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

“You don’t know if he was happy; I mean, maybe the other woman …” she starts, and I put my hand up.

“Samantha, her name is Samantha,” I say as I lotion my legs.

“Okay, fine, Samantha. You don’t know whether he was happy.”

“I don’t even want to discuss him, and nothing you could say would ever lead me to understand why he did what he did,” I tell her as I put on a sundress and tie my hair on top of my head. “Nothing.”

She holds up her hands. “Fine, fine, fine. Do you want to maybe have a celebration of his life?” I glare at her, and she puts up her hands again. “Fine. Okay, okay.” She drops the subject as we make our way downstairs, and I see that almost my whole family is here with the arrival of my other cousins Lydia, Victoria, and Peter. They just smile at me as they take a plate and go to the dining table. Extra chairs have been added so everyone can squeeze in.

I just take in the love and support of my family as Nanny arrives with cake. “Oh good, I’m not late,” she says as she air kisses me and brings the cake to the kitchen.

“What the hell is going on?” I lean in and whisper to Crystal who watches everyone moving around my house with me as she shrugs.

“It’s a celebration of YOU,” Nanny says when she walks into the room. “To show you how much we love you.” She smiles as she grabs the plate Ginette hands her. “Thank you, dear.” I shake my head as tears start to form. “Hey, none of that. Besides, we need all the help we can get to move this stuff outside for tomorrow.”

I smile as I sit down, and it feels like old times. I’m in this bubble of love, and I know that no matter what happens from here on out, it’s going to be okay. I mean, how much worse can it get?

“I can’t believe we sold everything,” I say to Blake as I bring my bag to my car and put it in the front seat. He follows, carrying out my two suitcases. I look back at the house with the lights on inside, the sun peeking out from the horizon. The bright red sold sign sticking up. It took three days for a cash offer to come in, and here we are, seven days later as I load my car and make my way down to my escape house. That is what we are calling it.

I donated Eric’s clothes to the homeless shelter and then sold off everything else he had in the house. His tools were the only thing I kept, and I gave them to Blake—under protest, since he didn’t want them. I may have lost a husband, but he lost the closest thing he ever had to a brother.

He shuts the trunk once he places the luggage inside, and I lean in to hug him around his waist. “What am I going to do without you?” I ask him as tears start to form in my eyes.

He smiles down at me. “You know I can be there in eight, maybe seven hours. Just call and I’ll be there.” I nod my head as I hear a car stop behind us.

I turn to see Crystal get out of a strange car. “You came to say goodbye,” I say, wiping the tears from my eyes.

“Pfft,” she blows out. “As if I would let you leave without me,” she says as she opens her trunk and pulls out two large suitcases.

“What is this?” I ask her as Blake grabs them and puts them in the back seat.

“This is me and you taking on the world,” she says, smiling as she wipes tears from her own eyes.

“You can’t come with me; you have a job here,” I tell her as Blake laughs, and I turn and glare at him.

“No, I had a job here. Now, I have a job there.” I look at them in question, so Crystal continues, “I left my job, but good news, I got one in town. It’s a family practice. No gunshot victims and no stabbings, so it will be a walk in the park.”

“You’re coming with me?” I ask her, shocked and happy at the same time.

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“Of course, I’m coming with you,” she says as if it’s the craziest thing in the world.

“But,” I say stuttering, “but we had a goodbye dinner last night.”

“Well, it was a free meal. How could we not?” she says as she grabs another bag from her car. “So what do you say? Should we start our new adventure?”

I smile, looking down at my feet. “I have to lock up the house,” I say as I walk up the steps. “Um, if it’s okay, I’d like to do this on my own.” I don’t wait for them to answer as I walk inside the empty house. I’m taken back to when the house was filled with laughter, when it was filled with love, when it was filled with promises. I walk to the kitchen, thinking of the first time I cooked for him, and then he made me breakfast the next morning. I flip the lights off, heading upstairs.