Take the long way home…

It started with a song. (Give Me Something by O.A.R.)

Then another one. (Gonna Get Better by Better Than Ezra)

Then a third. (Lincoln Avenue by Train)

And a fourth. (Get in the Car and Drive by Blu Sanders)

I had all of these independent ideas running around in my head and I had no idea what to do with them. On their own, they didn’t hold up to make a complete story. But because the creative well has been dry and barren as of late, the brain went into overdrive fixating on these ideas and what I might be able to make with them. Things morphed and changed and started falling into place.

It’s been a slow process so far, but I’m actually pretty happy with they way things have turned out. I’ll take quality over quantity any day. Anytime I write something that I actually like—not something I’m just okay with, but actually like—is a gaddamn miracle.

Also weird.

“So what’s going on with you and Marc?”

Kate stared up at the ceiling fan and sighed tiredly. She’d been waiting for that question. Lying on her parents’ bed, next to her mother, she’d managed to keep the conversation civil thus far, even if it had only amounted to cheap small talk. Now it was being steered to a place she’d probably regret going.

“It’s just talk, Mom,” she said quietly.

“What kind of talk?”

“Talk. Surviving shiva with Lucifer. Keeping Darren from drugging himself into oblivion. The gaping void without Dad. The colossal mistake Marc made by leaving me.”

Lucy drew in a sharp breath, silent for a moment, “Your words…or his?”

“His. Mostly.”

“He thinks he made a mistake?”

“He thinks he made the biggest mistake of his life.”

“I think we can all agree on that.”

Kate turned her head slowly to look at her mother, “What?”

Lucy looked at her as if it should have been an obvious response on her part, “He did make a huge mistake leaving you. You were good together. There was no reason for him to leave.”

“Who are you?”

“You don’t agree? He made you happy, didn’t he?”

Happy, sure, but—Mom, you hated Marc.”

“I didn’t hate him. I just…like everything else about you, I couldn’t see past my own distorted notions of how things should be. He was good for you. He was good to you. Until he wasn’t…why did he leave?”

“Existential crisis. More or less.”

Hmm.”

“Kind of seems like he’s grown up since then.”

“I certainly hope so. He’s thirty-five for the crying out loud. Does he want you back?”

“I don’t know. Maybe. He hasn’t said those exact words, but…”

“Would you take him back?”

“I…don’t know. I certainly couldn’t pretend he didn’t practically destroy me and just pick up where we left off.”

“Well, he’s going to have to regain your trust if he wants to try again. He still loves you?”

“He does.”

“And you still love him?”

“I do.”

“What do you think your dad would say?”

Kate flinched, the sudden thought of not being able to seek her dad’s advice on the matter hit her like a blow to the stomach. She sighed tiredly, watching the blades of the ceiling fan spin above her, “Keep an open mind and tread lightly.”

“Sounds like him.”

“How can this be real?”

“I don’t know, Baby Girl. I keep hoping I’ll wake up from this nightmare and he’ll be right here next to me. But every day I wake up to the same horrible reality. We were supposed to have another twenty years together, at least. We could have gone thirty. Or more. I don’t know how to live in a world without him…alone.”

“You’re not alone, Mom.”

“I know. I just…it’s not the same.”

“I know. It’s not.”

Emerson mans the playlists while I write.

Though he prefers when I work on his story.

Because he’s vain like that.

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