wiwikanggraini (wiwikanggraini) wrote,
wiwikanggraini
wiwikanggraini

FANFIC: Kathy's Story

Title: Kathy’s Story
Author: Wiwik
Rating: PG
Summary: Kathy’s relationship with Paul & Artie. Yes, Kathy from several songs.
Review: this series has not been Beta’d…yet…
Disclaimer: Any similarities in events and persons are coincidental.
Notes: I originally wrote this as part of the series ‘A Different Kind of Love’, but it fell out of pattern and rhythm and is actually a story on itself. The inclusion of Kathy in the story also made me steer away from the slash factor. The reason these pieces came about are Artie’s fond memories of his time in London and especially of Kathy. It intrigued me since Kathy was Paul’s girlfriend. So this is really an exploration of how that worked.

CHAPTER I: PAULIE
Kathy did not know them like anyone else did. She knew things about them nobody else knew, maybe even including the boys themselves. Kathy saw more than anyone else and more than anybody she knew what she saw, she knew what they were and what they had in each other. Wide eyed, always in the background, quietly observing, she was their conscience. Only one glance at her would make them correct their stance, say sorry or be kind, instead of the all too easy slack of arrogance and distrust. She always put things right, all around t hem and for them. She was more than either really deserved, but they weren’t the only ones reaping the fruits from their relationship; Kathy saw more, heard more, and met more people in that period of life than anything that had come before and since. It was a happy memory and she was regularly asked about it by strangers. Still the same shy woman, she felt awkward talking about her personal life. She still shunned the limelight, like she always had while people often tried to lure her out to tell her tale. To tell tales about Paul and Artie. She would not, because even though she hadn’t talked to them for about 40 years, she still respected them and those memories were so personal…

It had been a normal Sunday evening; she was taking the tickets at the door and went inside to watch the musicians play once the place was full. A new kid was playing this evening, an American. It was always exciting to have new blood, especially when they were American. Kathy never quite understood why someone would leave the all mighty America to come and play in cold ‘n old Great Britain. She watched in wonder when he first took the small stage, somewhat awkward and off beat. He didn’t look anything like the other musicians. He didn’t look hip, or cool or even like he belonged on that stage. Yet, he owned that stage with his presence and confidence. It was just his voice supported by the guitar, subtle and feeling. His own songs, melodic and intellectual. He had been playing most on the American circuit, he was now trying them out here. Just like his presence, his songs were something else. Kathy was immediately intrigued.

That same evening Kathy was introduced to the American. He was staring at her all the time, it made her feel self-conscience. Even though he was smiling at her, at some point she didn’t know anymore where to look, she felt so embarrassed. Just before she decided to leave, he approached her himself and told her she was the prettiest girl he had ever met and was she interested to go out for food one evening this week. Kathy did not reply, she was so shocked. He couldn’t mean that; she was nothing like any American girl, surely. How could she compare to them? He noticed the shock in her eyes and asked her if no-one ever told her how beautiful she was. She stammered she had to catch her last coach home and he insisted on walking her to the coach station. Not knowing what to say she let him.

He wasn’t a big talker; every word he spoke was well considered and precisely placed in well constructed sentences. He made the few words he spoke count. As a matter of fact, for a great deal of their walk, there was no talking at all. He did not elaborate on his charm offensive, she did not ask him anything about his former life. They walked quietly, he swayed a little and bumped into her a few times, only a minor collision hardly felt by Kathy. She was sure he did that on purpose. She could feel his fingers deliberately stroke the back of her hand. Not knowing how to react, she pretended she didn’t notice. She was sure he was not fooled. When they arrived at the station, he asked her, slightly worried, he didn’t frighten her. Only then it occurred to her at any point during their walk, he could have taken advantage of her. He didn’t, he even asked her if he frightened her. Coming to that conclusion, she smiled at him, she shook her head and thanked him for walking her to the station.

Such a gentlemanly thing to do. His behaviour around her had always been correct, polite, mild mannered. He had never treated her bad, he never rose his voice to her and he always took care of her. Yes, he had his plans and he was very headstrong about it, even single minded to the point he could only see the goal he was going for and not the carnage he left behind. She would tell him. She would be very disappointed in how he handled certain situations. He would be sorry and go back to make things right, if his girl wanted that of him. Soon enough, other people knew that too and came to her first when they had a disagreement with Paul. It distressed Kathy, which distressed Paul and there were periods he tried a little harder, for her. Maybe they had been too much in love for that situation to escalate. Or maybe their relationship wasn’t one for explosions. Kathy started wondering about it when she learnt about Paul’s on-and-off relationship to this actress, what was her name again, Cassie, Carrie? She could easily see it happen, she knew Paul was argumentative and not the easiest persons to be with. She herself, had never experienced it as a problem, yet this actress girl did. Interesting.

Their relationship, like most real first loves, had been passionate and sincere. After their first meeting they hooked up that same week after Paul found out her address. He had come to her door, her mother opened it to Kathy’s embarrassment. Like he had been in t he club, he was mild mannered and polite. This time he was also neatly dressed, almost looking like a schoolboy in uniform. He made conversation with her father till Kathy came home from work, which had been about an hour later. She remembered walking in the front door and hearing her father’s booming voice asking these penetrating questions like “…and what if that doesn’t work out? Do you have a backup plan?” Confused she wondered who he could be talking to. She met her mother first, busy in the kitchen with tea and biscuits. Her mother told her a boy had come for her, that was who dad was talking to. Kathy’s mind immediately made the connection. How rude and direct, how did he even get her address? How bold and romantic. Kathy would be lying if she had said her mind hadn’t wandered to that boy, that she had not been intrigued and flattered. She had been; he had made an impression on her.

Kathy entered the room, it was him and he was fumbling with his coat obviously feeling uncomfortable in this interrogation. Her father stopped talking when he saw his daughter walk in. Paul realizing the father’s stream of questions had stopped mid-sentence turned. He immediately apologized to her, admitting he probably should have called before knocking on her door. She was surprised how easy she found it to talk to him, she said it was okay and that during work days, she only arrived back home around 6 pm. Then her mother came in with the tea and they all sat down talking about how they met. Paul explained they only met the Sunday before at the club and nothing had happened yet. He didn’t tell them about the walk, maybe because there wasn’t all that much to tell about it. Then he turned to her father and asked permission to take her out. The fact he asked her father for permission bode well with her parents and after some encouraging from her mother, her father gave him permission, but told him Kathy had to accept as well. Paul then turned to her. This boy full of confidence was clearly nervous asking her; it warmed her heart. Just like she had at the station, she smiled at him, not just a polite smile, but one that said more than the words leaving her lips: “I would really like to.”

Paul was her first real boyfriend. Somehow everybody knew. Her female friends were jealous of her, because she was dating an American. Her friends at the club circuit were surprised how quickly this American had stolen her heart. They could all see it, for Kathy beamed and glowed, especially when Paul was around. Paul too was visibly excited, unable to stop looking at her. The way he looked at her, adoringly, caring and loving. No-one ever looked at her like that, well maybe her parents, but certainly no-one outside her family. Nor were there any boys in England who were even remotely like Paul. They were not cultured and informed like him. They were not as ambitious and headstrong like him and more importantly, they were nowhere as charming and polite as Paul. Kathy was falling in love for the first time.

Of course, basically all girls say that about their first love. Also the first love was so romantic, remembered in a haze of pink, conveniently forgetting all the things that had not been so great, like Paul going on tour on his own leaving Kathy behind for a month. Or Paul returning to America from time to time for one or the other, once again leaving Kathy behind. Even when he was living in England, not touring, Kathy’s work schedule and Paul’s performance schedule often clashed, leaving Kathy tired at work the next day, or back home all on her own. She took it in her stride; it just was like that, no reason to whine about it.

It’s funny how, looking back, it always seemed to be summer, or at least it was in Kathy’s memory. She remembered summer, evenings stretching to midnight and beyond, walking arm in arm with Paul through London after one of his gigs. She remembered long hot nights in a Laundromat that was open all night. The only moment he could wash his clothes, because Paul needed to wear them during the day. She remembered sitting in one of the old plastic garden chairs while Paul played the night away waiting for the machine to finish. She remembered sitting in her parents’ garden watching Paul having discussions with her father about politics and religion, her mother supplying an overflowing amount of salads and pastries. All of those memories were tainted in summer gold.

In one of these golden summers they became three.


CHAPTER II: THE ONLY LIVING BOY
Art had moved from his parents’ house to an apartment in the city, closer to school. He had already quite Architecture and was now studying Maths. School was fine, he was doing well, as expected. However, there was something missing in his life. Art tried to pick up where Paul and him had left off after their falling out when Art found out Paul had recorded something on his own. The sting of that event took a backseat to Art willing it not have happened. He couldn’t completely forget; that day he had lost a friend he thought he had. It turned out, the person still the same person, didn’t see their friendship like that, a realization that had shocked Art to his core. Disappointed and hurt he had distanced himself from Paul. Suddenly making the choice to leave the neighbourhood to go study, away from Paul, had been easier. For a while he had been content trying to make music on his own. He had blamed being a bit rusty with writing to his unsatisfactory efforts. Soon however, he couldn’t deny it, he missed Paul being there, making the music with him. Besides, Paul always was a better writer than Art. It was not simple getting into contact with Paul; he had left for Europe and Art wasn’t even entirely sure where he ended up. Not at first anyway. One Friday afternoon, when he went home to his parents, he called at the Simon’s house. They told him Paul went to France first, but was now in England. When he was returning, they weren’t sure.

The year without Paul dragged on. Art started doing performances on his own singing some of the songs he used to do with Paul, some even written by Paul. It stilled a hunger in him, but not the craving for something better. That summer they walked into each other by chance. Art was singing in small café and Paul heard him on the street so he went in. They talked and patched things up laughing about their mistakes, Art hiding the pain and pretending it wasn’t a big deal to him either. He would still do about just anything to get back together with Paul. Unfortunately for Art, Paul didn’t finish his education and before long, he had left for England again where he now had a girlfriend.

Paul always did whatever he wanted to do. Art was used to that. What hurt was he started to do things behind Artie’s back. Art thought, of all people, he was the person Paul would tell to, surely. Finding out Paul’s focus was more on making it than their friendship was something Art had a hard time reconciling with. Art was loyal and involved Paul in every aspect of his life, every decision he took and each action that followed from it. Paul did not and a dissonance in their behaviours made itself visible, forever tainting the rest of their relationship. Art did not want to dwell on it, but he was not going to be quiet about it either. Tossing the words around in his head, he composed several dialogues, none of them going the way he wanted them to go. Even in his own head, Paul took all the shots. Ridiculous, Art was his own man and he didn’t need Paul to take his decisions. Never arriving at the things he wanted to say, he left it to situations exploding, spinning out of control and ending up in heated discussions leading into explosive fights. In the end, he was on his own again.

New York City looked grey without Paul. The sounds where suddenly overwhelming to Art. The colours were overly loud and hurt his eyes. Art was waiting in between calls from England, short conversations about the clubs they played, the people they met and the weather. Art never told Paul he missed him, he never heard Paul saying he was missed; they avoided those deep personal feelings. Young boys at the start of their twenties don’t talk about emotions.

His whole life seemed to be about waiting. He was waiting for phone calls that happened rarely, because it was expensive. He was waiting for letters to arrive, which only arrived ever so often. He was waiting to hear from Paul generally. In between he tried to live his life and study, his only consolation. The numbers faithful and predictable, something Art could always fall back on. He could do without calculating how long Paul had been gone, or how many days they had spend without each other calculated from different points in time. Art couldn’t help himself, it happened automatically. In a strange way, crunching the numbers became equal to knowing how much he missed Paul. It became equal to missing Paul. That was not a good development.

He was toying with the idea to go on holiday to England. See Paul, see his new friends and his new girlfriend and maybe even playing some gigs with him. It would be nice to sing together again; it had been so long. Would they still remember how to? Would their voices still mix? Paul could have changed all kind of things in his music during Artie’s absence. Would he be able to keep up? Sure he would, if there was one thing he could do, it was sing. His head full of summer already, he wrote a letter talking about his plan to catch a plane. Contact between them had been good, positive, no squabbling, or not too much anyway. They had laughed before Paul left again, and the few times on the phone. Art saw no reason why Paul would reply in a negative way. Still a bit cautious after their falling out, Art didn’t post the letter right away. He didn’t want to seem too pushy or dependent. He held the envelope, making plans to go to the post office, weighing the pros and cons, convincing himself he did it for practical reasons. In the end he marched to the post office and without thinking too much about it he posted the letter, then marched back home refusing to think about it anymore. He was simply tired of being the only boy in New York.

When he got home there was a letter waiting for him. A letter from Paul, suggesting he should come over to meet his new friends and new girlfriend and maybe they even could do some of the gigs together.


CHAPTER III: ARTIE
Paul always seemed to be the same, brooding, cautious and calculating. Kathy knew better. Artie, on the other hand, displayed a myriad of emotions, especially when it had something to do with Paul. Soon Kathy could predict the look in his eyes based on Paul’s words or actions. Artie was Paul’s biggest supporter, the person who encouraged him the most and the person who gave him confidence. In turn Paul involved him in everything he wanted to do, which included his ambition to make it as a popular musician. Not that Artie didn’t contribute; next to his remarkable voice he had a keen ear and his ability to know exactly what a song needed when Paul got stuck. Kathy never quite understood why he didn’t take more credit. On the other, she understood perfectly; Art was a lot like her and just wanted to come out with the best music without making too much fuzz. So if Paul wanted the whole credit, fine. He did write the song after all, and Art’s contributions were so little, it was hardly worth mentioning it.

Kathy had been nervous to meet Art. Paul talked about him a lot and the frequency with which his name got mentioned grew as the time came nearer for Art to arrive in England. Kathy was nervous to meet him, because he was obviously very important to Paul. What if he didn’t like her? What if she didn’t like him? What if, for some inexplicable reason, they couldn’t get along? Paul told her time and time again, it would be fine. He was sure Art would like her. What if Art would fall for her like Paul had? Infeasible; Paul and Art didn’t fall for the same girls. Besides, they had a rule, no interference with girlfriends, so no girlfriend stealing either. To Paul it was a no-brainer; they would get along just fine. In an unguarded moment, Kathy saw some doubt in Paul’s eyes: “What if Art did fall for her?”

Kathy sat quietly watching her boyfriend like she had so many times before. He was preparing to play and sing a song, but preparations didn’t go as fast as they normally did. The reason why was her boyfriend’s best friend. They sat there laughing and making fun of each other in a playful way, but there was a dangerous undercurrent. Her boyfriend looked at her from time to time as if to ask: “What you think of him?” Kathy just smiled at him shyly. Every time her eyes crossed with this blond afro haired boy, she just smiled and then averted her eyes again. He seemed nice enough, yes, Kathy could get used to him.

She could tell they were very close friends. She already knew how fond her boyfriend was of his friend; he talked quite often about him. Only now the friend had come over to England, only now they were together again, and only now Kathy could really tell how much they cared about each other.

“Wait till you hear us sing together,” her boyfriend had told her. So far they hadn’t managed to sing her a song; they both seemed too excited to see each other again. It was really endearing. Their constant chatter to each other hardly gave her an opportunity to say anything. Not that she cared, this way she could quietly observe the new boy and get used to him. Kathy thought it funny to see her boyfriend like this with another male. This was not normal male behaviour and had he not introduced her with so much affection and gazed at her lovingly as he did it, she might have gotten different ideas. But that was not what that relationship was, Kathy could see that.

Kathy found it surprisingly easy to warm up to the blond boy and their eyes locked for longer, if only just for a second longer. He smiled at her sweetly; he was very angelic with his sparkling blue eyes and lean, pale face. She looked at her boyfriend who was staring at her, his eyes wide and close to jet black. Unlike most people, Kathy could look straight through those dark wells and she could see he was simply looking for approval which she gave him with a soft smile. He leaned forward and kissed her gently, his hand softly stroking her cheek: “We’ll sing you a song.”

She smiled again and nodded. She saw the blond boy smiling, obviously happy and charmed with his best friend’s relationship. The guitar was already quietly singing and the dark brown eyes searched for confirmation the blond boy was ready too. Their voices in perfect synchronisation soared together in harmony, sometimes two voices thrilling in beautiful dissonance other times like one voice made by two persons. Kathy was genuinely stunned by what she heard. Their closeness was even more evident in those harmonies and tones. The music danced around her, like a warm blanket holding her and keeping her close and safe. The soothing atmosphere only slowly evaporated after the song was done. The two boys sat silently watching her, waiting to hear what she thought of it.

She didn’t know what possessed her, but uncharacteristically bold she got up, walked to the blond boy, took his face in her hands and gave him a gentle kiss on the lips: “Welcome to England,” she said. Her hands slowly fell away from his face as his blue eyes stared directly into her soft brown eyes and he knew he was truly welcomed. Kathy then turned to her boyfriend who sat watching with his mouth hanging open, his eyes still filled with the adoring gentle love for her, but also confusion. She took his hand as she sat down next to him staring into his eyes. “I always knew you had good friends,” she smiled and kissed him. Confusion was quickly gone from his eyes only leaving the gentle charm and love he always had for her.

They became commonly known as the threesome. Where Paul used to perform on his own, now Art joined him and Kathy was usually somewhere in the club. After the gig they would go out into the city, never any of them choosing to go home early. That summer, they seemed to be together all the time and the whole town seemed to know. Her relationship with Artie, and their unusual closeness had tongues wagging soon. It was easily said and done. Paul was the most outgoing out of the three. Both Artie and Kathy were happy enough to sit back quietly while Paul did the talking. At the start Paul would be in the middle flanked with Kathy on one side and Art on the other, both quietly observing. Later on Art choose to go sit next to Kathy and as Paul was talking to someone they would quietly converse with each other. The more they talked, the closer they got to the point where Kathy was not only arm in arm with Paul, but with Art as well. Some people wondered and Paul was asked a few times about Art’s and Kathy’s closeness. Paul was not worried, both Art and Kathy followed him, they were not after each other. Kathy still clung to Paul and Artie still stuck with him musically. Whatever happened between Paul and Art in the distant past had no consequence in the present. Also, their rule was still in effect: “No interference with girlfriends, so no fooling around with each other”.

Paul and Kathy shared the mid-sized bed while Artie slept in the lounge on an old sofa. The windows were covered in dirty blue curtains keeping the bright sunlight out. No-one of the inhabitants of the English brick workhouse were up yet. Young musicians with their muses worked the night, lived at night, because then people had time to listen to them. Breakfast was always lunch and consumed in lazy stillness with half naked bodies draped over chairs and other furniture. There was no hurry, no schedule to adhere to, only vague appointments late in the evening in some club somewhere in town. With Kathy having a three week holiday and Paul basically deciding his own schedule, they were free to do whatever they wanted to do whenever they wanted to do it. They spend the early afternoons in the flat, late afternoons finding a place to eat in the city and the evenings in some club. This day was no exception, or so it seemed.

Paul sat on a chair surveying the situation while quietly picking the strings of his guitar. He wasn’t really listening, he was watching Artie and Kathy, huddled together on t he sofa. Kathy sat in the corner of the sofa, her knees pulled up against her chest leaning sideways onto the armrest, her feet resting against Artie’s leg. Artie sat in the middle of the sofa, one arm resting casually around Kathy’s shoulder while he rolled a cigarette. They looked comfortable, not just in the situation, but with each other. Kathy had a rosy look on her face, as if she just woke up. Drowsy she watched Paul play, the soft loving gaze embracing him. Artie only glimpsed through his eyelashes at Paul in-between rolling and securing the tobacco inside. He gently squeezed Kathy’s shoulder before he retreated his arm so he could light his cigarette. Kathy’s gaze moved from Paul to Artie with a sweet smile. Artie made sure not to blow any smoke in her face, then returned the smile. Everything was so easy and relaxed. Paul didn’t really want to leave the confines of the flat, but he had business to attend to. He was sure he could leave Artie and Kathy for a while; they knew each other well enough now and they seemed to get along really well. Reluctantly he put his guitar away announcing he had to do some stuff and he’d be back in a few hours.

“Oh, you’re going on your own?” Artie wondered in surprise.

Paul nodded: “Yeah, you’d be bored….Paperwork…stuff like that.”

Kathy looked a little alarmed. Paul only half realizing it kissed her goodbye: “Artie will look after you and I won’t be long.”

“Okay..” her shy reply was.

Artie put his arm back around her and pulled her into a hug. “Now we can gossip about Paul,” he grinned.

Paul huffed at the remark rolling his eyes and then left.

Kathy stared at the door for a few minutes as if she expected Paul to reappear already. Artie studied her face and tried to determine how uncomfortable she felt and if he was making things worse by holding her into this hug. He had to do something to lighten the mood.

“You really like him, don’t you?”

Her big bambi eyes settled on him, her lips a quiet nervous quiver. Artie let go of her shoulder and sat back a little giving her some space.

She managed a shy smile and an almost inaudible “Yes”.

“I’m glad Paul found you, he’s really fond of you. I think you really have a good influence on him.”

“Do I?”

Art was careful not to be too forceful. He liked this girl, sometimes she just seemed so vulnerable. She was the most true and sincere person he had ever met. She looked like she walked away out of a fairy tale. Art did not want to shatter that image.

“I can see why he fell for you; you’re really pretty and you’re smart and fun and the truest and most sincere person I have ever met. To be honest, I don’t think Paul deserves you.”

Kathy looked shocked.

Art shook his head: “No, scratch that last bit; he deserves happiness as much as the next person.”

Kathy was just staring at him. Art wondered if she thought he was coming onto her. For a moment an uncomfortable silence dawned on them. How long was Paul staying away?

He smiled at her again trying to repair the damage he had done: “I’m not trying to steal you away, I would never do that.”

Finally a smile appeared on her face. She leant forward and gave him a quick kiss on his lips. Her face in front of Artie’s as they stared into each other’s eyes, her hands resting on his shoulder. If a stranger walked in, he might have thought they were about to kiss. Instead it was a quiet exchange of understanding between two people. After a few minutes of staring they smiled at each other and Kathy said: “I know.”

Kathy sat back not taking her eyes off of Art. Now she could hear Art’s side of the story.

“How did you meet? I mean I know you’ve known each other for a long time.”

“Didn’t Paul tell?”

“No…He never told me how you met. He talks a lot about you, just never about how you met.”

Art noticed again how soft her voice was, just like her character and her whole appearance. It was sweet and gentle, warm and compassionate. He couldn’t help but smile all the time, not something he was too accustomed to.

Thinking about it was like in a daydream. “Well…” he started.

“It was a long time ago in a far away land…” Kathy giggled.

Art was delighted to hear her giggle. Some weight seemed to have fallen off of her. She seemed more free. Art joined in with her giggling: “Yeah, that’s about right.”

Some more giggling and Kathy went on: “And they lived happily ever after?”

“I hope so…but I’m sure with the princess who entered their lives, that was no problem at all.”

Kathy blushed at the remark.

Art felt like he should apologize: “I feel as if I’m imposing on your relationship with Paul. I mean, I feel like I’m in the way, like a third wheel.”

Kathy was quick to deny it: “Oh no! No, you’re not imposing at all. I’m really happy to meet Paul’s friends and you’re obviously important to him. I know Paul is really excited to have you over.”

Art found her response very sweet and he was sure she was sincere, but he couldn’t ignore that three was a crowd and there was often one person falling outside the conversation or action. Of course, in every possible situation imaginable, Paul was the centre of attention, just as he liked it.

Art took Kathy’s hand: “You are a truly kind and good person.” Art shook her hand awkwardly: “I’m not sure why I’m holding your hand.”

Kathy giggled again and pulled her hand free throwing some bread at Art.

“Hey!” he exclaimed throwing the bread back at her.

Paul had been away for a few hours. It was the first time in two weeks he walked the streets on his own. His first thoughts were with Kathy; would she be all right on her own with Artie? Quickly he assured himself she would be; Art might be an usual guy, he was also a very gentle guy, especially with women. Then Paul’s thoughts went over the past two weeks remembering how Artie and Kathy had slowly gotten used to each other. He suddenly realized that Artie had moved from being on his left side most of the times, to Kathy’s right side. They had been talking a lot together. Not only did they get along, they really seem to hit it off. Should he be worried? No, the rule was still in effect; no intereference with girlfriends.

Paul handled his paperwork and meetings swiftly, excusing himself because he was busy. Truth was he wanted to get back to the flat as soon as possible. A part of him needed to be assured Kathy was still his, another part simply wanted to return to the warm and safe confines of their friendship; the two most important people in his life. Somehow, everything seemed so simple and clear.
When he pushed open the door and strolled in Artie and Kathy were in mid mock-fight with Artie mercilessly tickling Kathy. Paul’s entrance had not been quiet and signalled the rapid end of the playfull fight; Paul only saw the end where Art pulled Kathy back up into a sitting position. Their cheeks a hot red from playing and big slightly guilty eyes turning to Paul. Paul was not sure what to think and reacted a bit cold when Kathy approached to assure him it wasn’t what he thought. The aweful realization she might have broken the most important relationship in her life made her well up and helplessly she turned to Art for support. In a strange contradiction that gesture pulled Paul back to reality; of course there was nothing going on, both Artie and Kathy were the most loyal people on earth. Paul put his arm around her shoulder pulling her into a hug letting her know it was all right, he knew.
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