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- Nick Cameron could be called intuitive as well as a person who felt things deeply. Attracted to her the first time he ever saw her, he admits, “. . .maybe you looked as lonely as I felt.” When he runs into her again at the Galleria and invites her to sit and visit at the ice rink, they exchange stories: he is a widower, and she confesses to what he already knows—that she’s been dumped by her husband for woman the age of their daughter. He says, ”The loss of any relationship is difficult no matter how it happens.”
- Jean has lived in denial for thirty-three years despite knowing about Rand’s multiple affairs. Now she has to face reality. I should have dumped him long before this. What a fool I’ve been all these years! I should never have married him, given up my own life to live his. . .but did I really have a life then? I’m certain I don’t have one now, so where does that leave me? And. . .I always thought he’d come back someday, really come back. But the problem is, he was never completely here to begin with.
- Until Nick began seeing Jean, he and his son Charlie—also his law partner—have had a near-perfect father-son relationship.
“Is it Jean Kingston, whom you don’t know, that you object to, or would you dislike anyone I was interested in?”
“Dad, that’s not fair.”
“No, it’s not, Charlie. It’s not fair to me. I loved your mother, and I tried to be the best husband I could be, as long as she was with us. When she was gone, I tried to be a good father.”
“You were, Dad. You are.”
“Then why are we talking about the fact I’m seeing Jean Kingston?”
Charlie opened his mouth but closed it without replying.
“When you figure it out, son, let me know.”
- Jean spent her time being a devoted, stay-at-home mom, but Juliana had always been more Rand’s daughter than hers.
It’s true—she’s more Rand’s daughter than mine. She recognized from the beginning he was the one who would make sure she had exactly wat she wanted. He bought her first car when he was sixteen and a new one when she finished the University of Texas. He financed the ski trips at Christmas and the beach house in the summers. He thought it was just fine she chose to live with Brice instead of getting married. He even helped them get the fancy downtown condo. . .And what did I do? Stayed out of the way. I don’t think we ever had a conversation longer than three sentences after she got to high school. Less than that when she was in college, because she was never home longer than twenty-four hours at a time. . .
- Now Nick’s and Jean’s disparate worlds have collided head-on. Nick has lived with a gentle ghost; Jean has existed with the ghost of what might have been and never was or will be. Both understand it’s long past time to move on. Will they do it separately—or together?
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