Chapters One and Two

Chapter 1 

 

January 2005

“The flight crew would like to be the first to welcome you to the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened till the cockpit turns off the ‘fasten your seat belt’ sign. At that time you are free to gather your belongings, but be careful of opening the overhead compartment. Your things may have shifted around during the flight. Once again, enjoy your stay on St. Kitts and Nevis.”

“What a picturesque view,” she said stepping off the plane, “a world away from

Philadelphia.”

“That’s the whole point Mrs. Rupurtus, to take you away from the urban grit,” he said.

“Jonathan don’t be such a cynic Philadelphia has just as much charm as this island,” she said.

“If you say so,” he mocked.

“Careful newcomer, you don’t get to talk about my hometown after you’ve been there a couple of months,” she said, “your father lived here many, many years and always held Philadelphia in high regard.”

“Of course he did, it offered very little responsibility,” he said.

“You are unaware of the tremendous amount of responsibility your father carried on his shoulders,” she said.

“Responsibility to whom, to you?” he asked.

Stung by his biting remark, Kathryn shifted the conversation,

“Perhaps when his estate is settled, Mr. Luna will have some answers.”

They stood inside the airport terminal looking at the travelers ready to board the plane they just departed.

“Don’t they look well rested? Hopefully when I return to pick you up you’ll have that same glow,” he said.

“What is the projected date of completion?” she asked.

“Four weeks at best,” he said.

She gasped, “You said a week and a half! Why do you need the extra time?”

“I want to take my time and do it right…and I decided to update the bathrooms,” he said.

“Don’t damage Roosevelt too much he’s been in the family since 1910. I don’t want anything to happen to him while I’m in control,” she said.

“Mrs. Rupurtus, Roosevelt is in these careful loving hands. He will be standing when you return. The airline should have unloaded our luggage into claims by now wait here while I get them,” he said.

Jonathan hastily walked towards baggage claims. His strides made it seem as if he reached claims in three giant steps. He handed the clerk their tickets, “Looking for

Kathryn Rupurtus and Jonathan Smith.”

The clerk walked into a room and came back with a brocade suitcase and a black carry on.

“Thanks,” he said, giving the man a $10 tip.

He adjusted his carry on across the shoulder and picked up her suitcase, amazed at its lightness, “I can’t believe she took my advice.”

He slowed his gait on the way back, taking time to ogle a beautiful Asian woman talking on her cell phone. He smiled at her, she smiled back.

“Another time, another place!”

She continued smiling at him while talking on the phone. He turned his attention to the bench where he left Kathryn, next to the information desk. It was empty, she was gone. Startled, his eyes searched every nook and cranny. She was nowhere.

“Think Jonathan, think! Where would a woman go in a new country?”

He walked up to the information desk, “I’m looking for my friend, the old woman who was sitting here with me. Have you seen her?”

“Mrs. Bush—

Jonathan corrected him, “Her name is Kathryn Rupurtus.”

“She looks an awful lot like Barbara Bush,” said the ticket clerk, “I should have known the First Lady of the United States would not be sitting there alone and unattended. Nah, I don’t know where your friend went.” “Thanks,” he said.

He walked away with the luggage that suddenly felt heavy. He frantically searched nearly all the boutiques in the terminal. She was not in any of them. He struggled to contain his anger, failing miserably, he blurted, “Where could this old ninny be?”

He surveyed the room again, he did not see her. A woman with two small boys walked passed him, jogging his memory of the time he and Donovan was on a trip with their mother, “She’s probably in the bathroom.”

He went back to the information desk and asked the clerk for the location of the bathrooms. He went there and asked a female tourist who was on the way out if she would go back in and check for him. She was on the verge of saying no until he whipped out a $100 bill. The lady went inside and checked, returning almost as fast as she went in. She reported there were no old ladies in there. He thanked her for her time and gave her the $100.

“Way to go Jonathan! Your own target eluded you!”

He inhaled sharply. Nostrils flared on his narrow nose, making him appear ethnic.

His eyes, usually bulging, narrowed to a slit as he scoped the place. She was gone.

“Where on earth can you be?” He thought aloud, “Maybe you’re outside.”

He briefly patrolled outside the airport. The only people out were cab drivers and natives picking up or dropping off love ones at the airport. No old ladies with blondishwhite hair. He walked up the steps of the airport, glaring inside the thick windows. His glare became less prominent as he noticed an establishment he had missed. He sprinted to the store and noticed it was unmanned.

He stood outside of it for a few minutes, peering in, wondering when the clerk would return to the cash register. Impatient, he turned to walk away, but a blur came into his peripheral view. He back tracked and looked in the store again. A blonde popped up between the displays of clothing. He rushed in and spun the blonde around. He blew a sigh of relief.

“Sorry,” he said, fixing her dress at the shoulders. “You almost scared me to death.”

“Here I am, but I really shouldn’t be here,” she said.

“You’re not having second thoughts are you?” he asked.

“Jonathan I’ve been having second thoughts ever since I stepped on the plane. I’m too old to be vacationing,” she said.

“You’re not too old, you’re never too old to go somewhere new and exciting,” he said.

She stared at him for a long time. Unexplainable is her stomach in knots, something only one person could make her feel, and that was her little sister Thelma. She knows where Thelma is, back in Pennsylvania, some 2000 miles away, and yet she felt as if she was in Thelma’s presence. She wondered why she felt this way now and why she did not feel it when she was home, when she first invited him to stay with her.

“I can’t believe I trusted you,” she said.

“Whoa! Have I ever given you a reason not to trust me?” he asked.

“No you haven’t, I suppose I’m being overly dramatic, please excuse my accusatory tone, it’s just that it has been years since I went on a vacation,” she said.

“It’s alright to be apprehensive, Mrs. Rupurtus,” he said. “I wanted to do something for you, so I thought you could use an updated kitchen. Think of it as a token of appreciation for being my father’s friend and for embracing me. You took me in, a total stranger, when you didn’t have—

She interrupted, “And I told you before, it was the least I could do for Fred’s son. Listen I’m giving you two weeks to renew the kitchen. Leave the bathrooms alone okay?”

“I guess partial repayment is better than none,” he said.

“By the way, what’s the name of the hotel where we are staying?” she asked.

“I had arranged for us to stay at Cliffdwellers in a bungalow overlooking the ocean. I hired two ladies, nationals, to take care of our needs. Since you cut my time in half, I won’t be staying,” he said.

“Another surprise, you seem to think of everything,” she said.

B

September 2007

Megan Woodson stood at the picture window, trying hard not to be neurotic.

Things are going as planned, but she couldn’t help wondering how long it was going to last. She’s the newest employee, highly recommended by her old employer, days before he expired. On the surface it appeared to be of natural causes. Underneath, an unanticipated side effect of a wonderful concoction she found on the internet.

Megan’s father, insisting on making her the boy he always wanted, taught her all he knew. To date the Smith’s are pleased with her performance. She showed them her vast repertoire, an unnerving ability to adapt to any situation presenting itself. Jonathan was impressed.

She heard a car door slam and assumed it was her one o’clock appointment. She hurried into the powder room opposite the kitchen and checked her appearance. She tweaked her shoulder length auburn wig around the hairline and pressed the spring curls inward. Her pale skin, two shades darker courtesy of Jergen’s natural glow moisturizer, is holding up although it was applied hours ago. A coating of bronze shimmery powder provides the finishing touch aimed for, the look of being at a resort. The blue contact lenses strictly for cosmetic purposes, covers her brown eyes along with a pair of reading glasses.

She smoothed another coat of red lipstick before primping the collar of her olive oversized shirt. Underneath is a floral v-neck tee, chosen because it camouflages her homemade tummy. She adjusted it while scrutinizing the position of the pillow. She also double checked the pillow hovering over her butt, flattening the duct tape. She gently tugged on the stretch pants, extending them over and above the pillows. Delighted that she looked like a pregnant tub of lard, she sauntered to the foyer, opened the front door, and waited on the front porch. It was show time.

B

Today is the day Elizabeth has been waiting for. She and Joe would drive by this Victorian home, way back in the 1990s when they were both young and dating, and dream of one day being its occupants. The location was ideal for them, on the border of Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy. A quaint area known for keeping its historic charm intact, she envisioned herself gazing at the trolleys hurrying along the rails up and down Germantown Avenue or the splendid view across the street. Spring Garden College has nothing but acres of green pastures.

However if Joe was here, today would not be happening, at least not yet. They did get married years later and they struggled like most couples. Joe was different than most young men his age. He said from the beginning he wanted to have his own business. By the time he was 30 years old, he did, working hard at his craft of carpentry. Joe had a gift for whittling wood. He could take a log and carve the most beautiful design you’d want to see.

Two months ago he was on his way to meet a new client. Running late, he tried to navigate rush hour traffic. His car slid under the belly of a soft rig and burst into flames.

Elizabeth was crushed. She tried to hold herself together, though barely successful. Even now she finds herself looking at the clock around five, the time he would have closed the

doors and begin recording the day’s receipts. She’s not the only one missing him, there’s Desmond, their son.

“New surroundings would do us both a world of good.”

B

Megan sized up Elizabeth. With a height of 5’5”, two inches shorter than she, she muttered, “No hips whatsoever,” though she admired the snug caramel shawl coat hanging on her petite frame. Megan zoomed in on thick thighs flaunting designer riding boots, licking her lips as those thighs peeked out from the skirt’s placket. Her mind danced, ¯I’m going to take you under¯

Megan stepped off the porch and greeted Elizabeth at the top of the walkway. She flashed her real state identification and introduced herself.

“Good afternoon, I’m Shelley Yanoff, a realtor with Petraeus and Corzen. I’m covering for Margo Goodman, she’s ill today.”

“I’m Elizabeth Samms, I hope she feels better.”

“We all do, food poisoning has a way of making you feel like you’re dying. I had it once, bad Chinese food, you have to be careful of those places,” said Megan.

“Yes you do,” she said.

“Are you ready to see what’s inside?” she asked.

“Can’t wait,” she said.

Megan led the way into the home. She stood back and let Elizabeth explore, watching Elizabeth’s big brown eyes stretch even wider. She covered her mouth with her left hand, prompting Megan to notice her glitzy wedding ring. .

So what you’re married!

“This house is absolutely beautiful, very elegant,” crowed Elizabeth.

“Yes it is, let me tell you a little bit about this house, “she said, glancing at her notes, “it was built in 1910. There are a total of 12 rooms— She gawked, “Whoa! 12 rooms!?”

“Yeah 12 rooms,” she continued, “the house has an open floor plan with a total of 3,573 square feet. The first floor has 1,325 square feet. The area we came in is called the foyer. This is the living room slash dining room. It is 22×22 feet, pretty large huh?” “Yeah it is, perfect for me, I don’t like being confined to small quarters, ooh the kitchen” she said.

Elizabeth hurried to the kitchen and began opening the cabinets, “White, it’s nice and clean, like a hospital, the black granite sets it off though.”

Megan flipped through the file, “The size of this eat-in-kitchen is 13×11.5. As you can see there is cabinetry at the top and bottom, giving you plenty of storage space.” “And counter space, love the double sink,” she said.

Elizabeth glanced over at the bathroom, “Ooh double sinks in the bathroom!” She sprinted out of the kitchen into the bathroom.

“Oh yeah, I like a good size bathroom too, if you open that door, you’ll see the bath and shower area,” said Megan.

“Wow! Joe was right about this house, he was so right about this house,” she said. “He saw the house before?” she asked.

“No, but he had an eye for measurements and always said that this house was the perfect size for us,” she said.

“Your husband had a good eye for measurements,” she said.

“Yes, yes he did,” she said, “He said that this house probably has a family room and he was right, it does, and it’s a good size. I can place our entertainment center on that wall.”

“The back entrance is right by the laundry room, which makes it easier to keep a watchful eye out on your son while he plays out back,” said Megan.

“Yeah, I suppose it does, but I would never let him play outdoors alone. C’mon show me upstairs,” she said.

They climbed the stairs. Elizabeth noticed the high ceilings.

“I hope you’re not going to let the fact that this house has 13 steps stop you from buying it,” said Megan.

“I’m not superstitious,” she said, “Wow! These bedrooms are huge!”

“And they aren’t even the master bedroom. They are a good size for children and you can get a full-sized bedroom suite in them. Oh by the way, all closets are walk in closets, the closet in the bedroom next door is slightly smaller than this, however, the room seems to be a little bit bigger,” she said.

Elizabeth moved to the room next door, “Probably to compensate for a smaller closet. I want to see the master bedroom.”

The moved out into the hallway, Elizabeth quickly glanced in the bathroom.

“This bathroom is identical to the one downstairs, except the vanities are on the opposite side. Do I have a master bathroom? she asked.

“No, I’m afraid this house has only three bathrooms. One on each floor,” she said.

“Does it have a private entrance to the bathroom?” she asked.

“Afraid not, you’re going to have to go down the hall,” she said.

“Oh well you can’t have it all,” she said, entering the master bedroom. “The closet is right by the door, it’s a good size too. Oooh, now I can have a king size bed!” “Yeah you can, and have plenty of space to maneuver,” she said.

“I like it and I’m taking it. Me, in my very own mansion,” she said.

Hmph! Another progressive Black trying hard to assimilate into the upper echelons of my community! You may have the money and you may have the clothes, pretty

soon you won’t have either…you people, I don’t care how much money you have, you’re still dimwits.

“Mrs. Samms this house is not considered to be a mansion. A mansion is very grand, very imposing. This just happens to be a very large house.”

“I know the difference,” she said.

Chapter 2

 

Megan drove into her designated spot of the parking lot. She waited for Elizabeth to park her car. It took awhile, for some reason the parking lot was filled with cars.

Megan scrutinized a crowd coming and going inside her neighbor’s store. She realized why, she had forgotten the owner told her about their clearance sale. Elizabeth’s sudden presence startled her.

“Have you ever been in that store?” she asked.

“Yeah, Expressive Lighting has an extraordinary collection of light fixtures. Some are quite sophisticated, others are very traditional. Some of the light fixtures in the home you saw today came from them,” she said.

“When we are done, I think I’m going to go and have a look,” she said.

“Our office is this way,” she said.

Megan directed her to a door that took them up a flight of very steep stairs. At the second landing was another door. Inside, Elizabeth bristled at the disheveled office. It was dark and dank and void of any desk lamps.

I don’t know about this.

Megan flipped the light switch. The overhead lighting flickered dimly. Elizabeth managed to see Megan’s arm gesturing her to a nearby chair.

“Please have a seat,” I’ll be back in a moment, the case file is in the other room,” she said.

You can do this! You are moments away from your dream home. Don’t let her unprofessionalism stop you!

Elizabeth swept the chair full of papers clean. She sneaked a peek at a few of them; they were blank sheets of paper with a photocopied letterhead. She stacked them atop one another and placed them on the desk. By the time her bottom touched the seat, Megan was walking through the doorway with a stack of folders tucked under an arm. She carried a coffee cup.

“Are you an upstart realtor?” she asked.

“No, we’ve been around for a number of years. Why do you ask?” she asked.

“Your company’s name is quite distinctive. I was expecting something a little more…cleaner,” she said.

“You’re right, I admit this place is a pigsty, please excuse our appearance,” she said.

“Where is your secretary?” she asked.

“Unfortunately I had to let Betty go, but my not having a secretary isn’t going to change your mind about the property, will it?” she asked.

The overhead fixtures finally brightened the room. Elizabeth surmised that it would be a matter of hours before there would flicker again. She surveyed the room, this time counting the desks, there are only two.

You’re not going to stop me from having this house!

“No, but maybe you should take advantage of that spectacular sale next door,” she said.

“I already been next door, my order has been set aside while I wait for the electrician. Can I offer you something to drink?” she asked.

The aroma of the fresh brewed coffee told her it was Maxwell House. She wanted a cup, but not from her guest realtor.

“No thank you,” she said. Ring! Ring!

“Excuse me,” she said.

Megan deposited the folders on the table and walked to the desk. She sat her coffee cup next to the phone, cleared her throat, then picked up the handset.

“Good afternoon, Petraeus and Corzen Real Estate…oh Mr. Roosevelt I have a buyer for your home. We’re about to begin the paperwork…yes sir I have everything I need…she’s the perfect person for your house. I’ll call you back when we’re done.” Megan put the receiver down on the base and joined Elizabeth at the table.

“That was the owner, he’s pleased that you are interested in the house and has asked when can you move in?”

“Move in!?”

“Yes,” she said, “he doesn’t want the house empty while we wait for the bank’s approval. I was told to ask if you’d be willing to move in now.” “You’re serious aren’t you?” she asked.

“Yes I am,” she said.

“I can’t believe he wants me to move in,” she said.

“How much do you have for a down payment?” she asked.

“I’m prepared to give $50,000,” she said.

Megan thought she had hit the jackpot. Now all she had to do was cement the deal,

“Now that deposit will serve as a down payment; if the house is damaged in anyway,

$20,000 will serve as a security deposit,” said Megan.

Elizabeth interjected, “Wait a minute, slow down, you’re saying—

Megan cleared her throat, then she talked, “Since the owner is prepared to let you move in now, $50,000 will go towards the purchase of the home. It will be placed in an escrow while we wait for mortgage approval—

“You won’t have to wait for approval because I’m not getting a mortgage,” she said.

Megan cleared her throat again, “Um…the asking price is $330,000, you have that in cash?”

“I do, I mean I will…soon, very soon,” she said.

“Some people have all the luck,” she said.

“I don’t call this luck. It’s possible because of my husband’s death,” she said.

Megan apologized, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to sound so cynical, I’m sorry for your loss. Perhaps your moving into the property while you wait for that transaction will help your grieving process.”

“Apology accepted, you can’t help the way you are,” she smirked.

“Excuse you?” she asked.

“Excuse what? I simply said that you could not help the way you are, there’s nothing to excuse,” she said.

Infuriated, Megan knocked over the cup. Its contents quickly traveled toward Elizabeth, barely missing her. Freddy Mercury came to the forefront.

¯I’m going to take you under. I’m going to take you under, under the bridge, deep in the water where no one can live, where you can’t return. Just you wait and see, we’ll take you under the bridge.¯

Megan shrugged the music off, “Okay, okay, let’s reel it back in, we’re getting off track here.”

“You are so right,” Elizabeth replied snidely, “there’s no reason why two intelligent ladies can’t set aside their differences to come to an agreement. I want this house…anyways I thought the buyer couldn’t occupy the property till after the settlement process is completed.”

“That’s usually the case. Nowadays short-term leases are drawn up. In fact we have one on hand for this property,” she said.

“That’s a bit presumptuous don’t you think?” she asked.

“The owner outlined what he wanted done with his house and how it was to be done before he chose us to represent him,” she said.

“Let me get this straight. The buyer can move in during the approval process or in my case wait till the insurance money arrive. But what would happen if the buyer isn’t approved?” she asked.

“The down payment would be returned to the buyer,” she said.

Elizabeth stated, “Well I’m leaving a down payment, but I need clarity about the short-term lease.”

Megan fumbled through the pile of multicolor folders on the table. She grabbed a blue one and began flipping through its contents, from which she took out one thick packet.

“This is a temporary residential lease,” she said, handing a copy to Elizabeth. She went on to explain, “It is for the occupation of property by the buyer/ purchaser while waiting for bank approval and the closing process. Part one lists both parties, which would be Mr. Gordon Roosevelt, the owner, and yourself. Part two lists the address of the property—7410 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118, and the date the agreement is signed.”

Megan continued, “Part three gives the term or length of occupation. Part four covers the rental. Part five is about the security deposit which I’ve already explain unless you have questions?”

“No, I understand what you said,” said Elizabeth.

Megan resumed, “Part six is about the utilities. This lease should be sufficient to get the electricity and gas turned on. Part seven talks about the use of the property. Part eight talks about pets. Part nine talks about the condition of the property. Part ten is about alterations…

“Let’s go back to the security deposit, I do have a question,” said Elizabeth.

“Sure,” she said.

“Okay I don’t have to wait for bank approval, but how long does it take to close?” she asked.

“On average about 90 days,” she answered.

“And you said $20,000 will act as a security deposit if the house is damaged in some way. Can you explain to me what you consider to be damages?” she asked.

“Damages can be holes in the walls, shattered windows, and cracked concrete. Mr. Roosevelt also considers negligence as damages. Fires caused by negligence such as leaving the stove unattended or forgetting to unplug an iron, will cause you to forfeit your entire down payment,” she said.

“Well I can always purchase renters insurance to cover that,” she said, “as far as the rest goes, I have no one living with me who would cause that type of damage. Let me get clarity here, you are saying that my entire deposit of $50,000 will go towards the house. If the house is damaged before closing date, I forfeit $20,000. If there is a house fire, I forfeit the entire $50,000?” “Yes,” she said.

“Wait a minute! While I’m living in the property, who’s responsible for home owner’s insurance?” she asked.

“Mr. Roosevelt,” she said.

“So if there is a house fire, he keeps my deposit and collects from an insurance policy?” she asked.

“Yes, he does,” she said, “But Mrs. Samms, the insurance policy will cover the time period beginning when you move in and up-to-and-including the closing date. After the closing date, it is your responsibility to get homeowner’s insurance.” “Why is that?” she asked.

“Because the name on the deed has not changed, it changes after finalization,” she said.

“That sounds fair. Let me look the rest of this over,” she said, pouring over the paragraphs, “You will be filling in the blanks while I’m here right?” “Right in front of your eyes,” she said.

“What is part nine all about?” she asked.

Megan foraged through the packet again, “Here it is, he is requesting that all future owners be held responsible for the trimming of the trees and shrubbery. He wants them to be kept nice and neat. He wants the lawn mowed regularly. It should remain emerald green, void of brown patches and bald spots. The front garden should always be in bloom, except during the winter months; however, it is expected to look attractive. The street in front of the house should be clean of debris. Trash should be properly disposed of and not allowed to accumulate on the sidewalk, at the curb or on the lawn.”

“That makes sense, can you explain part seven?” she asked.

Megan replied, “The house is to be used for residential purposes only. He doesn’t want any loud noises or late night parties nor should there be loitering in front of the home. He doesn’t want people sitting on the railing of the front porch. No violence, no graffiti, no car repairs in the driveway, and no vehicle parking on the grass.”

Elizabeth sighed, “None of those items pertain to me so you don’t have to worry.”

“Uh hmmm,” Megan cleared her throat, “if you sign the purchase agreement and the lease agreement, you are agreeing to the terms. Incidentally, violating terms of the lease agreement means you void the sale of the house, and you forfeit the down payment.”

“I’m curious to know how he can stipulate what someone does in the house after they buy it. Seems to me he relinquishes all rights after the sale is final,” she said.

“Maybe you should have a lawyer take a look at it before you sign,” she suggested.

“Nah, its okay, they’re just terms in a short-term lease right?” she asked.

“Yes they are,” she said.

“Well let’s fill in the blanks,” she said.

B

The movers arrived at dawn. By nine o’clock they were finished unloading the truck. All of Elizabeth’s belongings were inside her new home. Beaming with excitement she couldn’t wait for her sleeping angel to see his new home, she aroused him, “Look Desmond, look at our new home. Isn’t it beautiful?” “Waa! Waa! Waa!” he cried.

“Alright, alright, alright, you’re mad because I woke you up, go back to sleep. You can see it later,” she said.

She curled up with him on the plush over-sized sofa in the living room. She didn’t sleep very long though; she felt she had too much to do. She eased up off the sofa and tiptoed to the back door, leaving it cracked while she was out on the porch. The deck was a few feet away from the back porch. She walked over and studied the fine oak laid like an arrow. She could tell it was newly installed the wood was clean and bright-looking under the shellac. She positioned the grill in a corner of the deck, and studied the outlay, trying to decide what type of patio furniture would look best. It wasn’t long before he joined her. Excitedly she took him on an afternoon walk.

“Desmond isn’t this house beautiful. You have your own park to play in,” she said.

He didn’t say anything, he just stared out. The afternoon sun had burned away this morning’s dense fog, revealing the openness of the backyard. The property extends as far as their eyes can see. It is more than enough space for him to roam. Megan told her the length was 325ft, more than enough space to use up his exhaustive energy. Best of all, she will not have to worry about losing track of him. The neighbors have cordoned off their property with wooden fences. Her side of the fence has trees lined along the edges. They stepped off the deck and walked the gravel driveway.

“Let’s go take a look at the garage,” she said.

They veered left onto a separate gravel path leading to the garage. She took the padlock off and pulled each door open.

“Well it’s quite roomy in here isn’t it? It can hold two cars or one car. We could use the other half for storage such as your new bicycle. I kind of like the fact that these doors are old-fashion; I won’t have to worry about you getting caught under them. C’mon let’s take a look at the other garage all the way down at the very end,” she said.

He walked quietly beside her, wide-eyed, absorbing his new surroundings.

“Remember how you and Daddy would run in the park?” she asked, as they marched across the lawn in ankle-deep gold and claret colored leaves. “You ran fast, too fast for Daddy to catch you. I remember him stopping to catch his breath, but you, you kept right on going. And when he caught up to you, boy was he steaming!  You laughed…he laughed too. Daddy would’ve loved this house.”

 

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