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Monday, September 16, 2013


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. 
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.

“I’m shutting up the place and going back home.” Dale took her empty dish to the sink.
“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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Jillian said...

OOOH. I like this. I esp. love the picture falling from the wallet.

writerszenblog said...

Love it, love it, love it!!
Excellent scene, and the photo falling out of the wallet is the perfect touch.

SherryGLoag said...

Wonderful. He's carried Dale's photo all this time? I wonder what he'll say when he finds out she's about to do a runner.

Iris B said...

Love the emotions, so real and so vivid ... nice touch with the picture at the end!

V.L. Locey said...

Oh my gosh! The picture tumbling from his wallet was perfection!

Karen Cino said...

Wow. You left us hanging again. You have my mind wondering about the picture which fell out of his wallet. Loving this story.

Lindsay said...

What a great excerpt. Lots of emotions and what a cliffhanger

Sarah said...

Oh my many emotions. I feel so badly for Dale. Her whole life was turned on its head by this lie! I can't wait to see more.

Cathy Greenfeder said...

Dale seems like a very strong and loving person. I felt sorry for her. The picture falling from the wallet is a good hook, and I hope things pick up for Dale and her son. Very emotional!

Tricia Andersen said...

I can't wait to see how Cliff explains to Joe why he has his mom's photo in his wallet! And will he let Dale leave? I can't wait until next week!

S.E said...

Love the photo in the wallet. Great Job

Davee said...

Wow, I have the same question...intriguing post, Jean. :)