Enough to Miss Christmas (Chapter Four, page 1 of 13)


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For the third night in a row Paul North left me at my door, no longer a sumptuous suite but a common room similar to my earlier quarters. I neither asked him to stay nor did he make any move to do so. It was as if both of us were aware of the evolution of our tenuous relationship and saw no need to further complicate it with physical involvement. Alone in my room, I thought about what I'd agreed to do the following day; spend hours more with Paul North and see my mother. I couldn't lose the queasy churning in my stomach. Which chore was the more troublesome? Though our differences terrified me, part of me wanted this man in my life. Equally terrifying was my agreement to see my mother for the first time in two decades.

Doug and I were living in Germany when Mom suffered her first stroke. She wasn't expected to survive, or so my sister's cable read. Doug wanted nothing to do with my mother, and I know now why. In spite of the hurt I felt and the festering disagreement, I wanted desperately to fly home and see her. He insisted we didn't have the funds which he handled. My not coming heightened the rift. While Suzie continued to describe my mother's slow recovery, her letters were infrequent and impersonal. I responded, in a warmer tone, but nothing slowed our drift apart.

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