Sunday, November 27, 2011

Chapter 39: In Which Katie Learns Something Unsettling About Her Brother-in-Law

"So you'll let us know if you hear from Anne again?" Katie's mother asked as Katie and Eoin were on their way out the door, a Tupperware full of leftover pasta under his arm. 

"As long as you tell Jason what's going on, and tell him to hold off on the divorce and custody and everything." 

Her mother frowned, and started to say something, but Angela nodded. "We'll talk to him. But we can't guarantee anything."

"As long as you try." Katie hugged her aunt, and her mother. "That's all we can do. We have to keep trying." 

Her mother nodded, and promised to talk to Jason. But as they made their way back to the subway, hands clasped tight, Katie and Eoin couldn't help but worry that once the tearful reunion was over, her mother wouldn't just turn right around and lose faith all over again. 

"Err. Katie. There's someone here to see you." Natasha The Intern's voice was very hesitant over the phone. 

Anne! Katie's heart leaped. "It's your brother in law?" Natasha said. "Jason? He'd like to see you?"

"Right." What did he want? "I'll be right out." 

Katie closed her sketchbook, where she'd been working on some artwork for Rebecca's ad campaign, and went to find Jason.

"Jason!" Katie made her voice bright, cheerful. She was going to pretend this was a social call until he made her think otherwise. "What a nice surprise. Do you want to go get a coffee? There's a little cafe next door." He was sitting in the middle of the lobby's giant sofa, his hands clasped over his khaki-ed knees.

"No, I don't want a coffee." He glanced at Natasha, and stood up.  "Can we go to your office? I'd like to talk with you privately." 

"Oh, I don't have an office. It's an open-concept workspace." 

Jason frowned. "Your mother told me you were some big deal hot-shot now. I would have thought you'd've gotten a door with your promotion, at least."

Katie never could figure out what Anne saw in this guy. She stayed quiet, waiting it out. 

"Fine. We can go downstairs,"  Jason relented; Katie knew she'd be paying for the lattes.

They rode down in the elevator in silence. Katie contemplated asking him about Jonah, her nephew, who she hadn't seen in weeks. She thought he and Eoin might get along quite well, in that they had a shared love of Cheezies and breaking the rules. 

Ten minutes later, Katie and Jason were sitting across from one another with a couple of lattes neither one of them particularly wanted. 

"Okay. So what's going on?" Please please please let it be something good, thought Katie.

"I talked to your mother, Katie. She called me and asked me -- no, told me -- to suspend the divorce proceedings."

"She did?" Katie had asked her mother to contact Jason, to let him know how close they were to finding Anne, but she hadn't really thought she'd do it so soon. (Or at all.)

"She did. She told me that you've looking for Anne. She told me that you think you're 'close to finding her'." Jason did these annoying air quotes. "She told me that I needed to back off on the divorce and the full-custody stuff because Anne is a dog walker." 

Wow. Her mother was totally on board. It was a miracle!

"She told you about Anne's job?"

"It's hardly a job," Jason snorted. "It's what teenaged girls do so they can buy cigarettes and concert tickets." 

"Jason, I don't know why you're so upset about all of this. This is good news."

"No, it isn't. I had your parents on my side, Katie. They were going to write letters of support to the court, testifying that they believed their own daughter was unfit to raise Jonah. And now you're meddling in my business, and you've convinced  your parents to back off!" 

"What? That is not at all what happened." 

"Then you tell me what did happen. How did your parents go from being one hundred percent behind me to totally pulling their support?"

"They are supporting you! They're supporting your marriage to their daughter! They're supporting your wife! They've finally seen sense, they want me to find her, they want her to --" Suddenly Katie stopped, stared at Jason, stared at his stupid navy blue pullover and his stupid gelled hair. "You don't want Anne to come back. You don't want us to find her." Katie felt herself shaking. "You're seeing someone else." 

"What? That's crazy." Jason was turning red. 

"You are. You've got a girlfriend, or something, and you want to marry her, you want to move her in to become Jonah's new mother, and you need Anne out of the picture." Katie, still shaking, stood up, held onto the table for support. "Tell me it's not true." 

But Jason couldn't. He shook his head, he was speaking, but he wasn't denying it, not one bit. Instead he said things like, "It's not like that, the marriage would be over anyway, Anne and I haven't been right for a long time." And, "Sonya has her own kids, it's not like I'm replacing Anne, and she and Jonah really get along great," and "Please don't tell your parents, I don't want them to know, not yet," but Katie wasn't listening, instead she was walking out of the coffee shop and thinking about what she could do to get to Anne fast. No more of this waiting around -- it was time. Clearly Anne wasn't coming to Katie -- Katie had to go to her.

You Decide!

1. Katie heads back to the squatter's house, where she moves in and waits for Anne while living with the homeless.

2. Katie borrows a dog from Mr. Ambrose so that she can arrange for Anne to walk it. 


  1. Dog walking! The first one sounds uber-depressing.

  2. If you can figure out to bring Anne and the Dog together, dog walking seems like more fun. But I bet you could make the squat a fun place....

  3. 2nd one. Sorry I didn't vote last time. I was in some weird time-warp or something. I'm back now.

  4. Hmm, yea the first one could be a little heavy! I'm gonna go with the dog walking!! :)