I knocked on door to Skipster's room last night, and he invited me in. My knees were shaking so bad, I had to sit on couch. He sat attentively on the edge of his bed.
"What's wrong, darling?" he asked.
Finally I had finished. For long time only sound in room was clock ticking. Then I saw him wipe his eyes, and he looked up at me.
Skip said he understood completely, and all my worries were for nothing. I was surprised this was so easy! Friedrich would've erupted in a drunken jealous rage!
Skip got up from the bed and walked over to where I was sitting. Smiling softly, he held out his hand. I took it, and got up from the couch. He cradled me in his warm arms and held me tightly against him. He whispered he would never hurt me in any way. I slowly nodded with tears in my eyes. I could only gaze upon his face, as he gently wiped my tears away. Then he kissed me so slowly, yet so very passionately that it sent goosebumps down my body.
He said, "I love you."
"I love you," I whispered back to him.
Then without saying a word, both of us laid down on his big, soft bed. For the first time in our lives, we made love. He was gentle and strong at the same time. He attended to my needs, something Friedrich had never done even in beginning when Friedrich and I were very much in love. It was most incredible experience of my life. We
This morning, Skip and I sat at the dining room table. He had made wonderful breakfast of a Spanish omelette, freshly-squeezed orange juice, and nice hot coffee. Dear Kato joked and
Skip told me that if reporters ask about my past, I should be honest and tell the truth.
When interview time came, I did what Skip told me.
* * * * *
Diary entry. One week later.
We got this in mail today.
Foxster always grabs mail when he can, even before new "Executive Assistant" Vickie Wickie, so he
saw it first. He asked Kato to drive to town and buy many more copies! Foxster playfully kept magazine from Skip, Tara, and myself for as long as he could. Finally Tara tickled him and I got it from him. Once Kato returned, everyone got to see article.
Everyone on staff (except Vickie, it seemed) loved article. Tara read aloud a part that said, "In her quiet humility, Gretchen Von Grüber endeared herself very quickly to this seasoned journalist. She has a radiant glow that affects everyone that meets her. She has been known to hand out a beautiful long-stemmed yellow rose, that she grows herself, to every new friend she makes."
The article told my entire story, even about my losing my baby. Foxster read quickly, and made many wisecracks of course, one of them being that Skip and I shared cover with Octopus Lady. But when Foxster got to the part about my marriage to Friedrich, he very softly said, "I'm so sorry to hear about your baby, Gretchen."
I held back tears. "Thank you. It was very long time ago."
He said "I know, but there are some things you never get over." It was a sweet moment, but uncomfortable for him, so he soon returned to wisecracking.
Foxster read aloud a much later quote, "In a world devoid of actual heroes, Gretchen, in her humble simplicity, may very well stand out as the latest spokesperson for victims of domestic violence." My jaw dropped, as I had not yet read that. "Well!" he teased, pointing at Skip, "It looks like our JFK now has his very own Jackie! I can't wait until they start calling you 'Mister Von Grüber!' "
Then Tara hit him with pillow from couch.
Vickie Wickie never said a word to me. She doesn't like me very much.
That's okay. I don't like her very much either!
* * * * *
Next: Vickie Wickie takes center stage!