One day I went home and my mother greeted me at the door. She had a weird smile on her face. “Go look at the dining room table.” She said.
There in the middle of the table was a beautiful vase with one dozen long-stemmed red roses.
“Mom, they’re gorgeous. Who did you get them from?” I asked as I stuck my nose into the middle of them. They were wonderfully fragrant.
“Read the card, they are for you.” she said.
My stomach reached up and punched me right in the throat when I read the card. It simply said, “I love you, Justin”. This was precisely what I didn’t want to happen.
“Something you been holding back, honey?” Mom asked. Still with the ear-to-ear grin on her face.
“No, Mom.” And I suddenly felt claustrophobic.
I gave Mom a big hug.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“I don’t want to hurt him. This is my fault. I think I led him on and I didn’t mean to. He’s a nice guy and was hurt once before, I don’t want that to happen again. But I don’t feel the same way about him.”
“Mom, how would you like to go to Florida with me? I just talked to Donny at the Double Ds. After Diane died, he moved into the apartment above the bar and rented out their house. Well, he wants to sell the house, but the renters didn’t leave it in very good shape and it needs some TLC. The house is vacant and we can stay there for free, if we fix the place up for him. What do you think? Wanna go?”
And there you have it, the genesis of my sordid life…and the journey continues.
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