The day I walked away from Karissa was the hardest day of my life. Until the mother of my newborn daughter walked out of the hospital and left both of us behind.
My daughter and I built a life, just the two of us. We were happy, and we were together. But when she started getting into trouble at high school, a change had to be made. Nothing mattered to me more than her. So, I did what I couldn’t do for Karissa. I embraced small town life.
I never expected we’d end up in Karissa’s small town. With her best friend and my best friend starting a family, and trying to make us a part of it. Keeping my distance from her was the smart thing, but I was never the smart one out of the two of us.
I thought of myself as smart. Someone who could use her brains to figure things out. When I designed a dating app, I thought it was good. For everyone except me, apparently.
The app matched me with my ex. My ex who decided all the things he wanted in his life were the opposite of what I wanted. Small town? Nope, moving to the city. Regular job? Nope, something big and flashy. Quiet life together? Ha! That was the biggest joke of all.
He had all those things. He got the big job in the big city and lived his big life. But now he’s in my small town. He’s eating at my favorite places and making space for himself within my group of friends. He’s infiltrating my world.
But he’s not getting back inside my heart.
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Excerpt from His Curvy Genius
“Are you guys ready for dessert?” Finley asked loudly. “Karissa brought cake.”
“I could definitely go for some cake,” Trent said. “Thanks. We’re glad you could be here tonight. I know we’re boring and only talk about baby stuff, but we want you to be comfortable coming over here whenever you want to.”
“Thanks,” I told him. I would never feel comfortable going to his house, but I would try. For Finley, I would try.
“I also really hope you two can get along again. I know you were friends in college, but—”
“Friends?” I asked, turning to look at Xavier. “You told him we were friends?”
He shrugged like that was the best descriptor for what we’d been to each other.
“Did I say something wrong?” Trent asked.
I huffed a laugh. “No. No, you didn’t say anything wrong. But I think us being ‘friends’ again is going to be a high bar. I mean, maybe I’m wrong, but a prefer to be friends with people I can trust. People I can count on. People who don’t spend three years planning a future with me only to decide out of the blue that all the times we talked about getting married and building a life together was just fiction.”
“That’s not fair and you know it. I told you I didn’t want to live in a small town.”
“Yeah, and then you said we could try it.”
“I said maybe, we could try it. Maybe. In the end, it wasn’t for me.”
“But it is now?”
Xavier glared across the table at me. “My life has changed a lot in the last sixteen years.”
“Well, I hope you’re happy with all the changes in your life. Funny enough, my life hasn’t changed all that much. But this is my small town. This is where I live. This is my home. And I’ll be damned if you’re going to make me feel like I don’t belong here.”