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Free Preview – Grace

For some reason I liked Harry, but I didn’t know much about construction, so I really couldn’t speak intelligently on the subject. I tried to make small talk anyway.

“The other night I overheard you and your compatriots talking about some kind of room. What’s that all about?”

“The room is special. The room is filled with all kinds of treasures. It’s got things from the Civil War, old beer bottles, a piece of the Challenger, and hundreds of one-of-a-kind articles. It’s a unique museum. Only special people get to see,” he said, pointing to his right eye, “the room.”

“Where is this place?”

“My house,” he said as he drained his mug.

“How does one become special enough to see it?”

“I decide, man. I decide.”

“Well, it certainly sounds like an interesting–” my cell phone vibrated. “Excuse me, Harry. I have a call,” I said, getting up from my seat so that I could take it outside the bar.

I answered. It was Terri.

“Dalton, I tried to reach you earlier, but you must’ve had your phone off.”

“Yes, I did. When I’m doing the interviews, I don’t like distractions. I’m surprised you’re calling me this time of the evening. Isn’t my once-a-day check-in enough?”

“The mail ran late today, and you have a letter that Aldous said you would want to know about, so that’s why I’m calling.”

“Oh, shit! Don’t tell me it’s from the IRS?”

“No, it’s nothing like that. The letter’s from Italy.”

When she said Italy, I actually felt dizzy. My throat felt tight, and I could hardly say a word.

“You there . . . Dalton, you there?”

“Yes . . . I’m here.”

“Are you all right?”

“Yes, Terri, I’m fine,” I said, swallowing hard. “Who’s it from?”

“I’m not sure of the pronunciation, but it looks like M-o-d-i-g–“

“Modigliani,” I said as my face flushed.

“Yes, that sounds like it. This that old friend you told me about who introduced you to Italian cuisine?”

“I don’t know, but it could be.” I felt tears welling in my eyes.

“I put it on your desk for when you come in Friday morning.”

“Thanks. I’ll see you Friday,” I said as I hit the off button. I just stood there stunned for a minute or so. My mind began racing. Why would she contact me now? Does she still love me? Does she want to come back to the states? God, help me get through this. I wish I’d been at the office when the letter arrived.

“Mr. M!”

I turned around and Harry was standing there holding the door open. “Yes.”