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Perfect Love Story (Love 1) Natasha Madison 2022/8/3 13:48:41

“That’s me,” I tell him as he hands me the bouquet and walks back to his yellow van.

After I close the door, I walk into the kitchen and place the roses on the table then pull the card out. Finding the front of the white envelope blank, I turn it over and flip up the flap, taking the card out.

Thank you for opening that door one year ago and changing my life.

The sob escapes me no matter how much I try to fight it. My hand covers my mouth, and my legs get wobbly. My hand holds the table as the card falls to the floor, floating left and right before it lands right by my foot. My hand shoots out, tossing the vase to the floor and shattering it into a million pieces.

I sit in that chair watching the tiny crystal pieces glitter in the sunlight, afraid to move in case I slice open my bare feet. The door opens, and my brother, Blake, comes in. “Hey,” he says from the door as he walks into the kitchen. Taking in the shattered vase and the roses in a heap on the middle of the floor, he hears the crunching of glass under his boots. “What the fuck is this?” he asks as he spots the card. Bending down, he picks it up and reads it. “Cocksucker had everyone fooled.” With a shake of his head, he walks to get a broom and dustpan then cleans up the floor. As he’s pulling the vacuum out, another knock on the door has us both looking up.

“Knock, knock, knock,” Nanny says as she walks in.

“What the fuck is this? Grand central station?” I try to get up but then sit back down.

She comes in with papers in her hands. “Oh good, you’re up.” She takes in the roses tossed in the garbage can with the shattered glass on top, but the look from Blake tells her not to ask. “So yesterday after lunch, I was thinking you need to get away. I think …” She holds her hand up when I open my mouth to speak. “Hear me out. You aren’t comfortable here; you sat here yesterday hoping to fall through the floor. Don’t deny it,” she says. Blake finally finishes cleaning up and sits down in front of me. “I got home and called my oldest friend, Delores. Remember her? She came down a couple of summers ago.” She opens the papers she is holding. “Anyway, she owns some houses that she rents out down in the Carolinas right on the water. And she has one available for as long as you want it.” She pushes the paper to me, and I take in the picture of the house. The only thing my eyes go to is the swing hanging on the front porch. The house looks cute and quaint. I flip through the pictures, taking in the backyard, and see another swing, but then I see the ocean, the calmness of it.

“She just can’t leave,” Blake says as Nanny looks over at him.

“And why not?” He doesn’t answer because Nanny doesn’t give him a chance to. “She has nothing here. Nothing. Yes, she has her family, but she needs to find herself. Staying here in this museum she calls a home isn’t helping anyone. Besides, she can work from home. All she needs is her computer, and she is good to go.”

“Yes.” The sound comes out in a soft whisper. “Yes.” I look up as Nanny smiles and Blake scratches his head.

“Good, but I will tell you that no one has been in that house for over four years, so it’s dusty and you’ll have to clean it yourself.”

“Okay.” My fingers move over the swing in the picture. The weight of everything lifting off my shoulders a bit.

“I want to have a yard sale.” I look at my brother. “I want to sell everything. I want nothing.”

I look at Nanny. “Will you help me?”

She puts her hand on mine. “I’ll make the posters today.” She gets up and walks to the door. “I guess this is like that song ‘Cleaning out the Closet.’ Remember, Blake? You used to sing it each day in the mirror wearing your white t-shirt and your jeans hanging low under your ass.” She laughs. “Until I told you that inmates wear their pants like that to have …” She cups her mouth with her hands and whispers, “Butt sex.”

I snort as Blake throws his head back. “Oh, good god,” he says as Nanny slams the door on her way out. “You sure you want to go there and be all by yourself?” he asks me, looking at me for an answer.

I don’t have to answer because Crystal comes in. “Hey, you guys,” she says, tossing her purse on the couch and coming in to start the coffee. “Whatcha looking at?” she asks as she picks up a picture of the house. “This is so pretty.”