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Giving My All to You Sheryl Lister 2022/8/3 13:47:48

The phone rang again. She glanced down at the display and smiled upon seeing Thad’s number. “Hey, Dad.”

“Hey, baby. I wasn’t sure if you knew about the retirement party and I wanted to make sure you’re coming.”

“I talked to Siobhan already and I’ll be there.”

“I’d like to invite your mother and father, as well.”

Faith gasped in surprise. “I’ll ask them.” They talked a while longer about how she was dealing with the breakup and some of the things she would need to know about her position on the board, then ended the call.

She leaned back in the chair and tapped the phone against her chin. How would her parents react to the invitation? Her stepfather, ever the diplomat, would probably be okay, but she wasn’t as sure about her mother. Even Faith felt a little uneasy about how things might play out. She loved all of her parents and the last thing she wanted or needed was more drama in her life. She’d have enough to deal with that night. And just thinking about it gave her a headache, so she turned her attention back to work.

Faith spent the remainder of the evening and the next day working on some preliminary logo designs for a client.

She waited until late Monday afternoon to go visit her parents. Her mother worked as a school librarian and was off for the summer, and her dad worked at the post office.

Her mother greeted her with a strong hug and searched Faith’s face. “How are you, sweetheart?”

“I’m okay, Mom.” Faith turned to her father and greeted him the same way. “Hi, Daddy.”

“Hey, baby. I’m glad to see you.”

She took a seat on a chair opposite them. “I’ve been invited to attend the retirement party for my father and Nolan Gray two weeks from now.” She looked at her mother. “Dad specifically invited you two.”

Her mother frowned. “Us? Why?”

Faith shrugged. “He didn’t say. Just that he really wanted you to come.” She could see the wheels turning in her mother’s head, trying to come up with an excuse to decline.

“I think that’s a great idea, Francis,” her father said. “Tell him we’ll be there.”

“Okay. I’ll see about travel arrangements. Can you get off work, Dad?”

“I have enough leave time for three people. I’m sure they won’t miss me for a couple of days.”

She nodded. “I’ll let you know when everything is set up.”

He stood. “This grass isn’t going to cut itself, so I’ll leave you two to talk.” He bent and kissed Faith’s forehead, then placed a tender kiss on her mother’s lips before going out back.

When they were alone, she turned to her mother. “Can I ask you a question?”

She didn’t know a good way to ask, so she just blurted the question. “Mom, do you ever regret leaving?”

Her mom gave her a sympathetic smile. “If you’re talking about Thad, then yes, for a long time. I loved Thad. And like I told you, he was a good man, but I just didn’t know how to deal with his illness.” She studied Faith. “Why are you asking?”

Faith told her about the breakup with Brandon, how he had come to apologize and the fact that Faith didn’t believe his apology was sincere.

Her mother left the sofa and, taking the chair next to Faith, grasped her hand. “If you love him and get a second chance, don’t be a stubborn fool like me. Take it.”

“Thanks, Mom.” But she didn’t think she had another chance after tossing him out her hotel room four days ago. For all she knew, he may have moved on and that meant she was too late. She shook off the negative thought. It couldn’t be too late.

Brandon sat in his office late Monday afternoon beginning the task of boxing up his belongings to take to his new office and thinking about Faith. She still hadn’t returned any of his calls.

Siobhan poked her head in the door. “Don’t be here all night or I will come and escort you out.” They shared a smile, recalling a time when he’d said the same thing to her.

“I won’t. I’m just getting things ready for the transition. I plan to be out of here by seven.”