Successful yet emotionally stifled artist Kate Flaherty stands at the deathbed of her estranged father, conflicted by his morphine-induced confession of his part in her mother’s death. While racing home, Kate’s car mishap leads her to a soul-searching discussion with a lone diner employee, prompting Kate to confront the true reasons her marriage hangs in the balance. When her night takes an expected turn, however, she flees for her life, a life desperate for faith that can only be found through her ability to forgive.
Bile rose in Kate’s throat. Her eyelids became as heavy as velvet curtains preparing to drop at the end of a show. Holding the edge of her dresser to steady her balance, she focused on the necklace she’d laid out before showering. She picked up the thin gold chain and clasped the locket in her hand, tighter and tighter, as if meshing the keepsake into her skin could bring her mother back to help her through this.
She heard Drew calling, his voice distant, searching for her in a deep mineshaft. Her mouth opened to answer, but no sound followed. Perhaps she didn’t want to be found.
She tried again to speak, but the sensation of hot tears streaking her face intruded on her effort. The protective wall surrounding her soul had split in two. A lifetime of denied emotion had broken through the dam, and there was no holding back the flood.
“Daddy, please, not yet,” she whispered, then crumpled to the floor, wilting like a rose in her mother’s forsaken garden.