A Love Story - Part 4

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A Love Story – Part 4

 

There I was again, back in Coeur d’Alene, writing from coffee shops and my apartment. Only a day after I returned, I received a note from Tony asking if we could stay in touch. 

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I said sure. I was happy to have a friend. It seemed we had a lot in common. 

 

We talked about all kinds of things. Work, children, family, where we’d been in life, where we wanted to go. We talked about likes and dislikes, politics, religion, diet, exercise, aliens, music, movies…all of it. Even the obscure things we’d experienced in life. Death of friends, how to fold fitted sheets, how to make a good omelet, and cats. 

 

He had two cats and I wanted a cat and he thought that was a good idea.

 

I found myself smiling when I saw a note from him. Having something to look forward to is huge in life. I looked forward to Tony. Even just a quick word like, “How was your day?” Made the unbearable bearable.

 

I still had no real plan, my options were still limited. I continued to work and visit with my friends in hopes that I’d soon be able to move on with my life. In the meantime, I decided to go ahead and get a roommate in cat form. I thought it would keep me from getting that antsy feeling to pack up and leave again. Someone to say, hello and goodbye to. So I looked up the listings at the pet shelter and there was that same dark and handsome guy I’d seen before. He was still there.

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I thought, there must be something wrong with him. He’s probably one of those crazy cats that hides in wait around corners, swishing his tail, and attacks you when your guards down like a crazy ex-wife or something. That was probably it. But I needed to find out for myself so I took a break and headed to the pet shelter.

 I checked out all the other cats, there were loads of them until I found Mr. Dark and Handsome. I poked at him through the railing, he was sort of standoffish at first but then leaned in for a scratch. They had him on the bottom cage in a corner, so he wasn’t getting much visibility. People came and went and oohed and awed at all the other cats and kittens. I checked out his paperwork and he seemed pretty perfect to me. He was declawed, and he was over ten years old and housetrained. Yay!

 The fact that he was ten was a bonus to me. That meant he was ready for his last forever home. He’s been housetrained, and he wouldn’t destroy my furniture. Double bonus. So I asked to take him to the little room where they let you ‘try them out’. If he was going to go into crazy kitty mode…this was the time. When I got him in there, he sniffed around. I tried offering him a toy to play with, he didn’t seem interested. I picked him up. He stiffened a little but didn’t try to gnaw my hand off. I pet him. He was cautious but seemed like a pretty cool cat. I looked over his medical history and other than the regular stuff, he seemed perfect for my needs. So, I said, “I’ll take him.”

 We checked out. They thanked me for adopting a senior cat. I picked up the necessary items on our way home. He meowed a little on the ride, but I kept saying, “It’s okay. We’ll be home soon.” And then realized, it felt good to have a pet to talk to. 

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 They’d warned me that the first few days, he’d probably hide under a bed and be all antisocial. That didn’t happen.

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 That evening he was up in my lap on the couch. Purring away.

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 When I heard from Tony that night, I informed him that I had a new man in my life and his name was Henry.

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 A couple of weeks went by while Henry and I became more acquainted. His presence really did, does, make living alone more bearable. **Except…cat’s don’t understand time change. Try explaining why you get to sleep an hour longer. Or vise versa. Cats love routine and Henry is no different. Except, he’s pretty perfect. I love the guy.

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 Just after this, I received notice that it was all finally over. I was free to move on at last. I still had time on my apartment lease though, so I was looking at my options and finishing up a project at the same time, I had a conference to attend as well.

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 So, I took a little break from work to attend the Books to Movies Convention in Spokane. Just a day drive. It’s where a few movie producers and screenplay people come to teach you how to pitch your books to agents and movie producers. This was the second time I’d attended and got to meet up with my friends, Mr. and Mrs. Bennecke, again. The cool thing is, it’s held at the Historic Davenport Hotel and any chance you get to go there…do. It’s a beautifully restored hotel from 1914. I love walking the hallways to gaze at the pictures of all the people who’d been within those walls. Including, Amelia Earhart, Clark Gable, Charles Lindbergh, and Bing Crosby. 

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This whole time, I heard from Tony each day. Just a note or two was great. Just checking in. We’d become good friends, getting to know each other on a more personal level. I remembered to ask him about the important things going on in his life. Wondered how his day was going. He did the same for me.

 

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I sent him pictures of things I made for dinner. How my workouts were going at the gym. We shared inspiring quotes we’d come across. How our friends were doing.

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For my birthday, he sent me inspiring books to read. 

Silly look on my face, blah.

Silly look on my face, blah.

Then, Thrillerfest quickly approached again. This was something else I looked forward to. I thought after Thrillerfest I would seriously start looking for a new place…somewhere to settle down. Give Henry more room to roam. I only had a short time left in the apartment. So I started perusing house listings in my off time. I looked at several places all over.. The one thing I didn’t want was an empty family home. I needed something different. I did find this one listing I really liked. But I thought for sure it was gone. Even so, I contacted the local realtor and inquired.

Author Robert Dugoni

Author Robert Dugoni

Author Tim Tigner

Author Tim Tigner

 

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Then, I boarded Henry for a week and headed again to the airport, this time to New York. It was great. I love to visit for short periods. This time it wasn’t scary for me. I knew where to go and who to see. Thrillerfest is great for authors. I totally recommend going. You’ll make great connections with other authors, new and old. 

Author Rysa Walker

Author Rysa Walker

 I attended many classes by the greats.

Author George R. R. Martin

Author George R. R. Martin

And met up with some old friends. 

Author W. Craig Reed

Author W. Craig Reed

 

Pam Stack

Pam Stack

One of the major attendees is usually, Lee Child. Remember when I said, he was Tony’s favorite author? I picked up one of his books and after one of his panel discussions, I stood in line to have it signed. I’d met Lee Child once before. You cannot miss this man’s humor. He’s great. He smiled when he saw me and opened the book. He started asking me how I enjoyed the convention. I said I was enjoying it but quickly added, “Can you make that out to, Tony?” before he could write.

 Lee smiled and said, “Sure. Who’s Tony to you?”

 I smiled then and said, “He’s…a…friend.”

 Lee Child began scribbling and we talked about something else for a second and then he handed me the book with a grin.

 I so wish I had a picture of this event.

I had to get to the next panel discussion and thanked him and put the book in my bag and ran off to the next scheduled event..

 That night, I talked with Tony and told him about the book. But I’d not read what Lee Child wrote yet. I opened the book, found the inscription page and read what Lee Child scribbled there.

“Tony, You’re a lucky man!” Lee Child

“Tony, You’re a lucky man!” Lee Child

 Then I turned fifty shades of red, though no one was there to see me. 

 Tony thought it was pretty cool. He kidded me about the endearment for a while. It really was sweet though…we, Tony and I, were only friends at the time.

 Then, the next morning I received a call from the realtor for the house I was looking at online. It was just on a whim. The agent said, it was just listed and wouldn’t last. I thought, “Sure.” But I listened anyway, and she said if I wanted to see it, I needed to move on it fast. I did check on the other local listings and houses were going pretty quickly in that area. That area…was in Ohio. I just could not think of a better place to settle. There was more than one reason Ohio seemed more and more comfortable to me. Not only did I have existing friends there, I also wanted to explore that part of the country more.

 I thought, well, it would be a quick trip if I could rearrange my flights from New York to Ohio. But that was a long shot. When I looked at the airline flights…it all seemed to line up as if it were meant to be. I thought about it for a while and then the next day booked the flights for the end of Thrillerfest. 

 I would do a little house hunting…and…I could give Tony his book while I was there.

To be continued…

 Disclaimer - This may or may not be a true story. There may be affiliate links included in this post.