Chapter 17 - Mrs. Kane

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Chapter 17 – Mrs. Kane

“No, I’m telling you I haven’t seen her since she left her apartment. I’m sorry for how I reacted, I really am, but I have my reasons. You know how dangerous it could be for word of Mrs. Kane to get out.” Julian sighed and ran a hand through his hair as he spoke into the phone.

Ashley tuned in her hearing so she would be able to hear the other half of the conversation.

“You should’ve let her explain. She had just as good reason to contact her as you do to keep anyone from contacting her. I don’t know how we didn’t see it before, but it’s so obvious that she’s Ashley’s long lost mother. I mean, they look so alike, and the way little Ashley just clicked with her instantly. She likes Ashley more than she likes you, and you’ve always been her favorite. There’s no other explanation.” She heard the pain and wonder in his voice. He was still obviously trying to process all the information she had told him.

“I get that, but if Mrs. Kane had another daughter don’t you think she would’ve told us about her?”

Scott groaned in annoyance and she smiled; he didn’t have very much patience. How had he ever managed to wait so long for her? “We knew she had another daughter, we just thought she was dead. We’ve been taking care of little Ashley for two whole months every year while Mrs. Kane mourns her lost daughter. We just always assumed when she said her daughter was lost, that she was dead. Maybe we were wrong. Maybe her daughter really was simply lost to her.”

Scott’s confidence made her feel slightly better as she silently followed Julian out to his car. Little Ashley was with him, and every so often she would look behind as if she could see Ashley, but hadn’t mentioned anything to Julian.

She knew Julian would be furious if he knew she were following him, but there was no other way for her to find her answers and hopefully get his trust back.

He opened the back door and buckled the little girl in. He was about to shut the door, but paused at the question Scott asked him. “Are you at least considering giving her another chance?”

She took his pause as an opportunity to climb into the car, careful to not touch the little girl, and sat behind the driver’s seat. She knew Julian wouldn’t be able to see her; it was a trick from Katha. The little girl shouldn’t be able to either and it appeared as though she didn’t as she continued to watch Julian talk on the phone. She tuned back into the conversation.

“You know I can’t do that. It’s too dangerous for Mrs. Kane.”

Why did they keep calling her Mrs. Kane? Did no one know her first name?

“All I’m asking for is one day. I need you help because you know her better than me. You know where she would’ve gone. She opened up to you long before she let me in.”

Julian sighed and finally shut the car door, but she could still hear the conversation plain as day. “She isn’t the same girl that left six days ago. For us it was three days, but for her it was a month. She became a completely different person in that month. She always has this look in her eyes, like she knows what we’re thinking.”

“I can see you.” The little girl’s voice shocked her and she stopped listening to Julian to turn and look at her. “You’re sneaking with us to see my mom.”

It wasn’t a question like she had expected it would be. “How can you see me?” She figured ignoring anything on the subject of her mother was best for now.

She shrugged her little shoulders and continued to watch Julian talking outside his door. “Mamma taught me. Are you going to talk to her?”

She sighed, realizing the subject was inevitable. “I want to talk to her, but you can’t tell Julian I’m here. He won’t let me see your mom if he knows I’m here. Can you keep it a secret for now?” She turned away from watching Julian to send her a bright smile.

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