By the time Scott dropped me off, Matt’s arrest was all over the late news. Dad took one look at me and shook his head.
In a sad voice, he pointed out, “You haven't had any luck with dating since your mother died.”
My dating history was as checkered as a rap sheet. After Leo split, each boy—and later man—got progressively worse. Men who used drugs and drank too much. There was one prone to violence who wanted to use me like a punching bag and then love on me afterward. Weak ones, dumb ones, and arrogant ones. I’d dated them all and screwed too many of them. My colorful experiences taught me one thing—Matt wasn’t a killer.
I plopped onto the sofa and reached for the remote. I didn’t need to hear someone’s idiotic accusations. “He didn’t do it.”
“Can you be sure?”
Short answer? No.
Honestly, I had no proof one way or the other. It was a gut feeling. But for the sake of argument, I’d stick with the longer, more complicated answer. The one that maintained Matt’s innocence. “He didn’t do it, Dad.”
“Just because you repeat something doesn’t make it true.”
I glanced at the snowflakes falling. Soon it would be Thanksgiving. Was I thankful for anything? Running into an old boyfriend who ditched me right after I spread my legs? A love interest who was accused of murder? A stalker—who just happened to be the old beau—upending my life? Or maybe I should be thankful for being able to come home again? Knowing that my father would always welcome me despite the circumstances.
“Say what you will, Dad. I know he didn’t do it.”
He opened his mouth.
“You don’t have to say it. Yes, I can be a poor judge of character but not anymore.”
Dad quirked an eyebrow.
He wasn’t the only one with doubts. I was questioning my sanity, but my craziness shouldn’t condemn a man.
“The old me was reckless and hurt. I was looking for ways to stop the pain. That’s why I got involved with Leo. The new me didn’t recognize him. If I had…” My voice trailed off.
What would I have done if I’d realized the stranger in the bar was Leon?
Greeted him and then told his ass off?
Not hardly. My traitorous heart would have fallen. Again.
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