Until November(9)

By: Aurora Rose Reynolds

I look from my dad’s smiling face to Asher and he still looks stunned but there's also something else working behind his eyes.

“Hi,” I say, sticking out my hand with a big smile on my face. When he puts his hand to mine, I feel a jolt go from our connection straight through my body. What the heck is that?

"November,” he says softly, looking down at our hands and it makes me wonder if he felt it too. Then, without another word or look, he turns around and walks back towards the club. Well, alrighty then. He might be hot but he’s definitely strange. I look at my dad and he’s watching him go.

"Um… Hey, Dad, I'm gonna go,” I say, regaining his attention.

"What?” he says, looking at me.

“I'm leaving.”

“Oh, yeah. Of course, honey. I’ll see you tomorrow at home." He bends, kissing my forehead. When I pull out of the parking lot, I can see a tall figure leaning against the door that leads into the club, watching my car leave. My pulse starts to race, wondering if that’s Asher. Then, I remind myself that he’s a jerk and not to think about him anymore. Sadly, I don’t stop thinking about him until my head hits my pillow and I'm dead to the world.

Chapter 2

“I'm coming, I'm coming. Geez, you have to slow down, boy. My boots are too high for running,” I say, following Beast to my car.

The minute I asked him if he wanted to go for a ride, he was running out of the house, dragging me behind him. Today is the day we visit the nursing home, and I swear he knows exactly where we’re going. We have been doing this every week since we came to town.

Beast loves the attention and the elderly love Beast. It's been six days—not that I’m counting—since I last saw Asher. I wanted to ask my dad about him but I chickened out. Really, I just want to see him again. I don’t really want to talk to him because, truthfully, he’s a jerk. But I do want to look at him. He has made me consider taking an art class. Maybe something like body sculpting or painting. It’s not normal for a guy to be that beautiful. Now I sound like a weird stalker. Like that movie where the guy puts the girls in the hole and forces them to eat so he can wear their skin. Okay, I'm not that creepy, thank God. I need to stop. Maybe he brainwashed me. I need a hobby.

The last few days have been uneventful. Monday, me and Grandma went up to Nashville and got new computers. One is for my dad’s home office and one is for the club. Tuesday, I went to the club at seven in the morning so I would have plenty of time to get the computer set up and to start organizing the office.

I don't know what I thought I would find, but there were no lap dance spread sheets or pole dancing tables. It was all normal office paperwork. Spending reports, payroll, and ordering sheets. I finished as much as I could before I had to leave at three. The next few days went the same. I was at the office till three, making dinner with my dad before he went to work, walking Beast in the evening, then setting up my dad’s home office before I went to bed at night.

I am getting settled. I feel more at home here in Tennessee than I ever felt in New York. Everyone in town was nice. They always have a smile for you. The thing I had to get used to was everyone waving at you when you pass them on the road. At first, it caught me off guard. Then I asked my dad about it and he said it’s just what they do. Now every time I pass someone, I make sure to wave. Okay, okay, my wave may be a little dramatic but I like it and it makes me smile.

“Alright, boy. Let’s go inside,” I say as I turn off the car. The nursing home we visit is a long brick building. The front sits on a hill of green grass with large pine trees that give shade to sitting areas located all around the building.

"Hi, Beth," I say quietly while giggling. Beth is in charge of greeting people as they come into the building. At least she should be greeting people but she's always asleep in her wheelchair with her chin tucked to her chest and her blue hair is the only thing you can see.

“Damn.” I sigh to myself. Now I want some cotton candy. Every time I see her hair, I get a craving for the stuff. I look down at Beast and his head comes up. “Looks like we're gonna be making a stop at the store on our way home, boy.” I should have bought more than one pack of cotton candy the last time I was there. He looks at me and tilts his head.

“Okay, boy. First stop is Max so you better be on your best behavior,” I tell him, walking into Max’s room. Billie Holiday is playing on an old record player and Max is sitting in his chair with the newspaper in front of him.

“Hi, Max. I brought Beast here to see you,” I say loudly, knowing that he never remembers to put in his hearing aid.

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