TITLE: The Book of Two
GENRE: Women's Commercial Fiction
Kate let go of my hand and stopped walking with a stubborn insistence. The memory of her long steady stride haunted the grey sidewalks and I felt the lush green of summer fall from each tree. When she didn't follow, I continued moving forward, sweat dripping from my forehead, despite having left the air conditioned truck only a few moments before. I turned back with a sigh loud enough to hear. "Come on. Let's do this."
She stood with the slightest smile. Her eyes were bright; completely present and in this very moment, but her silence taunted me. I tried to summon the patience that our time together rarely afforded, then walked back towards her, reaching my hand out as gently as I could. "Mom says you need a dress." I pulled at her fingers with a soft nudge and she moved reluctantly with me, dragging her feet near the curb.
As we walked into the boutique, the saleswoman, tall and thin in her tailored slacks and heels, gave me a dull once-over before quickly turning away. I sensed the softness of the colorful fabrics around me and I walked away from Kate. I hoped that she would gravitate towards something I could buy for her. I couldn't imagine holding clothes up to her body and shouting loudly, "Well wouldn't that look lovely", as I'd seen my mother to do on more than one occasion. Then she would proceed to purchase the same ribbed turtleneck in five different colors.