Chapter 5

(John’s POV)

I can’t wait for this day to be over. It’s moving day, and between Michael, Antonio, Nora Evangeline and I, the day was going pretty swiftly. But all the mechanics of moving have gotten to Evangeline and I, leaving us in bad moods that no amount of joking could lift. And Nora used her best jokes.

The moving men were late, they came with the wrong size truck and then got lost on the first trip to the house. Evangeline came pretty close to losing her temper with them, which is no easy feat to calm down. Nora quickly intercepted and defused the situation by giving the movers extremely detailed directions to the house. Where she gets her patience, I don’t know. Evangeline disappeared a few minutes ago, but I haven’t gone to check on her yet. Sometimes it’s better to give her a few minutes by herself to sort her thoughts.

“John, are the boxes in the kitchen things that you’re keeping or are they the stuff that you’re giving to the Salvation Army?” Antonio asks. r “Um, I’m not that sure. I’ll go ask Evangeline.”

“You sure about that man? She might throw something at you.”

“She might, if there was anything left in the bedroom to throw.”

Antonio shakes his head ans walks away laughing . I walk down the hall to the bedroom and slowly open the door to find Evangeline laying on her back on the floor with her eyes closed. I watch her chest rise and fall evenly for a few seconds and move to close the door again. She hasn’t been sleeping well for the past week and she got up 4:30 this morning, so she could use a little nap.

“I wasn’t sleeping.”

“I knew that. I didn’t hear any snoring.”

A corner of her mouth quirks up into an adorable half grin, but she doesn’t say anything.

“So if you weren’t sleeping, what were you doing?”

“Trying very hard to calm my nerves,” she says, slowly opening her eyes and sitting up. I cross the room to crouch down next to her.

“You okay?”

“Yeah is there any coffee left?”

I shake my head. “No. But more coffee will just make you more nervous and anxious than you already are.”

“Well, chamomile tea would be better, but that’s already packed up with the stuff from the spice cabinet. I have no idea how it got in there, but it’s already on the truck.”

“Oh yeah! That reminds me. Are the boxes in the kitchen for the Salvation Army?”

“The open ones. The ones that are taped shut are going to the new house. I’m not sure if I labeled them, so if they’re not, can you do that for me?”

“No problem,” I say, rising. “And Evangeline?”


“It’s okay to be a little scared. I know I am. Don’t stress the small stuff. Everything is fine as long as we’re together.”

Evangeline smiles and stands to hug me tightly. “Thank you. I feel a lot better now.”

Antonio knocks on the door lightly, his back deliberately to us. “You two decent in there?”

Evangeline laughs. “Get in here, gutter brain.”

Still chuckling to himself, Antonio walks into the room. “Are you okay Evangeline?”

“Yes, I am, thanks to my two favourite people.”

Jus then Nora and Michael appear in the doorway and Michael exclaims, “What are we, chopped liver?”

“You guys know I love you too.”

“We’re just not you’re favourite people, is that it?”

Evangeline shakes her head. “Did you come in here with any other reason than to give me a hard time?”

“The moving men are back and need instructions on which boxes to load.”

“Okay I’ll go take care of that,” Evangeline says, leaving us in the room.

“You think she’ll actually lose it with them this time?” Michael asks.

I shake me head ‘no’. “I don’t think so. She’ll probably just make their lives hell for the next few hours if they mess up again.”

“Yeah, well, just in case, I hid all the knives, “Nora quips amidst chuckles as we leave the room.


Hours later, Evangeline and I are now officially moved in. The neighbours have already introduced themselves and brought over casseroles and given us the recycling schedules. There are some very nice people in Llanview.

After helping us position the furniture in the places that we wanted them, and helping us unpack some boxes, Nora and Antonio went home. Michael stayed to help us, since Marcie had a book engagement. But after a while we realized that we were gonna go crazy if we tried to unpack everything at once, and we quickly gave up on that idea. We were a little wary of the casseroles and we hadn’t gotten around to unpacking the dishes yet, so we order takeout, which we eat straight out fo the cartons and watch movies. And since we let Michael choose the movie, we ended up watching Finding Nemo.

I’m still trying to figure out why Evangeline has Finding Nemo in her movie collection, but it really is a pretty good movie. It would have been better if Michael didn’t keep whispering to Evangeline, “He touched the butt,” in various voices, which caused them to laugh hysterically. Though it was pretty funny when Michael fell out of the chair.

After a while, I realize that both Michael and Evangeline are strangely quiet. Well not so quiet, since they’re both snoring softly, having fallen asleep sometime in the last couple of minutes. I leave Michael where he is, and carefully lift Evangeline out of the loveseat and begin a slow ascent of the stairs.

I place her gently on the bed, and stand back to study her with a smile. Early this morning, Evangeline had pulled her hair into a tight, neat braid, but over the course of the day, it loosened and small tendrils escaped, brushing her cheeks and neck. And there’s a mark on her cheek from the pen that she used to sign the moving bill. I’d been meaning to tell her about it, but I keep getting distracted. And despite the fact that she’s obviously worn out, the small smile that lingers on her face tells me that she’s happy.

Evangeline stretches and blinks up at me with sleep filled eyes and an apologetic smile. “Sorry, I fell asleep on you.”

“It’s fine. Michael fell asleep too. I left him in the couch.”

“There’s this kind of room you know, where guests sleep and oh my gosh, it’s called a guest room. And we have one of those. Actually, we have two.”

“You were asleep a few minutes ago, and now you’re awake enough to give me a hard time? And were you going to be the one to carry Michael up the stairs? Because I had enough trouble carrying you.”

Evangeline’s mouth drops open and she glares at me, which only makes me laugh. “You, McBain, are so dead.”

“I think I’m gonna go check on Michael right now.”

She laughs and I head downstairs with an extra blanket to cover Michael with. I would wake him up, but then he’d insist on going home and he’d probably fall asleep at the wheel. That and it takes a good while to wake Michael up from his lightest sleep.

By the time I get back upstairs, Evangeline has already changed into her pajamas and she’s in the bathroom brushing her teeth. When she’s done, she comes out and flops onto the bed. “Did you cover Michael?”

“Yeah. This place is a lot draftier than the apartment.”

“Yeah we have more windows now.”

We both grin at each other. “It’s hard to believe isn’t it?”

Evangeline gives me a confused look. “What is?”

“We have a place that belongs to us. There’s no your place or my place. It’s all our place now.”

“Yeah that is pretty amazing. Though I wonder what I’m going to do with you when you annoy me. Maybe I’ll just lock you in the basement.”

“I feel so loved.”

Evangeline laughs that glorious laugh, the one that can light up the darkest corner of the world and make anyone else who hears it want to laugh.

“It’s a little something called payback.”

I get in to bed and pull her close to me, kissing her soundly. When we finally pull apart, Evangeline grins and asks, “Are you shutting me up?”

“Yes, and you liked it.”

“I don’t know. I’m not sure if I did. Maybe you should do it again.”

Laughing, I comply.

“Are you sure now?”

“Yes, I definitely am sure. But I still think you should do it again.”

“Michael is downstairs.”

“Yeah. Maybe we should quit before things get out of control.”

“That sounds like a good idea. Good night.”

“Good night John.”

I kiss her softly on the forehead and turn off the lamp, before getting back into bed. Looks like this day didn’t turn out so bad after all.

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