was apparent right away that this was not the house of a young married woman with kids; this was clearly the house of an elderly woman, most likely the woman who had answered the door.

She invited him to have a seat at the couch and he sat down. She offered him a beverage and he accepted politely. There was a lump forming in his throat as he feared the worst possible news this old woman was about to deliver to him. She sat down next to him and told him Stephanie was in the mental hospital, she had been driven mad by her abusive husband and they had to have her committed because she had tried to take her life.

She sat there and told him the story of how he would beat her nightly, abuse her sexually, and even how he would hit the kids. The girls had been taken into custody; he liked fondling them so it was for their protection. She ended up with the two boys, the youngest was six, this was the oldest and he was just now 13. It was such a sad story it stirred him up with so many emotions he never thought possible. He no longer felt sorry for himself for not ending up with the woman of his dreams; he now felt guilt for what happened to her. He started to blame himself, if only he had stood up to his mom, he could have married her and neither of their lives would have turned out this bad.

He sat there for the next hour and a half listening to this woman tell the story of his one true loves nightmare. He felt like he was her knight coming to rescue her, only he was too late. He asked if she was allowed visitors and the woman said only those she approves of. He asked what her relationship was to Stephanie; she was her great-aunt, her only surviving relative. She then proceeded to ask him why all of a sudden he was interested and so he told his story. About how he married the wrong woman, had a child he barely knew and then how he lost everything because of one misplaced moment of frustration.

He swore it was the only time he ever struck his wife and that the guilt was why his life had fallen apart. The woman looked at him and nodded in agreement,

“You seem gentle enough, and I feel like I can trust you,” the woman said. “If I give you a note to see her, you have to promise me that you won’t tell her anything to upset her.”

He stood up, shook her hand and said in a firm voice, “I promise” and he took her note and left.

Published by

Stephanie Bri

A transgender writer who also does podcasts and videos. If you like my writing please consider helping me survive. You can support me directly by giving money to my paypal: If you prefer CashApp my handle is @Stephaniebri22. Also feel free to donate to my Patreon. I know it's largely podcast-centric but every little bit helps. Find it by going to, Thank you.