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She stood by the window overlooking her little garden. She’d planted pumpkins this year for Wendy; they were going to pick one to decorate this afternoon. In all her seventy-four years, she’d never found a place that felt so much like home. She wouldn’t give up this small bit of heaven for any amount of money.

“The Lilac Bower isn’t for sale,” Minnie said for the fourth time in their conversation. “Why won’t you tell me who you represent?”

“The buyer wishes to remain anonymous for the time being,” the lawyer said.

That puzzled her even more. Who would pay a million dollars for a bed and breakfast? It certainly wasn’t worth that much. Sure, she did a good business during tourist season, but things certainly slowed in the fall. Any meager profit she’d made had gone right back into maintaining the three-storey Victorian. New driveway, new furnace, new bathroom fixtures. Mark, her nephew and personal handyman, had a list as long as her arm of needed repairs, not the least of which was a new roof and an air conditioning system. A million dollars could only be a joke.

“Well, if your client is serious about this offer, they can come and talk to me in person. I’m not interested in selling anyway, but I’m certainly not interested in dealing with someone who won’t say who they are.”

“I’ll pass on your message. We’ll be in touch.” The lawyer disconnected.

Minnie tossed her phone down. It slid across the kitchen counter and fell on the floor. The battery case fell out again. She sighed and rubbed her forehead, bending to pick up the phone and the battery that had rolled under the edge of the refrigerator. After clicking the pieces back together, she put the phone in its charger and returned to the grocery bags covering the kitchen island.

Calls like that always upset her. She’d finally found a place she could call home, a place where she could reconcile all her memories, and someone wanted to take it from her. She wouldn’t sell. She’d saved up the money to pay cash for it, had labored through five years of renovations, installing new bathroom fixtures, restoring hardwood floors and crown molding, and removing purple paint from every surface inside and out. There was still work to do, but the rooms were finally shaping up as she’d envisioned them, and she wasn’t going to give up now.

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