Dear Sam,

I write to you a new woman after a long, dark period of mental exhaustion exacerbated by excessive psychopharmacology, which literally led me to death's door. I am happy to report that my attempt to shuffle off this mortal coil failed and that I am recovered.

I have one person to thank for that—a brilliant psychiatrist whom I met here by chance, but who has saved my mind and my life by recognizing that the drugs I'd been prescribed were having the exact opposite of the intended effect, the pharmacopeia bringing on unimaginable, crushing depression the likes of which I'd never known before and hope I never know again. I owe an eternal debt of gratitude to this man, whom I now consider to be a dear friend—the one friend I have here, as a matter of fact. Because of his random act of kindness toward me, I will be leaving Goldenbrook within the next two weeks.

I feel I must tell you that my relationship with Dr. Crane has become a defining one in my life. Although he is not my doctor, he has cared for me attentively, perhaps moreso than any other person has cared for me in my life. My affection for him grows daily. He is a constant comfort, a reassuring guide, and is genuinely interested in my health and well-being as well as my mental and emotional states. He listens to me without judgment or contention, offering the kind of thoughtful and engaged support I've never had, ever. I confess it's all rather overwhelming, but at the same time it is wonderful, having come back from the depths of despair to the sunshine of human warmth and kindness.

I'm also beginning to think Frasier might be interested in me as more than a friend, if you gather my inference. While I find myself drawn to him, I can't help but question from whence these feeling spring. I wonder if it's healthy to pursue a new relationship so soon after a breakdown, and while thoughts of you still haunt me. I suppose I can never be sure what the right thing to do is. All I know is that he makes me feel good about myself and the world around me. That I am worthy of love. That I am human—abundantly human—and that although it is not perfect, my life is worth living.

I guess this is all a long way of saying that I'm moving forward. Toward what, I'm still not certain, but I'm just so pleased to be unstuck, I'm not going to overanalyze it. I will trust the universe to guide me, whatever my destination. Though a part of me holds on to the hope that our paths will cross again, I cannot let my past dictate my future. As Frasier says, I must release myself from old behaviors and binds, and free myself to pursue the new. While some binds are more difficult to release than others, I shall do my very best. I feel I have a clean slate now, and am excited to see what is yet to be written upon it.

Hopefully,

Diane


The amount of new information in this note left Sam reeling. Suddenly, he understood. Diane's relationship with Frasier was not merely a rebound from him, but a life preserver. She was drowning and he tossed her a line to which she'd clung for far too long. Frasier gave her everything he couldn't back then. Stability, reassurance, unconditional support… it was all so clear to him: She wasn't running away from Sam or to Frasier per se—she was simply running for her life.

Sam was filled with a sense of gratitude toward Frasier. Yes, he may have taken advantage of Diane's fragility, but he also saved her. All those years he'd resented him for lost time with Diane, and it was Frasier who'd brought her back to him. He shuddered to think what might have happened if he hadn't stepped in. She tried to kill herself. The very idea hurt his heart and brought tears to his eyes. What would he have done if Diane were really gone? Living in the world apart from her was hard enough, but the idea that he'd really never see her or speak to her again was too much to bear.

Sam picked up the phone again and dialed Frasier's number.