AUTHOR: Jacinda Noelle
SPOILERS: Season Seven
DISCLAIMER: All characters belong to Warner Bros. No money is being made off this story.
SUMMARY: Carter reflects on the three dominant women in his present life

He ran as fast as he could down the street of his suburban neighborhood. The sweat trickled down his face and the back of his neck. The sun blazed down on him and its heat was reflected upward by the concert. Sounds of loud, angry rock and roll poured into his ears from his headphones.

There was much to be angry about he told himself as his feet pounded against the concrete. One had blatantly deceived him, one had rejected him, and one had given up. He wondered how such troubled women made their way into his life and his heart. Rena was adorable in a little girl way. She reminded him of the little, curly haired girl on 7th Heaven. This was true, since she was a young woman and he was an old man. She was wholesome . . . and carefree. She had just barely begun her life. Some days, he felt like his was half over. Rena lived in a world of dreams and hope, which only further displayed her naiveté. It was beautiful and his time with her was beautiful. The ugliness of jealousy flooded her mind and her heart . . . it took up so much room that it expelled him from any claim to space. Childish ideals of romance and wonder ruined a relationship that age would have ruined in the future.

Sometimes when he could smell the light scent of gardenia on his pillow, he wondered what she would be like in ten years. Rena would make a beautiful woman.

Abby was equally as beautiful, but her past had left her angry and jaded. She came into the ER one day as a medical student. She was insecure and bumbling. Everything about her honesty, her pride, and her moral standards bugged the hell out of John. She could not let go of life . . . even in the suffering. She could not let go of hope . . . even in the hopeless. Abby could not let him be . . . she looked her rehabilitation amongst the wreckage that was himself. Abby was the only reason that he wound up in Atlanta . . . dealing with the drug addicts, pornography addicts, and people who pretended on a daily basis that they were doctors.

He had returned. John had come back to thank her, but she pushed him away. The hatred she felt for Richard clouded her heart, mind, and sense of judgment. Abby talked negatively about him to anyone that would listen . . . she turned his family's get-together into a way to avenge Richard. She had ruined their night together and his opinion of her.

Luka had confronted him about Richard. He had wondered if Abby had opened up to John about their failed marriage. John could honestly say that Abby retained the anger within like a time bomb waiting to be detonated. Luka understood, but continued to love her although it was inevitable that her hatred would ruin their relationship.

John felt sorry for Luka. He understood what it was like to love Abby. The idea of her love was what fueled his desire. John was smart enough to know that the idea was far safer and attractive than any action he could take. Never again, would he love a woman who loved another man . . . like the way he loved Anna.

John began to run faster as he thought about Abby and their road trip to Oklahoma. It meant the world to him to help her, but she had used him . . . then blamed him for her mother's suicide attempt. He could feel the anger swell within his heart.
His feet pounded in a rhythmic manner. It was a hypnotic sound. It allowed him to concentrate on the cacophony within his head . . . not the cacophony of the world. The sun stung his cheeks. He could feel the sunburn beginning to set in, but the desire to sort out his thoughts drove him to run faster and further.

Maggie was a beautiful woman, much like her daughter. She tried to give her children everything they needed, but her mental illness prevented a normal life. Her children never understood this because they were to wrapped up in the consequences not the cause.

John sat up talking to Maggie the night they all stayed in the hotel. She was witty and smart. Maggie told him stories about her husband, who was an alcoholic and abusive to Abby and Eric. She told him about how she designed and sold a fashion line before the children were born. She had even modeled for a little while.

Once the children were born, the bipolar began to get worse. The stresses of children and a husband that had recently left them was too great of a burden. She had no family to turn to. Her mother and father were dead . . . and she was an only child. She was all-alone with tons of responsibility and a debilitating disorder. John could have talked to her all night. They connected on a level of mutual understanding . . . her bipolar . . . his drug abuse.

On the night Maggie decided she wanted to die, John cried harder than Abby did. Abby was upset at the idea of losing her mother, but she did not care about the person who was her mother. John was upset that Abby's harsh words had lead a beautiful woman to decide her life was worthless . . . the most important person in her life had rejected her . . . again.

John stopped at the front door and unlaced his running shoes. He stepped into the cool house and sunk into the couch. He threw his head back against the headrest and sighed loudly. The three women that had impacted his life more than any other figure . . . were a mystery to him.

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