Part Twenty Six

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The next morning Kate awoke on a mission. She wanted to find Clarissa, speak to her, clear her name as it were, and Mason’s. After a quick call to Margaret, Mason’s mother, to find out that Clarissa was in London visiting Peter and staying at her friend’s apartment in Chelsea. She knew that place, had called on her there before. After hanging up the phone to Margaret, she logged onto the Internet, but was devastated to see there were no seats on any flight to Dubai. After phone calls and a spate of emails, she was placed on standby for the next available seat out of Heathrow on the Saturday am. She’d have to not eat for a month, but it’d be worth it to see Mason, and talk to him. 

Straight from workshe crossed London to the regal pillar fronted clinic that had been home to Peter for several years. As usual she was greeted and welcomed with relief by the staff. No one commented that she’d been absent since Christmas, but there was a silence, a knowing glance that spoke volumes.

                “Peter will love to see you,” Sara, one of his designated nurses led her along the corridor to his room. “He tells everyone how he misses you!”

Kate blushed at the blatant reference to the changes in their lives, “yeah well, things change. I don’t have to justify myself...”

Sara cut her off, “sorry Miss Michaels, I wasn’t trying to pry or pass judgement...I was just stating the fact that he’s missed you.”

Kate nodded, “funnily enough I’ve missed him a lot too.”

His face when he saw her almost broke her heart, she’d never seen such jubilation, happiness, pleasure beam at her from one source. Despite what everyone said he DID need her, yes things had to change, but she knew she could never completely separate herself from this poor boy. She loved him as a brother, a friend, almost as a dependent child, but not as a lover, a partner or what her mother still referred to as a beau!

Hugging Peter and absorbing his excited ranting, she led him to the sofa perched in front of the window.

                “I’ve missed you Katie, where have you been?”

Honesty was the best policy; that was her new motto, so she took his hands, “well, I made your mother angry. It was my fault for not telling the truth. I’ve got a boyfriend Peter, another man who loves me.” She still felt tingles as she acknowledged that fact.

Peter’s face dropped in dismay, “so we can’t get married? Is that what you mean?”

Kate nodded, reaching in her pocket for the diamond ring he’d given her years before his accident, then handed it to him. “It doesn’t mean I don’t still love you Peter. I do!” And it was true, whilst none of this was her fault, it wasn’t his either. If her visiting brought him some happiness, then that was a small price to pay, it just couldn’t be at the intensity it had been up until now. “But I have to change things a bit. I can’t visit as often as I did. But I still will take you out, we’ll do things. OK?”

He nodded, then smiled, “as long as you don’t stop coming! You won’t will you? You could bring him too, would I like him?”

Kate was amazed, she’d expected so much more, recriminations, tears, anger, but when it came down to it, Peter was a child, and his understanding of the complexity of relationships was as simplistic as a nine year old.

Kate nodded, “of course we’ll come, it’s Mason darling, your cousin. Do you want to spend more time with him too?”

There was a mix of emotions crossing his face as he tried to contemplate the words in his own immature mind, “Mason?”

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