Cherry Hill 3: Starting Over(2)

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer

As they entered the store, Adalee immediately smelled the many fragrances her mom enjoyed making and selling, as she took in the sights of all the beautiful clothing, both casual and more formal, including a section with lingerie.

“My goodness, you are even more beautiful than the pictures your mom has hanging up around here. They don’t do you justice at all, Adalee. You’re going to have your hands full, Layla,” Angelina said to Adalee, and Adalee gave a soft smile.

“That’s very sweet of you,” she said, and Layla shook her head smiling like she too couldn’t believe her daughter was here and looked so good. Her mom hugged her arm again.

“Come see the place. I’ve expanded a little recently, even have some homemade soaps and things that you and I used to make years ago. Remember those?” her mom asked and as she brought her over to the display.

Adalee was struck emotionally by the sight. Her mom even did the homemade soaps up with sheer fabric bags in white and tied them with little bows in different colors that separated the scents. She lifted up the one with the pink rose petal melted right into the soap and pieces of dried rose as decoration outside of it. She brought it to her nose and inhaled. She remembered the scent, the smell of rose water and jasmine.

“Oh God, Mom, these are so beautiful. I can remember when I was a kid and we would make these and sell them at the school fair.” She smiled and looked at her mom and Angelina, who both had tears in their eyes.

“I know. I remember those days, as well, and I thought it would be a great idea to maybe start bringing them into the boutique. It’s just a time factor for me really. I’d love to do more than just a dozen, they sell out so quickly, and people want to place orders for more, but running the shop and sitting on the town board for the fair and festivities committee is just too much,” her mom said as she picked up one of the fancy bags and looked at it as she inhaled and smiled.

“Well, I’m here now, Mom, and I can help out. Perhaps this might be exactly what I need to help me get through things, ya know?” she said as she looked at the soaps and recalled how therapeutic it was, relaxing, as she would make them with her mom and then decorate them for sale. “You know, we should do what we talked about years ago, and get metal tags made up with initials on them or maybe words in tiny letters like, I don’t know, relax, breathe, hope?”

“Love?” Angelina said and smiled.

Adalee smiled and chuckled. “Sure, why not?”

“Well, I think you just found your new beginning here in Cherry Hill,” Angelina said and then stepped away, leaving Adalee with her mom. They heard the bell chime above the door, but Adalee smiled at her mom and hugged her again as they walked toward the counter.

“I have to work here for a while longer, but the house is right behind the storefronts up the dirt road. It’s a pretty little blue house with a white fence and flower box windows. You’re going to love it.”

“I can’t wait to see it. Maybe I’ll check out the town. Walk around a bit.” Her mom’s expression changed, and then she worried her bottom lip.

“Mom, you said this town is safe, and I was law enforcement. I need to stop in and talk to the local sheriff you mentioned about my guns I have registered and things. Why that face?”

“Well, I might have not thoroughly mentioned some things.”

“Mom, what?”

“Layla, Ashley and her men are looking for those gift sets of wineglasses, but the ones with the purple grapes painted on them. Did we sell the last set yesterday, or are there others in the back?” Angelina Perkins interrupted.

Adalee looked at the beautiful blond woman with three very big cowboys right next to her, and from here, it appeared the woman was pregnant. She watched as her mom walked over and talked to them and greeted the men who kept close to the woman. One caressed her hair, the other had an arm around her waist, and the third seemed on guard and in a protective stance. “It’s for a gift for Michelle York, no one else bought it for her and her men, did they?” the young pregnant woman asked.

“No, definitely not. I believe it was someone passing through town visiting a family friend in Central Valley.”

“Oh, thank goodness. I wanted to shop early so I could find the right gift for her and her men.”

“Well, this will be lovely. Let me just check in the back room,” her mom said, and then as she walked toward Adalee, she gave a smile and called over her shoulder, “Cassidy, meet my daughter, Adalee. She is moving here from New York and just arrived today.”

“So nice to meet you, Adalee. My God, your eyes are incredible,” the woman said and reached her hand out for Adalee to shake.

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