Just The Way You Are

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Chapter 7.

Kayla wasn’t expecting her first days at the library to be such a success. Her coworkers stated that it was some of the best days that they had in awhile. She was happy that she brought in the extra business for them. She hoped that could be the way it needed to be for the foreseeable future at least till people thought of her more as a hometown girl than an author trying to make it big.

Kayla wasnt expecting to see Chris on her way to Mr Taco which just so happened to be one of her favorite places in town. Kayla knew that a trip to Lakehart wasn’t a completed trip without going to Mr Taco. It was one of her favorite places in town. She and Chris use to come here all the time when they were in high school studying for test and exams. But this time felt different. She didn’t have the comfort of her best friend with her just like the times they were in high school. She had felt awkward around him the first few times that they had hung out. She didnt know if it was because of her presents back in town or what. Even though she tried to reach out it was always in the back of her mind that maybe Chris had met someone and that he had settled down. He didnt mention anything so either he didnt have anyone in his life or he was sparing her feelings.

Kayla settled into a booth and without looking at the menu knew exactly what she wanted. She always came for the tacos and a few fajitas which wasnt surprising to anyone who worked at the establishment. She always got a Dr Pepper as she began to work on her new book that could be one of the best books she put out. She hopped at the very least that it was a good book. With Chris' advice that he had given her a few days earlier she had a feeling that it might. She looked up and noticed that the Harts had come in along with her mother and she didn’t know what to think. They seemed to have noticed her as they came and sat with her. She starting putting her things away because she was raised that it was rude to work on something when there was company. It was something that she kept with her to this day.

“How was your first few days at the library?” George had asked.

“They were good. I hope yall didnt mind but i sent some people your way. Chris stated that he would talk to you both about what it was that we talked about.” Kayla had replied.

“It’s fine dear. They have been some of the best days that we have had in a while. Chris did tell us that you didnt mind because you had sent them. We were telling your mom that we sold out of your books and are on back order. Some of the tourist dont mind coming back when we get a new shipment in.” Jackie stated.

“Thats great news. Im glad I have been able to help at least in the slightest. It seemed like I came home and everyone wants to know where it was where I grew up. Plus I didnt think that my books would cause that big of an impact.” Kayla stated.

She knew that whatever Chris had told them it was fine with her. She always felt like if she sent business their way they would find a way to repay her. She knew that she didnt need anything except for people to see how great everyone in Lakehart are. She had used her connection to the family in order to give them business which is something that she never wanted to do. She had known before she left that they were struggling. If she could just gain a voice she knew that she might make a difference in their bookstore. She knew how much the bookstore meant to Chris Hart and his family. Kayla had always known how stubborn Chris was to realize that the bookstore wasn’t important to him. She knew how close Chris had been to his parents especially being an only child that they had both known of. Kayla had always admired Chris’ ambition that sometimes came off as something else that others didnt understand. But Kayla knew who he was or at the very least the boy he left behind. She had always enjoyed the motto of “If it aint broke dont fix it.” which was probably part of the reason why she kept following the same writing pattern for years because it worked and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Till the reviews started to get mostly negative that’s when she will try and fix her style. Till then she was perfectly fine writing the same way.

Things felt fine when she and her mom left the restaurant. Kayla knew that things were going to be different with Chris which she honestly knew when the publisher suggest that she come back home. She just didnt expect that she was having feelings for him. The Lakehart she knew stayed the same it was just her that had changed. She didnt think that she had changed that much but looking around especially at night she knew that she had changed as much as she said she didnt.

"Im sorry. I should have stayed when you asked." Kayla mumbled.

"Its perfectly fine. Now I know that going to New York was something that you needed to do. At the time, I didnt understand. I still dont understand fully. But if it helped you after your fathers death then thats all I care about." Barbra stated.

Kayla smiled before hugging her mother. She felt guilty for half lying to her but it seemed like the right decision for now. She didnt want the whole town knowing her business making it even harder for her and her publisher to come to an understanding of what fully happened. Even though her publisher knew what had happened. It seemed like everyone up in New York that was in her inner circle knew what happened. But it felt nice to get away for awhile and have a nice dinner with her closest friend as well as her family.

"Thanks mom. But I should have visited more than just twice a year. I thought I was making everyone happy by only coming back twice a year and never really staying long." Kayla stated.

"Yea. Never really understood that. It seemed like everyone wanted to know when you were coming back. Think after the second year I just started answering Thanksgiving and Christmas." Barbra spoke.

Kayla smiled as they walked into the house. Kayla started making tea which had become a staple in her nighttime routine in New York. She never understood why this happened. It just seemed like with in the first few days she was trying out some sleepy time teas to help her sleep and then next thing she knew it had become part of her routine. It seemed to surprise her mother as it was something that she had never done before. And when she did do it when she was in town it was always after her mom went to bed.

"Sorry. Would you like some?" Kayla asked.

"I didnt know you were a tea person. A coffee person yes but never a tea person. But no thank you." Barbra replied.

Kayla made her tea with honey and lemon before settling in with her mom at the couch. It was still awkward considering how much she had drank tea in front of her roommate and never around her mother. Kayla thought more that maybe she should move back home. It was more about right for her. And right now, here in Lakehart, it felt right. It not only was home but for the first time in a while it felt like home.

"I think I know what I want to do mom." Kayla spoke.

"Well if I know you. You wont do anything without knowing for sure what you want to do. Dont tell me what it is. I dont want to be disappointed if its not what I think it is." Barbara stated.

"That is something that I can agree on. I dont need you and the whole town getting their hopes up if it turns out its not what I want." Kayla smiled.

It felt nice for her mother to know that she was thinking about doing something. Unlike New York, moving back wasnt a definite yes. There were more people involved with this. Like her publisher and her roommate. She had to know what the deal was with the situation up in New York and what her roommate thought before saying a yes to anything. She knew that her roommate was thinking about moving back home. Which means she would try and talk Kayla into what she was already thinking.

"It would be nice to see your face around here more. Think it would be great for the whole town. Just know if you are thinking about what I think youre thinking of, I wont let you live with me forever." Barbra stated.

"If I did move back I wouldnt live with you forever. I would just live here till I found a place. I might have to sell the place up in New York. Especially if my roommate wants to move back home as well." Kayla spoke.

"You never really spoke about your roommate. I mean I knew that you had one but besides that you never really speak about her." Barbra stated.

"Because I knew that you would want to meet her. And that was something I didnt want to throw at her. Especially when I really didnt talk about Lakehart in New York. She loves her small town and she usually went back when I came back. But I think if she does come back she will want to visit." Kayla spoke.

Kayla knew that her mom would want to meet her friends. She always did. It was kinda like another sense. Barbra could see if someone was good enough for her daughter. Weather it was a potential friend or partner. Barbra knew. Which was something that Kayla appreciated. Kayla was thinking in that moment that if she had listened to her mother she wouldnt be in the position she was in now. So in a way, Kayla was almost happy that she messed up. Because it meant that she could think about moving back to Lakehart for good.

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