Lucas Scott stood outside the small café. He looked up at the sign, it read Karen's Café, and then peered inside the window. The place was small, but quaint, and very busy. He stepped away from the window and felt the heels of his shoes touch the edge of the curb.
He looked back down the street where he had stopped for directions and thought about the two young women - the brunette who seemed so concerned about her friend, the blonde with the wild curls, piercing green eyes and a haunted look.
He shook his head to try and clear his mind. He kept telling himself he couldn't think about them. His reason for being here was inside the small café. He had a past to face, a person to face, questions to be answered.
With a deep cleansing sigh, Lucas walked back toward the café and the front door. He placed his hand on the doorknob and swung it open. He found himself in another doorway, this time the doorway to the café.
A woman and her two small children were looking to exit and he moved to the side to let them out the door. When he did so, he looked down and noticed the empty table by the window. It seemed to be good fortune it was open and he sat down in the multi-colored chair.
A young girl with light brown hair rushed to him with a pencil in one hand and an order pad in another. "What can I get you," she asked and then smiled at him.
"I would just like a coffee," Lucas said. She jotted down his order and turned from him.
He didn't really want coffee. He didn't want anything but to see her. To face her. To ask her his questions.
Just then he saw her. Thanks to the Internet, he was able to research about her, her café, her life and see her picture.
She was carrying an orange plate with a sandwich on it. She maneuvered around the counter and went right past him, intent on her task. As she turned from the table, after delivering the order, she picked up the patrons glass in order to fill it with whatever beverage he ordered.
Lucas didn't realize she had noticed him until he heard her gasp and the glass fall to the floor and shatter into a million pieces.
"Liam," she whispered, just the way the blonde and the brunette did. "Liam," she said again.
Lucas stood up. He shook his head back and forth. "No,' he corrected her. "Lucas," he said, not even producing his last name.
She stared at him blankly and then it was as if a light came on in her head. She placed her hands over her mouth and shook her head. "Lucas," she cried. "Lucas," she said it again and began to back away.
"Look," he began. He reached his hand out to her. "I didn't mean to," he began and then stopped.
What was he supposed to say? He didn't mean to do this to the woman, but he wanted answers. He wanted to know why she chose him, he wanted to know why he was sent away and he got to stay. He wanted to know why he wasn't good enough to keep.
"You know who I am?" Lucas questioned the woman. "You know."
"Of course I do," the woman moved past him and took up residence in the chair he vacated. "You are my son."
"Yes,' Lucas shook his head. "I guess I am."
"I am sorry," she said. She put her head in her hands and rested her elbows on her knees. "You look so much like him," she continued. "So much like Liam."
"Your son," Lucas offered. It wasn't a question, more of a statement.
"Your twin brother," she said.
It wasn't until she said the words that she realized the whole café was drinking in the scene. Always someone who craved her privacy, she quickly stood. She called over the young girl who had taken Lucas' order earlier and told her to watch the café.
She then took Lucas' arm and led him out the door. "Come with me," she told Lucas.
Lucas followed blindly, which kind of shocked him. He was following the woman who was his biological mother, the woman who had given him up. And he was doing so very obediently.
She led him to a tan SUV and told him to get in. He did. Lucas watched the tree line streets of Tree Hill sped by as the woman drove. Neither spoke until she pulled in front of a cemetery.
"Karen," Lucas began. It was the first time he had said her name.
"I know you have questions, and we need to talk," Karen said. "Best to have your brother with us."
Again they were silent as the walked through the cemetery. Karen finally stopped at a simple headstone.
Lucas looked down at the inscription.
Liam Thomas Roe
Loving son and husband
He had been 23-years-old when he died. Lucas was almost 25 now. Such a waste, he thought.
"Liam was so happy before he died," Karen told Lucas. "He had just married the love of his life and they had their future before them." Tears began to form in her eyes.
"Look," Lucas began. "I don't mean to..' but he stopped himself. What did he mean to do? He had come to the hometown of a woman the mirror image of her dead son looking for answers. How was that going to be easy for anyone?
"It's okay," Karen said. She stroked his arm. "I always knew someday you would come looking for me." She looked wistful. "I had always hoped when you did, I would see you and Liam together. Not like this."
Lucas simply shook his head. "I guess you want to know?" Lucas didn't finish his sentence. He just walked away from her to the small bench under the big willow tree a few yards from his brother's grave. She followed.
When she sat down beside him, Lucas laced his fingers together and told her how he had found himself in the small town of Tree Hill, N.C. looking up his biological mother and his dead twin.