35. game seven.

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Ethan's team making the playoffs meant that every second or third game was on the road

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Ethan's team making the playoffs meant that every second or third game was on the road. Needless to say, he was away a lot.

I hated that part.

For the second day in a row, I arrived home to a silent, empty condo. It dredged up some unpleasant memories. Things were different now, but I still didn't like the reminder of how they'd been. And I just liked it better when he was home.

I knew I needed to get used to it, though. After school was finished, he'd be away more often than not. Hopefully, my own job would keep me busy enough that it would be tolerable, if still bit lonely.

Maybe we should get a pet; a dog or something to keep me company. A big, scary guard dog. I got nervous when he was away overnight, too. Every bump in the night sent my imagination running wild.

Sometimes I slept with the lamp on. But no one else needed to know that.

I started unloading the dishwasher, wiping off the dishes that didn't dry fully with a tea towel. As I was finishing, the downstairs buzzer sounded. I set down the last glass, frowning; I wasn't expecting anybody, and Isabelle had the code if she decided to drop in.

Confused, I answered the intercom.


"Delivery for Miss Ryan Winters," an unfamiliar male voice said.

"Um, okay. Be right down."

Delivery? I racked my brain, trying to figure out what it could be.

I slept poorly when Ethan wasn't home and I had been taking Ambien periodically; I'd heard stories of people doing strange things under its influence.

Had I been sleep shopping on Amazon? I did have one-click ordering enabled...

As I got downstairs, I saw a delivery man waiting in the lobby. He was holding a bouquet of gorgeous, expensive-looking purple orchids.

They were, of course, my favorite.

I was prone to tearing up- the most recent culprit was a sentimental coffee commercial- and this was no exception.

In the elevator on the way back upstairs, I called Ethan to see if I could catch him before he got on the ice.

"Hey you," he said as he answered the phone. "I was just thinking about you."

"Thank you for the orchids. That was so sweet! You totally made my day," I told him, unlocking the door and searching for a vase in the kitchen cupboard.

"Just my way of saying I'm sorry I won't be home tonight," he said. "I miss you."

"I miss you, too. But at least I'll see you tomorrow at your game. Isabelle and I are excited to come watch."

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