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Born and raised in England, Galen Carmichael grew up believing that his father died before he was born—because that is what his mother told him. But one phone call and an invitation to visit the United States from an American billionaire half-brother he never knew existed debunks that lie, and changes Galen's life in ways he never would have imagined.
The moment he walked into the exclusive boutique where she works, single mother of two, Mindy Marshall, fell hard and fast for the handsome Brit who tells her that his deepest desire in life is to please her. He proves it by treating her like a princess and doting on her young fatherless children. However, when Galen abruptly disappears from Mindy’s life for eight long months, she slowly comes to realize that what a man says, is not always what he means.
Can Galen and Mindy find their way back to each other, or will the malicious acts of another, and the shocking revelations of their parents’ pasts forever keep them apart?
Release date: December 18, 2017
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Behind the book
A story of misunderstanding and betrayal, Pleasing Mindy will melt your heart as you follow Galen and Mindy on their tumultuous journey to find forgiveness, peace, and the love that they so very much deserve.
Ana E Ross
Evergreen, New Hampshire, USA…
“I don’t like it here, Mommy. Can we go home now?”
“In a few minutes, hon.” Mindy smiled down at her five-year-old daughter huddled against her legs as they stood in subfreezing temperatures in Evergreen Cemetery.
She took a deep, unsteady breath as her eyes fixated on the limestone headstone. Kyle Grainger. Loving Son and Father. Gone Too Soon. 1993 - 2013. She wished she’d had the luxury of adding Loving Husband to his headstone. Loving Fiancé would have been her next best choice, but his mother had objected, blaming Mindy for her only child’s death.
Virginia Grainger had claimed that if Kyle hadn’t gotten mixed up with Mindy—the little trailer park trash—he would still be alive. If it was strictly up to Mrs. Grainger, Mindy would have been banned from attending Kyle’s funeral altogether. Dudley Grainger, Kyle’s father, had come to Mindy’s aid and forced Virginia to back down. He’d told his wife that their son must be so ashamed at the way she was treating the mother of her grandchildren.
Mr. Grainger had been very kind to Mindy, and he’d loved and spoiled his grandchildren every chance he got. After Kyle died, he’d begun paying Mindy’s portion of the rent on the apartment she and Kyle used to share with two of his friends. He’d become the father Mindy never had, and she’d ravenously soaked up the attention. Then tragedy struck again when Mr. Grainger suffered a heart attack and died three years after his son’s death.
Mindy’s gaze hesitantly traveled to the gravestone on the left of Kyle’s. Mrs. Grainger had blamed her for that death too, claiming that her husband had had to work overtime at Grainger & Son Painting to make up for Kyle’s absence.
For the past five years, Mindy had carried the guilt for Kyle’s death in her heart, and then for his father’s for the past three. Taking another deep breath, she pushed the regrets and the guilt aside, knowing that if she dwelt on that period of the past, if she gave it one moment’s attention, she would not be able to get up the next day and take care of the two beautiful children she and Kyle had created from their young crazy love for each other. She had to stay positive, cheerful—the devil-may-care kind of girl that Kyle had fallen in love with during their high school years.
She wiped at a half-frozen tear on her cheek. She missed him so much still, and even more on two specific dates every year.
“Why do we have to come here every week?” Her son’s contentious voice pulled her out of her cave of bittersweet memories.
“We come here twice a year, Kyle,” she said, understanding that a six-year-old’s concept of time was somewhat warped, especially when he was forced to do something he didn’t want to do. “We visit your father on his birthday and on the anniversary of his death. It’s a sign of respect,” she continued in a gentle voice. “We want your father to know that we haven’t forgotten him. Now, say ‘Happy Birthday’ to him.”
“But he’s dead. He won’t know if we come here or not. And I don’t know him.”
“I knew him. I loved him,” Mindy said emphatically. She wanted her children to have a sense of belonging, something that she’d never had since her own mother hadn’t told her who her father was until she was fifteen, and by then he’d been diagnosed with lung cancer brought on by chain-smoking since he was a teenager. She’d only had a few months with him before he died, but he hadn’t seemed to care one way or another that she existed. Mindy still couldn’t decide if it was worse to have had one parent who just completely ignored her existence, or the other who’d constantly told her that she was an inconvenient mistake.
One thing she knew, though—she never wanted her children to feel that they were mistakes or inconveniences in her life. They would always know that they were wanted and loved by both their parents, even if one of them lived in the afterlife.
She’d loved Kyle and he’d loved her, and if he hadn’t died, they would be married today. Theirs was a love that would have stood the test of time. They’d been saving up to get married and rent their own apartment when he died suddenly and tragically. It was his love for her, and his protection toward her that had caused his death. So in that regard, his mother was right. Kyle was dead because of her. She so wished that she’d lied about how she’d gotten her bruises when she’d walked into the apartment that day.
“You don’t have to know your father, Kyle,” Mindy said, passing her hand over her son’s mop of curly dark hair and gazing into his gray eyes. He was the image of his father, making it impossible for her to ever forget the wonderful but so few years she’d loved and was loved by his father. “All you need to know is that your daddy knew you. He held you in his arms, he hugged you, he kissed you. He loved you very, very much, and I loved him just as fiercely. Our love for each other made you and your sister.”
“How, Mommy?” Britt asked, staring up at Mindy through warm brown eyes. “How did you and my daddy make us?”
“With sex.” Kyle glared at her as if daring her to refute him. “That’s where babies come from.”
“What’s sex, Mommy?”
“Something you don’t need to worry about just yet,” Mindy told her five-year-old daughter. What do you know about sex? was what she wanted to ask her six-year-old son, but she tucked the question away for later when they were alone. “Say ‘Happy Birthday’ to your daddy,” she reiterated, smiling down at her children. And say ‘Hi’ to your grandfather,” she added, glancing at the headstone next to Kyle’s.
“Happy Birthday, Daddy. I love you,” Brittany said in her sweet angel voice. “I hope you like the flowers we brought.” She glanced at her grandfather’s grave. “I love you, Grandpa. I hope you like the flowers, too.”
Kyle silently stared at the headstones of his father and his grandfather, his lips drawn into a tight line, just like his father’s when he was upset, Mindy thought.
“I’m cold, Mommy.” Britt pressed her slender body against Mindy’s thigh in an effort to stay warm. “Can we go back to the car now?”
“It doesn’t matter,” Kyle stated in a vehement voice. “The car is just as cold. I hate my life!”
Mindy shuddered as she watched him stomp down the narrow path toward the car that was parked in a clearing a few yards away. He was hotheaded like his father had been, and that one particular trait scared her. She hoped to God that he would grow out of it.
“Wait up, Kyle,” Britt called, as she chased after her brother.
Alone for a few moments, Mindy pressed her lips together to stifle the cry that threatened to erupt from her throat. “I miss you,” she said, tears blurring her vision as she bent down to rearrange the fresh flowers in the mason jar on Kyle’s grave. “I’m sorry. I should have known that you would have gone after him, but I couldn’t lie to you. We’d promised never to lie to each other or to our children no matter how much the truth might hurt. I just didn’t know that that truth would hurt so much, that it would take you away from us.” She blinked as fresh tears pooled in her eyes. “You were my first love, Kyle, and I will always love you.” Her heart ached at the thought that she hadn’t even had the chance to say goodbye to him. “I’ll take good care of our beautiful kids.”
She choked on a sob as she recalled the day of Kyle’s funeral when she’d stood in this very spot for the first time with a fussy two-month-old Brittany in her arms, and a crying twenty-two-month-old Kyle Jr. hanging onto her legs. “Britt has your smile, you know—the kind that lights up a room like yours used to. She’s so sweet, Kyle, like the little angel you used to call her.”
She paused, leaned forward and ran a finger along the groove of Kyle’s name in the limestone. “I’m worried about our son, though. He’s so angry, and I don’t know what to do. I wish you were here. I try to make up for it, but I’m not enough. He needs a man in his life, a father figure…”
A father figure. Mindy shot to her feet and took a step back from the grave as if the very idea of a father figure for her son was an affront to Kyle’s memory, or perhaps she was conflicted because she’d messed up. Two and a half years ago, Mindy thought she’d finally found a man she could open up her heart to and love again, one who would love her children like his own. But Galen Carmichael, bastard half-brother of Massimo Andretti, CEO of Andretti Industries—a multibillion-dollar textile company—had turned out to be the worst mistake of her life.
Her second-worst mistake was supporting Galen when he tried to sue Massimo for half of the Andretti fortune. Mindy was aware that her decision could have cost her her job since her boss, Adam Andreas, was Massimo’s cousin. Miraculously, it hadn’t, but it had definitely dampened Mindy’s relationship with Tashi, Adam’s wife, who Mindy suspected was the only reason she still had a job.
However, her coworkers at Arabella, the boutique at Hotel Andreas—Granite Falls, where Mindy worked weren’t so forgiving. They saw her as a traitor and they shunned her for it, even to this day. Adam Andreas was the CEO of Andreas International that was comprised of Hotel Andreas and Ristorante Andreas, a chain of exclusive hotels and restaurants that spanned the globe. Adam’s employees were loyal to him, and with good cause. He cared about the people who worked for him and he treated them fairly and respectfully. He’d even remained courteous to Mindy after she’d betrayed her loyalty to his family.
In hindsight, Mindy would have chosen differently, but sometimes people in love make the worse choices. It was love at first sight for Mindy, and for Galen too, she thought, recalling one of their first conversations.
“What do you want from me?” she’d asked after Galen’s fifth trip in three days to the boutique. “Are you some kind of stalker?”
“Not a stalker, an addict.”
“I’m addicted to you. You’re unlike any woman I’ve met, Mindy Marshall.” He flashed her a disarming smile as his sexy hazel eyes gazed deep inside her, unlocking doors she hadn’t even realized had been shut for years.
“Then you must not have met many women.” His laugh resonated deep inside Mindy’s belly, sending an army of butterflies fluttering wildly about.
“I just want to please you, Mindy Marshall.”
“Please me how?” She indulged him, loving the way he said her name in his smooth English accent. Not to mention the titillating attention he was giving her—attention of the kind she hadn’t received since Kyle.
“I’ll please you in any and every way you want to be pleased.”
A hot ache had throbbed in the dormant place between Mindy’s thighs at his words and, despite her attempts to move slowly, she’d quickly succumbed to the charms of the handsome Brit, and had accepted an invitation to dinner at his lakeside villa in Granite Falls. They’d dined on takeout from Ristorante Andreas the best restaurant in town. The food was scrumptious, as expected, but halfway through dinner, Mindy had found herself lying naked in Galen’s bed, and he was holding true to his promises—pleasing her every which way, and then some, all night long. It had been sweet, and wild, and delicious.
Mere months after they’d begun seeing each other, Galen mentioned his decision to sue Massimo for half of Andretti Industries. Mindy hadn’t hesitated to throw her support behind him, despite her mother’s disapproval and warnings that Galen wasn’t worth putting her job security in jeopardy. Their difference of opinion had widened the already existing rift between mother and daughter, but Mindy had followed her heart. Wasn’t that what a woman was supposed to do? Stand by her man? Take risks in the name of love? But love, as Mindy had later come to realize, was completely blind and stupid.
She’d stood by Galen even though she and the rest of the locals, except for those who’d been called as witnesses, had no idea what was going on inside the courtroom since both Massimo and Galen had agreed to a closed arbitration with a private judge. All parties involved, including Mindy’s mother, who’d been called as a witness because she was an employee at Andretti Industries when Galen’s mother worked there, had been prohibited from discussing the case with anyone.
Mindy had tried, unsuccessfully, to get Galen to talk to her. His irritable mood, sullenness, and aloofness each time he returned from court suggested that he might have been losing to Massimo. The case was put on hold when Galen immediately left for London after receiving a call that his grandfather had suffered a stroke and had been hospitalized.
Mindy expelled a harsh sigh. Her stupidity and irresponsibility had crippled her son’s sense of security. She knew that Galen’s prolonged absence was one of the reasons Kyle had become so angry. He’d been a very happy little boy before Galen swept into his life, bonded with him immediately, treated him like a son, and then disappeared. He’d broken Kyle’s heart, and after eight months, Mindy still couldn’t figure out how to heal the hurt her son was going through. He’d shut her out, probably blaming her for his pain, and rightfully so since she was the one who’d introduced him to Galen, made him vulnerable and subject to hurt.
It wasn’t the fact that Galen had left so abruptly that bothered Mindy. After all, he was close to his grandfather, the only living relative he had from his mother’s side. In actuality, the only living relative he had in the world since he and Mass were at odds with each other. What bothered her was that in the eight months since she’d dropped him off at the airport, he’d only called her once to let her know that he’d arrived in London and was on his way to the hospital to see his grandfather.
After that, nothing—no calls, e-mails, texts, video chats—nothing but absolute silence. She’d tried to reach him, but each call had gone straight to voicemail. She’d left messages asking him to call her. Eventually, an “out of service” message had put an end to her efforts to contact him. It had crossed Mindy’s mind that Galen might have gotten back with his ex, Trix, the woman for whom he’d been buying a present the first time Mindy had met him at Arabella, but she’d squelched that idea at the memory of the love she and Galen had shared for almost three years.
Out of her concern for him, she’d swallowed her pride and asked Tashi if she knew whether Galen had been in contact with Massimo. As far as Tashi knew, he hadn’t. Mindy had taken her concern one step further and asked Tashi if she thought he’d died, to which Tashi had responded, “We would all know if he had.”
As the silence grew louder and the weeks turned into months, Mindy’s concerns had slowly turned into anger, anger into pain, and now pain into hate and self-loathing for allowing herself to be conned by that lowdown, lying Brit.
He’d shown his true nature as an Andretti. He might not carry the Andretti name, but he carried their blood. The whole world knew that the male members of the Andretti family were faithful only to two things—money and power. Galen’s very existence proved his father’s unfaithfulness to his wife—Massimo’s mother. Maybe their creed was that when money and power—neither of which Galen had—weren’t at their disposal, they just weren’t faithful to anyone or anything.
If Mindy Marshall never saw Galen Carmichael again, it would be too soon.
A dusting of snow from an overhead tree branch landed on Mindy’s forehead, bringing her awareness back to her surroundings. She brushed the snow away and stared apologetically at Kyle’s grave. “I’ll choose better next time. I promise. I have to go now,” she said as Kyle and Britt’s laughter penetrated the dead silence of the cemetery. She touched her fingers to her lips and pressed them on the headstone. “I’ll see you in November.” She pushed her hands into her coat pockets and made her way toward the car and her children, who were chasing each other around it.
Before he died, she and Kyle had dreamed about leaving Evergreen, even New Hampshire, for a better life somewhere. They’d considered Boston, New York—cities that were filled with life and excitement. Those dreams had died with Kyle. And it wasn’t until four years ago that Mindy did leave Evergreen behind, not for New York or Boston, but for the next town over to live with her brother, Billy. Even though she’d lived in a rundown section of Granite Falls, it was better than being in the then lazy town of Evergreen where nothing was happening, and where as a single mother she’d had no hope or opportunities to improve her life and provide a better future for her children.
If she hadn’t left Evergreen, she would not have met Tashi Holland, the aloof girl who’d lived next door in the dilapidated, rodent-infested apartment building where Mindy and her brother lived. Tashi’s accidental collision with Adam in a cafe almost three years ago had changed the course of both their lives forever. It was because of Tashi that Adam had offered Mindy a job at Arabella.
Mindy made a good wage for a one-person household, but not good enough for a one-income family of three. Nevertheless, she’d been able to move into a nicer section of town, but she’d had to be wise and frugal with her spending. Her employment also came with excellent medical and dental benefits and a full college scholarship, so she really couldn’t complain. She was in her third year of school, and Adam had promised her a promotion once she earned her degree in Office Management, so she did have that to look forward to.
“You want to play tag with us, Mommy?” Britt yelled as Mindy got close to the car.
“I wish, baby, but we have to leave now.” The Graingers also visited Kyle’s grave on his birthday and on the anniversary of his death. When Mr. Grainger was alive, they’d all come together, and Mrs. Grainger had kept her resentment for Mindy in check. But in the past three years she’d made no attempt to disguise her hostility. She’d even upset the children. So that they could both honor Kyle in peace, Mindy had suggested that they split the days in two sessions, and alternate visiting with the children each year. Mindy had the morning sessions with her children this year, but it was almost one o’clock and Mrs. Grainger would be arriving soon. Mindy had no desire to see that dragon’s face today, or any other day for that matter.
“Can we go get pizza, Mommy?” Kyle asked.
“I’m sorry, honey, but I have a test tomorrow night, so I have to study for the rest of the day.” Besides, we have food at home. I don’t have money to splurge on a pizza. With a heavy heart and a tired soul, she opened the back door to let her children in.
“You can study while we’re in school tomorrow,” Kyle said as he scooted to the far seat and buckled his seatbelt. “You do that sometimes.”
“Yeah, when I don’t have to work the morning shift. Tomorrow isn’t one of those days.” She tucked two blankets tightly around them.
“You’re always working, or studying, or going to school. You’re no fun,” Kyle said.
“Yes, she is, Kyle. Mommy is fun,” Brittany said, coming to her aid. “She plays dolls with me.”
“That’s because you’re a girl. She never does any boy stuff like Galen used to do with me. Grandma said you chased him away, ‘cause that’s what you do with men. She said you’re a loser. That’s why you had to move back to Evergreen. I want Galen to be my daddy, not some dead guy.” Kyle pulled the blanket over his head.
Mindy closed the door and leaned against the car as she tried to catch her breath. She didn’t need to ask which grandma her son was referring to since they called Mindy’s mother Nana.
Mrs. Grainger had ridiculed Mindy for losing yet another man who was obviously too good for her. She’d even called Mindy some terrible names, right to her face, for getting pregnant at sixteen, and again at seventeen. Mindy knew the woman was poisoning her son against her, and if she didn’t need her to watch her kids when her own mother couldn’t, Mindy would have cut her access to them—grandma or no grandma. But beggars couldn’t be choosers.
One more year, just one more, she thought as she walked around the car and got behind the wheel. She turned the engine over three times and, when it sputtered to life, she breathed a sigh of relief. She backed out of the cemetery then immediately slammed on her brakes when a black SUV turned abruptly into the parking area.
“Damn!” Mindy’s entire body went numb. One second earlier and she would have been in a serious accident.
“That’s a bad word, Mommy,” Brittany said. “Not nice.”
Mindy set the car in park and turned around. “I was just scared that you could have been hurt if we had an accident. I’ll try not to say it again.” In your presence.
“It’s Grandma.” Kyle tossed off his blanket. “I’m going home with her. She’s got heat in her car.” He opened his door and jumped out.
“Kyle, get your little butt back in this car,” Mindy grated between clenched teeth. “Now!” she barked when he glared at her as if he would disobey her order.
He grumbled something under his breath, climbed back in, slammed the door, and burrowed down under his blanket.
Deciding to deal with him when she got home, Mindy turned and rolled down her window as the medium-built, dark-haired woman walked toward them.
Mrs. Grainger stopped beside Mindy’s car and peered in through the window. “Hi, babies, you okay?”
“We’re fine, Grandma. Can I go—”
“Kyle!” Mindy warned.
“Mommy said a bad word because we almost got in an accident,” Brittany said.
“What are you trying to do, Mindy? Kill my grandchildren? Isn’t it enough that you’ve—”
“Okay, that’s enough!” Mindy rolled up her window and turned to her children. “Mommy will be right back. Stay in the car. Understand?”
They both nodded, their eyes wide with uncertainty and fear.
Mindy yanked her door open, forcing her nemesis to jump back. She grabbed her by the elbow and hauled her toward the shiny black SUV. She was done being afraid of this woman. She would not let her put the blame for Kyle’s death on her anymore. Come to think of it, Kyle had had a choice. He didn’t have to go after Danny, but he did. “I am so tired of you belittling me in front of my children, blaming me for Kyle’s death. I won’t tolerate it anymore.”
“Well, if you hadn’t been at Danny’s apartment, he wouldn’t have attacked you. If you ask me, I’d say that you were begging for it. The way you used to dress like the little tramp that you are. You were a walking invitation.”
“You’re blaming me for my boyfriend’s friend offering me a ride from the supermarket. But instead of driving me home, he takes me to his apartment where he lives with his girlfriend—one of my best friends—and asks me to come in to approve a gift he’d bought for her, just so he could make his move on me, then beat me up when I refused his advances.”
Mindy swallowed the humiliation as she recalled that rainy afternoon, and how she’d had to fight off a six-foot-plus, hundred-and-eighty-pound boy with her five-foot-five-inch, one-hundred-and-five-pound body. Oftentimes, Mindy had wished that she’d just let Danny have his way. If she’d just lain down and taken it, Kyle would be alive today. She could just have kept the shame and pain bottled up inside, carried the internal bruises forever, but she couldn’t have hidden the physical bruises that Danny had left on her body. She’d promised never to lie to Kyle, and so she’d told him the truth.
“It still doesn’t change anything, Mindy. My son is dead because of you. If you hadn’t gotten yourself pregnant, he wouldn’t have stayed with you. He would have gone on to college and made something of himself like his father and I had been planning since the day he was born. I don’t wish this kind of pain on any mother, not even you.”
Mindy sniffled and wiped at the tears that rolled down her cheek. “Virginia, I begged Kyle not to go after Danny. I knew the danger of him riding his bike on the slippery roads. I begged him to wait until the next day when the rain had stopped, but he didn’t listen to me. I loved your son. I miss him every single day, especially when I hold my son and my daughter in my arms. I struggle to raise his children, to make a decent life for them. I deny myself so they can have what they need. You call me a tramp when you know that Kyle was my first and only boyfriend until Galen came along. I denied myself love and romance because I didn’t want to expose my kids to someone who might mistreat them.”
Virginia scoffed. “See how that turned out. What did you do to make him leave you? Face it, you’re bad news when it comes to men.”
Mindy decided to ignored her insults. This wasn’t about her. This was about Virginia’s grandchildren. “You hate me so much that you think helping your grandchildren, buying them a pair of shoes or a backpack for school once in a while would be helping me. You buy them toys and clothes that they are only allowed to keep at your house. You punish them to punish me. You are a selfish, vindictive woman, Virginia Grainger. I have often wondered how you could have given birth to a child as kindhearted, honorable, and loyal as Kyle. I guess he took after his father.”
Virginia grabbed her by the elbow. “You listen here, you little—”
Mindy shook her arm free and glared at Virginia. “Don’t you ever touch me again, woman!” She wagged her finger in her face. “Now, you listen! You will stop poisoning my children against me. You will stop telling them that I’m a loser. I’m their mother. I’m a good mother. Think or say whatever you want about me behind their backs, but you will respect me when in their presence, whether or not I’m with you. Or I swear to God, you will not see them anymore.”
“You can’t keep me from seeing my grandchildren.”
“You want to bet, Virginia? I have friends in very high places.” Yes, she thought, as the words spewed from her mouth, I am playing the Tashi card. “Tashi Andreas, my boss’ wife, for one. I’m sure you’ve heard of her. Why do you think I still have my job after I sided with Massimo’s half brother?” she added, refusing to mention Galen’s name. “You have until Thursday to apologize for trying to turn my children against me, or your weekend visit with them will be postponed until further notice. Now, go wish your son a happy birthday, and while you’re at it, apologize to him for being a jerk to the mother of his children.”
While Virginia’s mouth hung open, Mindy marched back to her cold old jalopy, and her children. She inhaled deep breaths of the crisp air. God, she felt good. Light as a feather as if a two-ton load had been lifted from her shoulder. Why the heck hadn’t she done that years ago?
You weren’t ready, a tiny voice said to her. You’re not caged anymore. You got your wings back.
Mindy got into her car and sat for a moment watching Virginia as she slowly made her way down the path to her son’s and husband’s graves, her head bowed in defeat or shame, Mindy had no idea. But she did feel sorry for the woman. No mother should ever have to visit her son’s grave.
“Did you and Grandma have a fight?” Britt asked.
“Yes,” Mindy said without even contemplating her response. “Grown-ups sometimes fights, but we’ll be fine,” she added, as her car backfired when she eased it out onto the street.
“People laugh at your car, you know,” Kyle stated, almost comically.
Mindy smiled. “I know. And some of them who’re laughing don’t even have cars. So there.”
Her car was twenty years old—almost as old as Mindy—rusted and dented with slightly over three hundred thousand miles under its belt. She’d say that it had been ready to retire when she’d bought it at an auction for five hundred dollars with her first paycheck from AI. She realized now that she should have gotten a cheaper apartment and a better car back then. Nevertheless, it had served her well for those two and a half years. It had warned her that it wouldn’t last much longer when it stopped producing heat two months ago and then last month when the exhaust system began to fail. She was grateful it was still running, though.
Perhaps she should have taken Galen up on his offer to buy her a car. At least she would have gotten something good out of their relationship. She was so stupid.
“It’s embarrassing,” Kyle said, when the car backfired again, leaving a trail of smoke behind them.
Brittany giggled. “I think it’s funny. Putup, putup, bang!”
“Laugh all you want,” Mindy said with a chuckle. “This old thing takes me to work and school, and you, to wherever you need to go. We must always be grateful for the things in our lives and treat them with respect and kindness,” she added on a serious note. “Sometimes, it’s only when they’re gone that we realize how much we needed them, loved them.”
“Like Daddy, Mommy?” sweet Brittany asked. “He’s gone to heaven, but you still love him, right?”
Mindy nodded. Her little girl was so smart to understand symbolic language. “Yes, Britt, like your daddy,” she said in a choked voice.
And the sad thing is, I might never find another man to love us as unconditionally as he did.
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