“Today is my last day in California, Sam. I’m leaving tomorrow,” I warned.
“That’s it? That’s all you have to say?” I asked, taking a seat behind the computer in Sam’s retail store.
“I told you, I’m not ready for you to move in with me yet,” he confessed.
“It’s been a year Sam! You promised me that after a year we would move in together!” I reminded him.
“I told you we could discuss it after a year,” he stated bluntly, plopping himself onto the worn out couch across from me. “I don’t want to disrupt the kids lives.”
“PJ and I stay the night at your house almost every night! We basically live together anyway. Us not moving in together will disrupt the kids at this point, not the opposite!”
“It’s not my house. It’s my mom’s.”
“Let’s get our own place. You promised me that your mom wouldn’t be coming down as much, Sam! She’s been living here half the time!”
“We can’t afford our own place,” he stated. “I can’t afford to pay you what I pay you to work here as it is. Anyway, I told you, I’ve been working on my mom. My dad and I have a plan.”
“If you didn’t pay me then we could use that money to afford our own place! I don’t want your money, I want to be with you.”
Just then a customer walked in. I greeted him and began helping him with some items behind the counter.
Halfway through my sale Sam stood up, “I have to run out to the distributor. I’ll be back later,” he promised.
“Before three?” I asked.
“Then I won’t see you. I have to leave by then to pick up PJ,” I warned.
“I’ll call you later,” he promised while walking out the back door.
I finished my shift, picked up my son and then had begun packing up what was left in the motel room I had rented for the last year.
After most of my things had been dropped off in a storage unit, I put my son to bed on a pull out couch. Not long after, there was a knock on the door.
It was Sam.
“Hey,” he said, handing me a paper bag containing a few items I had accidentally left at his place.
“Thanks,” I said, with tears welling up in my eyes.
“You know don’t have to go,” he reminded me.
“Yes I do! Things need to change. I can’t stay here anymore. It’s killing me, it’s killing my soul. I want to be with you! I want us to be a family,” I begged. “I don’t want to be ‘motel trash’,” I added.
“I just can’t do it,” he muttered.
“I’m not ready. This isn’t what I planned.”
We both took a seat on the small twin bed I had been sleeping on.
“You don’t get to plan everything in life, Sam! Sometimes things just happen and you have to roll with the punches!”
“Do you really want to fight tonight, I mean it’s going to be the last time we see each other for a while, why not try to make the best of it?” He suggested.
I gave in.
We both rested back onto the bed and I tucked myself between Sam’s body and his arm. Just like that, all the tension from our argument melted away and I felt a moment of safety and security with my love.
That night we talked like we hadn’t in a long time. We talked about our near futures and our dreams. Our hopes for each other and we made a promise to meet back in California once the summer was over.
“Listen, I’m moving the store. I know it will be successful in the new location. By the time you get back from your dad’s after the summer, I should be on my feet. If we both still feel the same way about each other we can talk about moving forward then, ok?” he promised.
I nodded my head and shortly after, softly fell asleep in his arms.
It was three in the morning when I awoke to my front door shutting behind Sam.
I never fell back asleep.
Around seven that next morning I drove my son to what would be his final day of school and headed back to pack up what remained of my belongings into my car.
I had just gotten out of the shower when I had a text notification on my phone.
Praying it was Sam telling me he had changed his mind, I quickly opened up the message.
My jaw dropped when I read what it said.
It was a text from Mackey, my son’s father, alerting me that he was at the local court house and I should meet him there.
Shaking, I got dressed and then headed to Sam’s shop. He was sitting on the couch when I arrived.
“What’s the matter?” he asked, looking concerned.
“Mackey just messaged me from the court house, he’s trying to take custody of PJ because he doesn’t want me to go to my dad’s for the summer.”
“What the fuck? Are you joking? That piece of shit barely sees him as is! He takes him what, one weekend a month? You put him in that school by his house and he’s picked him up from there what, once?”
“Twice,” I admitted.
“Do you need me to go with you?” He asked.
Like a wounded baby, I nodded.
Sam called in one of his employees to cover for him and then accompanied me to the court house.
Once there we were greeted by an army. Not only did Mackey show up but he brought along most of his friends and family. Sam waited with me until around three that afternoon.
“Somebody has to pick up PJ from school,” he reminded me. “Did Mackey not even worry about that when he decided to pull this shit today?” he asked me.
“I don’t think he worries about much more than himself.”
Sam left to retrieve my son from school as I waited to see the judge. As it turned out, the judge couldn’t make any decision that day but did have the authority to hold my son and I in the state until the court date a month away.
Afterwards I walked outside and waited for Sam to pick me up from the front of the court house. In the car I told him the details of the temporary verdict. We drove in silence back to my car the rest of the way.
Not sure where we would be sleeping that night, I returned back to the hotel to finish packing anyway.
As my son and I pulled up to my unit, I smelled it.
Then I heard the bellowing sound of sirens.
Once out of the car I instinctively looked up to see the fire. The palm trees lining the courtyard were on flames. Inside the courtyard patio furniture was burning. Fire men and residents were grabbing what they could and throwing it into the pool. Others had giant hoses trying to douse the flames consuming the trees.
Within an hour it was under control. Lucky for me, my unit still stood and I was finally able to retrieve my belongings.
I sent Sam a text telling him what had happened.
Immediately my phone rang.
I answered Sam’s call.
Then, something amazing happened.
Sam’s balls must have grown to the size of watermelons that day because the words he said next, I never thought I would ever hear come from his sweet mouth.
“Grab your stuff, you and PJ can come stay with me.”
Now I want to say that it was bad day. A terrible day. A tragic day.
But I can’t because honestly, it ended up being one of the best days of my life.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. But that’s another story.
Want to know more about Sam??? Buy the book on Amazon now!