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Broken Love Story (Love 3) Natasha Madison 2022/8/3 13:53:47

I take about two hundred pictures of the girls just enjoying themselves. Lizzie takes a couple of shots of me doing a cartwheel and laughing when I land on my ass. I get the girls home, and they go to change. When the doorbell rings, I open the door and see Elliot there.

“Hey,” I tell him, moving out of his way so he can come in. “The girls are upstairs changing. Actually, can you come and help me?” I ask him, and he just nods. I walk up the stairs to the bedroom and point at the two bins in the corner. “Those are Eric’s. I didn’t know if you or Ethan would want any of them.”

“Wow,” he says, whistling, “you’re really trying to erase him.”

I stop dead in my tracks and turn around. “Excuse me?” I say, folding my arms over my chest.

“I thought Mom was exaggerating when she kept saying you’re trying to erase him from the house. With the new paint, the picture of him down in the living room. His clothes packed. I guess she wasn’t wrong.”

I don’t bother to answer him. I walk to the bedroom door, closing it and locking it. I walk to my dresser, and reaching under my clothes, I take out the brown envelope while Elliot looks at me. I open the envelope and notice a white one I didn’t see before, but I push it aside and take out the letter he wrote to me. “Here.” I shove it at Elliot, his eyes going big and his arms not moving. “Oh, don’t you even fucking dare. This is a letter I found while cleaning out his clothes. A last letter from him.” Elliot’s face goes ash white. “Oh, wait, it only gets better. He made sure to include a picture of him on his wedding day to the woman who ‘completes him.’”

He doesn’t move, and I don’t care. “Wait, I believe his words were ‘I made him, but she completed him.’” I hold the picture up. “Would you like to see the happy couple?”

“That’s enough,” he says between clenched teeth.

“No!” I shout, “what’s enough is you guys thinking I’m trying to erase him. It’s called living. I’m fucking living.” I raise my hands. “I have no choice because I have two girls who need me to live.” I cross my arms now. “This is the last time we have this conversation. This is the last time you guys get to throw anything in my face. I didn’t do anything wrong; Eric did.” I take a deep breath. “I won’t have you guys making me feel like I did something wrong.”

“I’m sorry,” he says as he looks at the picture in my hand. “Can I have the picture?”

“No,” I tell him, putting it back in the envelope. “And if you want to read the letter, you can, but it doesn’t leave my room.”

“Mom.” I hear Daisy knocking on the door. “The door is locked.” I walk to it and open it.

“Sorry, it must have been stuck,” I tell her. “Look who came, Uncle Elliot.”

“Uncle E!” She runs to him. “We are putting new pictures up,” she tells him after he throws her up and kisses her. Lizzie comes in, looking at the both of us.

“I don’t want to go for long,” she tells Elliot, who looks at her and then at me. “I have a book report due, and I want to finish it today so I don’t have to do it tomorrow.”

“Okay,” he says, buying her excuse. “Let me load these bins in the car and then we can go.”

I watch him carry the bins downstairs, and then I kiss the kids goodbye, waving at them from the door. I take my phone out when I can’t see the taillights of his car anymore and send Blake a text.

Want to FaceTime me and have coffee?

She never answered my text, her words still lingering in my mind. The softness of it, day by day, a piece of us left behind. There are so many different things going on, and I am not going to sit and think about it. I’m not ready to.

The whole day, I cleaned the house and picked up shit. Packed away stuff. I was fixing the bed when she texted. I pressed FaceTime right away.

Her face fills the screen. “That was fast.”

“I was making the bed,” I tell her, laughing. “Just finished.”

“Just in time,” she says, smiling. “Did you eat dinner?” she asks, sitting at the kitchen counter.

“No,” I tell her. “Did you? Where are the girls?”

“I did not,” she says. “The girls were invited to my in-laws’ house for dinner.”

“Why didn’t you go with them?” I ask her, watching her face. Her brown eyes light today.

“I wasn’t really invited,” she tells me, and I roll my eyes.