Ambrose returned to Sammy’s Place.
The broom and dust pan were still by the door, patiently waiting for him.
Sammy, however, was not. There was no trace of his sandalwood and incense scent. The chairs that had exploded were intact and in their rightful spots.
It was like he was never there.
Was he a bizarre manifestation of my guilty conscience? No. My guilty conscience would have dredged up Maria or my father. Not Sammy.
He picked up the broom. “Time to get to work.”
Ambrose lost himself in memories as he swept the floor.
Clarice hugged Hildreth a little longer than she should have before moving on to hug Elsie. “Now, you remember what I told you.”
“Yes, mom. I remember.”
“Good. Why don’t you two stay at my place? It’s kind of late in the evening to be train traveling.” She grinned at Hildreth. “And I’ll admit I wouldn’t mind seeing you a little longer.”
“Teasing. Teasing. So, do you want to spend the night with me? I mean, at my place?”
He looked at Elsie. “It’s up to you.”
“We should be heading back.”
“I’ll give you your own special bubble space so you two birds can talk.”
“Talk?” Hildreth frowned. “Talk about what?”
Elsie shook her head. “I’ll discuss it later. Not here. Not now.”
Something in her voice made him clam up.
She smiled at her mom. “We’d love to stay. Separate rooms, of course.”
Hildreth struggled with getting a respectable smile on his face. “Of course.”
“Are you okay?”
Barbara smiled at her dad. “Maybe not okay, but better.”
“What did you decide?”
“I told him I need some time to think things over, so I can make up my mind.”
“And he…He didn’t hurt you?”
“No. I feel like I hurt him, though.” She hugged him. “But don’t worry. I’m fine. What about you?”
“He never even touched me. But I wanted to punch him into the sky for making you cry like that.”
“Dad.” She clasped his shoulders. “I need to know. If I decide at the end of my week that I still want to be his girlfriend and all, will you be okay with that?”
He kissed the top of her head. “Ask me at the end of the week. I don’t think I can give you an honest, unbiased answer right now.”
“That’s fair.” She hugged him again. “Love you.”
“Love you too, punkin.”