“ Fuck! ”
Jamie growns and bends down to pick up the box of vases she just dropped.
Initially her older brother Denny offered to help her with moving in but she doesn’t like to be pitied, though that is not what Denny’s intention was.
She’s glad to have him, more than glad actually. But she also never really asks for nor accepts other’s help. Never has because her parents basically couldn’t care less about whether she’d raise herself or not. So that’s what she ended up doing.
Taking care of not only herself, but also her younger brother Mikey and, even though he is a year older than her, Denny.
So when the time finally came and Jamie turned 18 she took Mikey along with Denny and moved out. Was quite the hard work if she was being honest. Just having graduated, now not only working double shifts but full time instead at the local flower shop to support her little family. But it was worth it. So worth it.
“ Of course …” she thought to herself as she examined the box’s content, hoping that at least one of the vases had survived the crash. But surely none had.
“This a fuckin’ metaphor for my life or what? Dozens of broken pieces?” she mutters.
“How would I know?” a shy voice behind her asks.
Jamie spins around. She almost starts confronting the stranger, sneaking up on her like that. But the woman in front of her suddenly left her speechless.
These blue eyes must have been the most sparkling she has ever seen and those freckles. They were like stars in the sky on a clear summer night. Not to begin with her blond curls…
Jamie must have been staring because now the woman is waving her hands in front of Jamie’s face. “Hello? Are you still there?” Oh goddamn it, that accent .
“Hi, yes, sorry. M’bad. You just scared me a little, that’s all.”
“Oh, my apologies then. I didn’t mean to startle you.” The beautiful stranger smiles shyly at Jamie, leaving her with no words to speak.
“I’m Danielle Clayton by the way, but you can call me Dani.” She sticks out her hand.
Dani . A name that feels so intimate, so familiar yet Jamie doesn’t know why that is since they never met before.
Jamie reaches out to shake her hand and introduces herself in return: “Jamie. Taylor. But Jamie is.. uh.. Fine.”
“ Damn it, get it together” she tells herself.
“Well it is very nice to meet you, Jamie.”
There is something about the way her name sounds like coming out of Dani’s mouth and she immediately wants to hear it over and over again. What on earth is this woman doing to her?
After all, she really doesn’t have the time, nor the nerve for developing a crush right now.
“So what brings you by then, Dani?”
Dani holds out a glass try with something that looks like a small, crumbled cake.
“Well your door was open and since you’re new to the neighbourhood I decided to bring you a welcoming gift. It’s apple pie. Family recipe. I’m not the best at recreating it though, so I hope it tastes alright. It’s also vegan, gluten free and any other allergy free because I don’t want to accidentally kill you.” With the last sentence she chuckles a bit and again Jamie is telling herself to stop being such a hopeless homosexual.
But really, how thoughtful can someone be?
“That is utterly nice of you. I’m sure it will taste just splendid.” she reassures the blonde.
As Dani hands over the tray she slightly brushes Jamie’s fingers who then looks up at her, taken by surprise and is even more so taken aback when she finds Dani smiling at her.
Either she’s imagining it or her new neighbour is very much flirting with her.
“I should get going now though. Have some errands to run. Don’t hurry with the tray, we’ve got plenty.” Dani explains and points towards the house next door, her house apparently.
Only now Jamie is registering a man on the sidewalk.
“ We? ” she asks.
“Yes, we. That man over there is my husband Edmund, but he prefers it when people call him Eddie.”
“Oh!” Her husband. Of course. No woman that kind and gorgeous would be single, let alone into other women. That Eddie truly is a lucky lad.
“Yeah. Well like I said. Better get going. Enjoy the pie!” Jamie can’t help but to notice something in Dani’s eyes. Sadness? Regret maybe? Whatever it is, it breaks her heart and if she could, she would for sure give Dani a hug. But she doesn’t.
Doesn’t because that’s overstepping boundaries. They aren’t even friends yet. Just neighbours.