Halie kept having dreams about a little girl who liked the woods out back. In fact, she was quite a free spirit and her smile was impish, a lot like Gage's, but she was a ginger and kept talking about her unicorn.
Actually, Halie was quite annoyed with the little girl because she was rather grownup for a little one... she knew what her heart wanted.
But when the nurse told Halie, she was having a boy, Halie felt quite numb. All was lost on the beauty she'd found in the little girl who liked to walk barefooted in the woods. And if she looked at her close enough, she actually thought of herself, going her own way.
Honestly, it was a restless summer of heat and humidity. And then the rain came like it might be what was left of spring in August. Still, she kept up the exercise, long walks, alone, as if she might discover the little girl in herself.
She wore baggy white Tees and jeans. Some things her brother Jules left behind. Honestly, it was sad, he no longer called. But she felt better in his clothes. Closer, perhaps.
But she knew he wasn't in to forgiving, and Halie wasn't quite certain what she needed to forgive. She supposed it all had to do with Gage.
Seeing his face clearly in her mind was fading fast. He was like a dream now, even if that passion still held on to her, into a body of a little thing. His son.
Oh, she didn't want to think of him. Instead, she listened to the beat of a different mood in her ear phones. Old songs. She'd burned the playlist from Rufus' CDs. In fact, she kept listening to the Rolling Stones' Wild Horses on replay.
At least it gave her something to linger as she went on with her steps in her soft slippers that were not exactly waterproof. She closed her eyes from time to time, hoping.. maybe she'd find the unicorn the little girl talked about.
Perhaps she could feel her way through the path she always took, up the rolling hill at the park. But when she opened her eyes, the toe of her pale shoe was touching something like a newborn with purple eyelids and purple claws. She pulled her pink earphones around her neck and gasped.
It was dead.
Halie squinted hard. She felt herself shake of the reality of it. Perhaps the squirrel or the gopher had drowned from the rains, but here it was in the plush sea of grass.
She felt so sad. Of course, there was nothing she could do but stare, even if she didn't want too. She frowned a pout as if she knew now, how cruel the world truly was. Why had she been so dense?
"You, all right?" She heard the male voice from behind her.
"Of course, I am." She said before she even looked at him. And when she did, she noticed his endearing face, right away. As the sunlight hit his chestnut locks, she was sure of it. He was a ginger.
"And to think, we thought we'd had dry spell." His smile was quaint as his thumbs hooked on to the straps of his backpack.
"What?" It was hard to function with him around. He was so real, not like a picture of a teen idol in a magazine. He wasn't wearing the coolest clothes. No, he looked quite ordinary. No special messy haircut.
He introduced himself. He was Dustin and on his way to work. The park was a short cut.
Before Halie knew it, she was walking with him. Not a mention about the dead thing she'd almost stomped. Suddenly, she felt very alive and the thing inside her let her know, like a sudden approval. Never, had it kicked this fierce.
Maybe he liked Dustin too.
To Halie's surprise, Dustin worked at the Black Cat.