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Donna Gable Hatch
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Kate Fletcher's world is undergoing a seismic shift. With a failed marriage and her youth behind her, a career in flux and a relationship she doesn't fully trust, Kate believes she's on a precipice faced with diminishing horizons. When her beloved mother is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, Kate returns to her roots to prepare her childhood home for sale. As she renovates the house, the memories locked within its walls renovate Kate. She braces to face the future, discovering that for every goodbye, God also provides a hello.
“What are you doing?” Paula asked, her arms crossed and her eyes narrowed. “Seriously, what are you doing? I just don’t get it. First you dump Mike and now this. Does he even know you’re leaving L.A.?”
Why does everyone seem to think I have to justify my decisions about my personal relationships?
“Kate?” Paula stared steadily at her, hands on hips, eyebrows arched.
“Look, I didn’t plan any of this and, yes, Mike knows,” Kate snapped, letting her eyes flash a back-off warning.
She turned away, surprised by the intensity of her response, and tried to rein in her emotions by fixating on the plate she was wrapping in bubble wrap. Saying goodbye to Mike had been awful, the most painful conversation she’d ever had. Just the thought of it made her face blush hot from guilt.
“I don’t expect you to understand. It’s complicated.” Kate packed the plate with the others, picked up another and continued wrapping.
Paula shook her head and walked to the table. “I know what this is about. You thought Mike was invincible and he turned out to be human—and you can’t handle it.”
Kate closed her eyes. She felt tired—tired of thinking about it, tired of talking about it, tired of worrying about whether she had made the right decision—and the strain showed on her face. She saw it every time she passed a mirror. She paused before she responded. “It’s for the best,” she said flatly. “I need to be with my mother.”
Paula drummed her fingers on the table and slowly nodded her head up and down. “Yep. It all worked out nicely, didn’t it? How convenient.”
Kate picked up on the sarcasm. “Convenient? What’s that supposed to mean?”
Paula pursed her lips, her eyes unblinking. “You know what it means.”
“No, I don’t.” Kate said slowly for emphasis.
“I’m sure that you do,” Paula responded in an equally measured beat.
Kate fought the urge to respond—if she kept the words inside she could keep her emotions in check—and continued to pack.
“It’s a pattern with you, Kate. You do it all the time, and, for the record, this isn’t a behavior that was triggered by the divorce.” She tilted her head and peered at her friend. “You have obviously—and conveniently—forgotten that before you and Ty married, you broke up with him three times. Three.”
She waited for Kate to respond. When she didn’t, Paula continued. “If he hadn’t pursued you again and again and again, you’d never have walked down the aisle at all.”
Kate lowered the plate she held, stopped packing, and replied facetiously, “Oh, and that worked out so well.”
“Nevertheless,” Paula said. “The point I am laboring to make is that you broke up with him when things got a little too real, and you’re doing it again with Mike. I just—”
Kate interrupted, her voice tense and sharp. “The situations are completely different.”
Paula replied, “But the unfortunate situation with your mother is just the excuse you needed to convince yourself that breaking up with Mike was the right decision. It’s convenient.”
Kate’s jaw dropped. A heat flashed through her body and for a brief moment she thought she might hurl the plate across the room. “Convenient?” Kate glared at Paula. “Trust me, there’s nothing convenient about any of this.” She shifted her body so that she faced away from Paula, turned her attention to the stacks of books waiting to be packed and began to slam things into boxes.
Paula took a deep breath and walked over to her. She reached down and took the book from Kate’s hand and waited quietly for her attention.
“I’m sorry. That was unfair,” she said looking directly at Kate. “I know you’re worried about your mother, and I don’t mean to trivialize it. It’s unsettling, I know, especially after what happened with Mike.”
Kate’s body stiffened.
Donna Gable Hatch has been a professional writer and editor for more than twenty years. As a writer, her work has appeared in numerous publications, including USA Today where she was the only writer granted on-set access to the cast and crew of legendary actress Katharine Hepburn’s last movie, “One Christmas.”
An editor at the Houston Chronicle, Donna lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, Ryan, and their three shelter dogs, Lucy, Phoebe and Harley.
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 310
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