So I started out with great intentions; a short story every Friday for the month of September. I wanted to push my writting and build my skill. I totally underestimated the time it takes to write a story, especially one that is outside your comfort zone and refuses to be short and cries out for you to upgrade it to a novelle. I battled with ‘The Plot Thickens’ long and hard, I could probably spend another two weeks playing with it and still not be happy. But I’ve decided to share it as is and see you what think.
The Plot Thickens
There was no denying the past few months had been difficult for Lauren; her dad had passed away, her dog had been hit by a car, and her boyfriend had used this sad time to finally find himself and come out. She’d thrown up on her boss’ brand new Louboutin’s the morning after a very heavy night and they had discovered her hidden stash of Prosecco in her desk drawer. The office had erupted with the gossip and she had refused to go to work since. It had been three months, three months of hiding out in her inner city apartment, Deliveroo and Prosecco. She could not remember the last time she had actually been outside, other than for work and supplies. The delivery men all knew her name and the local Chinese knew her by voice. With her dad gone, she had no one to pull her out of this rut and her boss had finally emailed an ultimatum: visit the company’s councillor or leave. She loved her job, well she kind of loved her job, she really loved the money and lifestyle it gave her, but the job was actually just a means to an end.
She visited the councillor only because she had to. The office was small and cramped, nothing like her own bright, sun filled glass box on the fifth floor. The councillor eyed her with disgust from the beginning, Lauren saw her check out her shoes and bag as she settled herself on the cheap leatherette couch. An Ikea print hung crookedly on the wall facing her, declaring ‘This is your year!’ Lauren guffed, ‘To hell it was’.
Her name was Mary, and to be fair she was as plain as her name suggested, Lauren found her mind wandering as to how Mary had ended up where she was in a big multinational as their ‘back to work’ councillor. She wore a cheap Pennys’ dress and worn ballet pumps. The autumn air had chilled significantly over the past week or so, but Mary was braving it out with her bare, white, chubby legs and her short sleeves.
Lauren, on the other hand, sat in her Andotherstories long sleeve tea dress, dark navy tights and the latest ankle boots, topped with a sloughy, big knit cardigan; smart but comfortable she had told herself as she examined every detail of the outfit in front of the full length mirror in her ensuite. It said ‘I’m comfortable with me, but still a professional’ She had considered wearing her new tailored woollen suit from M&S that had been delivered yesterday in anticipation of the return to work, but had decided it was too smart and presumptuous; she hadn’t been cleared to return to work just yet.
Mary rabbited on for over forty minutes and Lauren had felt she had answered all her questions satisfactorily. Yes she had had a difficult time, yes she missed her dad and it had been difficult, but death is something we all experience and have to move on from. Joe, she had to be honest, was not the love of her life and she had always had her suspicions anyway. She realised she had been relying on drink to get her through that period of her life, but that she was over that now and ready to return to reality. Lauren reckoned she had aced it. Mary the eejit had other ideas. Lauren sat and listened as she harped on about not being a fool, being able to see through her rehearsed answers and recommending another two to three months off and that continued counselling sessions were necessary.
Lauren exploded, shouting all kinds of obscenities at her, insulting her fashion taste, her eating habits and accusing her of taking sides with her boss. She had the mini bottle of prosecco out of her bag and opened before she even got to the lift and saluted them all with her middle finger and guzzled it straight from the bottle as the doors closed on the lift and on her career.
The hallway was dark when she finally swayed up the two steps from the landing and steadied herself to find her keys in her bag, the contents of which spilled out onto the floor; tampons, receipts, the doggie bag from the Chinese she had just been to and her phone, everything but her keys. Where the hell had she put them? She was bursting to use the loo. It dawned on her, in that mind blowing moment of panic before her bladder got the better of her and she wet herself for the first time in thirty years, that she was a mess. A warm sensation trickled down her leg seeping through her tights and puddling in her shoes. Mary was right, she was not an eejit, she was spot on; Lauren was a drunk and a complete and utter mess. She slid down the wall and sat on the floor, damp and sobbing. Claire from next door who looked after Murish her dog while she was away before he got knocked down, stuck her head out in to the landing and looked at her knowingly;
‘Are you locked out again?’
Lauren was mortified, this obviously must not have been the first time she had arrived home like this. ‘Yes, I can’t find my keys.’
Claire stepped out across the hall way and opened the front door and stepped aside. The spare key! She helped Lauren to her feet and gathered the contents of her bag. She patted her on the back, handing her her bag and turned and walked back across the hall way tutting softly. Lauren sighed heavily and stumbled in the door; what a mess her life had become, how had she left it get this far? Her dad would be disgusted. He had worked so hard on his own to raise her right and here she was pissing it all into the wind, unfortunately quite literally.
She closed the door and picked the mail up from the floor, a large brown envelope catching her eye in the pile. She brought it to the island on the kitchen, she needed a shower and a coffee and in that order. She wandered down the hall, stripping off her clothes as she went, finding herself completely naked by the time she reached her bathroom. She pulled the shower door open and let herself rest against the cold tiles, her forehead pounding; how had she ended up being such an asshole, where did it all go wrong?
The water was warm and she stood and washed the urine and shame away. She would get herself together, she would find a way to put herself back on track and get her shit sorted. She missed her dad, he had been her world. She had never really known her mother, she had died when Lauren was too young to remember, but her dad had made up for that, learning to cook and plait hair. She loved his smell, the sweaty warm one from hugs after a hard day at work, the fresh green grass smell from summers on the green, the earthy autumnal smells from the allotment and the fresh clean Old Spice smell of Sunday mornings.
He had set her free, first to college in Dublin in the hope she would come back to work after, but again to let her further her career, accepting that she would never return. He had visited regularly, getting the train up on his free pass, but he was a country man at heart and that was where he was happiest, the visits were always short and a little uncomfortable for him. Lauren sobbed, her father had spent his life doing and sacrificing everything for her and she had done nothing for him in return.
She had to pull herself together, seeing her like this would kill him. She turned off the water, pulled a towel from the rail and wrapped it around her and headed back to the kitchen. She was not going to wallow any longer, she was going to fix this for him and for her. She boiled the kettle, made a strong coffee and perched herself at the counter. The post had been piling up; bills, sympathy cards, etc. but this brown envelope had her intrigued. She sipped the hot coffee and cut through the top of the envelope with a bread knife from breakfast still crumby and buttery. Inside were several cream, official looking, heavy A4 sheets with her father’s solicitors’ logo on top. Lauren read down through the first couple of lines and then stopped; her dad’s estate?
Her dad had owned a small turn of the century terraced house, nothing special, no front garden and a yard to the back; nothing to write home about and Lauren was sure she had already discussed this with the solicitor, but she read on. Turns out her college education hadn’t been all her father had been saving for, he had loved his little allotment on the outskirts of town, he had space to grow his veg and have his little shed to sit and chat to all the neighbouring allotment holders. Lauren had loved it up there as a child, hot chocolate on the little pot stove after a hard morning’s graft. What she hadn’t realised was that when the piece of land that the allotments was on, went up for sale and all the holders where threatened with losing their plot, Lauren’s dad had bought the field and said nothing. The allotment had continued as before and no one had known a thing until now. Lauren was now the proud owner of a two acre field and a two up to down terrace house in Barrymore. She sat there dumbfounded – ‘the dirty dog’ she thought, ‘how could he have kept that secret from me?’ But it was a pleasant one, land in Barrymore was on the up, it would be worth quite a bit now. A great investment, typical dad always looking out for her.
She finished the coffee, turned out the lights and headed towards her room. Tomorrow she would get up, catch the train home and start the ball rolling, her dad had set her up for life, it was time to get that field sold and move on, the sky was the limit from here on in, rock bottom had been reached, onwards and upwards from here.
Public transport and a hangover from hell are not the way to start your new life. The smells, the children, the queuing and the noise. She just wasn’t able, but Lauren knew today was the start of the rest of her life, all she needed to do was ride this out and when she got home the fresh air and some coffee from DeBarra’s on the corner would set her right.
To her disappointment DeBarra’s was closed, had been for over a year, the lady next door in the flower shop had told her. She hadn’t been home to see her dad in over a year! He had been the last one to visit her in Dublin and he had done all the travelling in the past five years, she hadn’t even gone home at Christmas. The guilt set in.
When she rounded the corner and the end of Cotler’s Row and saw her own red front door tears rolled down her face. It was like a time warp, the town had changed immensely, but this little spot had stayed the same, the only difference – he wasn’t going to open the door, there would be no hugs, no autumn smells, no fresh cut grass, no Old Spice. She rushed down the street and ducked passed Betty and Tim’s for fear they’d see her and call out. She struggled with the keys in the door, panting and sweating, tears running. Finally she got the door open and slammed it shut, resting her back against it and looked into her father’s hall, dark with just the clock ticking softly in the front room, no Lyric FM, no kettle boiling, no dad.
She stood there and just listened, to what she couldn’t even make out but this was her home, minus the radio and her dad singing it was still home. It felt like home, it sounded like home. God why had she always been so quick to get out of here, it was so calming and peaceful, perhaps she needed more of that in her life. She took a deep breath and almost choked on it with fright as a loud wrap came at the door. Who in the hell was that?
The letter box flapped open and Betty’s sweet voice came through, quiet and apologetic.
‘We’ve been expecting you, you know. Frank called around to say the papers had been settled so we knew you’d appear at some stage. I put fresh milk in the fridge on Monday so it should be okay for a cuppa. I’ve a stew on the stove if you’re hungry later sweetheart, call around. But I’ll leave you now, I guess it must be very emotional.’ Her voice caught as she finished and Lauren turned and faced the door, stroking it softly. Dad had had the best neighbours, Betty had been the surrogate mother she had needed when her dad was completely lost. Milk in the fridge, she smiled.
She turned back into the hall and headed down the short corridor and into the kitchen. It was exactly how it had always been, tidy, everything in its place, tea towel on the draining board and the plants green and plentiful across the back window. Betty must have been watering them as they were lush and thriving. Lauren smiled; the kitchen had very much been the heart of their home, many hours had been spent here trawling through her mother’s cook books with her dad and learning to make the most amazing food. There had been some extravagant disasters and some dicky tummies in the beginning, but they had both learned to be quiet good cooks. Lauren cringed when she thought of all the takeaways she had eaten over the past few months, her dad and her waistline were not impressed.
She stood and looked at the shelf over the cooker, it was laden with cook books but Lauren’s favourite was her mother’s handwritten notebook; full of all the recipes she had picked up over the years, including Betty’s stew. Perhaps after the cuppa she would pop by and say hello, that stew really was to die for, but for now she just wanted to sit. She sat in her father’s seat and stared out the back window and into the yard. He had always sat and done this and today it brought her such comfort.
Tim and Betty’s was just across the street and besides her own house Lauren had practically grown up here, if she wasn’t at home she was there playing with Jeff their eldest son. The house was exactly as it had been when Lauren was young and the smell, of stew had her month watering before she even knocked on the door. Betty’s face beamed when she opened it. She had her, Betty had enticed her across the road and Lauren knew the lecture was about to start but she didn’t care, a big bowl of stew and Tim’s bread sat on the table before her and she could manage the rest with that.
Chicken soup for the soul, that’s what Tim and Betty’s place was, food to nourish you from the inside and support and love to fix you from the outside. Betty killed her, gave out about the lack of contact, the state of her hair, how grey her face was, how she’d never seen her so unfit looking and how her father would turn in his grave. And she was right, right about everything and Lauren cried, sobbed inconsolably into Betty’s chest and it was the best she had felt in years. Tim and Betty would help her fix herself and she could sell the land and sort herself out.
It felt good to get everything off her chest and to be fair she was completely honest with Betty, (she’d have known if she lied, she had always!) Finally she felt that she was working things out, coming home was the right thing to do she was sure of it. That was until Jeff appeared. Lauren hadn’t realised he was living at home, or that he was even in the country. She had thought he was in Canada with his fiancé Louise. He bounded into the room and immediately whipped her up in his arms hugging her and asking how she was. She wasn’t able for Jeff. She wanted Betty and Tim to herself. She didn’t want to share them, she knew how selfish that sounded but right now she needed to be looked after and they were her only hope, she didn’t want their son interfering.
Of course it didn’t help that Jeff was her childhood crush, everyone had seen them as almost brother and sister, but Lauren had always had that aching, that love that was beyond brother and sister, the kind that makes you dream about wedding dresses, babies and holding hands as old age pensioners. He had been everything she had wanted in a man that she couldn’t find in any other. Some had come close, but they were just not him. She figured she had known that Joe was gay all along and had just accepted it, they could both play out their little charade because it suited them, and neither of them was ready to admit what they actually wanted. Joe had beaten her to the being honest, but Lauren felt she could never be honest; Jeff belonged to someone else and she couldn’t do it now, she never wanted to cause any trouble for him. So she could really do without him right now, to see her at her worst and to rub salt in old wounds.
Betty looked at Jeff sadly and gestured for him to put Lauren down. She settled him at the table as she had done so many times when they were kids, she looked lovingly at him and Lauren wondered what had gone on. Betty squeezed his hand and went to get him a bowl of stew.
‘So has she told you the story?’ He sounded just the same has he had five years ago when she saw him last, at the end of the road as he got in a taxi to immigrate to Canada. That gravelly Barrymore accent and those brown eyes drew her in every time. ‘She hasn’t! God mam you’re slipping, you normally have the story out in the first five minutes.’
Betty guffed at the stove and Jeff continued, ‘She left me Lauren, for Mike my best friend the week before the wedding. Doesn’t get more tragic than that does it.’ His voice was steady and without sarcasm so Lauren reckoned he was doing his best to get over it but still working on it. ‘Mike the bastard, sometimes I think I miss him more than her.’
Lauren’s heart soared, and she mentally did a little dance, but caught herself just before she smiled; there was the asshole again, thinking about herself and only herself. She was delighted. How had she become so self-centred and self-obsessed, here was her childhood best friend explaining how his life had fallen apart all she could think about was how she might finally have the opportunity to be honest with herself about Jeff. Her eyes danced in her head and she spotted Tim looking at her intently, watching her. Lauren needed to get out of there as soon as possible, she couldn’t let these people who were so kind and good to her all her life see how selfish she was.
Betty put a bowl in front of Jeff and Lauren excused herself to allow him to enjoy his dinner without her blotchy face and runny nose putting him off his mother’s gorgeous stew. She’d be around for a few days so she would drop by again tomorrow, after she had been out to the allotment. Lauren loved these people so much, how had she not kept in touch, how had she allowed the glitz and glam of Dublin to keep her away from them for so long? How had she let it change her and turn her into the mess she was today? Tim showed her out and there was an ever so slightly awkward pause in the hallway as he hugged her goodnight.
‘He is very vulnerable Lauren, just remember that, Jeff’s likely to say anything these days.’ He ruffled the top of her hair as he had always done as a child and he had watched her cross the road and waited at his own door until she had opened her own and gone inside. Always protecting and minding her, her second dad.
The house was cold and quiet and she was exhausted. Bed early, the allotment in the morning, she was dying to see her fortune.
It’s a strange thing to wake up in your teenage bed, in your life time home and be all alone. The house was still and quite, Lauren stared at the wood chipped paper on the ceiling above her head and thought of all the Saturday mornings she had woken to the sound and smells of sausie sandwiches being made in the kitchen below; fuel for a morning on the allotment. There was a sadness in her heart but she also had excitement. This glorious field held so much possibility for her, it could open so many doors, and she could finally do whatever it was she wanted to do with her life. But that was the rub, she had thought the high flying marketing job in Dublin was her thing. She loved the pace, the glamour and the night life, but she had never truly been happy. The clothes, the partying and the drinking had masked her lost soul. She was good at that, but now without the job, without her dad, without Joe she had to find something and this time round she had to make it count. It had to give her purpose and make her happy. Whatever it was, the field was going to help set her up.
She was just about to roll over in the bed when the door knocked below. Betty she thought. She pulled on her heavy cardigan and plodded down the stairs. Opening the door she was surprised and embarrassed to see it was Jeff, looking handsome and rugged wearing his working clothes and a heavy pair of old wellies, clutching a wrapped sandwich in one hand and a flask in another.
‘Mam reckoned you wouldn’t have had anything in so she sent me across with a sausie sandwich and a flask of fancy coffee. It’s the stuff you’re dad said you liked. He used to make it up the plot for everyone. She said I’m to take you up there and show you how things are going.’
Lauren stood there gazing at him, he hadn’t changed a bit, still as handsome as ever. How could five years have passed, he looked exactly the same. God he melted her. He coughed uncomfortably, ‘Are you going to invite me in or what, or are the neighbours twitching curtains going to catch me hanging around your door on a Saturday morning?’
Lauren stood aside and before she knew it he was sat at the kitchen table, two cups of coffee poured and was sharing out her sandwich. They were kids again, him always taking control of the situation and putting her at ease. He chatted and laughed and Lauren just couldn’t get over how little he had changed and how much she still loved him.
‘Do you miss him?’
It was blunt and to the point, exactly what Jeff was like and it threw her. She hadn’t really thought about it in a while. She had hidden behind the break up with Joe and lost herself in her next bottle of prosecco so she didn’t have to think about it, but if she was honest she missed him awfully. There was an ache inside her that she knew she would never be able to heal.
‘I miss him so much Jeff. There’s so much I should have said, I should have done and I have no way to make it up to him now, no way to show him how much I loved him, no way to show him how much I appreciated everything he did for me. I worry that he didn’t know I loved him, I feel guilty and ashamed but most of all I miss his hugs, his smell and the laughs we had cooking up a storm in this kitchen. So yeah I miss him.’
Tears streamed down her face and he laughed and stood to hold her. ‘You always were an ugly crier!’ He whispered softly in her ear and handed her some kitchen roll to wipe her face. ‘Pull yourself together and let’s get some air.’
The allotment was a short drive from their terrace and the crisp autumnal morning had several plot owners out and busy. There was that deep earthy smell when Lauren stepped out of the car that almost sent her back in to streams of tears. It was like an extended part of their home in the allotment and she could sense her father here. It had been years since she had made it up here and there had been lots of changes, fewer people and bigger plots from what she could make out, but she recognised several people and many stopped to come by and give their condolences. Jeff saw how uncomfortable she was and move her through the small gathering and up towards her father’s plot at the back. Her dad had taken a larger plot for himself and had put a larger shed in the back corner. It was immaculate, beds clean and tidy and the shed freshly painted and the compost under control.
‘I’ve been keeping an eye on it. Mam and Dad couldn’t allow it to grow out of control but aren’t able to keep their own plot and your dad’s so they put me in charge. Hope you don’t mind. You’ll have a great harvest this year; carrots and courgettes are looking great. Come see what he did with the shed.’
He took her by the hand and took a small key from the ring on his car keys and opened the lock on the door. The door opened to reveal a little kitchen, with a little stove and an under the counter fridge. He’d brought up the old couch from the sitting room and two of the kitchen chairs which stood proudly under a table he’d made from parts of what looked like the old shed. It was a proper retreat, and had everything he needed, to garden and eat.
‘He spent a lot of time up here towards the end you know. I spent a lot of time with him. Kinda got me through my breakdown I guess. ‘Nothing like fresh air, manual labour and a beer with friends’ he used to say.’ Jeff dramatically flung the fridge door open to reveal a six pack on the fridge door. This was typical of her dad she could almost see him frying spring onions, mushrooms and cream on the stove and adding them to crusty soda bread and washing them down with a beer, counselling Jeff. It was always about friends, food and of course a beer. She was glad he had had company and seemed happy in those last few weeks. She hadn’t taken him seriously when he said he wasn’t feeling well, suspected he just wanted her to come home. That guilt would stay with her for life but she was glad he’d spent the time with Jeff.
She plonked herself into the comfy couch and drew her knees up to her chest.
‘How much do you think it’s worth Jeff?’
He looked at her a little shocked, ‘What do you mean, the field?’
‘Yeah, how much do you think? I’m thinking of selling it. Too many memories here, and it’ll set me up for life, I hear the property market here is on the way up’
His face said it all, he was disgusted at the thought of it. She didn’t know what to say, she assumed everyone would know that she was going to sell it, that she was never going to return to Barrymore to live, she’d outgrown it a long time ago.
‘Sure what would I be keeping it for? Those lot out there must have known I’d sell it.’
‘They don’t know you own it! No one does only you, me, mam, dad and Frank. Your dad was hoping you’d come home and follow your dreams, that the field would allow you to do that. He was hoping you’d settle down and that you’d get over the hysteria of Dublin. He hated it. He said it wasn’t good for you and couldn’t wait till you got sense and came home.’
Lauren was hurt, her dad had discussed her with Jeff, had talk to him about feelings he had never discussed with her and had planned a future she had no intentions of living.
‘What the hell? I was living my dream, I was successful and it was not hysteria! What wasn’t good for me; having a great job, making great money having a wonderful lifestyle! I’m so angry at him, how dare he!’
She stood up and stamped her feet, she knew it was childish but she was just so angry. She started shouting and pacing and eventually Jeff had to grab her and held her still. Tears streamed again. It was all lies, she was not living the dream, and she had lost herself in Dublin. She’d fallen into a bubble and had been drowning. Her father had known it obviously but had left her to sort herself out, but made sure he would be leaving her something to keep her secure for life. Again that question repeated itself in her head, when had she become such an asshole? There was a realisation finally, Dublin had consumed her and she needed to find her way back.
‘I have been drunk for three months Jeff. Actually come to think of it I’ve probably been drunk for about two years.’
‘He said as much. He was really worried about you. I’m to make sure you think long and hard about this one he said. I’m not to let you sell unless I think you’re doing the right thing.’
Jeff looked at her with concern and genuine affection, and she felt warm and safe, kind of like the feeling she had had when her father welcomed her home. It was Jeff, it was always him, but here she was disappointing him as usual. She had just never been enough for him, could never be enough for him. It had been like that all through school, not athletic enough, not blonde enough, not drunk enough. Now she was too drunk and too much.
‘I was kind of hoping you’d take some time to stick around and think about it. The plot needs shutting up for winter and I was hoping I’d have a helping pair of hands and perhaps some company from the landlord. The last one really looked after me, I was hoping this one would do.’ His confident deep voice was gone, replaced by quiet a vulnerable, uneasy one. Lauren looked into his eyes and found her moment, her moment to be honest with herself and with him.
‘I love you. I always have.’ She blurted it out, high pitched and as uneasy as Jeff had been and she looked away, afraid to make eye contact. He took her chin in his hands and pulled her face up to meet his. His eyes had tears in them and his mouth crept ever so gently into a smile.
‘Why did it take you so long? I hoped that morning saying goodbye as I got in the taxi for the airport you’d say it, save me from making the biggest mistake of my life. I wished I’d said it at the funeral, told you I was home for good and why I was home. She left me because she knew I loved you. I always had. She could never live up to you and she had had enough. You’re dad knew, begged me to go and get you, but like him I wanted you to be happy.’
Lauren couldn’t believe her ears, when she thought of all the years they had wasted, of all the heartache they had endured, of all the Prosecco she had drunk. Why oh why had neither of them just came out and been honest. She looked him straight in the eye and kissed his lips, full and delicious. Lips she had dreamt of kissing over and over and it was everything she had dreamed of. The past was the past and the future was theirs to embrace.
The day got away from them and early evening sent a chill through Lauren bones, they’d spent the day, reminiscing, clearing beds, drinking the beer and kissing. She had never dreamt of passing a Saturday like this and as they waddled home, leaving the car at the allotment, she felt the happiest she had felt in a very long time. He kissed her softly at her door and said good night. Her mind was racing and her heart was full. She boiled the kettle and sat in her father’s chair and contemplated what would happen next. Her dad had always known what was best for her, he’d been scheming and planning in the run up to his death, but what had he been doing, what had he wanted her to do?
She sipped tea and looked through the old photo albums that were stored in the kitchen dresser. The photos had made her laugh, they had always taken photos of themselves long before selfies were a thing and they had made for some very interesting faces and angles. Lauren noted how many of the photos were here in the kitchen baking or up in the allotment. It had been their life, growing and cooking. It was what had gotten them through the toughest of times, that and her mother’s handwritten cookbook. She pulled it down from over the stove and lovingly caressed the cover. So many memories, so many recipes, it had been their bible.
She opened the cover to a handwritten note, her mother’s writing…
‘Dream big little one, aim high, work hard.’
She clutched it knowingly, her dad had made her write her dreams on the back, they’d come back in years to come and see if they came true he had promised. She gasped as she remembered what she had written and flipped over the page.
In her ten year old handwriting she had written;
‘When I grow up I want to marry Jeff, we will have our own café in DeBarra’s and we will grow all the food on the allotment with dad. We’ll have a dog and a boy and a girl and live happily ever after on our street.’
Lauren cried and laughed and read it over and over again. He had wanted her to come home and follow her dreams, dreams she’d forgotten she’d ever had and he’d planned it all out so she could do just that. DeBarra’s was closed and vacant, the allotment was secure, Jeff was home and hers and the dog and babies, well they were all possibilities. He’d gotten her home and he’d set her up for life. This time three days ago she had been on the edge of an abyss, drunk, lost and alone, literally at rock bottom and now the life she had planned more than a decade ago lay before her in all its glory.
My how the plot had thickened.