Then We Came To The End

Then We Came To The EndWhat a great title. This novel was included in the reading list at the end of Stephan King’s On Writing. I decided to go through the list, one by one, throwing out those dealing too heavily with the supernatural, horror, etc. and try each one. It has not been a disappointing experience.

To the contrary, I have discovered many authors that I really admire who were previously unknown to me, and so now I’m going to drone on about this latest little wonder, Then We Came To The End by Joshua Ferris. By the looks of this author, he is on the lower side of middle age, and extremely hot. He’s got the kind of literary-genius look that is so appealing.Joshua FerrisMr. Ferris has come up with a unique concept. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book quite like this. The last two sentences are eerily excellent. To quote them here would render them out-of-context, but I couldn’t help but read them over and over, and get kind of goose-bumpy all over again.

First of all, it’s written in first person plural, which I wasn’t sure I would like. All about we. We did, we thought, we never believed it possible, so you never know whose POV it is. I guess you could say it is “omniscient POV”. I found I liked it, and hoped that at the end, I might have a clue as to which of the characters had told the story. I will not divulge the results.

It’s about work. The office. An advertising firm, going through the downturn (after 9/11). It captures office life at its most ridiculous and cynical. This is a something that interests me personally, because I have long been kind of a tongue-in-cheek eye-roller when it comes to office politics, office lingo and office behavior in general. It’s in my novel, Perigee Moon, (in case you’d like to take a peek) just how unreal it can be, and how sometimes we need to run away — screaming — from all of it.

This book has a scene in it about people scavenging office chairs after someone has “walked Spanish” which is a euphemism for being canned, that is hysterical. It’s about people switching chairs then being afraid of being found out by the “office coordinator” who keeps track of serial numbers and which office stuff belongs to which person, and who wields more power than is perhaps appropriate.

We all know how that goes.

This book may not be for everyone, but if you’ve ever been in an office atmosphere where doing honest work becomes obsolete, and instead red tape and seniority and office politics reign supreme, then you will likely appreciate this. It’s packed with humor and irony.

Highly recommended.

Others on Stephen King’s list follow. I apologize for not including links but that’s just the way I am sometimes. Lazy and doing a half-assed job.

These are all great writers. Most of the novels are suspense, and while I loved all of the writing, I found some of the stories to be a trifle unbelievable. But then — It’s Fiction!!

  • End of Story by Peter Abrahams
  • The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
  • One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
  • The Last Good Day by Peter Blauner
  • Peace Like a River by Leif Euger
  • A Fan’s Notes by Frederick Exley

You might notice, the list is organized alphabetically by author last name. The next two were Jonathan Franzen novels. I’ve already read them! So I am up to “G” with lots of goodies in store,Jane Eyre

In between, I read Jane Eyre. I had never read it before. It was quite remarkable, and Ms. Bronte had one hell of a vocabulary. I found some very interesting sections, ofttimes of soliloquy, and some very impassioned dialogue and inner thoughts. I thought I might choose a few passages that I found particularly delightful and perhaps offer an explanation or definition of sorts in today’s urban speak. This will occur in an upcoming post.

Won’t that be jolly? I hope you’ll stay tuned for it.

Boomer Lit Friday

Perigee Moon Cover jpgI’m participating in a Boomer Blogging Extravaganza which will take place every Friday. It’s a way to bring attention to the new genre of books called Boomer Lit. Click here, Boomer Lit Friday  to go to your one-stop shopping boomer lit blog which will feature snippets from a variety of boomer lit novels. It’a a good place to get a taste of what boomer authors are writing about.

Perigee Moon is the story of a man who has a life crisis, who comes to realize that he must be true to himself and makes the changes necessary to remove himself from a ruined marriage and the ”should do” world in order to have the lifestyle he craves.

The following is another section from Perigee Moon. Kate is trying to break up Luke and Abby. She has accosted Abby in the grocery store and convinced Abby to have lunch with her, where she proceeds to lie to Abby about a dire diagnosis she has just received, and appeal to Abby’s compassion and selflessness to break it off with Luke so Luke and she (Kate) can be together again. She has taken Abby’s cell phone and texted him with it. Luke thinks it’s Abby texting and breaking it off with him, which is why he didn’t go to Abby’s house after work, as he has been doing every day for several months.

Here’s Abby at home. Luke hasn’t come and there is no word from him, which is making her assume a lot of things.

When she wakes it’s seven o’clock. She’s been alternately crying and sleeping for hours. Her head aches, her eyes are swollen, and she feels heavy as if she can’t move her legs over the side of the bed to stand up. But she does and goes to the bathroom and starts the water running in the big tub, adds some bubble bath and lights candles.

It’s dark already. She hears rain on the window. The wind gusts and rattles the screens. She’ll have to put the storms down soon. It’s a hard job and one she dreads, and she had been planning to ask Luke to help her with it. Thinking of him brings fresh tears to her eyes, which are already scratchy. They’ll be swollen for a day or two. She remembers how it had always been. Go on a good crying jag and it’s cathartic while it’s happening but you’ll pay for it the next day.

She decides to get a glass of wine, goes downstairs and there is a half bottle of Cabernet on the counter, opened last night. She takes a glass and the bottle. This could be a long night. A long, cold November night.

She’d thought it possible he might come out like always, and they’d discuss it and then she’d tell him about the lunch with Kate and she wouldn’t assume everything was over between them. If he wanted, or needed, for things to be over between them then she’d let him tell her that. He didn’t come. It’s past seven, he should have been there over an hour before so she knows. He won’t be coming.

He’s with Kate. Kate’s got to him and he’s succumbed. Otherwise, he would have been here as he said he would. He’d never before said he’d be there and then not showed up or at least called to say he’d be late. Something is wrong and Abby knows what it is. He doesn’t have the guts to face her. That’s why he hasn’t come. So much for the vows of honesty between them. Maybe it was too much to hope for, that there could be honesty when it comes to leaving a girlfriend and returning to a wife.

She’s never thought of herself as his girlfriend. She had never been anyone’s girlfriend really, and it would have been nice to contemplate the status of girlfriend back, oh eight hours or so ago, before things had changed so much. Now she is no one’s girlfriend and no one’s wife and no one’s significant other. She is back the way she’d been before June. Alone. Alone with Milly and Buzzer, her only companions in the evenings. The crazy lady who talks to dogs.

Kate had said Luke belongs with her. He will never belong with Abby. No, he belongs with, and to, Kate. And she wonders, now that Kate has said she wants him back, does he realize that was what he’d wanted all along?

Kate is the mother of his children. A big draw for any man, she knows that. It’s why John could never completely commit to her. And Luke won’t be able to either because of that shared experience that she can never give him. The gift of a child, with the melding of chromosomes, half his, half Kate’s. And Kate might be sick, really sick, and she wants him back. How can she, Abby, stand in the way of that?

Got Daffodils?

Granville Garden ClubIt must be spring! The 68th Annual Daffodil Show happened last weekend in Granville, Ohio. Granville is where Abby (from Perigee Moon) lived in the old farmhouse. Now Luke is there with her, and I guess they must be living happily ever after out in the country and about to begin their new growing season.

The Daffodil Show, you say? There are more varieties of daffodils than I would have thought possible, and they aren’t just yellow either! Take a look at this beauty.

Daffodill2You may have noticed the springy new look for my blog, and the header picture was taken at the Daffodil Show. I used my Canon Digital Rebel XT SLR camera, because as much as cell phone cameras have improved, they still don’t compare to this baby. The drawback, of course, is that it’s heavy around the neck, and it’s more complicated to use but the results are usually worth it.

I snapped up the pictures of the lovely Daffodils and then edited them using The GIMP. It was a simple matter of cropping, removing the irksome blue cards with the name of the species on it that appeared next to the flowers and which are impossible to not include in the photos, and adjusting the color here and there (hue, saturation, contrast, brightness, stuff like that) to get a better look, one that I considered to be quite nice, although a more seasoned photographer would probably smirk and point while whispering “Amateur”.

So be it. I am an amateur. I discovered by adjusting the hue and saturation you can effect an image that doesn’t resemble the original, but is a blurred, kind of impressionistic version. I liked it. This technique was applied to the header picture, to make it look cartoonish, rather than realistic.

Note this example, the original and edited version:

DaffodilBeforeAfterThe Daffodil Show was held in an old mansion, which is interesting in itself, and of course the visitors in attendance had their special brand of Garden-y quirkiness.

There are the seasoned Daffodillers, who know everyone and glide about expressing their gratitude for the hard work of Mrs. Xtreme-Daffodil who has coordinated the arrangements, the shifts of workers and the refreshments, not to mention the flautists engaged to lend a refined aura to the whole event.

Not too many men were in attendance, and the few that were, were accompanied by their significant others who had specimens on display. Most of the men not with women wore hats with ear flaps.

Always on the lookout for a bit of person-watching, I spied a woman behind the refreshment stand, (which contained assortments of cookies on three-tiered stands and bowls of malted milk balls in Easter pastel colors). Her body language indicated that she was uncomfortable and the smile she had plastered on her face told me that this was her first stint serving up sweets, and in fact, may be the first time she had participated in the Daffodil Show.

I immediately came up with a story for her. She is new in town and wants to become involved, wants to meet people and make friends. She is introverted by nature, which is why she has trouble finding anything to do with her hands, so she crosses her arms across her chest, uncrosses them, puts them at her sides, before moving them to clasp behind her back, at which point she crosses her arms across her chest again. Repeat. She stands beside the seasoned candy-pusher who’s been doing duty for 67 Daffodil shows before this one, and smiles as she’s introduced to this town person and that town person, but her grin is a little forced and her eyes tell me, Just Get Me The Hell Out of Here and I Will Never Do This Again.

I could be wrong. That’s just what I came up with.

My friend was “working the show” and accepting credit cards from anyone who wished to purchase daffodil bulbs, when uh-oh, the computer crashed. Dang old computer program was written by “one of the Garden Club women’s husband”. One would think the Garden Club might install some generic software, but no they had custom stuff. My friend said, “you know, the type where the backspace key means erase the hard drive”.

After several minutes of chin-pulling over what to do, the decision was made to reboot the computer and then all was well, my friend’s shift was over, and we adjourned to accomplish other activities,  involving cards and wine.

I snapped, snapped away — while I wasn’t busy spying on other people — and then, because I am relatively inexperienced as a photographer, I did a little touch-up with The GIMP.

Enjoy the show!

Daffodill10 Daffodill9 Daffodill8 Daffodill7 Daffodill6 Daffodill4 Daffodill3

Boomer Lit Friday

Perigee Moon Cover jpgI’m participating in a Boomer Blogging Extravaganza which will take place every Friday. It’s a way to bring attention to the new genre of books called Boomer Lit. Click here, Boomer Lit Friday  to go to your one-stop shopping boomer lit blog which will feature snippets from a variety of boomer lit novels. It’a a good place to get a taste of what boomer authors are writing about.

Perigee Moon is the story of a man who has a life crisis, who comes to realize that he must be true to himself and makes the changes necessary to remove himself from a ruined marriage and the ”should do” world in order to have the lifestyle he craves.

This excerpt occurs after Luke has initially contacted Abby. It is the second time they’ve seen each other since the reunion. He finally made the call, and Abby invited him out to her house for a simple dinner. As he left, Luke asked Abby to go to a movie and dinner the following Saturday night.

They’ve just left the movie, Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, chosen for its PG rating. (Abby had told him she wasn’t ready to see an R-rated movie with him for which she made no apology.)

They decide on seafood for dinner. While they wait for a table, they sit at a wrought iron table outside with a glass of wine. Luke tells Abby he would like to help out in the garden, become her apprentice. She smiles at him when he says this, and tells him he can come as often as he likes.

“I used to have a garden,” he says. “But it was nothing like yours. Just a few things, some lettuce, tomatoes, summer squash. Easy to grow herbs.  But since it’s just me now, I haven’t had one.”

“It’s become a big part of my life, growing, picking, canning, freezing,” she says. “By fall, I’m relieved to go indoors and relax for the winter, but in spring, I’m ready for the next season. The break is good. I feel renewed, ready to go again.”

“I’d like you to teach me,” he says.

“I’d be delighted.”

Author’s note: Of course. She’d be delighted. That’s what she’s thinking. The more she sees of him, the better she likes it.

Boomer Lit Friday

Perigee Moon Cover jpgI’m participating in a Boomer Blogging Extravaganza which will take place every Friday. It’s a way to bring attention to the new genre of books called Boomer Lit. Click here, Boomer Lit Friday  to go to your one-stop shopping boomer lit blog which will feature snippets from a variety of boomer lit novels. It’a a good place to get a taste of what boomer authors are writing about.

Perigee Moon is the story of a man who has a life crisis, who comes to realize that he must be true to himself and makes the changes necessary to remove himself from a ruined marriage and the ”should do” world in order to have the lifestyle he craves.

This excerpt is some internalization by Abby, a few days after meeting up with Luke again, after 45 years. They had seen each other on Friday night at the Reunion, and gone out together on Saturday night and he’d asked if they could see each other when they got back to their respective cities. Abby thinks if he were serious, he’d have called by now. She was sure serious about getting together with him, and she is very disappointed that she hasn’t heard from him.

Abby is a left-winger, an earthy gardener type, who believes in doing the right thing. I liked the character of Abby, she was fun to write, but it was easy to stray into that goody-goody land which might make her character less appealing.

Abby wishes she’d have asked Luke for his numbers too. Women are now allowed to call men. It has long been an acceptable practice. She works outside in the garden for an hour or two each day, then goes inside. Maybe he’s called. She checks voicemail and caller id for a number which could be his. Sunday, after she’d got back home, Monday, Tuesday, then Wednesday. How long did he intend to wait? Maybe he’s had second thoughts. That was always the problem, people had second thoughts, decided no, that hadn’t really been such a good idea after all.

By Wednesday, she decides, figures out, that he probably won’t call. If he had been serious, surely he’d have done it by now. When the phone rings after dinner and caller id says “Private” she feels hopeless but answers it, just in case. It’s possible, people could be “Private” too, isn’t it? But it’s not a person, it’s the Democrats asking for donations, time or money. No, she wants to yell at them. Leave me alone, don’t ask me about this stuff now, I can’t think about it. She feels like crying, she’s that disappointed.

She pours a glass of Pinot Noir and lights several candles in the bathroom and soaks in the big tub until the water goes cold, so she lets some out and adds more hot, something she would never have done under normal circumstances. Usually she is conservative, about everything except politics. Conserving water and heat and gas, so she doesn’t consume more than necessary. Recycle, recycle. Recycling is the way of her life, preserve the earth, leave it in as good shape as possible, don’t be conspicuous in your consumption of anything.

Boomer Lit Friday

Perigee Moon Cover jpgI’m participating in a Boomer Blogging Extravaganza which will take place every Friday. It’s a way to bring attention to the new genre of books called Boomer Lit. Click here, Boomer Lit Friday  to go to your one-stop shopping boomer lit blog which will feature snippets from a variety of boomer lit novels. It’a a good place to get a taste of what boomer authors are writing about.

Perigee Moon is the story of a man who has a life crisis, who comes to realize that he must be true to himself and makes the changes necessary to remove himself from a ruined marriage and the ”should do” world in order to have the lifestyle he craves.

This is another section from Perigee Moon that I especially like. I have blogged about it before, the idea that events happen at a certain time, in a certain order, and cause our lives to be changed because of them. Like Abby and Luke seeing each other at the high school reunion. Luke hadn’t been to a reunion in 35 years, and Abby had never been to one, yet they meet up at their 45th. The excerpt is from Abby’s POV and she thinks of all that happened to cause their paths to cross. I think of this myself sometimes. What if I’d done this instead of that? It’s an interesting thought process.

They are at the Friday night casual event when this takes place. Luke has just asked Abby if she will return with him the following night for the dinner dance, which is a more formal affair.

He wants to come with her, he wants to be with her tomorrow night. She thinks about her Aunt Maude – who’d been dying for the last thirty of her ninety-eight years (or so she’d told anyone who would listen) – and how Aunt Maude had picked this particular time to succumb. But of course, Aunt Maude hadn’t picked the time of her death, it had just happened that way. And what if she, Abby, hadn’t been here tonight? She would never have seen Luke Koslov again and would never have talked to him, and here he is asking if they could go together to the dinner dance tomorrow night. It makes her think that somehow events are planned to coincide and intersect in such a way that it alters the course of a life, or what’s left of a life, as if the person or persons whose life might change because of a chance meeting might be in the eye of an almighty somewhere and deemed important enough that He has designed it for the sole purpose of having them reconnect.

Interesting thought. She likes to think of it. What if. What if Aunt Maude had died last Tuesday, a week ago, and not this Tuesday? What if she hadn’t come for the memorial service? What if she hadn’t arranged to meet up with her cousin, Anne, for lunch at Applebee’s on Thursday? What if she hadn’t run into her old friend Dorie Wester, whom she hadn’t seen in decades, just as Dorie was pushing her 90-year old mother in a wheelchair past the table where Abby sat? What if they hadn’t recognized each other? What if Dorie hadn’t mentioned the reunion? What if Dorie hadn’t suggested she come? What if Dorie hadn’t insisted that she come? What if Abby hadn’t said she would come?

But Dorie had said, “Delia will be there too. It’ll be fun, Abby, you should come, I won’t take no, you better be there, what have you got better to do, anyway?”

She’d finally badgered Abby into saying yes. “Well, okay,” she’d said. “I guess I could go to the Friday night thing.”

And most important, what if Luke hadn’t come? He’d said he rarely came, the tenth was the last, and here he was thirty-five years after that and here she was too.

Boomer Lit Friday

Perigee Moon Cover jpgI’m participating in a Boomer Blogging Extravaganza which will take place every Friday. It’s a way to bring attention to the new genre of books called Boomer Lit. Click here, Boomer Lit Friday  to go to your one-stop shopping boomer lit blog which will feature snippets from a variety of “baby boomer” novels. It’a a good place to get a taste of what boomer authors are writing about.

This excerpt takes place a few weeks after Luke’s divorce from Kate has been finalized. He has returned home to celebrate this first lonely holiday with his parents, and his sister, Barbara who is also divorced. Apparently Luke’s mother, Muriel, has opted to choose ease of meal preparation over proper nutrition. Both Luke and Barbara are shocked by what they find in her kitchen pantry.

On Christmas Eve, Luke and Barbara helped Muriel in the kitchen preparing the turkey, stuffing it with Barbara’s homemade dressing lest they be subjected to Stove Top. Luke peeled potatoes. Barbara and Luke had exchanged a look when Muriel had insisted that instant mashed tasted just as good. Apparently Muriel had succumbed to convenience in the kitchen and now used products which, if the labels were examined closely, would strike terror in the heart of anyone with even a stray thought of proper nutrition.

“Mom, really, these things in your pantry. Some of them are quite gross.” Barbara had a container of a microwavable concoction (no refrigeration needed!) in each hand. “This is on a par with say, spam.”

“There’s nothing wrong with spam,” Muriel said. “I’ve eaten it lots of times, and fried up it tastes like a hotdog.”

“My point exactly. Ever wondered what’s in a hot dog?”

“No, I haven’t. I buy all-beef franks and there’s not a thing wrong with them.” Muriel sniffed at being criticized for her non-label-watching behavior.

“All-beef lips, and eyelids, and assholes.” .

“Don’t buy anything with a label,” Luke said.

“That’s not possible. Especially not today,” Muriel said.

Boomer Lit Friday

Perigee Moon Cover jpgI’m participating in a Boomer Blogging Extravaganza which will take place every Friday. It’s a way to bring attention to the new genre of books called Boomer Lit. Click here, Boomer Lit Friday  to go to your one-stop shopping boomer lit blog which will feature snippets from a variety of “baby boomer” novels. It’a a good place to get a taste of what boomer authors are writing about.

Luke’s wife, Kate, has become a successful realtor and the great entertainer. She likes to party. Luke barely tolerates her coworkers and her events, as he is definitely not a partier.

The office parties started out with obligatory hugs, shoulders bumping while maintaining a minimum of body contact and air-kissing, lips puckered up next to cheeks so as not to disturb impeccably applied lipstick. Oh, so sorry to be late, I have that closing on Monday and at the last minute, wouldn’t you know… blah blah. And then the serious sucking up would start. How good you look in green, Kate and that new hairstyle is so flattering, love your house, love your furniture, love your garden, amazing and fabulous and fantastic and awesome.

Everyone sucked up to everyone else, and aren’t we having fun, and aren’t we just the best of friends, and isn’t it great loving what you do, and loving who you work with? And at that point, when the conversation turned to how happy they all were working for the best boss in the world, old Mel would invariably lift his glass and make a toast, and it would go on and on, about how his employees were as dear to him as his family, and how they all were a family, and finally he seemed confused as to whether they were his family or not his family and got teary-eyed and slobbered in his martini glass and had to be helped back down to the couch before he fell down a step into the sunken family room or tipped onto a glass-topped coffee table.

At one of their summer parties where Luke was the bartender and cook and general go-fer, not to mention he’d be in charge of clean-up as well, he happened into the kitchen to get the barbecue sauce for the chicken he was slow-roasting on the grill. Kate was bleary-eyed and stood in back of the bar as several women hung on or around the bar stools.

“There’s Luke!” She slurred, more like thersh. “Don’t you think my husband is cute? In a duh sort of way?”

Boomer Lit Friday

Perigee Moon Cover jpgI’m participating in a Boomer Blogging Extravaganza which will take place every Friday. It’s a way to bring attention to the new genre of books called Boomer Lit. Click here, Boomer Lit Friday  to go to your one-stop shopping boomer lit blog which will feature snippets from a variety of “baby boomer” novels. It’a a good place to get a taste of what boomer authors are writing about.

This is a section from Perigee Moon where I was trying out my satire and sarcasm, describing the work environment of Luke’s first job. He is newly married, and has taken the first job he is offered, and has doubts concerning his ability to fit into a rather provincial assemblage of coworkers. Here he describes what he sees and hears in the small company’s break room, which is where the women clerks, receptionists, typists and secretaries congregate to smoke, eat lunch and gossip. It is the early 70’s, when it was still okay to smoke at work and since it was early in the computer age, many business functions were performed manually, mostly by women.

And the thirty women went “on break”, and collected in the lunch room in groups of six or eight and smoked until you couldn’t walk through the room without inhaling the equivalent of an entire cigarette, and they talked about their kids and one-upped each other about which of their sons ate the most. He once walked in on a discussion of all-day venison, how easy it was to prepare (even though it took all day) – so tender you won’t believe you’re eating venison! – probably shot by their husbands, and fiancés, and boyfriends wearing red plaid jackets and caps that said Union WS 754 during some week in November when it became legal to gang up on a bunch of unsuspecting deer and shoot them between the eyes, and boy wasn’t killing helpless animals great, and handshakes and slaps on the back. Good job!

Once the deer was butchered it was up to the womenfolk to do something with it, so they seasoned it and cooked it for days in order to try to soften it up so that it could be somewhat chewed. And if it was so tender you’d “never know it was venison”, that seemed to indicate that perhaps venison, in itself, was probably not a delicacy, or even remotely edible, so why eat it at all? And further, once determined that venison is not fit to eat, the question can be asked, why shoot the poor deer in the first place except that he looked so good, so regal, all tied up there on the bumper of the pickup truck and driven through town for all to see, the catch of the day, and it had been so much fun to kill him.

After deer-hunting season, the women talked about all the things they could do with tomato soup, another topic he assumed they found interesting, and on any given day they could be heard competing with each other about babies and labor pains, one-upping each other there too. You’d think they would all be dead or hopelessly torn asunder from the sound of what they went through to birth those little things, now grown into lumps of flesh kept alive by McDonalds and Hostess Cupcakes.

Boomer Lit Friday

Perigee Moon Cover jpgI’m participating in a Boomer Blogging Extravaganza which will take place every Friday. It’s a way to bring attention to the new genre of books called Boomer Lit. Click here, Boomer Lit Friday  to go to your one-stop shopping boomer lit blog which will feature snippets from a variety of “baby boomer” novels. It’a a good place to get a taste of what boomer authors are writing about.

This is a section from Perigee Moon that I especially like. Abby has been upset all day, about Kate’s following her around, confronting her in the grocery store, calling her. As usual, it looks like Kate might win out. Luke has just returned to Abby, from telling Kate to back off and leave them alone.

“There is such a thing as being too unselfish,” he says. “Why can’t you acknowledge your right to a good life? Don’t they say that before you can love someone you have to love yourself?”

“It’s funny you should mention it because that is exactly what I thought about while you were gone.”

She tips her glass toward his. “To us,” she says. “I decided that when you came back, if you said what I’d hoped you would and you did, that I would put this episode of Kate behind me. That I would do something selfish for a change. Because I love you and you love me and that makes two people happy. If you went back to Kate and were happy that would also make two people happy, so it would be even. But if you aren’t happy and only one person is happy, that being Kate, then it wouldn’t be beneficial to you or me. And I have also decided that I have as much right to be happy as she does.”

“I’m glad the math works in my favor,” he says and laughs. Another example of Abby’s odd logic.

“It’s funny,” she says. “Not funny. Strange. I didn’t see you for all those years and I was fine with my life. Then we ran into each other again and I knew right away that I loved you. And now, after the last few months, I know I couldn’t go back to not being with you and be fine with my life again. I would miss you every day and my life would be less rewarding. Does that make any sense? That I couldn’t go back to the way I was?”

“Yes,” Luke says. “It makes sense. Because it’s the same for me. Let’s get married.”