Rock Hard Neighbor Rye Hart ~ Page 2

But I knew that wasn"t the answer. I didn"t want to bring more pain into an already fucked up situation. The plain fact was we weren"t right for each other. I was going to take the high road now and cut my losses.

Settling on a message for my ex, my fingers worked. I kept it short and sweet, telling him that we both needed to accept the reality of the situation. We had our chance, and now it was time for us to go our separate ways and that I wished him the best. No grudges. No hard feelings.

Then I sent the message and turned off my phone so I could enjoy the rest of the flight. I needed time to think.

While I had some success with my art in New York, I hadn"t reached the potential I knew I had inside of me. I was told my work wasn"t modern enough or sharp enough for the audience that the city attracted. Some galleries suggested that I should try going to the Midwest or even down south.

What the hell did that even mean"

My grandmother"s death chipped away at my soul, but it dropped the one thing I needed in my lap more than anything else. Whenever I was at her cabin, I always felt safe, blanketed from a harsh world that could swallow me whole. I"d fought my entire life to keep two feet on the ground instead of allowing myself to become a victim.

When my grandmother"s lawyer sent me the letter notifying me the house was mine, it couldn"t have been better timing. Gigi always had a way of saying and doing things that were necessary at the moment they were needed most. I had no idea the adventure I was setting myself on by moving going back to North Carolina, but part of me understood I had no choice. I was excited about this new chapter ahead.

With that said, I was also scared shitless.

The plane landed at Asheville Regional, and I had just enough money to pick up a rental car. It was a compact car and would struggle over the mountainous terrain of my home town, but it was all I could afford. I shoved my suitcases into the car, stuffing it to the brim, then reached for my phone to turn it back on. Besides the bombardment of text messages from my ex, I saw I also had a few missed calls from my best friend. I smiled and dialed the phone.

"Hello beautiful."

"Manda! Thank the earth. Have you landed""

"Yep. Getting into my rental car now and heading to the cabin."

"How was the flight"" she asked.

"Besides the endless texts from Daryl, it went smoothly."

"Daryl" The fuck was he messaging you for""

"He was offended that I left without saying anything to him."

"You said all you had to a month ago."

"I know, but apparently it wasn"t enough. I kept my response short and sweet, and I shut my phone off after I sent the message," I said.

"Oh, I bet he loved that. The control freak who has no control."

"Yep."

"What are your plans for the day"" she asked. "And what does this cabin look like anyway""

"I mean, it"s a cabin," I said. "So it looks like a cabin."

"Don"t be a smartass," she said. "Give me the details. Is it well-kept" Clean" Was your grandmother a hoarder""

"No, she wasn"t," I said, giggling. "I don"t really have any plans other than to get to the cabin and take a look at it. But I know my Gigi. That woman hated change. It probably looks the same as it did the day I left for college."

"Did she keep it tidy, though"" she asked.

"Yep."

"Then hopefully that means it"s still been kept up despite her nursing home stay."

"Let"s hope so," I said.

"Did the attorney send you any pictures of it"" she asked.

"A few. Mostly of the outside and the yard. From the few pictures I was given, though, it looks to be in okay shape."

"Define okay."

"I mean, the grass was a bit long in the pictures and gravel rocks from the driveway are scattered places, but the outside looks fine," I said.

"What about the other pictures"" she asked.

"There were two of the inside. One was of the living room, which looked bare but fine. The other was of her room, which looked pretty dark and dusty."

"Just like your crotch lately," she said, giggling.

"Haha, very funny. Either way, as long as I can settle in it I"ll be okay. I can clean it up and mow the lawn, that"s not the issue. I don"t have the money for a motel or anything."

"If you need the money, you know I"ve got you."

"Thanks, Sarah. But I promise I"m okay," I said.

"Well, don"t hesitate to ask. You know I"m only a phone call away."

"I do," I said. "Thanks."

"Don"t let that asshole Daryl get to you, and stay safe. Where are you now that you"re driving""

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