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Broken Love Story (Love 3) Natasha Madison 2022/8/3 13:53:39

“I know that you guys are trying to help,” I say, putting my fork down and pushing the plate away from me, “but we need to go back to our normal.”

I look around the table, seeing Ethan look down and then up. “Ethan, you used to come for dinner once a week max.”

“But, I-” he tries to say, but I put my hand up.

“It’s fine.” I smile at him. “It’s more than fine.”

“And you”—I point at Elliot—“you sleep here tonight, but tomorrow, go back to your apartment.”

“You kicking me out of the house?” Elliot smirks at me.

“Yes,” I say. “Plus, I think your girlfriend is one step away from leaving you.”

“Fuck her,” my father-in-law says, and my head snaps back in shock. “Family comes before everything.”

“Yeah, Dad,” Elliot says as I tilt my head, looking at him as he looks down at his hands.

“No,” I say a little louder. “Everyone needs to start living their own lives, and we need to start living our new one.”

“If Eric was here,” my mother-in-law starts to say, but Adrian puts a hand on hers.

“If he was here, we would have dinner with you guys on Sunday like we did every single week,” I start saying, “but he isn’t here. He’s gone.”

“Sam,” Ethan starts, “we just want to be here for you and the girls.”

“And I love you guys for it, but”—I swallow—“what if he didn’t want you guys here?” The tear rolls down my cheek so fast I can’t stop it. “What if I wasn’t the one he wanted you guys to console?”

Adrian smacks the table, some of the forks clattering on the plates. “You are the one he was married to,” he starts, “and that is all that matters. That other woman is a disgrace to her family by living with a married man.”

I bite my lower lip. “She didn’t know,” I whisper. “From what they told me, she had no idea.”

“And who told you this?” he asks, his eyes going small as he glares at me.

“Well, her cousin did.” I don’t bring up Blake. I don’t bring up that they sat at this exact table this afternoon as we shared stories.

“Bunch of fucking liars,” he says, pushing away from the table. “They better stay where the fuck they are, and if that bitch thinks she is going to get a cent of his life insurance policy, then she is so mistaken. I stopped her once, and I’ll do it again.”

“You stopped her?” I ask, confused by what he just said.

“She tried to claim his life insurance policy a week after he died.”

“What policy?” I ask, looking around the table. None of the three make eye contact with me. “Tell me. You guys obviously know, so …”

Elliot starts first. “Sam, my father took care of it. What difference does it make?”

I push back from the table, my heart beating a mile a minute. “It makes a huge fucking difference. Tell me.” I cross my arms over my chest.

Ethan looks at Elliot, who looks at his father, who finally says something. “They had a life insurance policy together, and the money-hungry woman tried to cash it in. Luckily, we had the lawyer prepared for it, and they blocked her. They also froze their joint account. The money should be in your account as soon as we have everything squared away.”

“Joint account?” I whisper, but Adrian continues.

“Lucky for that woman, the house was in her name, or else I would have put it into foreclosure, and she could have ended up in the middle of the street.”

“He loved her,” I tell them, and he looks at me. “Why are we blaming her?”

“If it wasn’t for her, Eric would have never …” Judy starts.

“Oh, please,” I say, rolling my eyes. “He is the only one to blame for this,” I finally say, and it feels good!

“Don’t say that,” Judy says with a tear rolling down her cheek. “H-he just had a lapse in judgment.”

I laugh now. “Yes, well, marrying another woman, and living with her while he pretended he was an orphan is definitely a lapse in judgment.”

“Sam,” Ethan says quietly.

“Maybe if you were a proper wife, he wouldn’t have gone out looking for more,” Adrian says, and my head snaps back as if he just slapped me in the face. The gasp of shock from everyone around the table stops him from talking.

My heart starts to pound as my neck gets hot. I look down at my hands and then look up, the tears not stopping as they fall onto the table. “I guess you’re right on that; if I was half the woman, maybe, just maybe, he wouldn’t have wanted anyone else,” I say, turning to walk out of the room. I expect one of them to call out to me. I expect Judy to come and hold me and tell me he’s just being a jerk. I expect Elliot to tell his father to shut up and that was uncalled for. I expect that and so much more from a family who cares and loves me just like their own, but what I get is nothing. I get no one rushing after me. I get no one coming to hold me as I cry in the middle of my bed. I get no one knocking on the door. I. Get. Nothing.