Chapter 43: Trenton, North Carolina - December 14, 2018
“Last stop! Newburg station!” An elder man called from the front of the train car. I pulled the earbuds from my head and wrapped them around my music player before tucking the small device into my bag. Leaning forward, I shoved my feet into my boots and adjusted my coat. Even though it was warmer here than it had been in New York, the December air was still chilled enough for a coat here in Trenton. The train came to a stop in the station and I stood. Yanking my suitcase from the overhead department, I set it down in the aisle and followed the other person in the car with me as we made our way to the exit.
It had been a full year since I left Trenton. So much has happened that it was even hard to believe it had only been twelve months. Stepping off the platform, I looked up and down the terminal. I spotted Cory at the same spot he had boarded me on, three cars away from me. Smiling, I jogged towards him, trying my best to be quiet about it. He heard me though about half way over. Smiling, he ran towards me and scooped me up in his arms. “There’s my beautiful wife. God, I’ve missed you.” He said before giving me a long and slow kiss as he set me back down.
“I missed you, too.” Cory and I ended up getting married over the summer. The publishing company granted me a month break so I could come back to Trenton for the wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony and everything I had always imagined my wedding to Cory to be like. It was a dream come true and I am still finding myself smiling from the thought. After the wedding, we went to Mexico for our honeymoon where we spent five days barely leaving our hotel room. It was perfect in every way possible until we had to come back, and I had to head back to New York.
“Wait until you see the house. You’d think the pope was visiting from the way Sarah and your grandmother decorated and cooked.” Cory said, grabbing my bags for me so we could head for the parking lot. Cory’s new bright red jeep was parked in a spot, a wedding present I had given him from some of the money I received from Mike’s will. After donating the money, I said I would to Tiffany’s parent’s charity, I wasn’t sure what to do with the rest of it. I bought Cory this jeep and then put the rest of it away, paying for our wedding and honeymoon with the royalties of my book deal.
“I can’t wait to see them!” I exclaimed, hopping into the vehicle. He put my stuff in the back, closing the hatch before climbing in himself. It barely made a noise as he turned it on, pulling out of the parking lot.
“They are excited too. Marie stopped over before I came to get you. She said that Miss Fullington called about the book. She needs to know a rough date of when the manuscript will be ready.”
“Crap. I was supposed to call her before I left last night. I have the pages with me.” I mumbled, pulling my cell from my coat. I set a reminder for me to call my editor from Cottonwood Publishing on Monday. Shortly after I left, Marie received word that they loved our book. Elizabeth Fullington loved it so much that she agreed to not only be our agent but also our head editor. Our book hit shelves in October and is becoming a very popular title. Marie and I sat down with Elizabeth and planned out a whole line of children’s books to follow the life of our main character, Autumn. Marie and I were almost finished with our second one and half way into our third installment. Marie was finally able to quit working at the call center, being able to live off the book sales and being the secretary for our real estate company.
Sarah and I both agreed to move our base of operations down to North Carolina. We set up shop in Jacksonville, North Caroline. We also decided on leaving our New York office open. I ran it while I was living there and now that I was back here, our junior members would be in charge of keeping it going. Both offices were doing great and our cliental base was growing as more and more people heard of our expansion to the south. Many people wanted homes in both locations, giving us plenty of business to keep Sarah busy while I was gone.
That’s not the only thing that kept her busy. Marie and Pat ended up getting their divorced finalized in March. Sarah proposed to Marie in July. It was completely unlike her to do something so rash and uncoordinated which is what told me that her and Marie were meant to be together. They are currently in the middle of planning their wedding and are officially living together. They bought a house a few streets up from ours, making them a common sight at Dad’s. I couldn’t be happier for the both of them, finding love when they both had given up on being happy. When I see them, it makes me smile to see them interact with each other. It’s taken some time for Sarah to get used to the idea of being a step-mother to Meadow but for the most part, she’s been a natural at it.
Cory pulled into our driveway and killed the engine. I wasn’t even out of the car before Dad was running out of the house and down the porch steps. He engulfed me in a tight hug, lifting me off the ground as he did. Dad’s been doing great. He’s still working down at the highway garage for the state and is still taking care of Grams who is still only slightly batty. Sarah and Cory check on them daily for me and they’ve accepted Sarah to the family like a second daughter. Daddy calls me every day and came to visit me twice while I was in the city. He stuck out like a sore thumb, but he came nonetheless. “I’m so glad to have you back, kiddo!” He set, setting me on the ground.
“I’m glad to be back. The Christmas party still on for tonight?” I asked.
“You know it! People should be showing up shortly.” He replied, helping Cory grab my things from the jeep.
“I’m going to go get ready then. See you in a bit.” I kissed his cheek before following Cory to the back house. He unlocked the door and let me in. Since I’ve been gone, Cory has continued to work on it and has made it into a home for us. Both of our stuff was in there and it felt like home now. He even added an office for me, putting an addition on the side of the house. Cory shut the door and set my things down on the floor next to the couch.
“Are you tired?” He asked. I shook my head, tugging my coat off.
“Nope. I just wanted to spend some quality one-on-one time with my handsome husband.” I gave him a naughty smirk that made his ears tinge pink for a second.
“Well, I think I can help you with that.” Bending down, he scooped me up in his arms and ran up the stairs to the loft. He passed our wedding photos that hung on the wall and the poster of my novel. My short story collection was now published and was selling at a successful rate. I’ve been featured in the New York Times and on the Today show. I’m currently working on getting my novel published. It’s 100% based off the relationship between Cory and me and the struggles we went through to be together. Cory made my life perfect and is the best part of who I am. I don’t know what I would do without him and I hope I never need to find that out again.
Cory plopped on the bed, pulling me down on top of him as he did. Giggles erupted from me as he tickled my ribs, rolling over so he held himself up above me on his elbows. Smiling, he kissed me gingerly and nibbled on my bottom lip. Pulling away, he smiled down at me. “I’ve waited a long time to have you here with me.” He said.
“Me too. Sorry I kept you waiting so long.”
“I’m just glad you’re finally here with me. Now that you’re here, I’m never letting you go again.”
“There’s nowhere else I’d rather be. I’m finally somewhere I belong.”
Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Jessica Lee LaFountainWrite a Review