“You know,” Seth said late the following evening, as he and Kemp came back from the stables, “she a nice woman, but so sad.”
“Katherine you mean? Yeah, she is.”
“She has to stop living in the past.”
Kemp smiled. “Are you really going to corner her and give her your lectures?”
“Somehow on her I doubt they’d work. She’s probably had enough people already telling her it’s time to get back to living. So you see, what we have to do is find her a man.”
“Seth! No way in hell are we going to play matchmaker. Among other things there’s no time. We leave tomorrow evening.”
Seth just smiled wickedly as he crossed the lawn towards the gardens behind the manor house.
Kemp hurried to catch up with him. “You know I’m right.”
“I know.” He was about to say more when they saw Katherine sitting on one of the benches, staring up at the star speckled sky. He crossed to sit down on the end of the bench. “That’s one thing I’ve learned to love about this place. You can really see the stars.”
Katherine jumped slightly before smiling. “I agree. In the city they’re virtually invisible.”
Joining them, Kemp sat cross-legged on the ground in front of Seth, leaning back against his legs. “Where are you from Katherine?”
“New York City. Well I was. Now I’m, I guess betwixt and between with no real roots any more.”
“You’re not going back there again?”
“No. Too many memories, all of them bad. Well, most of them. I do have a couple of friends there still—I suppose. But it’s been ages since I’ve seen them and who knows if they’d even welcome me back after all that happened.”
“Do you want to talk about it?” Seth asked softly as he rubbed Kemp’s shoulder.
She smiled at him, shaking her head. “It’s over. I’ve done more than enough talking. The people I’m living with at the moment are quite tired of me doing so, I’m sure, and it doesn’t really help anyway.”
Kemp looked up at her. “I agree. You just have to let things take their course. It will get better in time.”
“You’re too young to understand. That’s not going to happen.”
“You weren’t listening to me last night, were you?” Kemp said, bristling. “I know exactly what you’re going through and I know that the pain will lessen if you allow it to happen. It only lasts when you hold it tight and refuse to see the futility in doing that.” He glanced up at Seth. “Of course finding someone who cares for you helps too.”
“And you didn’t listen to me when I said I have no intention of putting myself through that ever again. Oh don’t worry, at some point in time I’ll get back to my life. I can’t keep living off of others forever. But it will be someplace new and very different from where I was before.”
“Like Alaska?” Seth said with a laugh.
“Gods no, I hate the cold.”
“Well tell you what; if you ever decide to leave Europe, come visit us. New Orleans doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘cold’.”
Katherine smiled. “You know, I just might take you up on that—someday.”