Since Abbi is so kind and sweet and all that. She released the prologue early. I hope you're all ready because... it requires a few tissues.
13 years ago…
There was no knock at the door then just the small shuffle of feet. My chest already ached. Mom had called me on their way home to tell me what she’d done and that now she needed to go out to have some cocktails with friends. I’d be the one that would need to soothe Nan. My mom couldn’t handle the stress it involved. Or so she said when she called me.
“Rush?” Nan’s voice called out with a hiccup. She’d been crying.
“I’m here, Nan.” I said as I stood up from the beanbag I’d been sitting on in the corner. It was my hiding spot. In this house you needed a hiding spot. If you didn’t have one then bad things happened.
Strands of Nan’s red curls stuck to her wet face. Her bottom lip quivered as she stared up at me with those sad eyes of hers. I hardly ever saw them happy. My mother only gave her attention when she needed to dress her up and show her off. The rest of the time she was ignored. Except for me. I did my best to make her feel wanted.
“I didn’t see him. He wasn’t there,” she whispered then a small sob escaped. I didn’t have to ask who “he” was. I knew. Mom had gotten tired of hearing Nan ask about her father. So she’d decided to take her to see him. I wish she’d told me. I wish I could have gone. The stricken look on Nan’s face had my hands balling into fist. If I ever saw that man I was gonna punch him in the nose. I wanted to see him bleed.
“Come here,” I said reaching out a hand and pulling my little sister into my arms. She wrapped them around my waist and squeezed me tightly. Times like this it was hard to breathe. I hated the life she’d been given. At least I knew my dad wanted me. He spent time with me.
“He has other daughters. Two of them. And they’re… beautiful. Their hair is like an angel’s hair. And they have a momma that lets them play outside in the dirt. They were wearing tennis shoes. Dirty ones.” Nan was envious of dirty tennis shoes. Our mother didn’t allow her to be less than perfect at all times. She’d never even owned a pair of tennis shoes.
“They can’t be more beautiful than you,” I assured her because I firmly believed that.
Nan sniffed and then pulled back from me. Her head tilted up and those big green eyes looked up at me. “They are. I saw them. I could see pictures on the wall with both girls and a man. He loves them…. He doesn’t love me.”
I couldn’t lie to her. She was right. He didn’t love her.
“He’s a stupid asshat. You have me, Nan. You’ll always have me.”
Ugh... That was really sweet, it's going to make my job of hating Nan hard. But what I really want is for both of them to get along and you know like each other. Not hate each other and pull guns out at the other.
Since Abbi is a lover of torturing people she also left us a little tidbit from the present time.
“Ever heard of calling before you come over?” Nan snapped as she walked into the living room dressed in a short silk wrap. She looked so much like our mother the older she got.
“It’s almost lunch, Nan. You can’t keep the man in bed all day,” I replied and opened the doors that led out onto the balcony overlooking the gulf. “I need to talk to you and I don’t want to do it so that your bedroom buddy can hear us.”
Nan rolled her eyes and stepped outside. “I find it odd that I’ve been trying to get you to talk to me for weeks and now that you want to talk you come barging over like I have no life. At least I call you first.” She was starting to sound like our mother too.
“I own this condo, Nan. I can come in any damn time I want to,” I reminded her. She would be leaving here in August to head back to her sorority house and her still undecided major. College was a social function for her. She knew I’d pay her bills and tuition. I’d always taken care of everything for her.
“Snarky much. What is this about? I haven’t had my coffee yet.” She also wasn’t afraid of me. I didn’t want her to be but it was time she grew up. I wasn’t going to let her send Blaire running. In a month, Nan would be gone. Normally I would too. Not this year. I’d be keeping my residence at Rosemary. Mother would have to pick another location. She wasn’t going to have this house free for the rest of the year.
“Blaire is back,” I told her bluntly.