Little Lies 19

Before we knew it, fall was upon us which meant that our time at Sunset Acres was finally up. My mother and I left without putting up a fight and we were now staying at a pretty questionable motel until we found something more permanent. I spent my days crying, eating, and watching soap operas from bed. Then one evening Mom came from the club with news that hit me like a hurricane. “Why are you back already?” I asked her with my mouth full of pretzels. “Val! The wedding is tomorrow at noon! Johnny’s going to marry that girl!” The bag fell from my hands. “What? No!” I yelped and felt like I was going to be sick. I ran to the bathroom and upchucked everything I’d eaten in the past hour. After brushing my teeth and running a comb through my hair, I threw a sweater on over my nightgown and grabbed the keys to my mom’s car. “Good luck, babygirl. Go get your man.” She grinned at me and waved goodbye.

13

When I got to the Landgraab’s I pounded on the door and rang the doorbell repeatedly until Nancy finally cracked it open. “Johnny doesn’t want to see you. Go away.” She tried to shut the door in my face but I barreled past her into the house. “Johnny! I need to talk to you! Right now!” I shouted at the top of my lungs. He came down the stairs and sighed when he saw it was me. “Johnathan! You better get this riffraff out of my house before I call the cops!” Nancy pointed to the door. “You need to leave.” He told me flatly. “Not until you tell me why you’re going to marry Morgan. I thought you loved me.” I whimpered. “Do you think you’re the only one who’s ever lied, Val? I lied to you too. I never loved you.” His grandmother clucked her tongue disapprovingly from the couch behind us. “Stay out of this, Grandma!” He shouted before turning on his heel and retreating to his room.

14

“That can’t be true.” I spoke mostly to myself then I turned to Nancy. “It’s not, is it?” Instead of gloating she looked as if she pitied me. “How about some coffee?” She chirped suddenly. “Uh…okay.” She took my arm and led me to the kitchen. “Why are you being nice to me?” I asked as she poured a cup for me and one for herself. “Because you’re no longer a threat to my family.” She admitted with a shrug and sat beside me at the bar. We were both silent for far too long then she said, “I’m sure you’re a really nice girl, Valerie, but my son deserves the very best.” I drained my mug and placed it on the counter. “I am the best for him. I’m not perfect but no one will ever love him as much as I do and I’ll prove it to you, Nancy. I’m going to stop the wedding before he makes a horrible mistake that he regrets for the rest of his life.” I promised her.

15

“Hmm.” She muttered as she finished her own drink. “I think I’ll make us some tea now. Something to soothe our nerves and keep us from going at each other’s throats.” She chuckled and began digging around in her cabinets. A few moments later, she brought me a new cup and urged me to drink it fast. It smelled funny and not long after taking only a few sips, my stomach began gurgling. I blushed as a loud burp escaped my lips. “I’m so sorry. It must’ve been something I ate earlier.” I mumbled then covered my mouth. “You should go home and rest, Valerie. I’m sure I’ll see you first thing in the morning.” She gave me a reassuring smile as she walked me to the door. “You definitely will. Thank you for your hospitality.” I told her politely. She grinned at me and I noticed there was a little twinkle in her eye. “It was my absolute pleasure.”

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