Her Unexpected Delivery – Laura Ann

ennett rolled his eyes when he saw how big the stack of packages was for Brook and Grayson. They’d been married a month now and were still getting mail from every corner of the world. Half of it’s probably hate mail that Brook took Gray of the market. Benny snorted at his thoughts. It seemed like a pandemic, these last couple of years, as each of his friends slowly began starting new lives with their significant others. With each wedding, Benny grew more and more restless. And bored. And depressed. But mostly bored. Rose and Ken were the only other singles in the group now and they only had eyes for each other, even if Rose resisted it. Which left Benny by himself. He couldn’t just drop in on his friends unannounced anymore. He actually had to cook all his own meals, leaving his mooching skills severely lacking lately. And apparently, getting married did something to a person’s sense of humor because nobody seemed to want to join in his jokes anymore. Not that they had been incredibly eager before, but they had laughed and given him attention.

Now all they did was glare until he stopped. He didn’t want to admit it, but Benny was also lonely. His sister, Melody, was positive that if he would simply find his own significant other, he would feel better, but he had no desire to become the besotted, grumpy man he saw his friends turning into. He might be a little past thirty, but he still enjoyed his freedom. He didn’t want to answer to anyone or anything. He liked to laugh and play, and marriage had a way of draining that from a man, no matter how happy his friends claimed to be. There was no way catering to their wives’ every whim was exciting. It just wasn’t. Maybe I’m too much like my mother. The words hit home. His mother was living her best off the grid, carefree boho life down in California, having shirked every responsibility she had once taken on. Or, at least, he thought she was. They hadn’t heard from her in so long that Benny actually wasn’t sure where she was or what she was doing. “I’m not nearly as bad as her,” he muttered to himself. He held down a good, solid job as the mail carrier of Seaside Bay.

He met up with friends and helped when they needed it. He dabbled in art at home as a fun creative outlet, though few knew about it, and he enjoyed surfing on occasion. Life wasn’t terrible, just slow. Whistling a tune to try and cheer himself up, Benny stopped at the next house and made a face. Allison Mayer had graduated school a year behind him and yet everybody knew who she was. She’d moved into Seaside Bay in middle school and had shown up looking like the perfect porcelain doll. Even at the young age of thirteen, she wore enough makeup to star in a movie. Perfect makeup. Perfect hair. Perfect clothes. Perfect grades. Those were the qualifications of Allison Mayer, and her attitude reflected the fact that nobody else lived up to that ideal. She had been as snobby and jerky as any teenage queen bee had ever been. B Benny had taken great enjoyment in ruffling her feathers any time he got the chance. It had been the ultimate challenge.

Nothing ever seemed to break through her stoic face. She showed absolutely no emotion, and only once had he ever seen her lose it. The moment was one for the record books when Allison sent the star quarterback running for his life for daring to ask for a kiss. Now Allison was the local piano teacher and still lived with her mother, who was the town cougar. Benny doubted if Allison would ever be the type of woman to let a man into her life. Heaven forbid he might burp after dinner. She’d probably kick him out without looking back. Muttering under his breath, knowing that Allison would either open the door with a glare or her mother would flirt inappropriately, Benny braced himself. He knocked, holding the box in front of him like a shield. There was some shouting behind the door and Benny held back a groan. The door was still closed and he could already tell this was going to be rough. “Open the door!” The screeched words became louder as Allison wrenched the door hard enough to nearly pull it off its hinges. Benny froze. This wasn’t an Allison he was familiar with. Not a speck of makeup was on her face.

One side of her face was clean and fresh and still beautiful, the other half was covered in a port wine birthmark. He had no idea that it had existed under all that powder she wore. She must have realized the situation, because as Benny continued to stare, Allison’s mouth began to flap like a bass out of water. Her brown eyes were wide and Benny could have sworn a flash of fear went through her gaze before it disappeared behind the icy look he’d seen since they were young. The door slammed shut just as quickly as it opened and Benny found himself staring at brown painted wood. It kind of reminded him of Allison’s eyes, actually. As he worked to process everything that had just happened, a slow smile spread across his face. His boring, uninspired life had just taken a turn. Benny knew something he hadn’t known before. The door swung back open and Mrs. Mayer stood with her hands on her hips. “Hello,” she purred. Benny held back a shiver. This woman was way too old to speak to him that way. “I need Allison to sign for this,” he said, indicating the box.

Mrs. Mayer raised an eyebrow. “I’m her mother. Can’t I do it?” Benny shook his head. “No. It’s addressed to her.” Mrs. Mayer started to roll her eyes, then stopped as if realizing she had an audience. “Just a moment,” she said breathlessly, then disappeared into the house. Benny shifted his weight when he heard yelling start again. It was clear only Mrs. Mayer was doing the talking, and Benny found a trickle of sympathy forming toward Allison. He shook himself and shoved it aside. That was the last thing he needed right now. The mystery of her birthmark intrigued him, but he wasn’t about to feel sorry for her.

She’d been horrible since they were kids, and it wasn’t going to change now. “Allison is…indisposed,” Mrs. Mayer said when she returned. “Can I take it in and have her sign it? Then bring it back?” Benny figured that was as good as he was going to get, so he shrugged and handed her the tablet. Mrs. Mayer disappeared again, then brought it back with a smirk. “Will that do it for you?” “Thanks,” Benny muttered, handing her all the mail. He tried to glance one more time into the house, but all he saw was the twitch of a curtain. The door closed behind him as he walked away, but the entire situation sat on Benny’s mind for the rest of the day. Allison had a birthmark. Her mother treated her badly. Allison still lived at home and rarely spoke or showed emotion. It felt like there was a mystery behind the situation, and for a bored, restless bachelor, nothing had ever looked so exciting


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Updated: 19 October 2021 — 04:47

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