Release Date: May 23, 2018
Cover Design: MadHat Books
As far as Kat’s concerned, if you have too much goodness in your life it will always turn bad. Except for Brad. Because nothing bad ever happened to Brad until Kat. She’s Brad’s bad. Even if her reckless behavior doesn’t hurt him, the timeline on her life will. It’s why they’re apart. And if she has anything to do with it, they’ll stay that way.For Brad, life with Kat is hi-definition Technicolor on a crazy beautiful display. Everything else before and after her is just grayscale. Which is why he’s going after her and letting nothing get in his way. As soon as they catch the guy stalking her. And he finds a way to break it off with his current girlfriend.
I’d come home from an offsite training followed by happy hour with the station guys to find her sitting on the deck with bloodshot eyes and a half-empty bottle of tequila next to her. When I asked her what was wrong and how the doctor's appointment had gone, she turned to me and handed me her engagement ring, and said, "I need you to pack your stuff and leave."
"What do you mean?" I asked her.
"Just what I said. I need you to pack your stuff and leave. We are over."
"What the fuck, Kat!? Did something happen today? What did the doctor say? Are you all right? What's going on?" I couldn't get my questions out fast enough. But she wasn't providing any answers. She just sat there staring out at the dark sea, fiddling with her shot glass.
"Just go, please," she said.
"I'm not going anywhere. What the hell is going on? We're getting married in two weeks. Tell me what's going on. Is it the cancer? Is it back?"
She choked out a bitter laugh.
“Its back all right. With a fucking vengeance. Stage Four, Metastatic Breast Cancer with an initial prognosis of three to six months to live." Tears started streaming down her face. “So get the fuck out."
I kneeled in front of her and grabbed her hands.
"Kat, please. I don't understand. We're getting married, that's forever, and I'm not going anywhere. We can beat this. It doesn't change anything."
"Doesn't change anything?!?" she yelled. “It changes fucking everything. Nothing is the same and it never will be. Its over. Everything is over. We're over. My life is over. This is it, Brad. Don't you get it? This is it!”
She stood and began pacing around the deck. I stood and waited to see if she would calm down. Instead of the pacing calming her, it seemed to make her more upset.
"You need to go. You need to go. You can't stay here. You can't be here anymore. I don't want you here."
"Kat… " Tears were pooling in my eyes.
"Brad - you need to go. Can't you see? This is bad. You're upset, I'm upset. This isn't doing anybody any good. We are through. I can't make it any plainer to you. Please pack your things and go."
"I'm not leaving you. We may not be married yet, but I've made a commitment to you Kat. A commitment to love you no matter what. A commitment to stay by your side during good times and bad. I plan to stand by that commitment."
"You plan to stand by that commitment?" she asked. “Stand by it? That's exactly what I'm talking about. I'm not going to be that person, the one that makes you stand by them and watch them die." She was crying harder now.
I knew she was thinking about my mom and how she died. And worse, how my brother and my father and I all watched her die.
And there was nothing we could do about it.
Little streams of snot were coming down her upper lip and sliding into her mouth. She kept trying to wipe it away on her arm, but it wasn't doing much good.
I had this extreme urge to laugh. To take her in my arms and let her blow her nose in my shirt and have us both laugh about the snot and the absurdity of this conversation.
"I don't need you standing by anything. I need you to leave. To get your things and leave. You don't need to take everything, I'll be gone all day tomorrow and you can come back then to get the rest. I'll get the key from you another time."
"Kat, you aren't thinking straight, baby, there is no reason for me to leave. I'm here. I love you. I want to be with you. I want to help you."
"I don't need your help!"
"Okay, clearly I'm not saying all the right things here, but Kat, you know how much I love you and how badly I want to spend the rest of my life with you. The rest of your life with you. We are better together than we are apart. A bad day together is always better than a good day apart, right?” I felt my chest constricting and I couldn’t breathe.
Was she serious about this?
She couldn’t be.
There’s no way she really wanted me to leave.
"If you don't get your things and go in the next five minutes, I'm calling the cops."
"Oh come on! You're being ridiculous. Let's just sit down and talk about this. Or better yet, how about you lie down, I'll make you some tea, you can get some rest, maybe sleep off the tequila, and we will talk about it in the morning when we've both had some time to calm down."
She looked at me. “Five minutes."
Then she walked into her home office and locked the door. I sat down outside the door to her office and tried to reason with her. Tried to get her to open the door. She wouldn't answer me. I was starting to get worried about whether she was even conscious after half a bottle of tequila.
The front doorbell rang and I stood to go answer it. Before I could even get to the door, I saw the blue and red flashing lights through the window.
One of Five ARC's for Love Undecided
About the Author
There's not much to know about me. I'm a simple girl. I think.I can't live without nail polish, the darker the better. I drink a glass of wine every day, but if I could get away with it, I’d drink a bottle. My favorite things to eat are chips with salsa. But red vines and popcorn are a close runner-up. I currently reside with four dogs, two cats, and one husband. Three of my dogs are Siberian Huskies, so my clothes always have fur on them. Always. Given the opportunity, I would read books all day long. So far my record for a single day is five full-length books. Hoodies are my favorite item of clothing, bras are my least. Hats are my second favorite. They look good on my head. I’m lucky that way. When I’m writing well, I’m barely reading. And vice-versa. I’m a terrible dancer and have no rhythm. Like zero. Just ask my husband. Sometimes I’ll go three days without washing my hair. Hence the hats. I started an underground literary magazine in college, which I credit for really launching my narcissistic tendencies via writing. If I couldn’t be a writer, I would be a rockstar. Someone from Journey, preferably the Steve Perry years.
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