So where was she? Washed up at thirty-four? Unmarried, childless, and with her writing career dead in the water? Was she destined to become a frustrated old spinster teacher? She sat back in her old-fashioned wooden swivel chair and laughed aloud at the thought, her gloom dispelling as suddenly as it had arisen; a spinster she was not. She had never considered herself anything special in the looks department but she had never had any trouble attracting men either, and had no fears of being left on the shelf. And time was not her enemy as she had never been particularly broody. She had never had more than fleeting urges to have children, urges she had not encouraged and which had just as quickly disappeared. And if she was honest she had quite enough personal problems of her own to deal with without trying to raise kids as well. The thought of children brought one of these problems, Peter, crowding back into her mind but she pushed it firmly away; she would not think about him now. He was back in England with all the rest of her old life and there he would remain.
That’s the past! she reminded herself firmly, think of the present, and the future, but never look back. A future which might well include having patients again, if she really were about to be offered a job in Deacon House. Dealing with the mentally ill, with life’s casualties, had been her first love, and her later, varying careers as a police consultant, an author, and now as a lecturer had perhaps obscured but never quite destroyed that love. Maybe it was time to get back in harness. After all, what was the alternative, to sit here desultorily reading barely literate essays churned out by lazy slobs with no interests in life beyond sex and partying? She relaxed back in her seat, laughing at herself; no doubt all lecturers –including her own, back in the day- had been saying the same thing about their students since education began. God only knows what Aristotle had made of the young Alexander. But it said much about what her life had become that she would gladly leap into the unknown rather than go home to face an empty flat and yet another night in alone.
Kate got to her feet suddenly and made for the door; Deacon House was a good ten miles away and if she was to be there by three she would have to get moving. And as she went she pushed any thoughts of how empty her life must have become for her to be so desperate to seek change. Any change. She also repressed the thought that running away from problems was becoming a way of life for her; she could worry about that later.
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Genre - Mystery, Thriller
Rating – PG-18
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