Thursday, October 3, 2013

Too Many Secrets (Cleo Sims Mysteries) by Lynn Osterkamp

§ § §

We took my car, but I let him drive hoping that would distract him from the conversation. It didn’t. Once we were on the highway, the argument picked up for real.

“Cleo, we can’t keep putting off making decisions. You don’t even want to talk about it.”

“True. But that’s because every time we talk about it, we end up at the same place. I want to stay in Boulder in my grandparents’ house. You want us to live together in Longmont.”

Pablo sighed and rolled his eyes. “Look Cleo, I want to live with you. But not in Boulder, because I’m a detective with the Longmont Police Department. I’ve told you over and over that a huge part of what our department does involves working with the community. It’s important that I live there. You know the surrounding communities think Boulderites are new-agey tofu eaters who are too rich and flakey to understand real life. Longmont residents won’t take me seriously as part of their community if I live in Boulder.”

Pablo pulled out to pass a long U-Haul truck. As we went by, I saw the phrase "America's moving adventure" on the side. No. I didn't want that adventure. I didn't want to move. Tears welled up. “I get that you want to live in Longmont, Pablo. But I love Boulder and I love my house and my office is right down the street. Nothing would be convenient for me if I lived in Longmont. Plus my house is really still Gramma’s house."

Even though Gramma's Alzheimer's is at the point where she has to live in a sheltered assisted living home, I feel good that I'm keeping her house safe for her. I don't want to sell it and I definitely don’t want to rent it to college students. I was sick of this argument. "Can’t we just drop it until you get back?” I begged.

“You’ll just have another reason to drop it then.” Anger filled his voice. “But you’re alone in that old house and it’s winter and you’re pregnant. I’ll be gone all week." His voice softened. "What if something happens? What if you get snowed in? If you were in Longmont, all my family is nearby to help you.”

Yikes! Now he wants me in Longmont even when he’s not in town? And he wants his family to take care of me? I’m a thirty-seven year-old licensed therapist with a doctorate in psychology and a thriving private practice. Does he see me as weak, friendless, and incompetent? My sadness morphed into anger. “You don’t need to worry,” I said crossly. “I can take care of myself. I’m not going to get snowed in. And even if I did, I have friends I can call.”

“Fine,” he said crisply. “I give up, Cleo. You’re impossible. I don’t know why I try to have a reasonable discussion with you.” He turned his full attention to the road without uttering another word until we got to the airport.

I stayed silent as well and kept my tears inside until I was back in the car driving away from our awkward goodbye hug. Then I let my tears flow freely as I drove. I knew I had decisions to make. But I felt stuck. I wanted all of us to have good lives—Pablo, the baby and me. But I had no idea how to work that out.

§ § §

While reliving my traumatic morning there on my office couch, darkness had closed in on me and I had almost dozed off. When my phone rang. I jolted awake, hoping it was Pablo calling to patch things up now that his plane had landed. I wanted to do that too. I wanted to hear a sweet loving voice from him to erase my memory of his anger. But when I grabbed the phone, it wasn't Pablo after all. It was Gayle wanting to set a time for a meeting.

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Genre - Mystery

Rating – PG

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