My temper landed me in more trouble than I would have liked. No trouble would have been great, but actions had consequences, and I accepted that fact of life. But. If people would just chill out and listen to me, I wouldn’t be forced to snap so often and hurt their little feelings.
And honestly? My parents told me that I’d straight up inherited that trait from Granny, so it was pretty amazingly hypocritical of her to get mad when my sass showed up to party.
And punishment number one of the forthcoming eleventy billion?
One-hundred percent unfair.
Instead of letting me spend the afternoon shadowing Nadiya to finish learning my managerial duties like I’d planned to, Granny kicked me out.
“Go outside and get some air. Take a nap. Do something. I don’t want you or your attitude in here.”
That cut me deep. Right to the bone. Nothing could have possibly
hurt me more than being banished from Goldeen’s.
Also, for the record? Air was everywhere. That made zero sense,
but even my parents said it.
I walked to the Sugar Shoppe on Second Street even though the weather could be described using the words muggy, hot, and balls, with a few conjunctions thrown in for clarity. Kara loved chocolate- covered walnuts and red whips, so I bought those and some jaw- breakers for Winston because he hated them. Sweetening Kara up and irritating Winston would at least open the communication door.
Granny was mad at me. That overrode everything else. I needed my people back on my side and talking to me. She would get over it eventually, but I wasn’t above playing the victim card to gain sympa- thy points from my people until that happened.
After buying the candy, I wandered through Misty Haven, saying hi and catching up with everyone.
That lasted like twenty minutes.
Granny had kept me up to speed throughout the year. I already knew everything about Miss Shin’s new online store, Sunshine Cross- Stitch; the automotive shop’s expansion into the tow-truck business; the day care that opened up last fall and was currently really pissed off at Sam for taking some of their business; how the floral boutique Forget-Me-Nots had reached their first million-dollar revenue mile- stone after thirty years. . . .
All of it so wonderful.
All of it so boring and not what I wanted to be doing.
I ended up at the park, sitting on a bench, with a cup of praline ripple ice cream. Not even Sam could save me from my boredom. Her shift babysitting the Honey Bunches of Kids didn’t end until five.
Side note: I really needed to make more friends in HC.
I could’ve moved on to Merry, but thanks to Kara I knew all about
the happenings over there, too. Move-ins, babies, foreclosures—all of it started to bleed together after a while.
The indelible charm of Haven Central tended to suck people in until, when you thought about it, only one pervasive whimsical feel- ing stuck out. Nothing felt unique or exceptional about it. It was a place to live, just like any other.
Butterfl , birds, bees, name a winged creature, and it fl
inside of my stomach at the sight of Dallas. That initial gut reaction
from seeing him always took me by surprise.
Having a type was a strange, strange thing. So far, I knew I liked pretty boys and beautiful girls, and thought that love at first sight was a myth on par with the Loch Ness Monster. Maybe it was real in a prehistoric, tale-as-old-as-time kind of way. But maybe it was a fan- tastical hoax created to uphold unreal romantic expectations, because there was no way that’s all there was to it.
Right then, all I knew for sure was that I really, really liked Dallas’s face.