Chapter Two

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Do You Know The Muffin Man?

Spending a good portion of the morning and early afternoon wandering down the streets, stopping within a few shops and browsing, yet mostly only window shopping, I eventually found myself sitting in a small park not too far from my apartment, having stumbled across it on my journey back to the place. It wasn't much for a park, just a grass field, a small pound, and a swing set, but it was calming to say the least.

Wasting time watching the ducks in the pond, I was pleasantly entertained by a mother and her young daughter prancing around the grass field not too far from where I sat. The way the little girl lit up every time her mom picked her off the ground and spun her around was enough to have a smile slipping onto my lips.

Not knowing the little girl noticed my presence, I was quite surprised when she plucked a flower from the ground and came running in my direction, stopping a foot in front of where I sat on the bench and held out the flower. Startled by her daughters sudden action, the mother came jogging behind her, watching carefully as her daughter interacted with a stranger.

When I didn't move to take it, the little girl stepped forward and held it closer to me, "I picked this for you," She spoke softly, her sweet innocence reminding me of Braden. Smiling, I reached out and took the flower as the little girl's mom came up behind her.

"Thank you," I told the little girl softly, bringing it up to my face and taking a deep breath, inhaling the sweet scent of the wildflower.

Beaming at my action, the little girl looked up at her mom her smile instantly transferring to her mom's face. "Sorry to interrupt your tranquility," She apologized, "Mackenzie is a social butterfly in every sense of the word, she doesn't quite understand that she can't go up to anyone she sees," She laughed lightly, running one of her hands absentmindedly through her daughters hair, "Oh, I'm Emily by the way," She introduced herself, offering out her hand for me to shake.

Reaching out, I took it in mine and sent her a smile, "I'm Gemma, just got in town last night, Tina was nice enough to rent out a room for me to stay in," I responded quickly, confused again as to why I always told people more than I needed to.

Emily smiled, "It's nice to meet you Gemma, welcome to town! I'm sure you've captured how friendly this town really is, I'll admit there's a few people that aren't the nicest people on first impression, but honestly everyone in town has a big heart, we're like one big family," She smiled, obviously proud of the town she lived in.

Finding myself smiling as she explained her town, I knew I was going to like it here, "Thank you," I spoke softly, "I guess I ended up in the right place by chance, as they say, everything truly does happen for a reason," I quoted, knowing for some reason everything happened and sent me to this city, I may not know or understand why, but I do know it happened for some reason.

"I've always disliked that saying, it simply irks me how correct it always is," She shook her head, laughing lightly at her own words. I smiled and nodded, agreeing wholeheartedly, "It was lovely meeting you Gemma, I'm sure we'll see you around, I hope you like it here!" Emily spoke sweetly, sending me a beaming smile before nudging Mackenzie off towards where they previously were running around in the grass.

Watching them as they walked away, I couldn't fight the smile that stole my lips. The hospitality of every individual who lived here was breathtaking. I would be lying if I said they didn't make me feel beyond welcome.

Lost in my thoughts, I came to realize time was flying by when my stomach grumbled loudly, demanding it be fed. With a soft laugh slipping through my lips, I rose from my seat and began wandering back down the street I knew would lead me back to the apartment.

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