Vera and I are sipping tea, talking about how things are with her, how attentive Lloyd is being. I’m happy for her, truly, I am.

It helps that I have Royce now.

Royce, who loves to take me to functions, to shower me with gifts and flowers.

He isn’t Vera, and he’ll never be able to take her place in my heart, but at least he wants me.

At least he can have me.

It feels good to know I’m wanted – cherished.

My blush at his latest extravagance of filling my bedroom with roses and violets tips Vera off.