f I had known what awaited me on the other side of the front door on that warm summer day, I would’ve paid a lot more attention to the warning.
I wouldn’t have stepped foot inside.
If I had known this kind of love awaited me, along with the affections of three wonderfully different men, I would’ve leapt inside.
Sometimes what we think are our lowest points turn into our best memories. Curses become blessings, vices become accomplishments. Fear transforms into love, and wants morph into haves. So many small moments create a paint by number canvas you can only see when it’s complete.
We all took things away from our time in the house. Felix might have been the one cursed, but we all changed. Last week, he came home with a document he handed to me without a word. It was blueprints for a new homeless shelter, one he was funding entirely himself. My mouth dropped open. But for him, this was how he needed to atone. It was something he could manage, a job to keep him busy.
The next day, Theo and I took a road trip to his hometown, the first time he had ever visited his parents’ graves. I held his hand as he wept and told his parents exactly what he had been up to since their passing. We didn’t stay long, because he was starting college the next week, and we needed to prepare. The three of us motivating him was enough for him to take the leap and register.
And my sweet Luther. The first thing he did when I brought the computer home was search the internet for James. James was living in a nursing home now, and when Luther called to speak to him, a daughter answered. With tears in his eyes Luther gave his best to the first love of his life. When he hung up the phone, he smiled. “How can I be sad when he found true happiness? I never cared who he found it with, as long as he had it. And now, I have mine.” He kissed me, and I fell easily into his safe arms.
I was content, knowing I wasn’t alone. I thought my men were all I needed. Until Theo took me for a drive one day, and he stopped at a small shop in town.
“What are we doing here?” I asked, frowning.
“Just get out and see.” He grinned, and I couldn’t help but smile back.
At the front of the shop he stopped. I smiled at him, not understanding. “I don’t think they’re open.”
“Luckily, I have a key.” Sure enough, Theo pulled a key out of his pocket and turned the lock. I stepped inside the dark store, waiting for my eyes to adjust, only for the light to flick on. Standing there were Brynn, Felix, and Luther, all with huge smiles on their faces.
“Wha…what is this?” My mouth dropped open, looking around at the small, tidy shop. It was old, but clean. The shelves were in great shape, and a soft grey coated the walls.
Felix took a step forward, tucking a stray piece of hair behind my ear. “Your shop, darling. A place for all of your treasures.” He pointed to a sign above the back wall. Lost and Found. He smiled. “It was Brynn’s idea.”
My eyes widened, taking more of the space in. “It’s…mine? Really?”
Luther’s grin was about to split his face in two. “You’ve done so much for us. It’s the least we could do. Now you just need to fill it.”
I could’ve cried. Instead I laughed. I spent a lot of time regretting my past while I sat trapped in the house, mourning the decisions that led me to that point. Now of my own free will, I’m sitting in the same dining room that used to haunt me. Except ghosts of regret weren’t here anymore. Instead, my men sat around me, serving dinner on the cornflower blue plates I had fallen in love with the first time I saw them.
They laughed and joked, poking fun at each other. The biggest plate of cheeseburgers sat in front of us, waiting for me to dig in. I looked around at the three of them, smiling. This was what it felt like to be loved. Happy.
No, walking wouldn’t have been fast enough to get to the rest of my life. If I could’ve, I would’ve flown inside that door–jinx be damned.