Vision of Love

by Stacy J. Rose

Vision of Love by Stacy J. Rose

After suffering from a strange pressure-like sensation in her head since childhood, Monica Cunningham finally learns the reason—she has special powers that have been trying to emerge for years, but she had no way of knowing this was occurring.

Soon she discovers one power after another, and one even lands her on a beautiful and mysterious planet where she meets and falls in love with Kenneth Donaldson, a handsome museum curator.

Once people find out about Monica’s powers, everyone has a different reaction. Some are in awe, while others are afraid and begin behaving strangely whenever they’re around her. Some are extremely grateful for Monica’s powers, because without them they might not even be alive. Monica also realizes that people want to use her for her powers as well, and after meeting a strange man from Helia, the beautiful, mysterious planet, she soon finds herself in a perilous predicament as she’s forced to use her powers to help him evade the authorities.

With one obstacle after another jeopardizing both her life as well as her relationship with Kenneth, Monica is not sure if learning to perfect her powers is enough to keep her alive and happy with the man of her dreams.

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Release Date: September 20, 2022
Genre: Paranormal | Fantasy | Romance

~ A Pink Satin Romance ~


Chapter One

As Monica Cunningham headed to yet another doctor’s appointment in an attempt to find out the cause of her relentless head “pressure,” she noticed a woman driving a white Honda Accord in the lane to the right of her, staring at her as if she knew her.

The Honda driver wasn’t old or young, maybe forty-five or fifty, with a round face. She wore a rainbow-colored scarf that was draped across her head and tied underneath her chin. Somehow the woman seemed vaguely familiar, and Monica couldn’t shake that feeling, no matter how hard she tried.

Monica tried to keep her attention on the road, but the woman seemed to stare relentlessly, as if trying to get her attention, which made her wonder why.

The loud, sudden honk from a blue SUV brought Monica out of her trance. She swerved out of her lane and the driver of the SUV probably thought she was drunk. Embarrassed, she kept her eyes on the road, even though she could feel the continued stare of the Honda Accord driver.

Monica was still somewhat frazzled when she arrived at the medical center. She slowly entered the building, and before she reached the elevators, she had to take to get to the seventh floor, she saw the woman who had been driving the Honda Accord and had been staring at her while she drove to the doctor’s office.

“Are you following me?” Monica usually wasn’t so blunt, but the woman made her nervous. She had never encountered such a strange individual before.

She immediately felt guilty when the woman failed to respond. She probably thought Monica was some crazed lunatic, blurting out ridiculous accusations. The woman likely had a legitimate explanation for being at the clinic and for appearing to follow her. Monica just didn’t know what that reason was.

Monica walked a few feet to the elevators and pressed the UP button. The woman hadn’t responded to her question, and that was fine with her. She didn’t want to converse with the creepy woman unless she had to, anyway.

After a few moments, the elevator made a beeping sound as its doors opened, and Monica walked inside. She couldn’t help looking to see if the Honda driver was following her, but the woman had mysteriously disappeared. She laughed. She’d probably just imagined seeing the woman because she’d been experiencing a great deal of weird ‘episodes’ ever since the head pressure had begun fifteen years earlier when she was twelve years old. The first time she’d felt the pressure she didn’t think much of it. It was so mild at the beginning that sometimes she thought she was imagining it. Over the years, it had become increasingly worse, and no type of medication, natural supplements, or doctors had been able to help so far.

The elevator made no stops until it arrived on the seventh floor, and Monica was grateful. She wanted to get her visit with the new neurologist over with so she could get to work as soon as possible.

As she stepped off the elevator, she immediately heard a woman’s voice speaking. “Stop ignoring it! Stop ignoring it, Monica!” The voice was firm yet soft, and friendly yet serious.

Monica initially thought she was going crazy because she didn’t see anyone around at first. Thoroughly glancing around the hallway, she froze when she discovered whose voice was speaking the words: The strange round-faced woman who had been driving the Honda earlier.

Monica let out a low sound of surprise as she walked toward the woman. “Why are you following me? And how do you know my name?” She couldn’t help the edgy tone in her voice, but the woman was causing her to feel increasingly uncomfortable.

Instead of answering her question, the woman continued to stare at her, her brown eyes boring through Monica’s. “Stop ignoring it! It’ll never go away until you stop ignoring it! Doctors will never be able to help.”

Ignoring what? The woman was deranged, and she was probably there for an appointment with the psychiatrist who also happened to be on the seventh floor.

Even though she knew the woman was crazy, Monica couldn’t help speaking to her again. “Please tell me, Miss. How do you know my name, and what were you referring to when you told me to stop ignoring ‘it’?”

A slight smile appeared on the woman’s round face. “Just do as I say, Monica. Please stop ignoring it!” This time, the woman’s voice was more insistent than it had been before. She acted as if she were referring to a real problem, but Monica was positive that the woman had run out of her psychotropic medication or either needed a different prescription. For some reason, though, a fleeting thought caused Monica to believe the woman for a moment. Just one brief moment. But after that moment passed, she realized how ridiculous she was behaving, believing something that a delusional woman was telling her.

* * *

Ten minutes later, Monica entered the neurologist’s office, full of hope at the possibility of finally getting a diagnosis and getting some relief from the relentless head pressure for once and for all.

As she approached the receptionist’s desk, she flashed the friendly-faced woman a smile. “Hi, I’m Monica Cunningham and I have an eight-thirty appointment with Dr. Kizzaria.”

The receptionist typed something into the computer before turning back to face Monica. “Yes, Ms. Cunningham, if you would please fill out these papers, I’ll let Dr. Kizzaria know you’re here.” She handed Monica several forms to fill out, as well as a clipboard with a pen attached.

“Thank you.” Monica took the clipboard full of various papers and sat in a nearby seat. There weren’t many available seats since the tiny office was nearly filled to capacity, but she didn’t mind sitting between a young man with a red beard and an older woman who held a large black purse.

She rushed through the paperwork so she wouldn’t have to wait a long time to see the doctor. However, considering the enormous amount of people sitting in the waiting room, she realized it could be an eternity before she was seen.

An hour and fifteen minutes after returning the finished paperwork to the receptionist, a short, pudgy woman in red scrubs covered in white hearts opened the door and called Monica’s name. Finally, she was calling her name and not the many other names she’d called over the past hour and fifteen minutes.

For a moment Monica wasn’t sure that the woman had called her name, and when she hesitated for a moment before she stood from her seat, the woman called out her name again.

As she followed the pudgy woman through the door leading to the back, she realized that the woman wasn’t very friendly, and she greeted Monica with a curt nod as she led Monica toward the scale. Although annoyed, Monica realized that she didn’t care if the woman was nice or not. All she wanted to do was see the doctor and hopefully receive a proper diagnosis and treatment for her distressing, long-term condition.

After being weighed, the woman led Monica to a room where her blood pressure and other vitals were taken. Monica was then handed a clipboard containing a questionnaire.

What in the world? I thought I had already filled out all the paperwork up front.

“Please fill out this questionnaire to help better describe your headaches. Dr. Kizzario will be with you in a few moments.”

Before Monica could respond, the woman left the room, slamming the door behind her. She shuddered, appalled at the woman’s lack of professionalism and downright rudeness.

Monica stared at the piece of paper in front of her before filling it out. Headaches? She wanted to scream. She had never once informed anyone that she was having headaches, per se. She wasn’t having pain at all, but it was better described as a painless, mind-numbing pressure that was always there. Not a headache. It was as if an elephant were sitting on her head, but when she thought about it, she realized that having an elephant sitting on her head would cause real pain. Sighing, she filled out the stupid questionnaire anyway.

After another half-hour had passed, Monica finally heard a light knock at the door, and then a slender woman wearing a white coat entered the room. “Hello, Ms. Cunningham. My name is Dr. Kizzario. How do you do?”

“Hi, Doctor. I’m not doing so great, and I’m hoping you can help me.”

“Well, of course, I’ll help you. That’s what I’m here for.” She looked at Monica’s file and headache questionnaire before speaking again. “So, your headache never goes away?” The doctor continued after reading through Monica’s other paperwork.

“No, unfortunately, it’s always there, twenty-four/seven. And it’s more like pressure as if my head is in a vice instead of actual agonizing pain.”

“Then why do you have tens through the headache questionnaire if you’re not in pain and only have pressure?”

Monica sighed loudly. She’d had such high hopes for this so-called specialist, but it didn’t look like she was any closer to getting any relief than she had been with the numerous other doctors she’d seen in the past. “I’m here because of the pressure, not pain.” She tried to use only emphasis and not sarcasm, but this doctor was making it pretty difficult. “The pressure is a ten, as it greatly interferes with my quality of life, causing me to be miserable most of the time.”

Dr. Kizzario shook her head disapprovingly. “Ms. Cunningham, if you’re having head pressure, it sounds to me like you need to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist instead of me. I’m a neurologist who treats conditions dealing with the nervous system, such as with the brain, nerves, and the muscles.”

Monica had to bite her tongue to prevent herself from telling off this infuriating doctor. Out of all the other doctors who didn’t know what the hell they were doing, this one was by far the densest and the most exasperating of them all. “Dr. Kizzario, I am aware that you’re a neurologist, and I’m also aware of what a neurologist specializes in, which is why I was referred to you for my head issue. I’ve been evaluated by several allergists, ear, nose, and throat specialists, general practitioners, naturopaths, psychiatrists, etc, etc, to no avail, and now I’m here to see you.”

“Oh, so you’ve seen psychiatrists in the past, huh? Which psychiatrists did you see? And what was your diagnosis?”

“I don’t see how that pertains to what I’m here for today. I was obviously misdiagnosed or either I’d be feeling better by now, wouldn’t I?” She didn’t want to be a smart aleck, but this doctor was making her angry. To insinuate that her problem was psychiatric was unacceptable, especially when the doctor knew nothing about her or her history. She couldn’t believe this woman!

“Well, Ms. Cunningham, I have no idea if you were misdiagnosed or not since you haven’t brought me any records from doctors you’ve seen in the past. How can I possibly know what treatments you’ve received and for what conditions? I don’t want to repeat treatments that you may have already undergone.”

“Dr. Kizzario, I’m perfectly capable of giving you my entire medical background. I do have copies of everything, but I somehow left the house today without grabbing them off the dining room table.”

Dr. Kizzario made a strange sound in her throat but didn’t respond.

“Would you like me to give you any information about diagnoses I’ve been given in the past? Treatments I’ve received?”

“No, Ms. Cunningham. I don’t believe that will be necessary.” The doctor became quiet for a moment as if lost in thought, before continuing again. “Okay, let’s forget about that for now. I need to examine you since you’re here.”

The irritating neurologist performed all types of tests. She scraped a metal object across the bottom of Monica’s feet, which hurt, and asked her to walk across the room and bend over, among other tests. Monica wasn’t sure if this infuriating doctor would be able to diagnose her or not, but she couldn’t help hanging onto a small shred of hope even though the doctor was a total moron, and seeing this doctor was her last alternative. She’d exhausted all of the other possibilities.

“All right, Ms. Cunningham. I have a diagnosis for you.”

Monica nearly let out a scream of excitement. She knew she’d made the right choice by coming to this clinic, even if the doctor had been infuriating in the beginning. Now she’d be able to live a normal life without horrible head pressure, making her feel inadequate at work. “Okay, Dr. Kizzario, what’s my diagnosis?”

The doctor removed a prescription pad and a pen from her pocket and began writing a prescription while she spoke. “I believe you’re suffering from tension headaches, which are often aggravated by stress. These types of headaches can be constant, as you describe, and can also cause pressure as if a band has been placed around the head. I’m giving you a prescription for Pamelor, which is an antidepressant, but it also helps to reduce the frequency and severity of headaches. And the antidepressant effects will certainly help if you are experiencing any depression. Of course, I don’t specialize in psychiatry, so I can’t officially diagnose depression or any other mental illness.” She gave Monica a strange look as if she were insinuating that Monica was, in fact, depressed. The doctor was right. Monica had been depressed for some time, but she didn’t believe it was actual clinical depression like this woman was implying. Her sister was a psychiatric nurse, so Monica was very familiar with how patients with true clinical depression behaved, and Monica didn’t behave or feel that way. Who wouldn’t be depressed after suffering from some unknown head pressure for years, yet every single doctor was too incompetent to find out the cause?

After signing her name, Dr. Kizzario tore off the prescription and started writing on the next page. “I’m also giving you a prescription for Fiorecet, which you are to only take when your headache becomes unbearable. It’s highly addictive, so please be very careful not to take it daily. If you find that your headaches are hard to handle and you find yourself taking the Fiorecet more than once or twice a week, then you need to come back so we can try something else.”

Tears of disappointment immediately sprang to Monica’s eyes. Another misdiagnosis, and another doctor who obviously didn’t care enough to take the time to give her an accurate diagnosis. Monica had been hoping to be sent for an MRI or a cat scan, which could reveal many possible problems within her brain. There was no way she was suffering from merely tension headaches. Perhaps she had suffered from tension headaches along with something else, but there was something else going on. She just knew it.

Feeling as if she had been defeated, Monica accepted the prescriptions she knew she’d never get filled from the doctor and mumbled a polite thank-you. There was no use arguing with the doctor any further. She’d built up her hope for a possible diagnosis and cure for nothing, only to be let down yet another time.

The doctor wanted her to come back in six weeks for a follow-up visit, but Monica knew she wouldn’t be back. Why would she come back to see a doctor who had ignored everything she’d been told, only to come up with some lame diagnosis and give her strong pain medication for a painless headache? Dr. Kizzario ought to be ashamed of herself, because thanks to her, Monica no longer had any hope of ever getting any relief. It appeared as if she’d just have to live with the debilitating pressure in her head for the rest of her life, because there didn’t seem to be anyone with enough expertise to diagnose her. The problem was that she had no idea how she was going to tolerate the awful pressure for even one day longer. If only she could find a way to at least minimize the pressure in her head, she believed she could deal with it easier, but not at its current level of intensity. The pressure caused her to feel strange and her thoughts to be fuzzy. Her thinking was muddled, and her memory was equivalent to an eighty-year-old’s. She’d lost track of how many times she’d lost her car keys as well as important documents at work. There had to be some way for her to lessen, if not get rid of, the awful head pressure, and she realized that she couldn’t just give up. She had to continue to search for a way to get some relief.

Monica arrived home and was grateful for the fact that she hadn’t encountered the strange woman who drove the Honda Accord again. The more she thought about what the woman had said, the more she tried to figure out what she could have meant. Don’t ignore it or it’ll never go away? What wouldn’t go away? The woman spoke to her as if she knew her, especially since she knew her name, too.

Entering her bedroom, she decided to lie down for a few minutes to get herself together and try to come up with a new plan for getting rid of the awful pressure in her head. Dr. Kizzario had been a real disappointment, but she couldn’t just give up and suffer the rest of her life. No, she was stronger than that.

Suddenly, as she sat there on her bed, her eyes became so heavy that she could no longer hold them open. It was as if she’d taken a sedative, but she certainly hadn’t taken a sleeping pill at eleven o’clock in the morning, especially when she had to work.

Monica awoke a few moments later in the most beautiful and serene place she’d ever been to in her entire life. There were lovely mountains and breathtaking waterfalls surrounding her. Ducks quietly quacked as they waded into a nearby pond. She smiled broadly as the beauty and tranquility of her surroundings enveloped her entire body, causing goose bumps of pleasure to radiate from head to toe.

Common sense told her to wonder how she could have possibly gotten to this place, but it was so stunning and mesmerizing that it didn’t matter how she’d arrived at this unfamiliar place. She would first enjoy her surroundings for now and worry about how she’d gotten there later.

She walked through the wet, dewy grass as light droplets of water splashed on her feet, through her sandals. She sat on a huge white rock near the pond, to be closer to the ducks and other waterfowl that appeared to be enjoying themselves.

A few minutes later, after the initial fascination with the unknown island had lessened somewhat, Monica finally began to wonder how she’d gotten to such a beautiful place. It was weird because she remembered her day so vividly: the strange woman in the Honda Accord, the doctor’s appointment, and then going back home and feeling extremely disappointed about being misdiagnosed yet another time. She’d decided to lie down after returning home. That’s it! She was dreaming because there was no way she could have gotten where she was any other way. Only it didn’t feel like a dream. It felt more real than anything else she’d ever experienced in her life. She would certainly love for this beautiful, relaxing place to be real because a place like this would make her permanently forget about all her worries.

After pinching herself and feeling a sharp pain, Monica realized that she must not be dreaming after all. Her heartbeat accelerated a bit, and she started to panic for a moment. With some effort, she was able to keep her panic under control. She decided to try to find out where she was, first of all, and once she’d accomplished that goal, she’d figure out how she had arrived on this lovely, dreamlike island.

She followed a path that led her away from the pond. The path consisted of attractive red bricks that appeared to go on forever. Monica didn’t want to leave because she wanted to continue watching the ducks and geese, but she had to be realistic, too.

Monica continued down the red brick path as she walked through numerous fields of gorgeous flowers of all colors, finally reaching an area with several buildings. The first building appeared to be a library, and sure enough, as she got closer to the building, the sign read Paradise Library. The huge, brown brick building certainly looked like a typical library, but she had no idea where Paradise was. She had to admit that it was a fitting name for a place that appeared to be a tropical island.

She entered the library through the black and white swinging front doors, intent on finding out where Paradise was, which would hopefully give her some clues as to how she’d gotten there.

Upon entering the library, she was greeted by a woman with a friendly smile. The woman had long blond hair that was pulled back in a ponytail. She was in her early thirties, tall, and her smile was so overbearing that it almost appeared fake. However, it was quite obvious that it wasn’t phony in any way. “Hello! Welcome to Paradise Library. I’m Elizabeth. Is there a particular book I can help you find?”

The woman’s smile was contagious, and Monica couldn’t help smiling and becoming cheerful even though she still had no idea where the hell she was or how she’d gotten there. “Hi. My name is Monica, and I’m…lost.” She wasn’t sure if she should admit to the pleasant librarian that she had no idea how she had arrived in Paradise. She didn’t want to cause another person to question her mental state. “Can you please tell me what state we’re in?”

“State?” Elizabeth gave her a strange look, although she continued to smile. “You aren’t in a state, honey. You’re in Paradise.”

Monica was confused. What did Elizabeth mean they weren’t in a state? Every town or city was in a state in the United States. Everyone knew that. She decided to try again. “I mean, which state are we in, like Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska, Florida, etc.”

From the look on the woman’s face, she still had no idea what Monica was talking about. “I’m sorry, Monica. I don’t understand any of the words that you just described. I’ve never heard of them before. Is there someone I can call for you? Someone who can escort you home?”

So much for trying to appear that her mental state hadn’t been compromised. Elizabeth obviously thought she was crazy, which was confusing, because who wouldn’t know what states were? Maybe she was in another country where they used the word province instead of state, or something similar.

Deciding not to stay any longer and to try her luck someplace else, Monica walked toward the exit.

“No thank you,” she said as she walked toward the doors. She stopped for a moment and turned back to face the librarian once more. “Um, can you tell me where the police station is?”

Again, a confused look appeared on the woman’s face. “Police station? I don’t understand…” She placed her hand on the nearby telephone. “Are you sure there’s not anyone you’d like me to call for you?”

Monica was so exasperated she wanted to scream, but the woman was so nice that the anger didn’t linger for very long. “No thank you.” I don’t even know where the hell I am, so how could I possibly have someone come and pick me up? Of course, she wouldn’t voice such thoughts, but she sure wanted to.

“Never mind, Elizabeth. It was nice meeting you. Thank you for your help.” She exited the library, preventing the librarian from responding any further.

“Hey, miss, I can help you.”

Monica turned to look at a scruffy-faced man standing outside the library who appeared as if he hadn’t shaved in a month. He looked to be in his early 40s, stood about six feet tall, and had a thin build. He didn’t look like he belonged in Paradise, with his tattered clothes and overall disheveled appearance. Paradise was so beautiful and perfect in every way, which was why this hobo appeared so out of place. She supposed she was being silly, though, because less fortunate people lived everywhere, and even in a place like Paradise. “Excuse me?”

“I heard you talking to the librarian. You need some help getting to a certain state?”

She eyed him warily. If the librarian couldn’t help her, how the hell could this man, obviously a bum, possibly provide any help? “Yes, I do.”

“Well, I can help you if you can help me. It’ll be a win-win situation, with us both getting what we need, okay?”

Monica was suddenly very angry. She’d been hit on before, but never by a vagrant, and never so boldly. “How dare you! Get away from me right now, you sick, perverted animal!”

She quickly walked away from the disgusting man, hoping to find something to eat, since her stomach had started growling.

* * *

Hal Thomas couldn’t believe the snooty woman had snubbed him the way she had. She thought he was hinting around about sex, but he didn’t want to have sex with her just as much as she didn’t want to roll around in the hay with him. He wasn’t attracted to the prim and proper, and he reckoned he never would be. He liked women who were more on the same level that he was on, not women who had fourteen college degrees and felt they were better than anyone who didn’t have a degree at all.

Hal regretted ever coming to blasted Paradise in the first place. He’d rather face the consequences of the law on his planet rather than deal with the crap he had to deal with in Paradise. If only he hadn’t listened to Mike, his genius friend he’d met in prison, he’d be a lot happier than he was at the moment. He should have never let Mike talk him into escaping in the spaceship Mike had built.

Paradise had sounded like the perfect place to hide out from the authorities back in Alabama, all beautiful and serene, but it wasn’t as wonderful as it seemed. It wasn’t wonderful at all. Since he wasn’t a resident of Paradise or any other territory on the planet of Helia, he wasn’t allowed to even get a damn job, so therefore, his food, housing, and other necessities weren’t provided. Even though he had a bag full of money from the bank he and Mike had held up in Alabama, he’d been forced to live on the streets of Paradise for the past five months, stealing food scraps from the backs of restaurants like a dog, and begging for handouts. This weird place didn’t even use money for anything. Most of these bizarre people-looking aliens had never even heard of money before, and probably thought he was crazy for speaking of it.

When he’d first arrived, people didn’t mind helping him out with a little food here and there, but as his hygiene began to decline because of lack of proper facilities and personal products, people started to become leery of him and snub him just like that Monica broad had. But she would soon pay for snubbing him, and she’d also help him get back home and away from this horrible place, whether she liked it or not. It was obvious she wasn’t from around here, and though he couldn’t be sure, he believed she was from Earth, too, which meant there was another spaceship involved. A spaceship that could get him back to Earth.

* * *

Monica lucked out and found the cutest little café she’d ever seen in her life, where she ate a delectable lunch. What had attracted her to the café, although she’d been starving, was the fact that it was so cute. The outside was painted in all pink and was surrounded by gorgeous daffodils of all colors. The interior was small and cozy but decorated with a beach theme in mind. Instead of traditional seating, the café consisted of pink picnic benches with beautiful rainbow-colored umbrellas above each one. The walls were painted blue, the color of the beautiful duck pond that she hadn’t wanted to leave.

The chef's salad, steaming bowl of soup, and pie were delicious. The vegetables and salad dressing were somewhat different from what she was accustomed to, but they tasted so delicious she didn’t give it a second thought. The Paradise Café had divine food, but the strange thing about the place was there were no fees for anything. No one paid for their meals, drinks, or appetizers. One guy ordered a huge meal, enough to feed three or four people, and devoured all of it before being told to have a nice day as he walked out of the establishment without even attempting to leave a tip, let alone pay for his meal.

She pinched herself again in an attempt to wake up from her obvious dream, but again she only felt the pain of the pinch. There was no way Paradise was real, but it sure felt good to be surrounded by such beauty, be able to eat free meals, and interact with friendly people.

After leaving the Paradise Café, Monica decided to stop at the museum she’d seen across the street from the library earlier. Just when she was about to enter the museum, she heard a telephone ring, and once again resting in her bedroom, yet wide awake. What a strange dream, she thought, immediately remembering her trip to Paradise, but for some reason, she didn’t feel like she usually felt when she woke up. She was fully awake, as if she’d been awake all along. But she couldn’t have been awake or been to the unknown place called Paradise. Besides, she’d never heard of a place where everything was beautiful and serene and where no money was exchanged. And one strange thing was the fact that her stomach was full, as if she’d just finished eating when she knew she hadn’t eaten since early that morning. She remembered eating at the cute café in Paradise, including the large slice of lemon pie she’d had for dessert. Monica could almost taste remnants of fluffy lemon pie in her mouth, or maybe she was just imagining she tasted it.

The phone beside her bed continued to ring, but she ignored it as she tried to come to terms with what she had just experienced. Deciding to put Paradise and her ‘dream’ on the back-burner for the time being, she glanced at her bedside clock and noticed that it was almost one o’clock. In a panic, she scrambled from the bed to freshen up for work. She’d told her boss that she had a doctor’s appointment and would be in around noon, making her nearly an hour late. It was a good thing her job wasn’t far away, or she’d be more than an hour late.


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