Saving Katie Baker

Saving Katie Baker by H. Mattern Page A

Book: Saving Katie Baker by H. Mattern Read Free Book Online
Authors: H. Mattern
time at the house go?”
    “Where do I even begin?” Katie said.
    Blake must have been surprised by her positive tone since he began coughing uncontrollably due to inhaling his broth instead of swallowing. Katie got up from the table, handed him a glass of water, and went to grab her painting.
    “I painted.”
    She hesitated and took a deep breath before flipping the painting around and actually showing him her artwork.
    “It’s not very good, it’s different than my previous styles but it’s what needed to be painted.”
    Blake looked at the canvas. At first he said nothing, which made Katie become even more self-conscious.
    “You hate it don’t you?” Katie grabbed the painting from him and began walking back to the bedroom.
    “Katie, wait. Are you kidding me? This is unlike anything I have ever seen before. It’s beautiful. No. It’s stunning. I can’t even find the right words to describe the feelings this painting is pulling from inside me.”
    Katie didn’t want to start blubbering again right there at the table with Blake, but his words made her heart melt. She wondered if perhaps being real and vulnerable had its perks after all.
    “I’m speechless, Katie. This painting. It’s as though you have given the world your heart.”
    Katie blushed. “You’re just saying that.”
    “No, Katie, it’s wonderful. It’s dark, yes, but it holds so much, feeling.”
    Katie nodded, “It’s got a lot of pain.”
    Blake looked up at her, reached out, and touched her hand again, “I see it, I see lots of pain. But there’s also hope here. I see it. You see it, too, right?”
    She couldn’t contain the blubbering this time. Katie attempted to hide the tears from him, but it was no use. They wouldn’t stop.
    “I’m sorry Katie,” Blake said, “I didn’t mean to make you cry.”
    Katie stopped him by shaking her head and putting up her hand.
    “No. You’re right. There’s hope. I saw it. I feel it. I’m here with you after all. I feel the pain too, Blake. It hurts. It hurts so much, but it hurts so good. Does that make any sense?”
    Blake squeezed her hand. “I don’t completely understand, but, yes, it makes beautiful sense. You’ve got to feel the pain before it can heal. It’s time to start healing, Katie. We’re going to be okay. You trust me, right?”
    Katie thought about his question. Did she trust him? She barely even knew the man sitting next to her. Could he be trusted? What if he was a criminal? What if all those biker dudes were really a gang? Her thoughts ran wild until she realized that he was waiting for her to give him an answer.
    “I’m learning to,” she said.
    “Good. I can accept that.” Blake winked at her and went back to his ramen, devouring every bit of it, including the broth, which he slurped without shame.
    He picked up the dark painting, took it out of the room and came back with it inside a frame. In the kitchen, he pulled a hammer and nail out of what he called his “junk drawer”. Right there, beside the pantry, on empty wall space, he hung up her painting.
    “So we never forget.” Blake looked at Katie and once again she smiled.
    It was the same smile that kept making his heart race.

    I t wasn’t long after Blake finished hanging Katie’s painting on the wall that a vehicle could be heard approaching their property. They looked at each other surprised and anxious to see who arrived.
    We’re saved, was the first thought that ran through Katie’s mind, but as the vehicle got closer, her hopes were dented; it sounded more like a motorcycle than a car. She knew it had to be one of Blake’s friends approaching. But even then, the hum from the bike’s motor seemed a bit different than the typical motorcycle engine Katie had heard across the drive in the past. She wasn’t sure what to think. She hoped that it might be someone coming to help clear the debris.
    Blake stood with a big grin on his face, which brought a frown to Katie’s. If he

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