Chapter 6

A massive thank you and apology at the same time for not updating this in so long. I hope you guys can forgive me…..


Ring, Ring

Came the sudden muffled sound through the door of her dorm room and it took Kate a few seconds to react to anything let alone the sound of a ringing phone.

Still she failed to move from her spot, leaning ever so slightly against the door when the heat of his stare breached well past the barriers of intimidation and more into fevered interest.

However the continuous ringing of the phone not only brought forth attention, but realisation as well, more so for Kate.

"I think I'd better get that." She proposed with a smile he soon shared in followed by a nod of affirmation.

"So I guess I'll see you…."

"Tomorrow." She finished, earning a chuckle from Jack in return and with one last look they parted ways. Kate's eyes briefly wandering south as he walked away and once he was out of sight, she proceeded to finally answer the phone.

"Hello?"

"Katie." A voice spoke on the other end and for Kate there was no mistaking it.

"Tom?" she questioned in all shock of hearing from him considering the hectic schedule of a career he blatantly chose over her despite assuring her that it wasn't the case.

"Katie, I…" he started out and assuming where this was going she made the excuse that she had classes early in the morning, but he ignored it and came out with reason he called.

"It's your Mom. She was brought in unconscious a few minutes ago and…." He explained but broke off midway to try and ease the situation for her somewhat.

Already overwhelmed with panic, she immediately assumed the worst knowing how bad Wayne's temper could get, especially in his drunken state.

"What happened?"

"Tom, what happened? Is she okay?" she forcibly inquired, trying to stay calm, but at the same time finding it hard in light of his agonising silence. Tom's response then only confused matters more when he started rattling off a bunch of medical terms she had no knowledge or understanding of.

"So what's that mean?"

He sighed to himself, hating this part of the job, especially when it was a condition where next to nothing could be done about it.

"We found a tumour on the left side of her brain."

"A tumour?" she questioned in all fear of the condition and her fears only increased when Tom revealed that it was at a stage where medically speaking was virtually inoperable.

Still, his one vow of assurance was to do more tests and hopefully outweigh the odds in their favour. All she had to offer in return was her thanks and with that she abruptly hung up and packed for the long journey back to Iowa.

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Claire had more or less persisted to go along with Kate to the Hospital when the brunette called earlier and told her what had happened, but Kate was equally persistent in saying that she could do this on her own.

Reluctant to argue with her in this emotional state Claire relented somewhat, yet made Kate promise to keep her posted at every instance. Diane Austen was like a second Mother to her, especially during the time when her own resorted to alcoholism.

It was something Claire was both saddened and deeply discouraged by at the time, though with Diane's help Claire not only pulled herself through the depression, but also got her Mother to finally admit she had a drinking problem and seek the necessary help.

"If it wasn't for her I wouldn't be here today." Claire reminded herself every waking moment of the day knowing it was nothing short of the truth.

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He woke up this morning with a smile on his face. His head recurring events of the previous night, knowing he'd never had that much fun before.

"Kate"

He didn't know what it was about her that made him feel free and almost at ease with himself, even on the dance floor much to his surprise and embarrassment after the deed was done.

Never the less he was intrigued by her and would be lying in saying that he wasn't the least bit interested in perhaps knowing more.

However at the same time he knew that wanting anything more than friendship at this stage would be a tad premature and slightly indecent of him due to the fact that she was a student.

Besides he had been in enough spontaneous flings to know that they never work or last.

Could this be just another fling?

"I have a job to focus on." He firmly reminded himself, choosing to concentrate on that for the time being.

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The only thing that went through her mind now was what Tom had told her over the phone. A part of her still wanted to believe that it wasn't true, but unfortunately it was and that scared her for so many reasons.

Reasons that were apparent to her and nobody else, not even her best friend Claire.

Opting for some sort of temporary distraction from her worry, she dug through the glove compartment of her car in search of something her Mother gave her 2 years ago along with this car.

(2 years ago)

"Are you excited?"

"Yeah." Kate replied but the woman across seemed far from convinced.

"Okay, okay I'm scared." She relented with a sigh, stilling her packing for the time being cause continuing on would only bring the moment that much closer. The moment she would have to leave home and more importantly her Mother in the hands of a violent drunken excuse for a step Father.

"Oh honey, it's perfectly normal to feel that way." The older woman assured, embracing her daughter assuming the real reason she was so reluctant about leaving but unwilling to bring it up cause in her eyes it wasn't Kate's problem.

Not anymore.

"I'm just worried that…."

"You don't have to worry about anything sweetie….." Diane cut her off, tightening her hold and replacing any tremble of emotion within her tone to firm assurance, "this is your moment to shine and be the best I know you are."

"Besides look how many grey hairs worrying got me." She jokingly added, and Kate chuckled whilst wiping away her tears.

"Now c'mon I want to show you something." Diane then proposed and Kate looked upon her with nothing but curiosity yet followed her Mother downstairs and much to her amusement blindfolded when she was ushered towards the front door.

"You got me a car!!"

"And this..." Diane finished while offering her an audio cassette labelled "the best of Patsy Cline".

Kate immediately laughed out loud at the gesture before thanking her Mother with a hug.

(End of Flashback)

Ever since then that tape had become almost like a way to remind her of home and without her Mother none of these memories would be as significant anymore.

"Please don't take her away from me." Kate then pleaded off any listening higher power above. Desperate in her plea to have her one form of stability against a world she was still afraid to face.

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His walk to the auditorium was spent in concise thought over what he was going to do and say once he faced her. However none of it mattered anyway when he walked in and saw that she wasn't there.

Assuming she was on her way, he went about preparing for the lesson, yet grew increasingly worried when he then saw Claire and Charlie walk in, Kate still nowhere in sight.

"Where is she?" he then wondered, knowing he shouldn't be as worried, but for some reason he was and couldn't seem to help it.


Next Chapter: Jack learns of Kate's whereabouts and reacts in a fairly surprising manner. Plus another surprise awaits for Kate.

If anyone is still reading I'd love to know what you think…