Looking back, I should have seen it coming.
Paige didn’t like that I went so far away to university. But it was going to only be for two years. She’d join me after she did her two years at community college. I thought we could swing that no problem. We were solid.
But she hated the distance. She hated not seeing me every day. She complained that I didn’t come home enough. She hated that for months on end, texting and phone calls were our only form of communication. It wasn’t enough.
She’d ask about the girls on campus. She’d gotten it into her head that girls were always making a play for me. I laughed and told her, even if that were true, I’d never cheat on her. She didn’t seem completely reassured by that.
The bottom line is, Paige thought she was losing me. She wanted me home with her. But I could never imagine the level she’d sink to—the trap she’d set to make that happen.
And like an idiot I walked right into it.
The second Mitch comes back, I don’t sense something’s wrong, I know it. When he walks over to the bed and hands me the plate of crackers, his expression is carefully blank. Accompanying his return and clinging to him like a second skin is a draft of wintery air.
Wholly unnerved, I accept the plate slowly and watch him with mounting apprehension. Instead of resuming his seat on the bed, with a fleeting glance at me, he moves and stations himself in front of the window. There he shoves his hands in the front pockets of his jeans and peers through the vertical blinds out into the backyard. There’s not much to see back there but a square, concrete patio and a small lawn that my mom’s boyfriend, Randy, insisted on mowing last week.
He doesn’t answer, just keeps staring out the window but it’s obvious he’s not looking at anything in particular. Plus his jaw is tight and his shoulders are bunched, which is the way he gets when he’s tense.
“Mitch?” I prompt, my anxiety climbing at double-digit increments.
“Are you still on birth control?”
My heart jumps at the question. My stomach promptly sinks at the cold flatness of his tone.
Beverley discovered her love of books while growing up in, the then, small city of Barrie, Ontario Canada. With her love of books and romance, she always wished that everyone would find their happily ever after. She currently writes sexy historical, new adult, and contemporary romances.
As the mother of one too bright and mischievous young boy, she pulls full-time duty on all fronts. When she’s not writing full-time, raising her son or running The Season review website, she’s probably reading or daydreaming of a time when she’ll have time for her favourite hobbies: knitting, crocheting and sewing.
Beverley has lived on two continents, in three countries, two provinces, and four states. She stopped her nomadic existence and settled in the southeast. All things artistic feed her creative passion, but none more than writing. Readers can visit her at:beverleykendall.com.
Mark your calendars
Releasing July 7, 2014
My life has turned out to be such a cliché. And not in a good way.
It’s not exactly Sixteen and Pregnant, but at eighteen my only advantage is a high school diploma. And if that’s not enough, the father—and I use that term loosely—couldn’t have hightailed it out of my life fast enough.
I thought I really knew him. Unfortunately, my boyfriend of three years transformed from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde once he realized his carefree, childless days would be coming to an end.
I’m over him now though. The real love of my life is chubby, has more gum than teeth, and stands a little over two feet tall. She may not have been planned, but I’ve never regretted having her. She is the center of my world.
A world that’s turned upside down when Mitch returns ready to earn the love and trust of the child he’d abandoned before birth.
Letting him into my daughter’s life is one thing but letting him back into mine isn’t going to happen. Ever.
Now if only I can get my heart to heed the lessons of the past.