Leaning over the desk, Charity pounded her fist into its shiny décor. The once spotless desktop was now smeared with finger prints.
“What you’re telling me,” Charity said to her grandmother’s lawyer, “is the money’s mine but with a stipulation. I have twenty-four hours from the reading of the will for someone to genuinely fall in love with me. It has to be a male who is absolutely head-over-heels crazy for me. You’re kidding, right?” she asked, falling back into the chair.
Sitting down harder than she realized, she and the chair went over backwards causing Charity to crash into a bookshelf. Getting close enough to her face to cause her eyes to cross, Mr. Lawrence asked, “Miss Simpson, are you all right? Do we need to obtain the services of a doctor?”
“No, I don’t need to obtain the services of anyone, Mr. Lawrence,” she answered. Shaking her head up and down and then from side to side, she tried to clear the cobwebs out of her fuzzy brain. “Actually, this happens to me all the time. I can be sort of a klutz.”
After reassuring Mr. Lawrence that she wouldn’t sue him for the accident, Charity left. Halting at a bus stop bench, she sat for a few minutes trying to take in all the lawyer had told her. She knew her grandmother considered her an old maid at 32 years of age but she didn’t realize how much it bothered her grandmother until now.
“Oh Nana, what have you done to me? I love you more than the money, honest. I miss you so much. But things have been tough since Momma and Dad died in the car accident, and now I’ve lost you too. What am I going to do?”
Charity rose and stepped into the street. The screeching of car tires brought her out of her mourning. Swerving to miss her, the driver hit a chuckhole full of water spraying Charity’s dress. Jumping back onto the curb, she twisted her ankle and fell once again. Hitting the pavement hard, she bloodied both knees.
“What were you thinking woman?” the driver of the car yelled, running to her side. Helping her up, they both sat on the bench she had just deserted. “Are you okay? Can I get you something to clean your knees? Do you need a doctor?”
Throwing her hands in the air, Charity blurted, “Why does everyone think I need a doctor today? Good grief, I’m fine.”
“Well, you don’t look fine. There’s blood running down your legs. I’ll be right back, ma’am. I’ve got a first aid kit in my car. Here, would you mind holding Fred for me? I didn’t want to leave him in the car.”
Stroking Fred’s fur and waiting for her “knight in shining armor” to return, Charity mused. Wouldn’t it be funny if he was single and it was love at first sight? That sure would solve some of my problems right now. He is rather cute with gorgeous eyes.
“Ma’am, are you sure you’re all right? I’ve asked you three times if you want a bandage,” the hunky stranger said.
“Oh, just lost in thought,” she answered putting a hand to her hot face.
Pulling a cell phone from his coat pocket, the stranger informed her, “I need to call my wife. I’ll be home later than planned and she’ll worry.”
Well, so much for love at first sight, Charity thought. A friendly tongue slurped at her face causing her to laugh despite the predicament.
“What kind of dog is this anyway?” Charity asked. “He sure is friendly.”
“He’s a mongrel, a little bit of everything. I’m surprised at how well he likes you. He usually doesn’t warm up to strangers.”
“He’s adorable,” Charity said snuggling nose to nose with the dog.
“To be honest, I was on my way to the pound with him. We found out our infant son is allergic. We couldn’t find him a good home and it’s about to break out hearts. We don’t know what else to do. He sure seems to like you though. It’s almost like love at first sight.”
Charity jumped to her feet, “Can I have him? Seriously. He fits the bill. He’s male, has fallen madly in love with me and I already have a fondness for him.” Kissing the dog she smiled, “Fred, you’ve just made me a very rich woman.”
“Ma’am, are you sure you don’t need a doctor?” asked the stunned stranger.
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