by Michelle Lynn
: a strong and harmful need to regularly have something or do something
: an unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something
Leah and Adam have never met.
However, they live parallel lives.
Lives plagued by addiction.
When a tragic, but common demon, surfaces between their siblings, Leah and Adam’s worlds collide, never to be the same again.
Adam loses his sister forever.
Leah’s brother returns.
Both gain a niece, neither knew existed.
Now they face an obstacle to raise a niece together while Leah’s brother struggles to free himself from the grip of drug addiction as Adam’s family grieves for the sister and daughter they lost.
A commonality is discovered.
Deep wounds begin to heal.
Lines blur as their lives entwine.
“Anytime, Leah, we’re family now, right?” I assure her. You can lean on me anytime.
“Yeah…right…family,” she almost whispers it to herself.
I sit, leaning against the wall with my knees propped up, watching her hang up the clothes I bought Dani today. She sorts them between short sleeve, long sleeve, and sweaters, and then color-codes them. She neatly places the shoes on the floor of the closet and then puts the pajamas into the dresser drawer. So precise and organized it makes me want to throw her down and kiss her senseless. Let her know it’s okay to be a mess sometimes and see what could happen when she unwinds a little.
“Adam, this was so nice. I really could have handled her clothes, but thank you.” She turns her head to look over her shoulder and smiles at me. My heart rate increases simply from the happiness I brought her.
“I told you, she’s my niece, too. I could barely find something warm enough for her to wear today in that suitcase.”
“I know, but you went to really nice stores. It must have cost you a small fortune.”
“Well, I know women like the expensive stuff.” She turns around and scrunches her forehead, but quickly smirks.
“True, but sometimes you would be amazed what you find in a sale’s bin.” Please, tell me I’m not what she considers some dollar store deal. She walks over to me and sits cross-legged across from me, taking in the transformed room. “It looks like a little girl room, right?” she asks.
“Definitely, just put a no boys sign outside, and it’s complete,” I joke, and she joins me.
“Good, it’s just when I came in here earlier, and she was putting those pictures up, I figured she needed a space that was hers. I’m beginning to think she’s never had her own space.” The love she feels for Dani lights up her eyes, making my heart open even more for her.
Michelle moved around the Midwest most of her life, transferring from school to school before settling down in the outskirts of Chicago ten years ago, where she now resides with her husband and two kids. She developed a love of reading at a young age, which helped lay the foundation for her passion to write. With the encouragement of her family, she finally sat down and wrote one of the many stories that have been floating around in her head. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can be found playing with her kids, talking to her mom on the phone, or hanging out with her family and friends. But after chasing around twin preschoolers all day, she always cherishes her relaxation time after putting the kids to bed.
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