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Snowed In: Chapter Twenty Three - navessa allen
ELLA “I think you should go home,” Ben says after his parents leave. I blank my face and do my best to shove down the emotions his words provoke. We’re standing on opposite sides of the kitchen island. I lean my hips forward against it as I try to logically process what he just said, my hands on the massive slab of butcher block we nearly broke our backs installing ourselves. Beneath my fingers, the wood feels as smooth as butter. I oiled it a few days after the installation, rubbing the food-grade mineral oil onto its surface with painstaking care while Ben started on the herringbone tile that acts as the kitchen backsplash. I wanted this countertop to be perfect. I wanted him to look on the job I did with pride, see my use, and decide to let me hang around just a little while longer. Now he’s pushing me away. “Did I do something wrong?” I ask, my voice soft. “No,” he tells me. “I don’t have the words to thank you for being here the past few days. I may never have them. But this,” he says, motioning between us with a big hand, “this is …