Monday morning, Joe came over with incredible news -- and a contract to read and sign. His dream was coming true. Bekka sat in her corner by the sliding door, enjoying the late summer breezes and trying to give Amy and Joe as much privacy as she could. She concentrated on the book she was reading and tried to ignore all the details of the job offer Joe kept repeating, and Amy's little exclamations of joy for him.
When, Bekka wondered, was Amy going to start whining about Joe going away? Or hadn't she realized that a job offer in Nashville meant Joe moving? Or had she missed something, and Amy and Joe already had plans to cover that contingency?
They finally quieted down enough to read through the contract together. Bekka mentally slapped herself a few times, for straining her ears to hear every murmured word. The apartment was so quiet, she could hear the scraping of each piece of paper as they turned the pages. Finally, though, the scraping stopped. Joe took a deep breath and the couch springs groaned as he shifted down on the cushions and stretched out his legs.
"Well? What do you think?" he asked.
Bekka held her breath and prayed. She just didn't have it in her to endure another of Amy and Joe's sulking breakups.
"You have to go. It's what you always wanted," Amy said with only a minimal hesitation.
"Nashville isn't that far away. You could come down for Thanksgiving, and I'll be home for Christmas, and we'll talk on the phone and--"
"Joe, just do a good job and get what you've always wanted, okay?"
Bekka closed her eyes, positive they were about to kiss.
The door groaned open and Kat came into the apartment. She mumbled greetings to the two on the couch. Bekka opened her eyes and watched, her heart aching for her friend. Wherever she had been, Kat obviously hadn't been with Marco. She was dragging, her mouth drooping at the corners, shoulders lumped, and there were dark smears under her eyes.
"Joe has a job in Nashville," Amy said. "Isn't that great?" She smiled hopefully at Kat.
"Yeah. Sure. Have a good time." Kat headed for her room.
Amy turned to Bekka, eyes wide, hands spread in a helpless gesture.
"There's a message on the machine for you," Bekka said.
"Who from?" Kat paused, but didn't look at the machine.
"From your mom, this time," Amy said. She shrugged. All the messages for the past week or so had been from Morgan, either asking Kat to let him come over to talk, or giving her instructions for her job so she wouldn't have to talk to him directly.
"Mom?" Kat leaped back across the room and slapped the controls of the machine.
"Kat, honey?" Lynette said. Her voice wavered a little, and Bekka knew they couldn't blame the old tape on the machine. "I'm taking Daniel -- no, I'm taking your father to the airport. He really wants to see you before he leaves. He won't be back until Christmas. Kat, this is mostly my fault. Daniel wanted to take care of us both from the beginning. He's always loved you. I hurt him and I locked him out of our lives. Don't punish him for what I did, please? Come to the airport to at least see him off, won't you?" There was a pause, then she gave the flight details.
"That's only half an hour from now," Joe said, when the answering machine clicked and rewound. Kat just shrugged and headed for her room. "Hey, Kat, I know how you're feeling. But if you let him leave without talking to him, how are you going to feel if he never comes back?"
"You obviously do, or you wouldn't be sulking all over the place!"
"I'm not..." Kat sighed and leaned back against the wall, slumping as if she would continue on down to the floor. "Okay, so I am sulking. But they--"
"When would have been a good time to tell you?" Bekka asked. "That's the big thing, isn't it? Not that they separated and your mom wouldn't let Morgan help raise you, but that they didn't tell you. When could they tell you without you blowing up?"
"I -- but they--" She struggled for a few more seconds, then just shook her head. "How come you didn't tell me when you figured it out?" she whispered.
"I figured I had no right telling you something they didn't want you to know. Or maybe were afraid to tell you. Kat, both your parents love you very much and they don't want to hurt you. I bet they're miserable, thinking you hate them."
"I don't hate them!"
"Then maybe you should go to the airport and see Morgan before he leaves. I mean," Joe said with a crooked grin, "what if he gets hit by a cab or shot in the subway or something and you never see him again?"
Kat opened her mouth to yell at him. Bekka could see it in her face. She almost got angry herself, at such a suggestion. Then she realized what he was doing and she approved.
"I've been stupid, huh?" Kat whispered. She dug in her purse for her keys.
"I'll drive," Joe said. "Women are such wimps when it comes to getting somewhere fast."
"My hero," Amy said and leaned over to kiss him before he got up from the couch.