This is an e- short story tie in to the book “Lost Lake”. I think of it as a prequel. It bears the same name as a chapter in the book called Waking Kate. In the prequel, Kate Pheris is waiting for her husband Matt to come home from their bicycle shop called Pheris Wheels. They married when she was 19 and pregnant. His mother promptly disowned him since Kate was not a Buckhead girl. Buckhead is the upper crust area of Atlanta.
On this night, their daughter Devin is going to be sleeping at a friend’s house, and this is their first child free night in seven years. She is eagerly awaiting his arrival. When he is late, she looks out the window and notices a man she had seen on TV that day walking up her street to a house with a for sale sign. He had been tying the necktie of the reporter noting the closing of the store Valentine’s where he had worked for 68 years. She was surprised to see him going into a house with a for sale sign a few doors down. She was surprised that she had never met him. Impulsively, thinking he might need some company on such a sad, but auspicious day of his retirement, and to distract herself from her missing husband, she goes out and, uncharacteristically, knocks on his door.
He invites her in and is quite cordial. She discovers that he is actually moving that evening. He makes her a cup of butter coffee, a new treat, and tells her a beautiful love story, the story of how he came to work at the store Valentine’s. He gives her a piece of interesting advice. He tells her that sometimes things happen to show you a way to something better.
It seems that Mr. Reginald Donbeet had been in love with Lucky, the son of Mr. Valentine. Lucky, however, was not in love with him. Lucky married Petal, the girl to whom he was engaged when they met. Mr. Valentine fired Reginald from his day laborer job when he realized that his son had a relationship with him. Reginald asked for a job at his store instead, perhaps to buy his silence, and working there gave him the opportunity to meet the love of his life, Olson, a man who also worked at Valentine’s. He shows her a picture of them together and tells her it was taken at Lost Lake where they went on vacation. She knew Lost Lake because her great aunt had owned that place. So he tells her that sometimes things happen to show you the way to something better. “Just because someone is good, doesn’t mean he is good for you”.
Kate returns home but Matt has still not come. She falls asleep and when she wakes, the dinner is still sitting and waiting. Where is Matt? Will this be the moment that leads her to something else in her life?