“Let’s not forget how we met. I take the train every morning now.”
“Now? You mean you didn’t before?”
A smile spread across his face. “First time I’d taken the train to work in years was the day I lost my phone. My driver was on vacation that week.”
“But you’ve been taking it ever since, too?”
“I have a reason to now.”
The anticipation I’d felt since our phone call last night finally quelled a bit after leaving Graham’s office. I wanted nothing more than to have trust in what was growing between us, yet a part of me was still afraid. He was so confident and fearless, and I tried to use that to reassure myself. I hated that weak and scared part of me. It was time I figured out how to get rid of it.
“MRS. MORGAN?” I CRACKED OPEN the door and peeked my head into her room. She was sitting up in bed watching TV.
“Come in, come in, dear. And call me Lil.”
I’d texted Graham to find out what she liked to eat and brought her a fish filet from McDonald’s, which Graham had told me was crap, but also her favorite junk food.
“I thought maybe you could use some company today. Graham’s been stuck at the office since yesterday. I work nearby.”
“Is that a fish sandwich I smell?”
I smiled. “Sure is.”
“Graham thinks because it’s not from some swanky restaurant that charges sixty dollars for a meal as big as a quarter, that it’s not good food. Love the boy, but he can be a downright snob with his head stuck up his own ass sometimes.”
I laughed thinking Stuck-Up Suit. “He does have an elitist side to him at times.”
There was a snack tray on wheels in the corner, so I pulled it closer and set up her lunch, then set up mine.
“Is that a soap opera you’re watching?”
“Days of Our Lives. My daughter got me hooked on them.”
“She got her son hooked, too.” I chuckled.
“You know about that?”
“I do. It’s sort of out of character for him.”
“It wasn’t at one time. Believe it or not, that man used to be a mush. He was with my Celia, anyway. Boy idolized his mother. Took it hard when she passed. Probably why he’s the way he is. Doesn’t get attached to many women, if you know what I mean. The ones he did get attached to, didn’t stick around. Wasn’t my Celia’s fault, of course.”
I knew she was also referring to Genevieve. The first woman he opened up to after his mother died had let him down. I’d never even met the woman, yet despised her already. “How are you feeling? Graham said your surgery is Friday.”
“I feel good. They keep trying to get me to take pain medicine, but I don’t need it, and it makes me sleepy. I think they just like to make old people sleep all the time, so we don’t ask for anything.”
I looked around the room. It was the nicest hospital room I’d ever been in. There was room for a half-dozen patients, yet there was only one bed in the room. In the corner, there was a beautiful arrangement of flowers. Lil saw me looking.
“They’re from Graham. Sends me a fresh arrangement every week on Tuesday, like clockwork. I used to have a giant garden, but it got to be too much for me to manage.”
“He’s very thoughtful when he wants to be.”
“There are two sides to that man. Thoughtless and thoughtful. Not sure he got the in-between gene.”
“You sure have him nailed down.”
“Somebody’s gotta see him for what he is and call him on his shit.”
I chuckled. “I suppose so.”
“Although something tells me you’ll do the same. I can tell…you’re good for him.”
“You think? We’re sort of opposites in a lot of ways.”
“Doesn’t matter. It’s what’s inside of you both that counts.”
“Thanks, Mrs. M…Lil.”
I stayed for longer than my lunch hour, enjoying Lil telling me about the characters on her soap opera. The storylines were so far-fetched, I couldn’t stop thinking about Graham watching them—he was so stern and pragmatic. When I went to leave, Lil took my hand.
“He’s a good man. Fiercely loyal and loves his family. Very protective of his heart. But once he gives it, he doesn’t take it back.”
“You can fix the rest. Pry the stick out of his ass and hit him over the head with it a few times. He’s smart. He’ll figure it out real quick.”