Chapter 1

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Rose's muscles clenched as Adam Bryers tracked past her eyes. His glimmering white teeth concentrated her focus as they neared her padded cheeks. Dirty blonde strands blew around, causing his hair to be frizzled.
"I love you," Adam whispered gently as their lips pressed together.
"I love you, too," Rose Amberline spoke softly.
* * *
"Rose? Wake up!" Rose felt her brother, Byron's arm on her shoulder. "Come on! You've got to get to work!"
At that instant, she bobbed her head up from the dash of the passenger seat. Her golden streaked hair was thrown into knots.
"Ugh." Rose grunted as she looked in the mirror. She looked over to see a grinning Byron staring at her, and shot him a glare.
Combing her locks with her fingernails, Rose decided it was good enough. The clock read 9:58. She had 2 minutes to spare. Rushing her less-than-average legs through the door of Jimmy's Bookstore, she was met by an unimpressed Lucy. Her arms crossed and her foot tapped, standing in the way of Rose.
"Ahem." Lucy raised an eyebrow.
Rose was utterly confused. She pulled her flip-phone out of her jeans and assured she was on time.
"What's the matter?" Rose questioned. She stared blindly at Lucy, waiting for an answer.
"You told me you'd be here this morning. Remember?"
Rose's eyes widened. She'd completely forgotten about the reading time for the pre-schoolers this morning. That wasn't the first time, either.
"I can't keep holding out for you," Lucy began gently.
"I know, but I need just one more chance."
"I'm sorry, Rose. I really am. You're a good girl, but you've been too distracted lately. Late for work, backing out on commitments; I can't do this anymore." Her eyebrows furrowed as she continued, "You're fired. I'll give you until the end of the day to gather your things."
Rose crumbled from the inside, out. She couldn't afford this. Her mortgage. Her schooling. Her life. Just another of life's disappointments. If only someone knew how much she'd held back. Eyes flickering and mascara running, Rose covered her face. Gathering a tissue from the front desk, she wiped off what was possible and stammered out the door.
She captured a glimpse of Lucy before turning at the stare coming back at her. Despite the relationship between the two only a month ago, Rose was furious at Lucy. All she wanted in that moment was for Lucy to feel the agony she was-the fear.
Lucy grasped her head as she burrowed in her hands. "Lord, help me."
Rose wobbled out of the Chicago bookstore as she leaned against the bricks of its walls.
Laying on the grass under her, she weeped, rushing her digits past her pupils constantly. "I hate you," she growled, unsure of who it was directed to. Probably the world, Lucy, ... Adam. If it hadn't been for any of them, her circumstances would've been extremely different.
Grieving, Rose wondered why Lucy wouldn't give her another shot. Why couldn't she have given one more chance? One. Her questioning didn't last long when she realized she could ask the same thing to practically everyone she knew.
***
Brriiiinnng! The phone rang wildly as Rose chased to catch it before anyone else.
"Hello?"
"Rosy?"
"Adam! Oh, crap. I was going to tell you I can't make it Saturday night. I guess I got sort of busy."
"No worries. I can't either. Actually, that's what I was phoning about."
* * *
Rose's face whimpered while she cried out in a scream. She missed her job. She missed him. She missed the nights of non-stop laughter. She just plain missed life.

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