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Part Fourteen

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Tilly paused from pouring coffee to look at Kate again. It wasn’t out of character for her to turn up like this, out of the blue. But there was something not right in this situation. Something stank.

                “What’s really going on Kate?”

Kate looked up her eyes no longer focussing on a knot in the wood of the table, “what do you mean?”

Tilly shook her head, “Kate, it’s me. What’s happening? You look awful, something has happened, hasn’t it?”

Kate felt the tears she’d fought since walking away from Mason start to well, and spotting them Tilly rushed over and pulled her into her arms, “what is it mate? You’ve got me worried now.”

Between tears and cups of coffee, Kate outlined the last few days, from visiting Peter, to turning up at Mason’s door, the wonderful time there, and then finding out that he’s Peter’s cousin.

                “Well it’s all a bit ironic isn’t it? But then they say there’s only six degrees of separation, so in theory it was always possible!” Tilly sat back and looked at Kate, “so after finally making this step forward, you’re now running scared again?”

Kate recoiled from the harshness of her friend’s voice; she had expected more sympathy if not empathy. “I’m not overreacting Tilly.”

Tilly sighed, “I’m not suggesting that you are. It just seems that Mason did try and have a serious conversation with you, but you were too scared to hear anything that would remind you that there was life outside your little cocoon. I know you too well Kate Michaels, you forget that! Shall I expand?”

Kate sat back stunned, it was a long time since she’d heard her friend be so blunt; Peter had become a topic they agreed to differ on and so rarely dissected in any great depth.

Tilly took that as an invitation to carry on, “You’ve finally met a man that makes you realise that this sham with Peter is just that. I know Peter wants to marry you, actually thinks that you can live together happily, but it’s not ever going to happen love. You know that, he’s like an over eager school boy, but he’s not a partner, an equal or a lover. You’ve waited and waited for signs that he is the man you remember, but he isn’t and six long years have passed.

“Now you’ve found out that things are a bit more complicated and it’s given you a route straight back to guilt central! What difference does it make that Mason is related to Peter? If anything he’ll be more tolerant and understanding.”

Kate was reeling, “it’s not that they’re related, though I find that far too convenient for words, it’s that he didn’t tell me Tilly. You’re right I finally meet a man who I think can change my life...and I find out that he’s lying to me. I mean did he come to the wedding just to...” she shook her head as horrible thoughts of being used came to her mind.

Tilly reached out and squeezed her hand, “there was no benefit for him in that love, what would he have achieved?  There was no motive for that sort of behaviour.”

                “Peter’s father hated me, he thought I wasn’t good enough...”

Tilly again intervened, “No. Kate, his father’s dead, you’re hardly after the family jewels, if you were you’ve had ample opportunity.” She again consciously softened her voice, “I think you need to think about things Kate, because if you’ve spent as much time with this Mason as you say, then he’s someone special, you’ve not been short of interest over the years. If he’s finally got under your skin then you can’t throw it away. Honey you deserve this, don’t be thinking that you’re betraying Peter. You have to let him go.”

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