Willow & Aiden After Forty

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Chapter 2

I hear Iggy Pop Wild Child. I crack open an eye and see my phone lit up on the bedside table. I answer, “Why the hell would you call me at six in the morning, Violet? What the heck?” I wipe the sleep out of my eyes and flop my head back down on my pillow.

“Well, good morning to you too, sis. I needed to check in with you before I leave for work. Did you sleep last night? Everything okay?”

“I was sleeping perfectly until my rude-ass sister woke me up. I told you last night I’m good. Yes, I cried myself to sleep, but give me a break, it was a big day.”

“It was a big day. A big, fat, fantastic, fucking excellent exciting day!”

I smile. “Yes, it was a big, fucking exciting day.”

“Now that’s what I want to hear. What are your plans for this beautiful summer day?”

“I’m going to explore my neighborhood with my camera. How’s Sage, did any more teeth break through her gums? I forgot to check yesterday with all the commotion. The poor baby, is she still pulling at her ear, did she sleep last night?”

“She slept much better, that tooth is almost through. We’ll be over around six tonight. Do you want to try the Indian restaurant over in the art district? I hear it’s wonderful, and I’ve been dying to check it out.”

“Ask me later; I don’t want to think about Indian food this early in the morning.” My nose scrunches up. One thing is sure, no more mundane meals for me. Living by Vi, I have a feeling I’ll be eating all kinds of new foods. My crazy, exotic-loving sister will see to that.

She giggles, “Okay, no talk of food this early. I need to wake Sage up and get her to the sitters. Call me if you need anything, promise me?”

“I promise, and have a good day. Give Sage a morning kiss for me.”

“I will, see you at six. Bye.”

“Bye.”

I lay my phone down on the pillow beside me, roll to my side, and snuggle down in my new bed. I close my eyes, wishing I could go back to sleep, but I know that won’t happen.

Violet is so excited about us living in the same city. We haven’t lived in the same zip code area since we were girls. I was fifteen when she moved out to go to college. Grandma Rose and I had no idea that she would never spend more than a week in Roseway, at home, again.

I turn over to lie on my back and put my arm over my face. Violet and I are incredibly different in so many ways. She got all of the adventurous travel genes from our mom. She loves to party and have fun and live life to the fullest, experimenting and trying everything at least once. Violet left for college and never looked back. She wanted to see the world and experience life, and she most certainly has. She’s been to over fifty countries and counting.

She shocked me last year when she quit her job as a travel writer. She came home from a trip to India, telling me she was adopting a baby girl. I was happy for her, and Sage has changed her life in so many ways, all of them positive. I see a peace in her I’ve never seen before. I believe she has found what she’s been searching for all over the world. It came in a tiny package. Sage is a beautiful little girl with big brown eyes that make you fall in love with her the moment you meet her.

I get my behind up and out of bed. It’s six-thirty, and I can run and have it over with for the day. I used to jog at eight every morning; that was the time the boys were fed and off to school.

I look at the dark circles under my green eyes. “You will not cry yourself to sleep tonight!” I scold myself in the mirror. I’m ashamed I am so weak right now. It’s been over two years since Jake left and tore the family apart. I roughly comb my brown, shoulder-length hair and pin my long bangs back with a bobby pin. I can’t control or change what has happened, but I can sure fucking control how I deal with it. Fuck you, Jake Nelson, and fuck all of this crying. I stare at myself in the mirror; I erase the scowl off my face and replace it with a look of determination. “No more, Willow.”

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