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Broken Love Story (Love 3) Natasha Madison 2022/8/3 13:53:44

“What color did you choose?”

“Well, according to Google …” She laughed as I closed my eyes and silently laughed. “Muted blue is the coziest color.”

“So yellow kitchen, blue living room. Mint green bedroom.”

“It sounds like a Skittles commercial,” she said laughing, something that she did more and more. I smiled at her, and then she hit me with another one of her questions.

“If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?” She’s asked that same question every night before we hang up.

“That I didn’t marry Frankie when I wanted to,” I said without missing a beat. “What about you?”

“Not following my gut,” she said softly. “Good night, Blake,” she said and hung up.

I looked at the ceiling as I thought about how she was doing with no family and no support; she literally had no one. Not one person except her girls. The burning in my stomach set in; if I ever got five minutes alone with his brothers, I would pound the shit out of them. Good thing my father was a lawyer.

The next day, she painted the whole living room a soft blue, and it looked fucking awesome.

Shutting the trunk, I snap out of my memory. Hailey comes to hug me around my waist. “What am I going to do without you?” she asks me as tears start to form in her eyes.

I smile down at her. “You know I can be there in eight, maybe seven hours. Just call and I’ll be there.” She nods her head and then is taken aback when Crystal arrives and informs her of what we all knew. There was no way she would let Hailey go without her.

Hailey turns to us, letting us know she is going to do one last walk-through of the house and wants to do it alone. We both look at each other as she walks up the stairs, and I turn to lean back on the car.

“You guys going to be okay?” I ask Crystal as she leans next to me.

“I think so, but it all depends on her.” Crystal shrugs her shoulders. “She decides she wants to come back, we come back.”

“What about your job?” I look over. Crystal shrugs her shoulders again. “Will you tell her about Samantha?” I hold my breath.

“Yes”—she puts her head back—“when she’s ready.” We look up then as she comes out of the house with tears streaking her face. Crystal rubs her arms while she goes to the driver’s side door, leaving me and Hailey alone.

“Here is the key.” She hands me the key to the house. “The real estate agent will stop by the firehouse at three p.m. to pick it up.” I grab her around the neck and pull her to my chest where she sobs.

I hold her and comfort her till she steps away. “How did you do it?” she asks me, and I know she’s talking about Frankie.

“Don’t do what I did. Don’t shut yourself off from the world. Live,” I tell her honestly, only now regretting some things I’ve done. “Promise me you’ll live.” She smiles as she places her hands over my hands on her cheeks. “You have to listen to me. I’m older,” I tell her, and she laughs.

“Yeah, yeah,” she says to me as my hands leave her face, and she nods. “Promise me the same.” I nod this time, putting my hands in my back pockets as her blue eyes stay shaded and protected.

“Get out of here,” I say to her as I walk back to my truck. “See you next month for sure.” She nods at me, climbing in the passenger side. I watch the car drive away before turning and making my way to the station. Walking in, I check in with the captain, who is getting up to get his coffee.

I pull out my phone and send Samantha a text, not sure what time she gets up.

Today is going to suck.

I don’t expect her to text me back, and she doesn’t. Instead, she calls me, the sleep apparent in her voice. “It’s too early to know that.”

I laugh, grabbing a cup of coffee for myself. “I just feel it.”

“Does that mean I should paint the bathroom before going green in my room?” I shake my head at her, smiling. “You know what color came up when I Googled?” she asks me, giggling, and I turn the sound up then as that was the best thing I’ve ever heard.

“No idea,” I say, thinking maybe red.

“Seafoam green.” She laughs out loud, like belly laughs, and I have to laugh with her. “Fucking seafoam green.”

“There it is, painting the bathroom green,” I say. “He would hate it.”

“See and you said today wasn’t going to be a good day. Lies,” she says, and I hear a little voice, “Mommy, I’m up.”