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Chapter Nineteen

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"I told you this would happen," my mother said, putting several items of clothing in the washing machine.

I stared at her, pretty fed up with the constant bad attitude she was showing me. "Told me what?" I replied, wondering what on earth she was going on about now.

The sounds of the washing machine kicking to life surrounded us with the water trickling inside the drum. I found it strange how she refused to look at me. Like she was avoiding something.

She grabbed food from the kitchen counter to shove in the fridge. "You seeing this guy. It's gotten you all mixed up again."

I didn't take long for my face to turn sour. "Henry has nothing to do with me forgetting things at work. That's all on me."

"No, you're stressed out because he doesn't know what he wants from you," she said, raising her voice.

I crossed my arms over my chest. "Yeah, I am stressed. But, I'm not surprised when you keep judging me. Do you not want me to be happy, mum? Is that why you're trying everything to break off Henry and me?"

I received seven text messages from her this week, all of them telling me I was making a mistake.

Her fingers rubbed at her eyes. "I'm trying to do what's best for you. Can't you see that, love?"

I stepped back, allowing for her to skirt past me and collect the clean dishes from the sink. "You've got a funny way of showing it," I said.

She sighed, banging the cutlery drawer closed in her frustration. What was her deal? "Don't be like that, Verity. Please."

"I'm in my thirties. Surely, that allows me to choose who I want to spend time with or not? Doesn't it?" I replied.

She raised her voice. "I won't have him hurt you. I refuse it."

"How do you know that he's going to hurt me? You don't even know him," I replied, an incredible force of frustration bubbling inside me, ready to scream at her stubbornness.

All I wanted was for her to support me.

Mum wheeled around to face me with shining eyes. "Neither do you."

I shook my head. "Goodness, you're impossible right now. Do you know that?"

"Don't speak to me in that tone. I'm your mother, give me some respect," she replied.

I lowered my head on a sigh, asking myself where her respect for me was too. "We seem to be going around in circles here. It's probably best I leave."

"No." Her face softened a touch. "Stay, love. I haven't seen you in a few days. I want to catch up."

It was bad of me to think it, but those few days were lovely without her. The peace in me at just spending time with the Clay's. "All we seem to do is argue when we see each other."

An almost wild spark flared in her eyes. "Yes, because of that family. Things were so much easier when they weren't around."

I was close to getting up and walking out of the door. Is she jealous, I thought. "If you took the time to meet Henry and Mabel, you'd see why I'm so smitten."

She gulped down hard. "I refuse."

I was talking to a brick wall. Nothing I said would get through to her. "Do you remember the time I woke up in my bedroom totally confused about who or where I was?"

That caught her attention as she stopped fussing with the tea towel in her hand to try to stop herself from physically shuddering. It didn't surprise me. They often told me how those times were the worst of their lives.

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