Welcome to my Tuesday Tale. This is a continuation of the story THE BIG LIE. Last time, we saw Dale learn that her step mother had lied about Dale's boyfriend, saying he was married when he wasn't. She wanted to break them up. We meet Dale here after she's learned this.
ECHOES OF THE HEART
Dale wandered about the house for three days, wearing the same clothes and not answering the phone. Her son, Joe, tried find out what was bothering her, but she remained mum. He went to work in Cliff’s law office every day. Mother and son, like two satellites in separate orbits, existed without touching.
Her nerves were raw. The weather mirrored her depression, remaining rainy and overcast. She ate little and slept restlessly.
Scrapbooks she couldn’t bear to look at before held her attention for hours. She pored over every detail of her high school and college romance with Cliff. Anger and hatred for her stepmother’s meddling seethed inside her. She deprived me of the one man I wanted. On purpose.
The coffee shop remained closed. When the sun reappeared, Dale decided to shut down the establishment and return to New York. After getting up her courage, she taped a “sale” sign on the frosted glass in the front door. Then she canceled her accounts with vendors.
“Glad to see you’re getting out, Mom,” Joe said, over a plate of bacon and eggs.
“This is home, too.”
“Not anymore. I’m putting the house on the market.”
“What about me?”
“You have your own life. You don’t need this house.”
“I love this house. Don’t sell it.”
She sighed. “Drafty old money guzzler,” Dale muttered. “I’ll keep it until you know where you’re going to be. But if you end up on the West Coast, the house goes.”
“Deal. Cliff’s wife, Martha, took a turn for the worse.”
“I’m sorry.” A pang of sadness shot through her. Dale and Martha had become good friends. They had shared many lively conversations at the coffee shop.
Cliff’s mind was scattered, worry over the failing health of his wife crowded out all thoughts of his legal practice. Dale’s presence disturbed him, too. Having Joe to help out was a Godsend. The young man arrived on time, as usual.
“Do you have a buck for copies at the library?” Joe asked.
Cliff pulled out his wallet. His hands were shaky and a piece of paper drifted from the billfold to the floor. Joe picked it up. He stared at it, then at Cliff.“Why do you have a picture of my mother in your wallet?
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