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Perfect Love Story (Love 1) Natasha Madison 2022/8/3 13:48:50

“My husband had two point five kids with another woman.” I place my head on top of my knees as wetness soaks my jeans. “Except he didn’t tell me about her.”

“She left us for my best friend,” he tries to counter.

“He died, leaving me alone with nothing. Nothing,” I say. “His parents sent me a cease and desist letter two days before his funeral.” I wipe my eyes. “I never said goodbye to him.”

“She signed away her rights to Mila without a second thought and now has twin girls.”

“She’s a bitch,” I say, and I’m not even sorry about it.

“Yeah, well, your husband isn’t far off that.” He looks out at the water. “I built the house for us,” he starts saying, his eyes never leaving the water. “It was her surprise birthday present.” I look back at the house now, hating what it stood for. “We were living in it for eight months, and it didn’t come close to feeling like a home.”

“It’s a beautiful home,” I tell him, and he nods. “One day, she is going to regret it.”

He shakes his head. “That’s what I said, but then today when I walked Mila into Norma’s house, there on the mantle was a picture of her with her twins.” His voice trails off. “How could she love them and not our little girl?”

My hand reaches out to touch his arm. “She is the best little girl ever.” He looks over at me.

“She is. She really is,” I tell him as tears fall for the little girl who has captured my heart. “Luckily for Mila, she has you, and she has Heidi and Delores, and she is surrounded by love.” He nods his head and returns his gaze to the water. We sit in silence as both of us fight the storm within.

He gets up, brushing his pants off. “I can see how he fell in love with you so easily.” His voice soft, he says, “Good night, Hailey.” He walks away, never once looking back as his body disappears into the darkness. I pick up my bottle and glass and walk to the house that holds so many bad memories for him but has saved me.

The house creaks as I settle into bed, tossing and turning, and the ticking of the clock on the wall echoes in the room. I try to shut off my brain, try counting sheep, try focusing on my breathing, but nothing works tonight. Instead, all the memories of what could have been fester.

What if I had gotten pregnant? What if I was having his baby? What if I had found out before he died? What if Mila’s mother never left?

My eyes get heavy when the soft light flickers into the room. My dreams are of the peaceful water crashing into the shore as two people try to find the answers.

Is that drilling? I wonder as I open my one eye and look over at the bedside table to the empty bottle of Jack. I’m lying on my bed, dressed in exactly what I wore last night to walk on the beach. A walk on the beach to clear my thoughts. But she was there. She is everywhere now.

The whole day I felt like an asshole after basically telling her to fuck off. It’s just too much. Mila being so comfortable with her just pushed me over the edge I was teetering on.

“Anyone home?” I hear Gabe yell as I groan and roll to my side. “It’s almost fucking noon.” I hear from my doorway. Looking over at him, I see him standing there in his workout gear.

“I thought you were gone on your weekend retreat?” I ask him as I get up from the bed. My head pounds as I walk into my bathroom and grab some aspirin.

“We got back this morning, and I needed to clear my head,” he says, and I look at him. “Don’t fucking ask.” He walks to the kitchen, and I hear him start the coffee. “Where is Mila?”

“Norma’s,” I tell him as I sit on the stool at the island, and he shakes his head.

“I know you want to be the good guy, but something about her gets under my skin.” He pulls down two cups from the cabinet, then fills them with coffee and hands me mine black.

“I had to tell her to take the fucking picture of Julia and her twin girls down from the mantle.” I swallow, allowing the hot coffee to burn my throat.

“Twins?” he asks, and I just nod. “Bitch,” he says as he drinks his coffee.

“One big happy family.” I shake my head. “Anyway. Mila is starting not to even want to go over there anymore.”