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Perfect Love Story (Love 1) Natasha Madison 2022/8/3 13:48:43

“I met her this morning on the beach,” I tell him as I close the door to make sure Kimberley doesn’t hear any of this. “Mila and I were walking down the beach like we do every morning, and there she was, wrapped up in a blanket. Mila went to her first, and I thought she was lost. Fuck, she looks lost.” I sit down in the chair that the woman was in.

Brody finally sits down. “I don’t know about you, but the last thing that woman looked like was lost. She looked like she was going through something, but not lost.” He folds his hands in front of him. “I told you someone was going to be staying in your house.”

I cross my ankle on top of my knee. “I thought you were bullshitting like you always do.”

“Not bullshitting you this time. She signed a one-year lease. Actually, Grams was the one who had her sign it. She goes way back with Hailey’s grandmother,” he says as I roll her name through my head.

“I want her out of that house,” I tell him, getting up and going to the door. “Give her another fucking house. I don’t care, but I don’t want her in my house. Not now, not ever.”

“Not your call to make,” he says, leaning back in his chair. “She rented it, so that means she wants that one. Suck it up. Besides, it’s been five years. How much longer are you going to hold on to the past?” he asks me, and I don’t answer him. “Either way, this list needs to be done by Sunday, so you’d better fucking pray I don’t call you in to help.” He smirks at me, and I walk back into my office and slam the door. The frames on the wall shake as I look out the window and think back.

I walked up the steps of the house we had just finished building, carrying roses in my hand. Glancing at the swing where we’d sat last night, I smiled, remembering how it finished with me inside her. My Julia.

We met in junior high, and I fell head over heels in love with her. The moment she walked into class with her brown hair blowing in the wind, I knew she was the one. I stopped talking and made my way to her. “I’m Walker,” I told her, and she blinked her eyes and looked down, only to look back up again and smile at me. From that day on, we were inseparable. Her family had moved to town when her father took a job as foreman, working for my father. As the weeks turned into years, we were stuck to each other. There wasn’t a time when I wasn’t without her, so it was only normal for me to propose to her the day I turned eighteen. Surrounded by our friends and family, we finally tied the knot the day after graduation. I was heading off to college, and she was following me. She wanted to be a nurse, but one year into the program, she decided to take a year off. So I continued with school, and she was a stay-at-home wife. Luckily, we didn’t have to worry about rent since we were staying in one of my parents’ homes.

When I finally graduated from business school, my father handed me the keys to the business. Two months later, he had a heart attack while eating breakfast. The hours were long and hard in the beginning. I had to make my stamp on it, but I had Brody by my side. Brody was my cousin, and I brought him in as a partner the day after the company became mine. Then I hired my best friend, Scott, to be foreman for the jobs, since Julia’s father had passed away.

It took me two years to get the company where I wanted it. Dad had a staff of twenty; I worked my ass off. My staff of fifty guys was all over the town, and we were doing business in the next town over. Walker Construction was never better, so I built us a home, surprising her the same day she told me she was pregnant. I had everything I could ever want. On our fifth wedding anniversary, she completed my life by giving me Mila two months before I turned twenty-three. I had everything I ever wanted.

Julia sent me a message, telling me she dropped Mila off at my mother’s house and would be waiting for me at home. I wore a smile the whole day. Since Scott had an emergency, I had to finish the job.

Tucking the roses into my hands, I opened the door to our perfect white house. “Honey, I’m home,” I said out loud, taking in the rocking chair by the couch with Mila’s toy basket next to it. I walked down the hall to our bedroom and found it empty. I ran upstairs to see if maybe she was soaking in the tub, but she wasn’t there. I took my phone out and called her, but her phone went straight to voicemail. I walked to the back deck to check if maybe she had fallen asleep on the other swing I installed on the back porch. Walking back inside, I set the roses on the table, and when I looked around, I spotted a letter on the fireplace. Right beside the picture of us on Mila’s christening day.