Who You Know

Outtakes 40

Who You Know

I visited a dear friend in the hospital recently. He getting on in years and experiencing undiagnosed health problems. I didn’t stay long as he was tired and in pain, but we took a moment to remember how long we have been family. On the way home I thought about my association with this wonderful family. My number three sister married the oldest son. The other two boys were active in our youth group. Over the years we’ve stood by each other in good times and bad. The Mom, Lou, accompanied our minister to the hospital to support my mother when my dad died. While my husband fought cancer, they helped keep us fed. We were together when Lou passed and when my mom died. We’ve shared births, holidays, graduations, marriages. Our bond will always be strong.

I realize how blessed I am to have good friends. My life would be so lonely without my support group. I don’t know how I would have survived without their love and encouragement. They helped me grow to become the woman I am today. I only hope I have been as much of an asset to them as they are to me.  I treasure each one of them. In some cases, life has separated us, but we’re still there for each other. An email or phone call will unite us. We talk as if we saw each other yesterday.

Friendships play an important role in the lives of our characters. In HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW, Kate Walker is estranged from her childhood friends Travis Cooper and Mike Lofton. They were her heroes as a little girl who had lost her dad and was abandoned by a careless mother. When they are reunited, Kate and Travis are able to pick up as if there had been no separation. But Mike has a more difficult time connecting with his lost love. Still, when their “sister” needs support, both men are there for her. In turn, Kate befriends Mike’s son and Travis’s wife. They build the support system necessary to sustain them when revelations threaten to destroy Harley.

The trio took their relationship for granted, but like my friendship with the Hays family, the love and respect forms a bond that cannot be broken. In the end, the Three Musketeers find their strength and realize that separately or together, they will survive. Strangely, Kate, Travis and Mike have become my friends. In developing their relationship, they helped me grow as a writer and a teacher. I am so lucky I met them.

Cait Collins

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