Chapter 1 - A New Start

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I watch as the last box is set down in the living room by the movers. Evan comes bounding in the room, her silver-blue eyes so like her dad's, looking up at me excitedly. "Mommy, are we going to put my room together first?"

"Yes, sweetie. Just let me finish up with the movers, okay?"

"Yes, Mommy." She skips back into her bedroom excitedly.

I finish up with the movers and walk back into our townhouse. After I close the door and lock it, I stop and look around. The memories start to invade, but I push them down. I won't let them get to me today. I'm happy, and my daughter and I are starting a new life. Next week, I start my new job and Evan starts her new school. I worked too hard and long to not enjoy this moment. I take a deep breath and walk into my daughter's room.

"Where do you want this to go, honey?" I ask her.

"Put it right there on my dresser." I sit the picture of her and me on the corner of the nightstand where she points. We have already put all of the clothes away and positioned her bed, dressers and desk the way that she wants them.

"Are you going to be okay sleeping in here alone tonight?" I ask.

"I will, Mommy. I'm a big girl," she answers.

"I know you are. We have shared a room for so long, it's going to be kind of lonely without you." I put a little frown on my face.

"I'm going to miss you too. But I'm so excited about my new room." She bounces a little.

"If you need me, you know where to find me, right?" I look down at her while she's digging through her box and putting things where she wants them.

"I do." She rolls her eyes.

I smile at her. "I'm going to put my room together now and then we'll go have dinner, okay?"

"Okay. I'm almost finished, and then I'll come in and help you with your room." Evan walks over and kisses me on my cheek.

"Thank you, sweetie." I walk out of the room running my hand across her new purple comforter with butterflies on it, smoothing it down from where I sat on it.

I look around my new room, and it's twice the size of the bedroom that Evan and I shared for the past seven years. I arrange the new bedroom set the way I want it and then start to put my things away. I walk into my bathroom and set my toothbrush into the new holder, looking around me. I actually have my own bathroom. It's still like a dream to me. My life has changed for the better, and I did it on my own. Well, with a little help from my dad, but I can't tell anyone that. He swore me to secrecy.

I hear the doorbell ring and walk downstairs to see who's there. My friend, Meredith, is on the other side of the door. I hurry and open the door to let her inside. She looks around as she walks inside. "This is really nice. I'm so happy for you!" She gives me a hug.

"Thanks, I'm so happy to be out of that dump. I want to say one more time, thank you so much for letting us spend weekends with you. I know there wasn't much room, but you made room for us and made us feel welcome."

"I wouldn't have had it any other way. Besides, you always made the best dinners. What are you having tonight?" She maneuvers the boxes and head toward the kitchen.

"We are just having take-out tonight. We'll probably have it for the next couple of days until we get unpacked all the way. Do you want to go to dinner with us?" I ask, following her.

"Sure, where are you going?"

"We haven't decided yet. I'm putting my room together, and then we will figure it out," I tell her.

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