“Thank you so much, Stella. I really appreciate you helping me out. I’ll stop in tomorrow and let you know when my last day will be at R&G.”
“Okay, love. And remember, I’m always here for you. Be calm and know everything will work out. You’ll learn the ropes quickly and do just fine.” She gives my shoulder a gentle squeeze and a calming warmth flows through me.
Stella reminds me of Aunt Sid. “Find your calm in the chaos.” Those words weren’t original but coming from Aunt Sid they were gold. She’d tell me how to breathe and control my emotions, so I could let my mind process the decisions I needed to make. I take comfort in the signs I see that she’s still looking out for me.
“Thank you again.” I pull her into a big hug and a slight hint of Shalimar, my aunt’s favorite perfume, tweaks my nose. Stella feels like family. She wasn’t kidding when she said no one was a stranger here.
We pull apart and Stella bids us goodnight as Jack takes my hand to lead me out the front door. When we step out onto the corner, the light from a streetlamp gives Jack a halo. He takes my face with both hands and bends down to kiss me. I melt into him. The last bit of stress leaves my body and I know with the support system I have, I can do anything.
“Thank you for being here for me, Jack.”
“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.” He drops his hands and pulls me to him for a big hug and then we walk arm in arm to my apartment.
When we arrive, he gives me one last kiss and wishes me luck for tomorrow. I climb the stairs in a foggy, love-induced stupor. As soon as I walk into my apartment the spell is broken and I know I need to do one more thing before I go to bed
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