As I follow Dax inside, I’m struck by how quiet the Pearl is. The twins would have been running up to greet me by now and begging me to play with them. I was never into kids but that changed with DJ and Ani-Pea. And now, Tyler. “Where’s everyone?”
“Harlow and the kids are at your girlfriend’s place,” Dax replies. “They’re having a play date.”
“A play date?” I suddenly realize I never got around to introduce Alma to Harlow. I’d been too busy trying to appear cool and pretending she needed her space. “When did they meet?”
“The other day.” Dax walks to the kitchen and takes two beers from the refrigerator. He tosses one toward me. “Harlow and the kids dropped by to welcome her to the neighborhood and they hit it off right away. You never told me she was a kindergarten teacher, Sawyer. Now, she and Harlow are talking lesson plans for the twins.”
“Wow,” is the only thing I can say. No wonder Alma never called me. She’s been busy.
“The kids get along, too, so that’s a huge bonus,” Dax adds.
“She’s not my girlfriend, by the way,” I mutter.
“She isn’t?” Dax looks at me quizzically and then shrugs. “Oh, okay. I figured she was since you guys drove from LA together.”
“She isn’t,” I say again. “She’s my best friend’s wife. The one who died last year.”
“So she’s a widow.”
I pretend not to notice my mistake. “Yeah.”
“Oh, okay.” Dax pops open his beer and takes a sip. It’s probably killing him that I’m being tight-lipped about Alma. But why shouldn’t I be? She’s my best friend’s widow, and that’s a line I’m not going to cross—or at least, that’s what I’ve been telling myself since this all began.