Finding Us

By: Heather B. Moore

She might see him at the grocery store, or run into him at the movie theater tonight when she went with her friend Livvy. Felicity knew she’d definitely recognize the man, whatever his name was.

Her cell rang again, and Felicity flinched, then relaxed when she saw it was Livvy. “Hi, Liv.”

“I heard about the theft. Are you all right?” Livvy got right to the point. She worked at the library, and so they loved to talk books together.

Felicity filled her friend in on the details. “The police already found him, and he’s been charged.”

“Wow, that was fast,” Livvy said. “Back in LA, things would never move this quickly.”

Livvy was a small-town transplant, like Felicity.

“Officer Russo recognized him,” Felicity said. “So I guess he’s someone known to the cops around here.”

“Officer Russo handled the case?”

“Yeah, do you know him?”

Livvy laughed. “Every woman in Pine Valley knows who he is, well, except for you, apparently. I mean, look at him. He could model for one of those police calendars as one of those smokin-hot cops. He broke up with his girlfriend Janna over six months ago, and hasn’t gone on one date since. You can imagine how hot of a commodity he is.”

So, he’s single. Big deal. Felicity agreed with Livvy that Officer Russo was a hot commodity, but she wouldn’t admit that to her friend.

“He grew up in Pine Valley, I guess,” Livvy continued. “I’ve seen him at the city events, but everyone thought he and Janna would get married, and I’m not really into ogling guys who are taken. Plus, I’m not big into guys who are cops or firemen, you know.”

Felicity smiled. “Yeah, you like doctors.” Livvy had been dating a doctor for the past couple of months.

“So what? Slade’s cute.”

Felicity laughed. “To each his own, or her own.”

“So, tell me, what’s Officer Russo like?”

“I only spent a few minutes with him, but he seems pretty observant,” Felicity said. About her habits, the color of her glasses . . .

“One of the perks of living in a small town, I guess,” Livvy said. “The cops can identify the criminals at first glance.”

Livvy and Felicity had moved to Pine Valley within a couple of months of each other, both of them moving into their grandparents’ old houses.

Felicity loved having her own, little house. Her grandpa had kept it in great repair, and her parents hadn’t wanted to leave their community just outside of San Francisco. So they offered Felicity the place to rent. She didn’t mind that they were charging her rent. On her eighteenth birthday, her dad had handed her one thousand dollars cash and told her that was all the money he’d ever give her. If she wanted to live at home, she had to pay rent. She already had a job at a large-chain bookstore, and so when she graduated high school, she went full-time.

She eventually moved into an apartment, but when she’d seen the Help Wanted notice at the Reading Nook when she and her parents had come to Pine Valley for her grandpa’s funeral, she’d decided that was a sign.

Pine Valley had been her life for over a year now, and although it was way quieter than she was used to, she didn’t mind. Having Livvy as a friend was frankly more than she’d had in high school. Felicity had been a latchkey kid and could never invite friends over after school, so she never had a close friend. As the only kid with older parents among her peers, Felicity had lived a relatively simple life. She’d dated off and on, but she was so used to being on her own that she never made it past a couple dates with any guy.

Felicity doubted she’d ever date any man long enough to fall in love. Sure, she was interested, and flirting was fun, kissing even better, but beyond that, Felicity lost interest.

It wasn’t something she could really pinpoint, but she chalked it up to the thrill of the chase. Once she’d “caught” the guy, he became less interesting.

“Well, I’m glad the shoplifter was found so fast,” Livvy said. “I also called because I have to cancel on you tonight. My roommate Malory has to go out of town for a couple of days, so we’ll be doing inventory late.” Both women worked at the library.

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