32 - Kate/ Jen

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Kate sat quietly in the dim light nursing her son. Matt was already in bed probably asleep after being in the sun and showing off with the football. He, Tommy and Alex's friend, Peter were the athletes. She heard Tommy say that he wanted Matt, the star quarterback. Another guy said, "I'll take Peter because he can catch anything." Testosterone was flying around like fleas and the woman seemed to enjoy the show.

She liked Avery and it was clear that she and Tommy were in deep. She was convinced there would either be a wedding or her brother's heart would be shattered. Alex reminded her once that you know when it's right. She suspected that Tommy knew.

Something was wrong with Alex. She wasn't sure what it was. He seemed preoccupied most of the day. Still, he took them for a walk down the beach to show them the house he built. It was quite impressive on a beautiful piece of land. "Too bad it ruined this stretch of beach," he said sadly.

Kate thought his work might just be as good as Hank's. Even Megan's house was beautiful for a normal house. Alex was right, she liked his friends. She always imagined him hanging around with plumbers, electricians, and carpenters, but everyone she met went to college and didn't seem to notice or care that Alex hadn't. She could tell that Kristi and Megan took good care of him, but they both loved their husbands so she didn't need to worry.

The children seemed to think he was there to play with them. He patiently let them bury him and he talked non stop with Megan's little girl. She overheard him asking, "So did you get Cam to stop chasing you at recess?"

"Yes, your plan worked, now Lily G. is chasing him." They continued their conversation as if Alex watched an elementary school soap opera every day. Her brother really did have a life. If only he could find someone special to share it with. The woman in the group without a date was from what she could tell still married and lived in New York. Two big strikes for her although Kate thought she seemed nice. She didn't think her brother knew her since she never saw them together all day.

On Memorial Day, they went over to her mother's house. Alex dropped Tom and Avery off but didn't stay long. He left shortly after they talked about the house and the designer he worked with. Kate thought it was strange that Alex acted as if he didn't know her all day.

"What's wrong with him?" she asked her brother.

"He has a lot on his mind," Tom answered.

"All those woman and not a single one for poor Alex," she said and saw Tom and Avery glance at each other.

"What! What am I missing?" she demanded.

"Nothing," Tom insisted. She didn't believe him, but couldn't figure out what it could be.

 She didn't believe him, but couldn't figure out what it could be

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She didn't sleep and was early for her six-thirty flight. She was so relieved to be leaving. Last night, she was angry with Alex for making her tell him, but she was really angry that he didn't trust her. He wanted her, but he didn't trust her. She had told him repeatedly that the divorce was real, but he doubted her over and over. She knew his past factored into it, but she was not some unhappy rich wife. She'd met plenty of them through the years. When you work in someone's home day after day like she did you can see and hear a lot. Infidelity is rampant, but it didn't make it right. In her mind, if she had slept with Alex it wouldn't be infidelity, because her marriage was already over. They were just waiting for the distribution of assets and a judge to approve it.

She had wanted to turn to face him and kiss him, but instead, she stepped away and told him about the most humiliating moment in her life. She didn't want him to know that she had been in a sham of a marriage and was too stupid to know it. What kind of woman goes after a man who doesn't want her? What kind of woman falls in love with a man who can never truly love her?

As soon as she walked into the apartment she collapsed on her bed. Avery wouldn't be home until that night. She knew she would need to pull herself together before then. Avery was going to want to know what was going on, but Jen couldn't tell her because she didn't know. The one thing she learned from her trip was that Alex wanted her as much as she wanted him. That gave her little comfort because she imagined they were both equally as miserable.

She unpacked and did her laundry. Later she tried to work, but couldn't concentrate. She had stopped at the post office on the way to the Jetport and mailed Alex the picture she drew of him. She debated what to write if anything. She finally wrote, Thanks for being my friend.

She knew it was goodbye for them. There was no point continuing their charade when they'd have no future, so she moped around the apartment mourning what was and what would never be. By the time Avery came home, she was emotionally exhausted. "Where's Tom?" she asked.

"He went home tonight to get some sleep," she said and looking at her added, "You look horrible. What happened?"


"Right, that's why Alex looked as miserable as you. We ditched him because he was so depressing."

"I don't know what you're talking about," Jen said.

"What happened across the street? You both came back emotional."

"Really I don't want to talk about it. It's doesn't matter. I'm back now and other than a weekend and holiday here and there, I'm not going home," she said.

"So that's it you never plan to see Alex again. What about your phone calls?" Avery asked.

"We're not working together anymore so we don't need to talk."

Avery laughed and said, "You and I both know you talked about a lot more than that house. Who are you fooling, yourself?"

"I'm going to bed," she said and walked away. Avery would knew too much. Part of her wanted to ask Avery what she would do in her place, but she wasn't sure she wanted to know her answer.

We might need to have a vote on who meddles more Kate or Kristi!  Thanks for reading and speaking of voting, please.

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