by Sharon K. Souza
(Catch up on the story here.)
There you are? My heart felt like it would burst through my chest. I threw my legs over the side of the bed, stood, and nearly fainted again as the blood rushed to my head.
“Easy there,” Peta said, as I dropped to the bed.
She lowered herself to the floor with uncanny ease. Then, with a smirk, she tugged out the shoe box. She paused for a moment, looking me square in the eye, as if giving me a chance to confess to its contents before she discovered for herself. But what could I say? Wordlessly, my eyes dropped to the box.
“I really thought it would be me she visited,” Peta said. She tossed her frizzy, silver ponytail back over her shoulder.
“Sh-she? She who?”
Peta laughed that biting laugh again. “Oh, Cuz. This is me, remember?”
I did remember. All too well. I remembered that summer I first brought Don to meet my family, to meet the cousin who was more like a sister. The same sister-cousin who betrayed me.
The smile faded from Peta’s face, and I knew she remembered too. “You’re not still holding a grudge, are you? After all these years? We were kids. I mean, what’s the point? He went back to you.”
“Why did you do it?” I hated that there was still pain in my voice.
“Honestly, Maeva, that’s ancient history.” She said it like it was no big deal, and yet she squirmed, adjusted the shoulders of her peasant blouse, fluffed her skirt.
I lowered my eyes, let her off the hook, because she was right, what was the point? I was about to say as much when all at once she lifted the shoe box and placed it on the bed beside me.
With a devilish grin she lifted the lid. Then she sat back on her heels with a huff. I looked ever-so-slowly at the box on the bed. Blinked. And blinked again. Inside were a pair of green pumps, one with a broken heel. I looked back at Peta, gave her a weak smile.
Suddenly, Hector appeared from beneath the bed. Peta scrambled away from him, got to her feet and backed to the door. “I know it’s here,” she said. “I know it.” Then she turned and hurried away.
I dug through the shoe box looking for the Her, but there was nothing inside but the shoes. Shoes I’d never purchased.
“Hector?” I said, thinking the unthinkable.
He sat there and swished his tail with a smile on his face.
Thank you, Sharon!
Sharon is the author of three published novels, Every Good and Perfect Gift, Lying on Sundays, and Unraveled. She doesn't shy away from the hard questions and the emotion that draws us into a story. Her storytelling is powerful.
ATTENTION! We need one more author to participate in our story in the month of June. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if want to make your splash.