A knock on the door interrupted my rhythm. I say rhythm because I had been dreading unpacking all week and this morning I finally got my ass in gear and started unpacking. The truth is aside from a coffee pot and a few dishes and some clothes I didn't have a need to unpack nor did I want to stare at all the memories that came with it. Memories of Jared, my husband, we were only married for two years before a midnight plunge into a pond on a foggy night took him from me.
I stayed in town, moped, cried, cussed and generally hated my life for twelve months. This move was supposed to be more than just relocating, it's supposed to be about moving on. I can't do that if I damn near brought everything with me. Even the big stuff. I should have left it all behind. I should have had a garage sale as my mother suggested but once I received the job offer and only had two weeks to move I hired a company and packed every belonging I had. The movers had been gracious enough to set up the refrigerator but they couldn't do the bed because the screws were packed up somewhere in all this mess. Hence the reason for unpacking this morning.
Heather, my one and only friend in town so far, was coming by to help set up the bed. I have to find the screws or it would be pointless for her to come by.
I pulled the door open expecting to find my new friend instead I was greeted by a stranger. He stood on my door step with light brown hair cropped short and I found myself staring into olive eyes, not quite green but not quite brown. My brain quickly shifted gears. I should have checked the peep hole before opening the door. Too late now. It would be rude to slam the door in his face.
For a second I stared confused and mesmerized. The stranger was handsome. Laugh lines crinkled his cheeks when he let a slow smile creep across his face. “Hi.” He stated. A deep voice that was clearly understood even through the glass storm door. “Heather asked me to come by. Do I have the right address? Are you Beth?”
I continued to stare as his words registered. I smiled back and pulled the lock on the storm door opening it for him. He grabbed the door to pull it wider as I answered. “Yes. I'm Beth.”
“I take it my sister is late?” He asked as he scanned the driveway for her car.
I smiled up as he started through the door. He looked down my figure and I mentally tried to recall what I was wearing. I threw on the first thing I could find. Jareds college t-shirt and a skimpy pair of shorts which were not visible because of said t-shirt. I know I grew red as I realized how underdressed I was for company but I really hadn't expected anyone besides Heather.
The door made a clicking sound behind him and my thoughts ran back to his comment. “I actually don't know what time she planned to be here” I answered. “We just said this morning.”
I really needed to get a grip. I just let a complete stranger walk in my home when I was only half dressed and I didn't know his name.
As if reading my thoughts he held out a hand. “Matt. Heather asked me to come by and help with a bed this morning.”
I slipped my fingers through his palm to shake and was impressed by the large hand with the tender grip.
“Nice to meet you.” I stated. I was still a little apprehensive since Heather never mentioned her brother coming along to help. “Would you like some coffee? I'm still working on locating the screws for the bed. I hope you're not in too much of a hurry.”
He smiled. “No. I have time and coffee would be great.”
I handed him the cup. “I'll show you where I'm setting it up. I know the hardware is in a box in my room I just don't know which box yet. I'm sorry.”
He grinned. “Go ahead and look.”
He stood in the doorway of my bedroom as I looked around my room. It was a complete mess. I had been sleeping on the mattress on the floor. I was embarrassed by the sight of my room with his eyes watching me.
“Thanks for coming to help.” I stated nervously as I rummaged through boxes. I was pulling stuff out and throwing it back in as I went through each box and growing more impatient with each box. Matt asked me where I moved from, if I liked my new job and if I had tried any restaurants in town. I was grateful for the small talk as I tried to hurry and find the bolts. I was way too aware of him watching me as I shifted through the mess in my room.
I finally located the right box and found the bag of screws. I held them up like a kid winning a prize. I was ecstatic. Finally I would have a bed.
He chuckled as he put his cup on my dresser. “Next time tape them to the frame and you won't have to look for them.”
I smiled. “That's a good idea. Geez. I hope next time isn't any time soon. Movings hard work.”
Matt went about setting up the bed. I was thankful I had Jareds tool box. I helped when directed but really had no clue how a bed went together. I almost stated that fact and the fact that this was something my husband would normally do but I refrained. I would have to explain my husband passed and I was trying a new thing where I didn't mention I was a widow. This was a move to get a new life and I had to leave the old one behind.
Half way through the frame being bolted there was a knock at my door. “I'm sure that's my sister.” He smiled knowingly.
As I answered the door. Heather greeted me with a hug. “I brought donuts.”
“How's it going?”
“Good. Your brother is putting my bed together.”
“I knew he would be useful.” She giggled.
Heather teased her brother as he put the bed together. “Are you sure you know what you're doing?”
“I think I can manage.” He stated. “At least I know how to show up on time.”
“Whatever. I had girls to take to school remember?”
“What was your excuse before kids?” He joked.
I giggled at their banter as Heather stuck her tongue out at her brother.
“Eat your donut while I do the real work.” He chuckled, a sound I found relaxing. I hadn't heard a man chuckle in a long time. It was nice to be around people who didn't know I was dying inside.
After the bed was assembled I fell in it spreading out my arms and legs and sighing. “Finally no crawling off the floor.” I wasn't thinking about the audience I had until I was laying flat.
Heather and Matt chuckled.
“How long have you been here?” Matt asked.
Heather looked around. “I can stay and help you unpack.”
“Thanks. I still have shelves to put together to have a place for it and some of it has to go. I had way more room in Kansas.”
“Do you have the shelves?” Matt asked.
“Let's have a look.” He smiled offering to put them together.
“Are you sure? Trust me I'm grateful for the bed. I don't want to take advantage of your time.”
“It's no problem.” He grinned. “I have time till first rounds.”
As the morning progressed I learned that Matt was a family doctor. He worked a clinic with his father and filled in at the hospital when necessary. As he put my two shelves together I couldn't help but stare at his strong stature. He was physically fit. My brain compared him to Jared. Jared had been serious about working out he had been extremely buff. Matt wasn't as large as Jared but he was definitely not a slacker.
I watched his arms flex and tighten as he lifted the tall shelf in place.
“Where would you like this?” He asked as it eyed the room.
“I hadn't thought that far.” I stated.
Heather chimed in. “You have two so maybe you should do one here and another here” she pointed to the back of the den to one wall that had no door or windows. “and you'll have the space between to hang pictures and put a small table for a lamp or something.”
I agreed. I could always change it later.
“Do you have pictures we can hang?” Heather asked.
My heart stopped. Pictures? The only pictures I really had to hang were of Jared and I. No. I couldn't hang those. I didn't want to look at them. “Not yet.” I stated. “I'll have to find them.” I lied. I knew right where they were. They sat in that box near the end of the hall that had the word fragile on it. Sadly, it wasn’t the glass frames that were fragile, it was my heart that would break all over again when I looked at them.
Matt left shortly after the second shelf was assembled. He had wished me good luck and gave me a small squeeze across my shoulders in an small sideways hug. He smelled as good as he looked. Masculine. I had to admit I was a little disappointed when he left.
A week went by and I had gotten the hang of my new job. It kept me busy and focused. I didn't have time to dwell on my losses. Keeping Jareds memories from evading my mind had become easier. Moving had been the best decision. In Kansas I was confronted daily by Jareds memory. From every where I went to his parents constantly coming over. We lived in his parents house they had given to us as a wedding present. They had moved into a smaller house down the road.
In Kansas I couldn't get past losing Jared. I had gotten so depressed that I quit my job. I stayed home and ignored everyone. I lost all my friends. I was too depressing to be around and I couldn't get away from it.
The decision to move didn't happen overnight. I battled back and forth and at first I just planned to move into a new house. Maybe the memories wouldn't be so bad. I had to figure out how to move on or die myself.
One evening I discussed my plans with my brother and he agreed but he added that maybe a new town would do me some good too. At first I didn't want to leave my family but as his words really sunk in I liked the idea more and more. I started applying for jobs around the country. Whoever hired me first that's where I would go. I wasn't as concerned with pay as much as I was with getting out of Kansas. Besides I would only move long enough to get my mind right. Then I could go back to Kansas and start over.
© Copyright 2017 Trixie. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Romance
Book / Romance
Book / Erotica