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A Single Touch (Irresistible Attraction #3)
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From USA Today bestselling author Willow Winters comes the conclusion to the heart-wrenching, edge-of-your-seat gripping, romantic suspense trilogy, Irresistible Attraction.
Sometimes you meet someone, maybe meet isn’t the right word. You don’t even have say hello for this to happen. You simply pass by them and everything in your world changes forever. Chills flow all the way from the crook in your neck where you imagine he’d kiss you, all the way down, with only a single glance.
A Single Touch is the third and final book of the Irresistible Attraction trilogy.
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“Past is a nice place to visit, but certainly not a good place to stay.”
My calculus grades are slipping. The large red D scribbled in Miss Talbot’s handwriting stares back at me. One look at it shoves the knot in the back of my throat even deeper down my windpipe. My bookbag falls to the floor in the nursing home with a dull thud as I whisper the word, “fuck.” With my hand rubbing under my tired eyes, I let out a heavy sigh and stare at the ceiling in the hallway.
There’s no way I’m going to be able to stay in college if I don’t pass. There’s no coming back from this. My grades didn’t slip like this last year when Jenny was here with me every day at four o’clock on the dot. I only have one more year to go, but this class is a core requirement. I’ll never need to know how the hell derivatives work in order to be a nurse, but I can’t fail this class. I can’t fucking fail.
“Bethany?” The soft voice belongs to Nurse Judy. She told me exactly how she got her degree and that I could do it just like she did. She’s the reason I changed my major sophomore year to pursue a nursing degree. Just as she creeps into the long hall, I shove the test into a notebook while stuffing it into my worn leather backpack, listening to the sound of the zipper rather than what she’s saying.
I’ll fail calculus, lose the scholarship that’s paid for more than half of my college education, and be left with even more debt and no degree to show for it. Perfect. I don’t know what I’m going to do. Other than work a nine-to-five at whatever minimum wage job I can get. If they’ll even hire me.
“Did you hear me?” Nurse Judy coaxes me out of my downward spiral and it’s then that I see the worried look in her dark brown eyes. “Your mother had a relapse.”
“A relapse?” The confusion leaves a deep crease on my forehead.
“We don’t know what caused it, but she’s with us, Bethany. Mentally aware.”
“Aware?” All the air leaves me with the single word.
“She woke up, not knowing what happened during the last three or so years. But she knows time has passed. She knows you and your sister have been on your own and that she has Alzheimer’s.”
“I don’t understand how that’s possible.” Fear is something I never expected to feel in this moment. I’ve had so many dreams come to me in the middle of the night where my mother would be lucid. Where she’d tell me it was okay, that she was back now. Back for good and that she remembers everything. They were only dreams though. It’s only ever a dream.
I can barely swallow as I stare past Nurse Judy and walk forward without conscious awareness. “Is she okay?” It’s the only thing I can ask. I can’t imagine what it’s like to wake up one day to have lost years of time. To wake up and find your children look different and everything’s changed.
The oddest thing in this moment is that I hope she still loves me. I just want her to love me still.
Even if I’m failing. Even if I’m no longer her little girl. It’s been years since she’s been lucid and this is what I want most of all.
“She’ll be better when she sees you,” is the answer Nurse Judy gives me. With each step, I know I’ll always remember this moment. It’s like something flipped a switch in my head and a voice gives me reassurance. This moment will never leave you. This moment will define you.
“Are they here?” my mother’s voice calls out. Echoed in her voice, I can hear the strain of past tears. “Did they get your messages?”
My answer drowns out Nurse Judy’s as I round the corner to the living room in the home, my steps picking up pace just as my throat tightens. “Mom,” I croak.
She’s frail and thin, as she was yesterday and the day before. Somehow I thought when she came into view, she’d look like she did the last time I held her hand and she asked me again who my sister was.
She had her makeup done perfectly although she didn’t need it. Mom used to say she’d never grow old. Even joked about it that day as she brushed her blush up to her temples. That was the day we took her to the hospital. She’d forgotten who my sister was and it took me a long time to realize she’d forgotten who I was too. She thought I was her best friend from high school, the girl she named me after. A girl who had long since died.