Chapter 9

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It had been three months since the death of Katia's father.  Things with her mother had not gotten easier; she still blamed Katia for her father's death. She told Katia that after she had left for Hamburg, her father had gone into the hospital due to the stress and worry her leaving had brought him.  This, she claimed, had been the beginning of his heart condition.  The few weeks before his death, he had complained to her mother about shortness of breath and chest pains.  He had gone to the doctor and had been taking medicine, but because he didn't want to worry Katia, he had made her mother promise she wouldn't tell her about his medical problems. This had been one of the reasons she had been so adamant about Katia not going to the Cavern that night.

Katia had been spending more time with Paul and a few weeks ago had finally gone back to see him perform at the Cavern again.  It had been hard for her, but hearing the Beatles play always made her happy and she needed to feel that, even if it was only for a few hours. 

One Saturday morning, Katia walked into the kitchen to find her mother sipping on a cup of coffee.  She asked Katia to join her.  Katia smiled and immediately grabbed a cup for herself.  This had been the first time since her dad's death, that her mother had asked to spend time with her. 

"There's something I need to talk to you about, Katia."

"Okay.  What is it?"

"You know that since your father's death, his company has been gracious enough to pick up the expenses of this house.  I got a call yesterday afternoon and was told that we could continue to live here, but the company would no longer be able to help with the bills."

"Oh." Katia mumbled.

"I've been crunching numbers and even with the money you've been bringing in from your job. which I really appreciate...making the payments for this house will be impossible."

"I can get a job...a better one.  I'm done with school in a couple of weeks...my schedule will be more flexible."

"Your dad left some money for your education, Katia.  You know how important it was for him that you get a degree.  If we stay here, I'd have to start dipping into that money, which I won't do."

"So...we'll have to move?" Katia asked. 

"Yes.  I've already talked to my brother Tom.  He said we could live with him and Julia.  By not having the expense of paying a mortgage or rent, I'll be able to pay off some of those medical bills without worrying about how we'll pay for your school."

"Uncle Tom?  But...he lives in the States, doesn't he?"

Her mother nodded.

"Wait...you're telling me we're moving clear across the ocean?" Katia asked in shock.  The thought of leaving Liverpool  brought tears to her eyes.

"I know it's not ideal for you, Katia...but we have no family here...we have nobody to help us get by...at least living in California, we'll—"

"And we're just going to leave dad here?"

"What do you want me to do, Katia?  I can't exactly take him along with us.  This isn't easy for me either!  You have no idea how hard everything has been without your father here. I need help to get back on my feet...I need the support of my family!

"What about my family?  Dad is my family! How can I just leave him?"

"You think I don't think about that?  Do you think I want to leave him here?  I don't!  But I can't pay for us to live here.  Don't you get that?  I promised your father you'd get a degree...I can't keep that promise if we stay here!"

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