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He looked out the window at the night sky. Even that reminded him of Sara. She was the strongest, most giving person he knew. Only she would carry a baby for someone and marry a man to save another. Wasn’t that the type of person he could trust? The phone rang and it was his mother. “I got your message that you won the custody case. Since that’s what you wanted, I’m glad.” His mother might take some time but she would come around where Lily was concerned. It had taken him effort, with the help of Sara, and his mother would do the same, though sadly it would be with his assistance only. “I did.” “You don’t sound as excited as I thought you might be.” “I’m glad. It’s just that now that has happened Sara has gone.” “I’m sorry to hear that.” His mother did sound sorry. “Why?” “Mother, she only agreed to marry me for Lily’s sake and to help out her father.” “I don’t believe that for a minute. Didn’t you see the way she looked at you during the wedding? She cares about you. Quit letting your father and Evelyn’s betrayal control your life.” “Why did he do it?” He didn’t have to say his father’s name. “Because he was a self-centered old man who let his vanity hurt someone he loved very much.” “He didn’t love me.” “Yes, he did. He just didn’t know how to show it. You were everything he had wanted to be and couldn’t be any more. He was a weak man, jealous of your youth, your abilities, your girlfriends, and your intellect. But that didn’t mean he didn’t love you. I know that you don’t remember because they were covered by ugliness as you got older, but he was a good father at one time. It could have been him or us both who made you see love with such a distrustful view. I’m sorry for that.” “Mom, you didn’t—” “Don’t start lying to me now. Just know that there are good people out there who will not disappoint you. Take a chance. Figure out some way to make peace with what your father did and find happiness. I have to go. I’ll call again soon.” She hung up. How like his mother to drop a bombshell and move on. How was he supposed to find peace? * * * He spent the next few weeks asking himself that question daily and coming up with no answer. Sara would know what he needed to do. He picked up the phone to call her but ended up putting it down more than once. She’d made her position clear. He had to respect that. Between looking for a way to find peace, missing Sara and dealing with the demanding replacement nanny, he was at his stress max. His colleagues seemed to find somewhere else they were needed when he came around. He wasn’t a fun person. He’d liked who he was around Sara. Two nights later, on his way home from the hospital, he passed the lot where his father had taken him as a child to look at the stars. An office building had been built on the lot but he pulled into the parking area and turned off the engine. Stepping out, he looked up at the sky. He couldn’t see the stars as clearly as he had as a boy but they were there. His father had given him the love of stargazing, something that Grant was sure to pass on to Lily. So how had things turned so ugly between him and his father? “What did I do, Dad? Why did you treat me the way you did?” There was no answer, only the sound of a distant car along the street. Grant shook his fist at the sky. “Why would you treat someone you loved the way you did?” His chest tightened. Was he holding his father to a higher standard than he himself could live up to? Hadn’t he also pushed someone he cared about away? Had his father been hurt by him? His mother? Brother? His father was human. Everyone had feelings. He’d never thought of his father as a man with fears, faults and foibles. What he needed to do was not make the same mistakes. It should be his goal to see that Lily grew up safe and secure. To know she was loved and valued. She’d had that with him and Sara. But Sara was no longer in their lives. He’d never trusted her enough to ask her to stay. Why had he treated Sara the way he had? Why hadn’t he been able to tell her he loved her? He did. Because he was scared. He didn’t want to feel the pain of rejection as he had with his father. Evelyn. But wasn’t he in pain anyway? How much more agony would he have if he ignored how he felt about Sara? Tried to go thought life without her? He groaned.
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