Greta has led a quiet, sheltered existence in her childhood home under her widowed mother's manipulative influence. Under unusual circumstances she meets a young man and she finds herself reexamining her life. Greta is torn between living to please her mother and living for herself, and she must find a way to reconcile the two.

Chapter 1

“The rest of my life.” Greta Sanding closed her eyes and pushed herself away from the dining table.

Her mother, who sat across from her in her usual place, looked up. “What did you say?”

“The rest of my life,” Greta repeated softly.

Escape. That was all she wanted. Escape from the stifling walls of her childhood home, from the snarl in her mother’s voice. Escape from the surveillance of a boss that she disliked in an office that she hated.

“I’ve had enough ‘unselfish service’,” she whispered. “I am serving myself from now on.”

* ~ * ~ * ~*

The alarm buzzed insistently until Greta reached a hand out from the blankets to hit the snooze button. After what seemed like just a few minutes, she poked her out from the covers to read the time on the alarm clock. She threw off the covers and jumped out of bed; she needed to back at work in one hour. She grabbed her clothes from the chair and she rushed into the bathroom, the pungent aroma of fresh coffee reached her nose. Her mother Lillian had likely been up alredy for a few hours, as was her habit.

Greta turned on the shower full blast. She was out in five minutes. She glanced at her watch and realized that she would only have time for a quick cup of coffee before leaving the house to catch her bus for the ten-minute ride into town. Her heart started beating faster at the thought of being late for work again.

It didn’t  matter that she had worked until nearly midnight last night trying to put a dent in the piles of cases that were lined up on her desk at work. Her boss, Mr. Mathers, would only notice that even though the piles were considerably smaller than the day before, Greta was just stepping through the door at 8:15.

Sighing, Greta brushed her hair quickly and ran down the stairs to the kitchen.

“You’re going to be late again.” Lillian Sanding was seated at the kitchen table, a cup of coffee before her as she read the morning newspaper. “You need to get up earlier. No boss likes his employees to be late all the time.”

“Yes, Mother,” Greta answered through gritted teeth. She poured herself some coffee, burning her tongue as she sipped. From the corner of her eye she could see her mother watching her.

“You won’t have time for breakfast.”

“Yes, I know, Mother.” She blew into the hot liquid and took another  gulp before setting her cup  in the sink.

“Don’t expect me to clean up after you,” her mother said tartly, looking at her from over her glasses.

“I really need to go,” Greta hated the sound of the anxiety in her voice. “Well, you don’t have maid service.” Lillian calmly continued reading her paper.

Greta glanced up at the clock again. She would have to run if she was going to make her bus. She let out a huff and rinsed out her cup. She grabbed her purse from the hallway table. She shot a glare to the back of Lillian’s  head and left the house, slamming the door behind her.

The End

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