Kate Explodes

“Kate? Are you okay?” Spencer watched Kate, concerned. He gingerly moved next to her, waiting for the screaming, or something. It was now four weeks after the funeral. He didn’t think he could wait any longer, given the circumstances and knowing Sarah’s fate was in her hands.

Kate jumped up, startling him. “Am I okay!? Are you kidding? I’m now a mother of a little girl I know nothing about. A little girl I didn’t know existed until a few weeks after her father died. A little girl who I’m supposed to let know her father loves her, when he could never say that to me? Do you think I’m okay?!” She snatched up a cup of pens from the end table and threw it against the wall. Then she stormed off to her bedroom and slammed the door.

Spencer heard her yell through the door, “You can leave anytime!” And then something thrown at the door. He picked up the papers and folded them neatly back into the envelope and laid it on the table. Thanks, John. It’s going to be a long night. He took off his shoes and put them by the door, then opened the patio door wider to air out the place. He couldn’t quite place the odor, but it was bad.

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Kate Learns a Secret

Kate ripped open the envelope Spencer handed her and pulled out several sheets of paper, including one in John’s handwriting. Seeing his script again jolted her. She scanned the letter at first and then read it word for word.

 

Dear Kate,

If you’re reading this, you know I’m no longer living. I have always loved you, but I couldn’t say so. Because I had a secret. One that I was afraid you wouldn’t accept. I remember you saying more than once, you didn’t ever want to be a mother because yours left when you were young.

Kate, I have a daughter, Sarah, who’s living with her mother in Iowa. But Sarah’s mother is dying of cancer and she will become my responsibility unless something happens to me. Sarah will be your legal daughter if both her mother and I die. Enclosed you will find the necessary documents you need to find her. Only Spencer, the lawyer, and Beth, Sarah’s mother, know.   We were young and stupid, but Sarah is not a mistake. I know you will love her with every fiber of your being once you absorb the shock. Please allow Spencer to help you in getting her settled in and don’t blame him for keeping my secret as I’ve asked. Because Sarah will legally become a ward of the state before you adopt her, you will get a monthly stipend from the Iowa government to provide for her. There shouldn’t be any snags with the paperwork, but the attorney’s contact info is enclosed if you need any help or have any questions I haven’t answered in the paperwork or this letter. The legal office on base can assist you as well.

Kate, this was the hardest letter I’ve ever written. Please know that I love you, and I trust you with Sarah. Please love her as your own and tell her her daddy loved her.

I love you, Kate, and please forgive me.

Love always,

John

 

Kate dropped the letter and the other papers on the floor, her eyes focused on nothing and everything. She couldn’t read anymore. This couldn’t possibly be happening. There was no way she was going to be a mother. And especially to a stranger and to John’s flesh and blood who she’d have to look at every day. What on earth had he been thinking? How could he have kept this from her all this time? How could he possibly do this to her? All these questions and more swarmed around in her head.

She was now going to become a mother, her worst nightmare? And then she had to tell this daughter that John loved her? How could she possibly do that? He hadn’t had the nerve to ever use those words with her. The audacity of it all made her want to scream. No way! Not happening.

Why didn’t he tell her anyway, so she could wring his neck instead of Spencer’s?

****

Until next time,

Michelle

Spencer Visits Kate

Several days passed and Spencer hadn’t heard from Kate. He saw her at the office, but she ignored him and many others around her. She refused to join in any kind of banter and she no longer smiled. She focused on her work and left as soon as it was done. Kate seemed like a cardboard cutout of herself, very stiff and wooden.

Finally on Friday, Spencer drove to her apartment and rang the bell. He held the envelope in his hand, ready to pass it on. He felt he better inform Kate personally before some government agency or an attorney did.

But there was no answer. He didn’t hear Buttons barking either, so maybe they were on a walk. He decided to wait a minute. A neighbor came out into the hall from next door and said, “She ain’t home, man. She left yesterday with a bag.” The neighbor was holding an empty laundry basket.

“Oh. Thanks. I’ll come back later.” He wondered where she took off to. He didn’t know she had any leave coming, not that he knew every detail of Kate’s life. So much for getting this over with. He’d have to wait for her return.

For the next several days, Spencer went to work on auto pilot. He did what needed to be done and left early most days. He waited to hear from Kate, but she never called. Jen and Kelly didn’t even know where she took off to. Finally, two weeks later he heard thru the grapevine that she was back. Two Fridays after his first attempt, he drove directly to Kate’s right after work.

This time when he knocked, she opened the door and backed up. She looked awful. Her hair was a mess and her eyes were red. An odor drifted out to the hallway causing Spencer to wrinkle his nose. “Kate, you’ve got to-“

“Don’t preach to me, Spencer. You’re the one who came over uninvited.”

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