Kathy: So, then Franks says…
Red: Now which one’s Frank? Is he the one you have a crush on?
Kathy: What? I don’t have a crush on any of them.
Red: Oh, really? Well, what’s her name – Maggie, right? – she does. No, it’s on that Tex guy. Anyway, we all know that you put a lot of yourself into these books. So, if Maggie’s got a crush on Tex, it’s the same thing as you having a crush on Tex.
Kathy: Whoa there, Nelly! It’s not the same thing…Anyway; I can see you don’t really want to talk about the new book.
Red: Seeing as how you stopped writing my sequel to write this book…
Kathy: Okay, okay…
Red: It’s just that old friends are the best friends. Isn’t that right?
Kathy: (shaking my head vigorously) No, I don’t think that’s true, necessarily. Sometimes people come along who are new in your life and it’s a wondrous thing and sometimes your old friends float away into new lives of their own. That’s just how it is.
Red: Yeah, well…
Kathy: I’m not talking about you, Red. You were my first experience in first person. You taught what it was like to lose myself in a character so completely – to laugh and have fun with writing. I will always consider you my best “character” friend.
Red: (finally smiling) Really?
Kathy: Yep, really.
Putting my arm around my imaginary friend, we both gazed out at the duck pond just beyond the veranda.
Kathy: Want some more hot chocolate?
Red: Sure. That would be great. Hey, Kathy?
Red: That’s so great…that you feel that way…because I do, too. I would have really missed these times by ourselves. But maybe you can invite Frank, Maggie, Edie, Dwayne and Ted over to the Veranda sometime.
Kathy: (smiling to myself because Red really is a generous soul) That sounds like a plan!