Over You(113)

By: Christine Kersey

“You’re not staying home at night on my account, are you?”

“You only got home yesterday. Don’t you think I ought to be here?”

Ellen laughed. “I’m not that old and decrepit just yet, my dear. I would be fine on my own. You should go out with Kyle.” She paused, looking thoughtful. “In fact, why don’t you make that trip home that you were telling me about?”

“Are you sure you’d be okay?”

“Yes. And you told me that you would feel better if you could put that situation behind you.”

“I definitely would feel better.” Jessica thought it over. “Okay. I’ll do it. I’ll go tomorrow.” Then with a twinkle in her eye, she said, “And I’ll surprise Kyle tonight by bringing over his favorite food to his house for a change.”

“Good idea. I’m sure he’d like that.”

With something to look forward to, Jessica finished working, then went up to her room and changed into a blouse that made her feel especially confident. After a final check in the mirror, she grabbed her purse, gave her aunt a hug good-bye, and went out to her car. She stopped by a Chinese restaurant that she knew Kyle especially liked, then drove to his house.

Ellen had given her Kyle’s address, and as she drove down his street in the waning evening light, she watched for the address she’d programmed into the GPS app on her phone. Finally her phone announced that she’d reached her destination. She pulled up out front, took a final glimpse in the mirror, then carried the bags of food up the driveway and to the front porch.

As her finger reached for the doorbell, she heard talking coming from inside, and noticed the front window was open to allow the pleasant evening air to drift inside. She paused, her forehead creased, as she listened.

Yes, there it was again. A woman’s voice, and a voice she recognized as Kyle’s. Then she heard the distinctive squeal of a child, and she inhaled sharply as she heard Kyle call out, “Come here, Avery.”

What is going on? Why is Melanie here? Did he invite her over when I said I couldn’t come?

“That’s not for you,” Kyle said, and his voice sounded closer, like he was walking into the living room from another room.

Jessica pressed herself against the wall furthest from the window, hoping Kyle wouldn’t look in her direction, though he would have to crane his neck a bit to see her. She could hear his footsteps fading, and she took advantage of the moment and hurried out to her car.

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