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Perfect Love Story (Love 1) Natasha Madison 2022/8/3 13:48:39

In what seems to be a pattern, my brother carries me through the house and lays me on the couch. I listen to the chatter around me.

“What do you mean he’s married? How could he be married when he and Hailey got married six months ago?” I hear my mother ask the question I’m sure I would ask if I could. If I could form a rational thought.

I try to force my eyes to open, but they feel so heavy. My arms do too. I just allow myself to surrender to the darkness. I don’t know how long I stay locked away, but I feel someone sit down next to me. “I don’t know the whole story,” Crystal says softly. She picks up one of my hands and checks my pulse. “She told me they have been married for twelve years.” The gasp from my mother startles me, and I’m finally able to flicker my eyes open.

“How long was I out for?” I ask as I sit up. Looking over at the clock on the wall, I see I have been passed out for over three hours.

They both stop talking and look at me. “Don’t stop talking. I want to know. I need to know.” My eyes implore Crystal to continue. My mother just nods and turns her head to yell for my brother. “I spoke to her a little bit till Blake took the phone from me. Blake!” she calls out. My older brother, my protector, walks into the room, carrying the black iPhone.

“Hey, sis,” he says as he spots me sitting up, sliding the phone in his back pocket. “Tell me,” I say, my voice louder than expected.

Blake looks at me and then looks away. “It’s not a good time. You need to rest.” He looks around for the others to support him. Lucky for me, my father shakes his head. “She needs to know, Blake.”

“We all need to know,” my mother says, walking to my father and wrapping her arms around his waist.

Blake sighs, wearing the resentment he has to be the one to tell us this all over his face. “Her name is Samantha. They live two towns over. They have been married for twelve years. She lives right next door to her in-laws. Eric’s parents.”

I start rapidly shaking my head. “Eric was in foster care. She’s lying.”

“No,” Blake snaps, and my eyes fly to his. My brother never raises his voice to me. “His parents are alive and have been married for forty years. He has two brothers. He is the middle child.” Blake pauses. “Are you sure you want to hear all this?”

My legs start to bounce up and down with nervous energy, “Just tell me, goddammit,” I yell at him as Crystal comes over to sit next to me, grabbing my hand.

“Tell her Blake. She deserves to know.” She looks at me while addressing him.

Blake takes an audible breath. “They have two children. Daisy is eight years old. Liz is five years old. Last month, they found out she’s pregnant again, but she miscarried shortly after. According to Samantha, they have been trying for the past year, but he got busy traveling, so it has been hard.” He looks down as tears fill his eyes. I can tell whatever he’s about to say just might be the final nail in my proverbial coffin. “His family is on their way to get his body,” he finishes, his voice trailing off.

I shoot to my feet, this time yelling. “Get his body? What does that mean?”

“It means they are going to the hospital to get his body and take him home.” He runs his hands through his hair.

I just stare blankly at my brother. “His body is home.” I glance over at my father, who is a lawyer. “I mean, he lives here. We have paperwork.” I make my way to the drawer where we keep the papers for our life insurance and also our marriage certificate.

“Honey …” my dad starts.

I start pacing the room. “No.” I shake my head. “He is my husband.” I angrily brush the tears from my face. “We got married. We have a marriage certificate.” I open the drawer, tossing the papers out as I look for the paper.

“Mcintyre isn’t his last name. It’s his middle name,” my father informs me, stopping me as soon as my hand grabs the paper I’m looking for. My eyes read both our names. “It’s null and void because well, honey, he is already legally married.”

“No,” I tell them almost shouting, “he told me he didn’t want to use the name on his license because that was his adopted name and he wanted me to have his real name.” I look at them and they all look down not making eye contact. “I want another lawyer,” I inform him, narrowing my eyes at him. My father is the best family lawyer in town. Crystal gets up and walks toward me. I know she’s coming to tell me more crap I don’t want to hear, so I put my hands over my ears like any mature adult would do. “No! Don’t you fucking say it. My husband just died. I have to plan a funeral, and you’re telling me that I can’t do that because he isn’t my husband.” I shake my head. “I don’t believe you.”