Sharon’s Note: Yeah, I’m having fun with this. I think I literally lack the ability to not put a creepy element in things, but I think this has minimum creep to cute ratio. Bah, enough talk. On with the feels! Warning: Author is hoping this story will worm its way into your heart, like Sarah worms her way into Peter’s.
“May I come in?” Mr. Blight’s voice came muffled through the tarps he’d hung around the gazebo for her. He wouldn’t let her hang more sheets, because they got dirty too fast.
“Yeah.” Sarah’s voice sounded gooey because her nose was running. She laid down on the bench Mr. Blight had installed a few weeks ago.
The tarp rustled as he pushed it aside. He took one look at Sarah and crossed his arms. “I thought I heard crying. What’s wrong?”
She sniffled as she sat up. “It’s happening. Dad’s moving out, and they’re getting a divorce.”
“Ah.” Mr. Blight sat next to her on the bench, and she leaned her shoulder against his arm. He stiffened for a moment, then relaxed. “You knew this was coming. They told you they were.”
“Yeah, but now they’re doing it.”
“And until now, you thought there was a chance they would make up?” Mr. Blight laughed as she nodded, then ruffled her hair. “I know it seems horrible, but I’m betting things will get a lot better. If nothing else, it will be quieter.”
“I guess.” She snuffled again and coughed. “My throat hurts.”
“You’re not going to go back to your house any time soon, are you?” When she shook her, he sighed. “Alright, come inside. I’ll get you a glass of water.”
Sarah perked up. “You said I wasn’t allowed in the house.”
“Tell you what, you can come in on an invitational basis.” He laughed like this was the funniest joke in the world.
Her nose wrinkled. “What does that mean?”
“It means you can come in when I’m home and I say so.” He ruffled her hair again, and she giggled before being interrupted by a cough. Mr. Blight opened the door, and she trotted inside past a mudroom to a kitchen that could have come out of a Victorian mansion.
“Wow! This looks a lot nicer than when the Robinson’s owned it. When did you get it remodeled?”
“I’ve been doing it myself over the last few months. It came out pretty well, if I do say so. Now sit down.”
Sarah sat at a small breakfast nook in the corner. “It’s beautiful.”
Mr. Blight smiled and put a wine glass full of water in front of her. “Thank you, I’m glad you approve.”
He shrugged. “I don’t have much in the way of glassware.”
“Do you drink a lot of wine?”
“I don’t drink . . . wine.” He chuckled while he tore a paper towel from a holder.
“What do you use wine glasses for then?”
“Don’t worry about it.” Mr. Blight handed her the towel. “Now blow your nose and finish your water. I’m kicking you right back out.”
“Aw!” She gave him her biggest, sunniest grin. “Can’t I see the rest of the house? I bet it’s just as pretty as this room. Please?”
He hesitated for a moment, then sighed. “Fine. I’ll give you a tour, but then you have to go. I’m sure your parents will come looking for you. Eventually.”
“Do you have anything to eat?” She downed the last of her water and honked her nose on the towel.
“I do not.” He pointed at the trashcan. “Now throw that away and come on, if you still want the tour.”
Sarah scrambled off the chair and threw away her trash before grabbing his hand and beaming up at him. “Let’s go.”