Amanda just left me with the worst feeling in the world. Julia was alive and Paul had lied to me. I sat there for a few moments before Madam Zolta was back at my dressing room door. "Catherine, darling the public awaits you, stop moping and greet your fans." I grabbed my purse and hurried from the room. "I'll meet you in London there's something I must handle first." Once outside I haled a cab and rushed to my apartment. Gathering my bags I already had packed for London. I left for the airport and booked myself on the first flight to Greenglenna.
After what felt like forever I was on the veranda of Paul's home all the lights were still off. It was barely four in the morning. I let myself in the living room clutching my purse like a security blanket. I had checked my bags into lockers at the airport. No matter what Paul said tonight I still needed to be on a flight to London in a day. I had to hear his excuse before I left I had to know why he of all people had lied to me. I took one last deep breath and climbed those grand stairs the same ones Paul had carried me up the night that started it all. I reached the top of the stairs and pivoted to face his door. Reaching for the handle I paused then reprimanded myself. I was not going to allow myself to act like a coward. Before I could talk myself out of it I reached forward and opened the door.
I faltered then seeing him so peacefully asleep on the bed. My heart fluttered then I remembered why I was there what I needed to do. Without waiting another second I moved across the floor and stood next to him. "Paul?" I spoke in a voice I didn't recognize. He opened his eyes slowly as if he couldn't see me. "Catherine, is that you?" He spoke his voice still rough from sleep. "What are you doing here? I thought you had to be in London on Monday." "Amanda came to see me in New York." That was all he needed to make him fully awake. "What did she do are you alright?" In just a moment his arms were around me holding me, soothing me. I stayed there for a moment breathing in his scent then pulled away reaching for the lamp. I needed to see his eyes for this, to know if he was lying. I sat there for a minute staring at this man the man I loved. Praying to a god who had never listened to four attic mice. A god who never gave us sunlight, a god who let Cory die. "catherine, your scaring me whats going on?" after another minute I began. I led with the tale that had been woven for me just a few short hours ago although now it felt like a centry. I told him every detail she said every word, words I could never forget as long as I live. I looked into his eyes as I mentioned his cheating on julia, then while I spoke of her being a saint I had to look elsewhere, anywhere else, his eyes would remind me of every touch, every caress, and right now I couldnt afford to lose my resolve. When I got to the part that had broken my heart my voice faultered "Julia is still alive, still breathing, locking her away in a mental instution doesnt change that." He turned away clentching his fist. "amanda and her lies." I moved to look out the window staring out at the gardens " I would have never asked to marry you, I was content being your mistress." He came over and wrapped his arms around me, kissed my hair and waited an eturnity to talk. "The day Julia drowned Scottie the doctors worked for hours but were unable to bring her out of the coma that she would be in for the rest of her life." "So, its true you lied to me." I pulled away wanting to hurt him as he had hurt me. "I loved you" I screamed "You didn't have to lie to me I wanted to be with you." after I spoke I fell to the floor in a heap sobbing. I could trust noone. This was Mommas fault. She mad me need lve she had damaged us when we needed her most. Paul came to me wrapping his arms around me again. I tried unsecussflully to push him away but he still held on. He rocked me while I cried when I finally stopped my tears he started in a soft voice, "Catherine she passed away in the night about a month after our relationship started." I took a deep breath and slowly exaled " Did Amanda know?" He nodded. "She was there although she didnt speak or even look at me for that matter, but she was there." I looked in his eyes searching for the lie. I saw no lies just saddness. I had hurt him, he loved me and I had done my best to tare him apart. Amanda had told me to go to Julian as if Paul should still be punished for a crime he had comitted years before. A crime that Julia was just as much to blaime for, if she had been his wife in all things he never would have cheated. He was a man and men had needs. I had learned that from the book in Momma's nightstand drawer. I gently laid my lips to his, growing more passionate with every passing second. I wanted to wipe the hurt from his eyes. I asked later why he had been so very hurt, his answer was simple "I was losing you. I could see the confidence I had built between us crumbling all because Amanda wants a house." We made love as the sun came up and made plans for the future as we drifted to sleep. Just a few hours later we woke to the shrill sound of a telephone.
When we walked downstairs Carrie was sitting there eating pancakes. Henny was busy in the kitchen making more. I smiled it was her way to make too much just in case. When Carrie saw Paul she started to say good morning but when she saw me emerge from behind him she screamed, and ran full force at me leaping into my arms. "Cathy, Cathy, I thought we wouldnt see you for weeks and weeks." I kissed her and set her down. "I couldnt leave the country without saying good bye." I told her moving towards the kitchen door where Henny had run to when Carrie screamed. I gave her a hug the announced, "I Have to be on a flight in the morning but I arranged to fly from our airport to London so I could spend the day here. Paul stepped forward dropping a kiss on my cheek. "Then we will start with pancaked and work our way to Greenglenna to look at flowers for the wedding." I smiled for I knew Momma always brought flowers for her dressing table on sunday, always bringing us a bouquet to ease our suffering.
A couple of hours later we were discussing how many roses we would need when the hair on the back of my neck stood up. As I turned slowly the door opened, and there she was. She looked at me then Paul, who had just kissed my cheek. Her eyes dropping to my engagement ring. I tightened my grip causing him to turn. "Catherine, perhaps we should go look at wedding invitations." After a moment I nodded, "Mrs. Winslow." I extended my hand to shake hers. She shook visably as if she was trying to think of a way out of touching me. As if simply touching me would throw out a banner telling the world she had children. Finally she reached for my hand "Miss. Dahl." That was all the proof I needed she knew I had reached my goal. I was famous.