At the Conference

It was a nice, sunny Monday morning in Detroit and Thorpe was at the International Banquet & Conference Center where the 3-day conference was taking place. There were lots of familiar faces but he was surprised to see one of them. He had been talking to a couple of people when he spotted her. She happened to turn her head and spotted him. excusing herself, she made her way over to him. “Hello, Thorpe,” she said smiling up at him.

“Hello, Lanelle.” He quickly introduced her to the people he was with and after they chatted for a while longer, they excused themselves and left the two of them alone.

“Lanelle, I must admit that I didn’t expect to see you here.”

“I’m here because I’m one of the industry leaders. It’s great to see you, Thorpe.”

“It’s great to see you too.”

“How are you?”

“Good, thanks and you?”

“Good, thank you. You look great.”

“Thanks. So do you.”

“When did you arrive in Detroit?”

“Friday evening.”

“How long are you here for?”

“A week.”

“Where are you staying?”

“At the”

“If I had known that you were coming, I would have put you up at my place.”

“I don’t mind staying at the hotel.”

“So, how’s life in Seattle?”

“It’s great. I love the city.”

“Nick mentioned that you’re dating again.”

“Yes. And he said the same thing about you.”

“I’m not seriously dating but by the sound of it, you are.”

“Yes. Deanah and I have been together for five years. We live together.”

“Oh. It’s serious then. Nick said that she’s young and beautiful.”

“Yes, she is.”

“Does she know about me?”

“Yes, she knows that I was married and that we divorced a year after Mikael died.”

“Every year I travel to Chicago so that I could visit his graveside on his birthday.”

“One of these days I will visit it too.”

“When he died, it felt like the earth shattered into a thousand pieces.

“Yes. It was a traumatic loss for both of us.”

“He would have been eighteen this year.”

“Yes.”

“It’s too bad we couldn’t have another child.”

“What would have happened if we had?”

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“We would have stayed together.”

“Yes, but it would have been for the child’s sake. After losing Mikael, you and I had grown apart to the point where we were like strangers living under the same roof.”

“It was another kind of loss. The loss of what we used to have. We were happy before we had Mikael and happy after we had him.”

“But after he died, our marriage fell apart and unfortunately divorce was the only option.”

“I’m sorry that our marriage couldn’t survive the loss of our son.”

“Me too.”

“Mikael would be happy to see us together like this.”

“I guess he would.”

“This evening if you don’t have any plans, how about we go out for dinner. My treat.”

“I would like that.”

She smiled. “Good. Oh, it looks like they’re ready to start. Let’s go and find our respective tables.”

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