Marissa sat, cemented to the seat of her car, trying to decide whether or not to go into her parents' house.
She'd always hated that house--the muddy siding and dark rooms never welcomed her in--and she'd much rather sit in the warmth of the summer sun than walk into whatever waited for her inside. Although she couldn't be completely certain, she was pretty sure the two scenarios she envisioned were both something she really could live without.
And what did she envision?
An irate husband, one who had convinced himself she'd been unfaithful last winter, even though she hadn't, and a mother who couldn't acknowledge that times had changed, that she needed help.
She imagined them sitting at the mahogany dining table, fingers wrapped around condensation-laced glasses of lemonade, whispers of the television in the background. Both of them with legs crossed and eyebrows furrowed, waiting for the moment Marissa opened the sliding door.
Yeah, I could use a little more time to just breathe, Marissa thought, as she pulled the keys from the ignition and pushed them into the zippered pouch of her purse. She'd leave the doors of the car unlocked for later, when she would most likely be called to do some errand or another for her folks.
She'd been asked to do many things for them lately--trips to the grocery store or pharmacy were the most probable--but she'd also transported her mother to buy cigarettes. Gosh darn, what had she been thinking, enabling her mother to kill herself? Of course, which option would be worse: lung cancer or Alzheimer's? Marissa couldn't honestly say.
Shutting the door as quietly as she could behind her, she walked slowly, hoping to burn up some time. A shrill whistle flew over her shoulder and into her ear, and she turned her head toward the sound. There, leaning against the old maple on the side yard, was Luke.
Shit. What was he doing here again? And did her husband realize that Luke was here?
"Hey." Marissa fiddled with a stray hair that had escaped the messy knot at the back of her head. Luke made her nervous, he always did. One word was all she could muster at a time, at least for now.
"Hey back to you, Marissa. You're looking well." Brown eyes lit up as she approached him and he pushed off the tree with his hands.
"Looking well, Luke? In whose universe? Don't try to butter me up. What do you want and why are you here?"
Marissa placed her hand above her eyes, trying to block the sun so she could see Luke's face. Not that she really needed to see it. He'd been her everything for over five years. She had his face memorized and hadn't forgotten a single bit of it, despite having been married to Trevor for so long.
Crap, even now, she could feel the blush rushing through her cheeks. Maybe the slant of the sun would prevent him from seeing it. A girl could hope, right?
"I'm here to see you, of course." Luke came close. Too close, really, and Marissa backed up by a step or two. Just like she knew he would, he then stepped closer. The scent of his cologne wafted by on the slight breeze, which caused a shiver to run up and down Marissa's spine. She felt trapped, ensared by an unseen force, and it wasn't a completely unpleasant feeling.
To be continued...