It was a cold November morning, cold as L.A. could be, when Diane got the call that would change her life.
"Stick, is that you?"
Diane would know that voice anywhere. "Carla? How did you get my number? This is a private listing and I don't know how you would get it."
"It doesn't matter. What does matter is that you get to Boston, pronto."
Diane grew concerned. At age sixty, she wasn't exactly in the best state to travel, but something in her nemesis' voice told her that she should be there. There was only one reason for Carla to call her.
"Sam? How is he? Is everything okay?"
"No, as a matter of fact everything is not okay. It's Sam. He's in the hospital…"
"What, did he get himself another hernia?" Diane laughed.
"No, Stick, the only thing that keeps me from reaching your scrawny neck through the phone is the thought that you will be kicking yourself when I tell you what I have to tell you."
"What is it, Carla? Is Sam okay? He's not dying or anything is he?"
The silence on the other end of the phone spoke volumes. Carla told her everything she needed to know, and then Diane raced to start packing.
Sam, dying? It couldn't be. He was older than she was, but not by much, and the last time she had spoken to him everything was fine. Sam was enjoying playing baseball with his granddaughter Samantha, and had developed a close relationship with his son, Ernie. Sam's wife had died suddenly in a car accident a few years ago, and that was the last she had heard from Sam. But he didn't tell her anything was wrong; in her heart she prayed that he was not suffering. And, for good measure, she prayed that she would get there in time.
In time. In time for what? Time to see Sam one last time? Time to make their peace finally after all these years? Time to say what she hadn't said all those years ago in Boston, the last time she saw him (on their wedding day)? Diane quickly looked at her watch, and realized that time was running short. It didn't matter anymore, all of the fighting and arguing and bickering. All that mattered was that she got to tell Sam what was on her mind.
What was on her mind? Those three little words had not come easily to either Sam or herself, but they always knew it was there. At least, Diane hoped that Sam knew how much she cared about him. After all these years, though many miles apart, there was a space in her heart reserved for one man- and now it just may be too late.