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But… he only asked for his key back. I remember standing in his hallway in shock. I’d had it all planned out. He’d smile at me and ask for the keys back. I’d give him two copies but I’d still have the third for the next time I wanted to break in. But it never even occurred to him that I’d made more than one copy. It was like he didn’t know me at all.
I stood there, alone in the hallway, befuddled and questioning everything, when the door swung back open. My hopes lifted.
Then he shoved the goldfish bowl into my hands and said, “Take this with you.”
I was halfway through saying, “His name is Steve,” when the door shut in my face.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to walk home carrying a goldfish bowl? I mean, I got him there in one of those plastic bags filled with water that they sell them to you in. But I didn’t have the bag anymore. Just Steve sloshing around in his bowl, judging me.
“I think you showed remarkable restraint,” Sawyer says, pulling me out of my thoughts.
I shift in my seat and take a good look at him. “You do?”
“Absolutely. You could have shown up with a kitten. Or a dog.”
“I thought about it,” I admit, examining my manicure. My nails are painted Sole Mate purple. I selected the color in anticipation of bumping into Finn this weekend. “But I wasn’t sure his apartment allowed pets.”
“See, you’re always thinking, Everly. I like that about you.”
I shrug. “Can we be done talking now?”
“Oh, did you want your phone back?”
“Yes.” I turn my head. “Can I have it?” Maybe he’s finally going to shut up.
I groan and flop back in my seat while he laughs.
“I can’t believe Finn didn’t ask for the rest of the keys back.”
“What?” That’s got my attention. How could he possibly know about the keys?
“When Finn called me I asked him if he’d gotten the keys back. He said, yeah, he got his key back, but I insisted you’d made more than one. I said, ‘Finn, trust me on this. That girl’”—he winks at me, like he totally gets it—“‘Everly would have made more than one copy.’” He glances at my face a beat. “My money’s on three.”
Four hours ago
“The game starts in ten minutes!” Dad says before taking a bite of his infamous leftover turkey sandwich. It’s a concoction of turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce on toasted bread and he looks forward to it all year long.
“Are we watching the Eagles or the Giants today?” I ask as the front door swings open and my brother Eric walks in with his new wife Erin. They’ve been married just under a month and they’re perfect together, just like my parents.
He met her two years ago on a flight to Chicago. Yup, the whole ‘sat on a plane next to each other and fell in love’ scenario. He was traveling on business. She was traveling to attend a bridal shower for a friend. Three months later he was her date to that friend’s wedding. Six months after that they were engaged themselves.
Our parents adore her. Everyone adores her, myself included. Eric and Erin just fit together. Like two peas in a pod. Peanut butter and jelly. Two halves of a whole. You get the idea. We’ve all seen that couple. Solid. Supportive. Their relationship reminds me of my parents’. Totally in sync. I want that too. And Finn Camden is a perfect fit. Steady. Reliable. He’s a forever kind of guy.
Eric greets me with, “Hey, trouble,” before noticing Dad’s sandwich and making a dive for the other half.
“We got the wedding photos back.” Erin’s clutching a giant album to her chest. “Your mom wanted to go over them with us.”