February is the shortest month of the year, yet it feels like it’s been the longest. Just twenty-eight days, that’s all it’s been. Twenty-eight days since he moved out; twenty-eight days since he last called… He’s still alive; my internet stalking has guaranteed that much. 

It’s rent day. He should be coming over to collect – since I always paid in cash. Sitting on the couch, watching TV, I hear my front door click and open. Turning toward the door, I find Erica and Caden entering. 

Erica is smiling far wider than she should be allowed to while Caden looks around blankly. Since all his stuff had been moved out, I filled a few empty gaps with my decorations. It’s still bare but not as empty as it had been at the beginning of the month.

“Rent time,” Erica sings happily, clearly getting used to the Landlord lifestyle. Caden’s eyes are everywhere but on me – avoiding me. 

I lean forward, grab my purse, and pull out the $2,000 I owe. She all but snatches it out of my hand. 

As she stands there and counts.

I turn my attention back to the TV. I can feel him looking at me now, but I know if I look up, he’ll turn away. I don’t deserve to feel like this in my own home…

“Where’s the rest?” She blurts.

I turn to look at her and frown. “What do you mean where’s the rest?”

“The rent of this place is $5,000,” she giggles, stuffing the money into her pocket.

“That would only be the case if I didn’t own the apartment, Erica,” Caden pipes up. His voice is deep but monotone, nothing like it usually is. 

He looks and sounds like an imposter. His black hair is dull, and his eyes look tired. What has she done to you? 

“If we got rid of her, we’d make money on this place,” she whispers to him, but he just shakes his head and walks back to the front door and holds it open for her. “Bye for now,” Erica says cheerily and leaves, Caden following and shutting the door behind them – not a glance in my direction.

As the door clicks and locks, my chest tightens and my lower lip trembles. After just one month of living with his girlfriend, my best friend can no longer look at me. I miss you. 

Want to read the rest now? Playing House is now available, in full, on my store!

PLAYING HOUSE is now available, in full, as an eBook for just 99p!
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Available from Theodora’s Emporium and Amazon.

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