Twenty Two.

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With Ms Jones at work, I decided to get some fresh air and do some shopping for a small gift for Justin. I did a lot of walking in the windy weather but I didn't mind. Being on my feet and exposed to all sorts of smells and sounds was relaxing.

I walked into a small shop, knowing very well that a fancy store at the mall would have a lot of high prices on even the tiniest of items. The shop was warm inside with jazz playing softly in the background. There seemed to be a lot of small items on sale and I didn't waste any time before looking around.

I was in search of something that reminded me of Justin and although there were so many cute items I wanted to get, none of them held a solid meaning to me.

As I looked through the shelves for a gift, my mind threw thoughts of Justin at me and I started worrying about him. How was he holding up while I was away? I was just happy to be around Ms Jones so I felt a tiny bit better but I worried about Justin and a part of me craved him.

I imagined that he was working hard and getting little or no sleep. I imagined that he cried himself to sleep at night. I wondered if he thought about me; if Ms Jones was right. I decided I'd call Pattie later to ask her to check on Justin for me.

Just when I'd given up on this store, I came across a wooden angel with big white wings and a golden halo, made from wire, hanging over its head. I smiled to myself about it when I saw it. It warmed my heart a little and I knew it would look good on Justin's desk in his study or his office, even though I'd never set foot in his actual office.

I purchased the angel and continued my walk around the city. When the weather got a bit worse, I settled in a small coffee shop for a cup of coffee. It felt like a good time to call Pattie so I did.

"Hi, Dileah." She answered.

"Pattie." I said. "I was just calling to check... how are things?"

"Still the same." She said, "But I managed to speak to Justin. He'll be okay. How are you?"

"Fine." I shrugged and looked at the wooden angel I'd placed on the table. "A bit better."

"Is Ms Jones of good help?"

"Absolutely. But I miss Justin. I want to be with him but I also want to stay with Ms Jones a little longer." I frowned. "I'm torn."

"Do what feels right, sweetie." Pattie said. "If time apart feels like it's working for you..."

I nodded as if she could see me.

"I miss the home." I said. "How are the kids?"

"They're good. Some of them have been asking about you. Especially that little one you read for once. Lola?"

"Aw that cutie." I smiled a bit.

"I think you should take some time off from the home, Dileah. Focus on healing with Justin."


"And when you feel really ready, you're more than welcome to come back and help."

I knew Pattie meant well.

"Thanks." I said.

"How's New York?" She changed the topic.

"Good. Windy, but good. I missed it." I smiled slightly. "Is Justin okay? Is he eating and getting rest?"

Pattie sighed, "Not even Richard can get him to stay home. He's... he's not necessarily dealing with it, I think. He may be, in his own way, but... I don't know."

I frowned.

"Did he talk to you at all?" I asked.

"Not really. He just insists he's okay. He's hurt, I know that much. He's shattered."

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