Sally looked at her cell. Massie was calling. "Where are you? We are all here, waiting. You will make dinner late. You only think about yourself."
Sally wanted to sigh into the phone."Mom, I told you several times I was not coming. You forgot."
Massie was not listening, "John caught six bass for dinner and Mary has made bread. Where are you?"
Sally repeated, slowly, quietly, "I am not coming, Mom."
Massie stopped talking for a minute. "You never think of the family. You are always doing your own thing. You were alway selfish.""
Sally knew the litany by heart. Massie would start dragging up every failure in Sally's life, her business failure, her failed relationship with Hans Kronstadt, her illnesses, all these were her fault. "Mom, I shall talk to you later. I do not want to hang up on you, but I need to go."
"If you hang up on me, you need not ever come to the Big House. I'll talk later." And, true to form, Massie hung up.
Sally now sighed. She would not go to the camp in Minnesota. She would stay in Wisconsin, for a bit. She was on holiday and did not have to report back to work until August 9th, when the meetings for teachers and administrators started up. She knew her teaching schedule, no new classes for which to prepare. She was ready.
So, Mom blamed her for Hans leaving as well. Interesting, as Mom never liked him. Matt always called him Kronstadt and it stuck. Everyone called him that except for Sally, but even then, she slipped into the habit.
Hans Kronstadt and Sally had met in a strange way. He was the first one to tell her that her family was caught up in complusive thoughts, in irrational thinking. He should know. He was a psychologist.
Sally had gone to visit Matt in Houston three years ago. Matt had just bought his first house and wanted company. He had not yet met Abbey, but he was getting counseling. Sally was amazed. "You are only twenty-nine. Why do you need counseling?"
"Come on, Sal, you know why. I want to nip negativity in the bud. Now, not when I am fifty-five and am looking back on a history of ruined opportunities and relationships. And, I am meeting Kronstadt for dinner. Want to come? He won't mind and he is single."
Sally laughed. But, this dinner changed her life. It was "love at first sight" for her. She could not believe what she felt, as if Hans were a soul-mate, a long-lost friend. They hit it off immediately, acting as though they had known each other for years.
Hans was incredibly good-looking. He was tall, dark and yes, handsome. Sally was not. She was plain, strawberry blond, with freckles and big, too big feet. But, Sally had a smile which one did not forget. And, two days later, Hans phoned her cell. She had, of course, given him her number when asked.
"Hello, do you remember me?" Sally could hardly speak. She felt as if she had never loved anyone in her life before. They started dating, but under one condition. Matt would have to see someone else. Hans, very proper, said it would be unprofessional, but Sally was becoming, quickly, the most important person in his life.
Matt was a philosophical sort of guy an actually like Hans' associate, Allen Hall, better. Allen was less stuffy, said Matt. Well, he only had two more meetings and was free to leave.
To be continued...