Right To My Wrong

By: Lani Lynn Vale


“Allison called in sick because she thinks she has the flu,” he said. “So it’s just you and me this week, chicka.”

Yay!

Not.

That would suck.

If it was just me and him, that’d mean that I would be needed for more hours, which would hack in to my nap time.

“Just don’t expect me to work tonight or tomorrow night. Or Friday night. I have plans tonight, and the bar the other two nights,” I told him.

Dane nodded. “I know. I was listening to that boy try to ask you out.”

I smiled.

“He wasn’t trying to ask me out.”

Dane gave me a look.

“Honey, I have a dick. I know what it looks like when a guy’s dick is hard. And his was hard. For you. Trust me,” he said, sitting down on the stool behind the register and turning his eyes to the TV screen that was sitting next to the register.

Rolling my eyes, I rolled the mop into the bathroom and started the tedious job of cleaning up the bathroom.

The girl’s room was never that bad.

It was the men’s room that always got me.

How could grown men miss the toilet like that?

By the time I was done with the men’s bathroom, I felt the need for a hot shower and a beer. Both of which I couldn’t have right then…and since I had somewhere to go later, I wouldn’t be having it for a very long time.

But just the thought of seeing Sterling again made my heart race.

“Your phone’s been ringing the whole time you were in there,” Dane said as he shoved three cheese crackers into his mouth.

I rolled my eyes.

Why wouldn’t it have occurred to him that I needed to answer that call if they called that many times?

I smiled when I saw Lily’s smiling face lighting up the screen of my phone.

“Hello?” Lily answered breathlessly.

“Hey! What’d you need?” I asked.

Lily called once a day regardless of whether she ‘needed’ anything or not.

It was just who we were.

And I’d missed her constantly when I was locked up.

“I have someone who wanted to talk to you before you she went on stage,” she said happily.

I smiled as Lily’s daughter, Toni, got on the phone.

“Aunt Ruthie, guess what!” Toni yelled loudly.

I looked down at my hands and smiled through the pain.

“What, stinker bell?” I asked softly.

“I hit a home run today at Putt-Putt!” She squealed.

I smiled, my pain taking a backseat to the excitement in Toni’s voice.

See, Toni and my daughter, Jade, would’ve been the same age right then.

But my husband had nearly beaten me to death when I was almost eight months pregnant, and I’d lost my baby girl before I’d ever even held her.

Lily had found out she was pregnant the week before I’d lost my little Jade, and it was heart breaking to talk to Toni when I couldn’t talk to my own little girl that would’ve been doing something similar had she been able to live.

“Don’t you mean hole in one?” I asked her, a smile in my voice.

I could practically see her shaking her head when she replied.

“No. I mean, daddy tossed me the ball, and I hit it with my golf club. And I hit the ball into the last hole at the very end of the course,” she corrected me.

I closed my eyes. “Your daddy should know better.”

“See,” Lily said as she came back on the line. “That’s what I said. He’s like a big two year old.”

I smiled at my hands.

Dante was such a good guy.

He started an auto recovery business when he got out of the Air Force and, from what I’d heard, was a pretty successful businessman now.

He had my whole heart, though.

He was such a good man, always there for me if I needed him to be.

He’d come to visit me when Lily made the trip.

He was a good father and a good friend.

Something that I desperately wished I had married instead of the man I had.

“So where are you going?” I asked, ringing up a man’s purchase as I did so.

The man gave me a funny look since I was on the phone, but I ignored him, stuffing things into the bag as I held the phone in between my ear and shoulder.

“Nine fifty seven,” I said.

The man gave me a credit card and I swiped it through the card reader before handing it back to him while listening to Lily tell me about Toni’s recital that was scheduled to take place in twenty minutes.

“You’re late,” I laughed. “Shouldn’t you have left already?”

I handed the man his receipt and he took it with a slight huff of annoyance.

“Yeah, about twenty minute ago. But we were having a meltdown because we couldn’t find the pink shoes, only the blue shoes,” Lily said. “We only found a single pink one, so now we’re wearing one blue and one pink.”

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