Fool For You - By Megan Noelle Page 0,2

conceded with a sigh and pressed answer.

“Hey Gram.”

“Dolly, how are you? Where are you?” Dolly was the term of endearment my Grandparents had given me when I was a child. I had the face of a porcelain doll; smooth creamy skin, ice blue eyes that looked too big for my face and full cheeks. The name stuck even as my appearance changed. My eyes and skin were the same but my baby cheeks had disappeared and my hair wasn’t the golden color it used to be. It had turned sun-bleached with darker blonde lowlights adding definition and—in my opinion—looked great next to my summer-tanned skin.

“I’m only about twenty minutes into the drive and I’m as good as I can be.” There was an unhappy sigh from my end that I hoped my Gram hadn’t caught. She had of course.

“Oh, don’t act like it is such a horror to come home.” If only she knew. “Well, it doesn’t matter either way, because my car is packed and my gas tank is full; so I’ll be there soon.” My lungs pulled in another drag of my cigarette, before I put it out in the ash tray.

“Wonderful! Gramps is at your house now making sure everything is ready to go for you! Will you be joining us when you make it into town?”

“If you don’t mind I’d really prefer to just go right home, unpack and crash, since I need to go into the Inn tomorrow.” My Grandma ran a tight ship, and I wouldn’t get a pass on her expectations just because I spent the entire day driving.

“Well, you’re always welcome, if you change your mind.”

“Thank you.” I tried to sound half as enthused as my Grandma was, but came up short.

“Of course. Now do you know the way to your new place?”

“Yeah, Grandpa sent me the address last night. It’s programmed into my GPS.” One of the selling points used to get me back home, was the house I was now calling my own. My Grandpa and I have always been the closest in the family, so when he heard I was coming, he took it upon himself to do his part. The wonderful man bought a beautiful little house, in a secluded area, with no neighbors directly beside the place. It was his idea to just let me live there rent free, but there was no way I was going to do that. We hashed out a rental agreement that allowed me to come and go as I pleased, but pay him for the months I was living there.

Lucky for me, Gramps was able to pay a little extra to have it sold with all the furnishings, so I wouldn’t be walking into an empty house. The thought of being completely alone sent a sickening feeling straight to the pit of my stomach. Sure, I had my own apartment in New York, but I also had Gabby and there wasn’t a day I didn’t see her if only for an hour.

Lord, this was going to suck.

“Okay then Dolly, you hang up the phone and focus on getting here safe. Please call me when you are in town, so I can stop worrying.”

“I promise, Grandma.”

“Talk to you soon!”

With that I rolled down all four windows, cranked up the tunes and focused on the trip ahead of me—not the destination.

* * * * Dusk was just settling into the night sky, when I pulled into the gas station in Serenity Cove. My GPS read that I was only about 5 miles from my new house, but my gas tank was just about as low as it could get. My legs were the consistency of jello as I stepped out to fill up. The sensation coursing through my numb behind made an exhausted giggle escape. After I finished up there, I’d make a pit stop at a drive-thru. After that all I wanted was to throw myself into bed. Every inch of my body was sore, and my mind was exhausted.

There was one other car at a pump a few over; the only sound filling my ears was that of my car guzzling up. I was vaguely aware of a shiny black car pulling up on the opposite side from where I stood. A man stepped out with a phone to his ear and until I heard his voice, I thought nothing of it. But that voice. It was a sound that still haunted my dreams. My now fully alert body peered over