Chapter 32 - It's Not New

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A/N: I have a new book! Hope you're ready for some mad(den) drabbles. x

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Pretty.

Studying herself in the mirror, Mia twirled the ends of her hair with a thick-barreled curler, letting each section bounce off her shoulder and fall into waves. The smell of burnt metal alarmed her, so she picked up the pace, making sure each strand wasn't overdone, or overcooked.

Her floral maxi dress was shorter along the front of the skirt than the back. It was in a dark teal, adorned with a flower print that stretched across all hues of yellow. The haltered neckline defined her shoulders, and its ruffled fabric stirred a sway in her walk, which she liked most about the garment.

She hoped that it was pretty enough.

It didn't take very long for Mia to grow bored, however, and nervous. By the time she had finished getting ready, the hour hand of the clock above the fireplace was already just a few short stops away from seven. That was only if Richard was going to be on-time, though Mia doubted it.

She sat on the sofa with her leg crossed over the other, her small sling bag nestled in her lap. There was a knocking in her chest that resulted from overthinking; she had been on numerous dates before, but none quite like the one planned for the evening—with the only man she, genuinely and truthfully, ever loved in her life apart from those of her kin. It made her reminisce about the dates Richard had gone on when they were younger, how some ended in major highs while others collapsed into terrible lows. Mia would always be the first to know, but now the tables had turned. They had actually flipped, where it wasn't going to be stories about the other's dates anymore. It was going to be about their experiences together, moving forward, and although it seemed magical, she still worried about it, terribly.

Within an uneventful minute, the worrying came to an abrupt stop when she heard the bronze door knocker bang against the mahogany wood behind her. She knew that it wasn't Richard, simply because he had keys, so she hesitated and remained in her position a while longer.

But the banging continued. Though it wasn't her flat, Mia took the liberty to answer the door anyway, in case it was urgent or someone needing help. She got up and opened it breezily, greeting the stranger before her.

"Yes?" Mia said, studying the woman discreetly.

Sharp cheekbones, an oval face, and round, blue eyes covered by an inch of thick lashes. Her hair was a shiny red that was tied into a high bun, supported by a pink sweatband that centered her hairline. She looked around the same age as Mia. Beads of sweat raced down her skin, her chest rising and falling in pants, and the puddles that had been absorbed by her black sports bra and matching shorts suggested that she had been on a run. It couldn't have been just the stairs.

"Hi! Is Richard here?" Her voice was a little high-pitched. She pointed downward, to the floor, while a confused look masked her face.

"No..." Mia was very careful with her answer, afraid that the lady was an obsessive fan who had tracked his whereabouts.

"I was just going to ask him if he still wants my baby?"

Mia nearly choked on her own saliva. "I'm sorry, your what?"

"It's a little old. Here." She shuffled to her right and entered the unit next door before returning with a handheld vacuum in her hand. "Sometimes the bloody filter doesn't come off, so you gotta pry it open. It's a little loud, too."

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