Chapter 30

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“What kind of help?”  Abby could tell that Mitch was trying to say something and the words were not coming.

Two birds flew overhead, one chasing the other.  Mitch had both hands in his pockets again.  He turned toward the lake, toward the trees away from Abby, and then back again.

“After college,” said Mitch, “I spread myself a little thin.  I told you about going to Prague.  Well, I never really got my head together when I came back.  I went to work in the city at a job that I couldn’t stand.  Had an apartment and did all of the stuff you’re supposed to, but nothing was adding up.”

“That sounds like a lot of people,” said Abby.

“I suppose.  Maybe I was just going out too much, but it all started falling apart.  That’s when Caroline told me to come out here.  After that, everything fell into place.  I just don’t have a need to go back to the city.  To complicate my life any more than it needs to be.”

Mitch had calmness when he spoke that told Abby he believed that things were simpler here.  She certainly did not.  Perhaps Mitch needed an excuse to push everyone away, to push her away.

“Give me the city,” said Abby.  “Willow Lake is a neat little package for you, for me it’s a large piece of luggage.”

“That’s fair,” said Mitch, “if it’s true, but maybe it’s not Willow Lake that has all of that weight.”

Abby put her hand on Mitch’s shoulder and said, “Maybe it’s not the city that you are hiding from out here.”

“Who says I’m hiding?” said Mitch.

“Well, if what you’re saying is places are what you make them, then you have made this an oasis for yourself and that’s great.  The world is still out there though.  I’m not hiding from it.  I’m avoiding it.  It’s different.”

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