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the last Mrs Parrish by live Constantine, Part one Amber Amber Paterson was tired of being invisible. She had been coming to this gym every day for three months, three long months of watching these women of leisure, working at the only thing they cared about. They were so self absorbed she would have bet her last dollar that not one of them would recognize her on the street, even though she was 5 ft away from them every single day. She was a fixture to them, unimportant, not worthy of being noticed. But she didn't care, not about any of them. There was one reason, and one reason alone that she dragged herself here every day to this machine. At the precise stroke of eight. She was sick to death of the routine, day after day, working her *** off, waiting for the moment to make her move From the corner of her eye, she saw the signature gold Nikes step onto the machine next to her. Amber straightened her shoulders and pretended to be immersed in the magazine. Strategically placed on the rack of her own machine, she turned and gave the exquisite blonde woman a shy smile. which garnered a polite nod in her direction. Amber reached for her water bottle, deliberately moving her foot to the edge of the machine and slipped, knocking the magazine to the floor where it landed beneath the pedal of her neighbors equipment. Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry, she said. Red Inning. Before she could step off, the woman stopped her peddling and retrieved it for her. Amber watched the woman's brown it together. Your reading is magazine, the woman said, handing it back to her. Yes, it's the cystic Fibrosis Trust magazine comes out twice a year. Do you know it? I do, yes. Are you in the medical field? The woman asked. Amer cast her eyes to the floor, then back at the woman. No, I'm not. My younger sister had CF. She let the words sit in the space between them. I'm sorry That was rude of me. It's none of my business, the woman said, and stepped back onto the elliptical. Amber shook her head. No, it's OK. Do you know someone with cystic fibrosis? There was pain in the woman's eyes as she stared back at Amber. My sister, I lost her 20 years ago, I'm so sorry. How old was she? Onley? 16. We were two years apart. Charlene was just 14. Slowing her pace, Amper wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. It took a lot of acting skills to cry about a sister who never existed. The three sisters she did have were alive and well, although she hadn't spoken to them for two years. The woman's machine ground to a halt. Are you okay? She asked. Amber sniffed and shrug. It's still so hard. Even after all these years. The woman gave her a long look, as if trying to make a decision, then extended her hand. I'm Daphne. Perish. What do you say we get out of here and have a nice chat over a cup of coffee? Are you sure I don't want to interrupt your workout? Daphne nodded. Yes. I'd really like to talk with you. Amber gave her what she hoped. Look like a grateful smile and step down. That sounds great. Taking her hand, she said, I'm Amber Paterson. Pleasure to meet you.