I realize, of course, how stupid I’d been. There were signs. I can see them now—vibrant, crushing red banners waving like Spanish muletas down a highway straight to Doomsville. We’ll get to those, in all their hindsight-is-a-bitch glory. For now, all you need to know is that my marriage was an empty, hollow nothing. Appearances had gone out the window long ago—we did our own thing. It was a good day if we stayed out of each other’s way, a bad one if I called the cops.
And yet I stayed. I chose to stay, every day in fact. The absurdity of this concept still surprises me, or at least the version of me who now knows better. I’ve learned that stupidity is often masked stubbornness, resignation, or fear—and for five straight years of my life, I was stupid.
When I realized the mess I’d gotten myself into… really examined the events and decisions that got me to where I am now—the full, shocking brunt of it—I realize that I was propelled into my catastrophe of a marriage as much by momentum as by design. And though I do take full responsibility for it, there were also others at work here, cranking on the propellers of the winds of fate, whether I consciously knew it at the time or not. It was all just too—
“Ding-dong,” the doorbell rang out loudly. It was time. I quickly scooped my soapy toddler Blakely out of her bath, wrapped her in a giant fluffy towel, and motioned for her to put on her robe while I located the key to her bedroom door as fast as I could.
“Ding-dong,” the doorbell rang again.
My now-awaked but still hung-over husband shouted from the master bedroom, “Somebody answer the DAMN DOOR! I’m trying to SLEEP!”
What else is new? I thought as I picked Blakely up and went to the foyer. After today, he would have to get the ‘damn door’ himself. The thought brought a smile to my face as I swung open the front door.
There stood three hulking men in green jumpsuits standing in the doorway. Blakely’s big blue eyes widened at the sight of them; I don’t think she’d ever seen such large men before. Their names were written on each breast pocket in cursive script: “Big Al” was a stocky, tank of a man, “Nick” was tall, chiseled, and lean, and “Joey’s” balding, oversized head sat atop a pair of massive shoulders.
They’re perfect, I thought as I patted Blakely reassuringly.
“Good morning… ah, Melanie—?” Big Al asked, glancing at some paperwork.
“Yes,” I said with a nod to hurry him along.
He held out the stapled set of papers with their moving company’s name written out across the top in big, black, bold letters: Three Men & A Truck. “We got a contract here that says you need us to pack up your whole apartment and move it to Texas.”
“Yep, that’s right,” I said as I glanced at the papers. “I just need one minute though, do you mind waiting here? I’ll be right back…”
About the Author:
About the Author:
Leighton Summers is a sixth generation Texan who has traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe her whole life. During her travels she was always surrounded by interesting, successful (and often eccentric) people who encouraged her to find her passion and live life to the fullest. Writing novels always intrigued her, and so one day while in New York City she took out her laptop in a café and decided to jot down some notes about how a female character created from her own world could “love smarter.” Over the next four years the notes turned into both funny and sad adventures of a women’s quest for finding friendship, love, self, and family and she weaved them all together into this, her debut novel. Links: Goodreads Website