Next Door and Forevermore

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She’s terrified of commitment. He’s commited to the wrong person. Can the story of their friendship become the happily-ever-after they’ve both dreamed?

(A modern day retelling of Anne of Green Gables with an Appalachian Twist)

To Maggie Reynolds the old adage, it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all is only partially true. She loves, deeply and completely, but she won’t risk the loss because she keeps her emotional distance. After being raised in foster care until she was twelve, she learned the hard way once you give your heart, you’re in danger of losing it, so she generously serves others, but say the ‘l’ word? Nope, too dangerous. The last time she told someone she loved them, she was transferred out of that family to a different place. A worse home – and from a child’s perspective, she’d somehow distorted that moment, combined with all the transitions from one family to another, into a lie in her heart. Getting close to people means they’ll reject you.

However, loving from a distance is becoming more difficult. Ever since her best friend, Trigg Mitchell, had surgery and then chemotherapy for advanced prostate cancer, her long hours of tending him moved her feelings much deeper. They’d been friends for years, brought together by Maggie’s friendship with Trigg’s younger sister, Rainey, but the intimacy of their time during his sickness changed things for her. Now, loving from a distance never seems close enough. Trigg takes a rose from the bushes outside his home to his mother’s house every morning, he serves the elderly from the community with tireless patience, and his subtle wit and understated smile send her pulse into a scurry – but Trigg only sees her as a friend. His heart still belongs to his former fiancé, who left him a year ago, coincidentally, right around the time he received his cancer diagnosis. And Maggie’s learned it takes Trigg a long time to make a decision or change a routine. He’s as stuck in his ways as the cattle on his farm.

Can friendship bloom into something more before they not only lose their hearts, but their chance?