Catch up on Good Enough: To read previous installments of Good Enough, please search ‘Good Enough’ in my site’s search bar.
**Please note: This text is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Nate and I left the hospital a short time later, both of us smiling. I was amazed at how much better I felt after having coffee with Dr. Mark. I knew that Nate was in better spirits too, and it wasn’t just the sugar in the ice cream.
Nate talked from the moment we got in the vehicle all the way back to our hotel. It seemed like he had forgotten all about his broken arm, which was a good thing.
I hadn’t forgotten it though, and I hadn’t forgotten Ben’s advisement to Mark to have me psychologically evaluated. I had gone from being hurt and scared to being hopping mad about it. How dare he do this to me, anything that I was struggling with psychologically had been brought on directly or indirectly by his actions and indiscretions. I wanted to scream I was so mad.
But I knew that I couldn’t do that. I had to hold it together for Nate in order to make choices on the next steps we would take. The fact that any move I made or words I said would now be held against me wasn’t lost on me. I knew I had to be very careful.
I made a decision there and then to channel my anger into something productive. I needed to find a place for Nate and I to stay, something more permanent than the hotel here in Perspect.
Pulling into a corner store just by the hotel, Nate and I went inside. I used the ATM and took out the daily cash limit from the bank account. I was thankful that Ben hadn’t frozen the joint account we had, at least not yet. I hadn’t had the foresight to squirrel away money before leaving. It was something I now regretted. I didn’t count on Ben being ‘generous’ for long. I grabbed snacks for Nate and I and a newspaper. I was hoping there would be lots of ‘for rent’ ads to choose from.
“So, we meet again?” a voice asked as I stood at the cash waiting to pay.
Turning around, I saw Garry Rondell standing there.
“I’m not stalking you, I promise!” he said laughing as he placed his newspaper and coffee down on the counter.
I smiled, paying the cashier for our items. I didn’t seem strange to be bumping into Garry Rondell again today. Maybe it should’ve felt strange, but it didn’t.
“How’s the arm, buddy?” Garry asked Nate while also paying the cashier for his items.
“It’s good! I just had ice cream!” Nate said excitedly.
It dawned on me as I listened to them talk that Garry may know of a place to rent in Perspect or nearby, so I asked him.
“Actually, yes, I do. The apartment above my office is for rent. It just became available actually. It’s not very big, but it is warm and cozy with big windows, lots of light, completely furnished with neutral colours, and very clean. It’s right downtown so it’s pretty central to almost everything you may need.”
“It sounds great. Can I take a look at it?” It sounded perfect actually. I hoped it was half as good as Garry made it sound.
“Absolutely. I can show it to you now if you’d like.”
“That would be wonderful.”
We hopped into Garry’s vehicle for the second time that day, accepting his offer to drive us there.
As we drove to the apartment above Garry’s office, he pointed out various commodities in this area of the small town. Once again, I could tell from the tone in his voice that he had a lot of pride in and for his community. The building which housed both his office and the apartment was lovely. The architecture of this small town was both interesting and visually appealing, something which I hadn’t had the chance to truly appreciate up until now.
The apartment had its own door and entrance with a clean carpeted foyer and small staircase that led up to the open concept apartment. The walls were lined with windows and it was bright and immaculately clean, just as Garry had promised. The kitchen boasted dark cabinets and an island looking out onto the living room and dining room area. There were two bedrooms and two bathrooms, one of which was a small ensuite. It was more than I had even hoped for, so much more that I was afraid to ask what the rent was.
I could tell that Nate loved it as he darted from room to room. It was tiny compared to the house he was used to, but it somehow felt much more comforting and much more like home.
“What do you think?” Garry asked, breaking me out of my thoughts.
I turned to him, “I love it. I really do, but I am afraid to ask the price of rent…”
“What can you afford?” Garry asked softly, his eyes searching mine.
“Oh, I don’t expect any special treatment, please. I wouldn’t expect any help,” I said, looking away.
“Well, this is my building and I’m the landlord so I decide on what the rent will be. I want you to stay here, Isabella. I think you need someone to give you a break.”
I bit my lip, tears once again filling my eyes. Why were people in this town so nice? I didn’t trust myself to speak.
Garry continued, “How’s $500 a month? No first or last needed and no obligation to sign a lease. I just ask that if you need to leave that you let me know.”
The tears now threatened to fall. I knew that Garry easily could rent this place for at least double the amount he was charging me. I also knew that I had the cash on me now to cover the rent for a couple of months. It meant that Nate and I had a place to stay until I figured out what to do.
“I will take it,” I said, my voice thick with emotion, “and thank you so much, Garry. I really appreciate your kindness.”
Garry beamed. “Great! You can move in tonight if you’d like. I’m free to help.”
Even though I had already paid for the night at the hotel, I figured I would take Garry up on his offer to help us move in. We had limited luggage and within an hour, Nate and I were officially moved into our new home. We had the snacks from the convenience store to carry us over the night, so I planned on getting groceries in the morning.
Before long, I had Nate nestled into his newly made bed and he was fast asleep not much after that.
I wandered around the apartment then, taking the time to admire each nook and cranny, peeking into each cupboard and closet. Standing in front of the living room window, I pulled my sweater around me as I watched the street below. It was fairly quiet with only the occasional car passing by. The weather had grown colder the last couple of days and more leaves had begun to fall from the trees. I watched the wind pick them up and swirl them around in mini whirlwinds.
Suddenly, I heard my cell phone ring from where it sat in the kitchen. Walking over to it, my stomach clenched hoping it wasn’t Ben. I didn’t need him ruining this feeling of peace which had come over me. I recognized the number as Garry’s and immediately answered it.
“Hi, I’m sorry to bother you. I’m just around the corner. Is it ok if I stop in for a minute?” Garry’s voice warmly flooded the line.
“Oh, sure, it’s no problem at all.”
Jogging down the stairs, I hoped that Garry hadn’t changed his mind about letting us stay here. I opened the door to his knock a few moments later. He entered carrying several grocery bags.
“I brought you some food, just to tide you over until you get a chance to get some groceries,” he explained.
“Oh my goodness, you didn’t have to do that Garry! I appreciate it, I mean, but you’ve already done so much for us.”
“I was picking up groceries anyway, so really it’s nothing. I took a guess on a few things, so I hope everything is ok.”
“I’m sure it will be great, but really it wasn’t necessary.”
Realizing he was still standing there holding the bags, I added, “Oh please, come in.”
Laughing softly, Garry carried the bags upstairs for me and placed them on the island in the kitchen. I reached for my purse, “How much do I owe you for all of this?”
“Nothing – it was my idea, my housewarming gift to you let’s say.”
“This is really so nice of you, Garry.” I began pulling out the items and tucking them away into the fridge and cupboards. He had thought of all the staples. In the last bag was a bottle of wine.
“I thought you’d probably need a glass of wine after the day you’ve had,” Garry said.
“That was very thoughtful, and yes I definitely need a glass or two! Would you like one?” I asked him. Immediately, I felt badly. He had a wife and most likely a family to be getting home to. I had taken up enough of his time I was sure.
“I would love one,” he said without hesitation.
Locating the wine glasses, I poured us both a glass. “I have taken up a lot of your time today, Mr. Rondell. I need to apologize for that and I’m sorry if it has affected your business or personal life in any way.”
“It has been a very welcomed distraction. I just wish it only had occurred under better circumstances.” Raising his glass to toast, he continued, “To new beginnings.”
I smiled, “To new beginnings.”