The Healing Horse, Ch. 34: Gilberto Becomes Karen’s New Father

image of rotary dial telephone

This chapter is mostly sweetness and light. The title says it all… Hope you love it as much as I do!

(Telephone image by Ellinor Algin / Swedish National Museum of Science and Technology, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Scene 1: Mama Katie Makes a Call

Weeks passed. Mama got Karen to every lesson on time, and Karen practiced every spare minute. Mama could not stop thinking about Gilberto and about how determined her Kitten was to master every lesson he gave her.

One afternoon after work, she sat staring at the telephone on her desk and listening to the tap-tap-tapping of her daughter practicing.

Most people don’t want to hear me talk about Kitten. The other mothers from the PTA have their own problems, and their children are so bad off—Karen’s problems are nothing compared. They’re my friends, and they support me just like I do them, but I need someone who sees my Krana Layala as the wonderful person she is, not as someone who’s slightly better off than her classmates. Karen has potential. Gilberto is someone who will listen. He’ll understand. Maybe he’s seeing her potential. Maybe he’ll have some ideas to help too. I should call him. He’s so kind, so warm, compassionate, and giving. I’ve met no one like him. He’s unique. I hope he won’t think I’m being pushy…

She dialed the studio’s number.

Angie answered. “Gilberto’s Dance Studio. How may I help you?”

“Angie, it’s Katie Hershstein. Do you suppose Gilberto would have a few minutes to talk with me? I could come over in fifteen or twenty minutes.”

“I checked his schedule, and I’ll pencil you in, Katie. We’ll see you, then.”

Mama replaced the phone receiver and held it down for a moment before freshening her makeup and rushing out the door to her trusty 1955 Bel Air.

Original text ©2023 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.


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