The Next Morning

The next morning after a rerun of the same breakfast, which Kate and Spencer were both seriously tired of, Spencer asked Kate, “Are you ok?” Kate had been pretty quiet all morning. Back in their room, they were getting ready to repack their things.

Kate didn’t answer right away. She hadn’t slept well the night before, contemplating their conversations from the day before and wondering about Spencer’s stubbornness. She looked at him, trying to find the words to explain it all. How could she consider dating this great guy and be mourning for John and wondering how she was going to get through the next few months as a single parent?

And how could she thank Spencer for getting her through some of the toughest moments in her life? Especially when he didn’t seem to want her thanks? Tears slipped down her cheeks and she grabbed a tissue from the bathroom. She came back out and simply said, “No. But I will be. Thank you.” She went to her room and shut the door.

A few minutes later she came out with her suitcase. Spencer had the cart again, and they loaded their luggage on it. “I’m getting tired of doing this.” She threw her bag of reading materials on top of her suitcase.

“That makes two of us. But we’ll finally be on our way shortly.”

Just then Kate heard something ringing from her room. “I think that’s my phone!” She ran into her room and picked it up off the nightstand. “Hello?” Kate plopped onto her unmade bed to talk to Jen.

“Oh, Jen! It’s so good to talk to you! How are things there?”

“We have a little snow—about two feet of it. The base has been shut down for a few days, but more importantly, how are you guys? Are you ok? We’ve been worried and haven’t been able to contact you.”

“You wouldn’t believe it. We have mountains of snow, had no electricity in the hotel for hours, I thought Spencer was dying, but not really, and Spencer’s car was towed!”

“You’re kidding! Why?”

“No idea. But they returned it late yesterday afternoon and we’re leaving as soon as we finish packing and checking out–again. We’ll get to Iowa later today. Jen, I’m so nervous. I just want this to be over with. What if Sarah is difficult or doesn’t like me?”

“Kate, she’ll like you just fine and I’m sure she’ll be like any normal two-year old. Don’t put the cart before the horse. One thing at a time.”

“I just don’t know if I can do this. I’m so afraid of screwing it up.”

“Kate, that’s what God is for. He’ll give you what you need when you need it. There’s a verse in the Bible that says with God all things are possible.”

“I sure hope so. ‘Cause to me it looks impossible.”

“How’s it going with Spencer? You two behaving yourselves?”

Kate wasn’t sure how to answer that. “Oh, gosh. First Spencer was sick, then he got better, then he was like my knight in shining armor about the car getting towed, and then…”

“Yes?   Go on.”

“I don’t know what to think.” Kate shut her door since Spencer was also on his phone and she didn’t want Spencer to hear what she said.

“What do you mean? You aren’t—”

“No! But I think I could…eventually.”

“You mean you’re starting to have feelings for Spencer and you feel guilty because you loved John?”

Kate pulled the phone away from her ear and stared at it. Then she put it back and asked, “How did you know?”

“First of all, Kate, you’re under enormous stress right now. And almost any time a guy and a girl are together for lengths of time in stressful circumstances, it’s inevitable for there to be feelings between them. Spencer is a straight up guy; moral, honest, and trustworthy and you’re vulnerable right now. Throw in the fact of a blizzard, your anxiety, the close quarters, etc. and it’s like a bomb about to go off. Do you think Spencer likes you?”

“Possibly. But maybe he’s afraid to say something, thinking I’m still not over John’s death, which I’m not. I don’t know!” Kate fluffed her pillows and leaned against them. “Do you think it’s ok to like Spencer? How do I know when it’s ok to date again?”

“Kate, everybody’s different. Yes, you and Spencer make a great couple. Take things slow. Let him know you’re interested, but you’re not ready. Be honest. If he’s the one for you, Kate, he’ll wait. But not forever.”

Kate was silent a minute before speaking again. “How should I do that? I’ve always liked Spencer as a friend and coworker, but I was dating John.”

“Tell him you like him, but it’s too soon for anything right now. Don’t leave him hanging or confuse him.”

“Right now we’re sort of at an impasse.”

“Oh?”

Kate settled into a more comfortable sitting arrangement on the bed before explaining. “Yeah…we had an argument last night about me repaying him for all he’s done for me and he thinks that I shouldn’t even try because it was out of friendship and blah, blah, blah.” She pounded the extra pillows on the bed out of frustration.

“You know Spencer; he’s always the southern gentleman. He probably does resent you thinking you have to repay him. Just make him dinner when you get back.”

“You think that’s all? He’s done—”

“Kate, if you force the issue, you’ll just make him mad. Let it go.”

“Are you sure?”

“Kate….” Jen drew out her name, like she was being difficult.

“Yes?”

“Let. It. Go.”

Kate sighed. “I’m having a hard time with that.”

“Really?” Jen laughed.

“My stubborn independent self is showing again, isn’t it?”

“Yep.”

“I’ll just offer to make him dinner sometime after we get back, ok?”

“Perfect. I’m praying for you guys and for a safe trip home.”

“Thanks, we apparently need it. How’s Buttons?” Kate was glad to switch the conversation away from her confused heart.

“He’s looking for you, but he’s eating, drinking, peeing and pooping. I come in and he runs to the door, sees me and stops in his tracks. Then he thinks for a second and then runs for a toy or ball. I guess he thinks I’ll do.”

Kate laughed. “I’m glad he’s being good. I miss him.”

“All right, you two make the most of it and we’ll see you in a few days. Take care, Kate.”

“Thanks, Jen. Talk to you later.” Kate disconnected the call and saw that she had other missed calls. She took care of those and then packed what little she had left so they could get out of there. As she finished up, she could hear Spencer talking on the other side of the connecting door, but couldn’t make out the words. Kate walked through to the bathroom to pack those things.

Kate walked back into Spencer’s room and saw that he was off the phone. “It’s great to be in touch again, isn’t it?”

“Yes, it is. I’m almost ready.”

“Ok, I’ll gather the snacks that are left.”

Spencer left to pack his things from the bathroom, and while cleaning out the mini fridge, Kate thought about her phone conversation with Jen. Kate knew Spencer long enough to know that he was definitely a great guy, but how long would he wait? How was Kate supposed to ask him? She sighed, not knowing the answers. But at least they were finally getting out of here.

****

How would you have Kate let Spencer know she likes him, but she’s confused?  Do you think they would make a good couple?  Let me know your ideas and suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

Until next time,

Michelle

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