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"You understand," warned Evelyn, "that I'm not a doctor. From what I can tell, there's nothing wrong with her, physically. I think she's in psychological shock."

"Could stress have anything to do with it?" wondered Vera. "She's been under a great deal of pressure, lately. There's the wedding, the new house, passing her GED, and all the media attention."

"My advice," said Evelyn, "is to let her rest and calm down. If you're still concerned, you might want to get your doctor to examine her. I'm afraid that's all I can tell you."

"Thank you, Evelyn," said Vera, gratefully.

After the nurse left, Vera called Jerome, again.

"What happened to Charlie in your office?" pressed Vera.

"She came in today," related Jerome, "and wanted to know if I had received my wedding invitation, yet."

"Is that all?" asked Vera.

"I told her that I had," answered Jerome. "She'll be all right, Mom."

Vera sensed he was hiding something from her, but she wasn't sure. The old woman hung up the phone and prayed that Charlie would be back to normal after a good rest.

In her bedroom, Charlie rolled over onto her stomach and buried her face into the pillow. She smothered the sobs that now came freely. Every muscle in her body ached with grief.

"Dear, Jesus! What should I do?" she prayed.

The rest of the day, Charlie passed in tears and thought. When night began to descend on the desert, she came out of her bedroom. Her face was white, and her eyes were red from weeping, but she was composed and collected.

"Grandma," she announced, her voice still shaky, "I've decided that I need to get away for a few days. I've called Mrs. Jenkins back in Montana, and she said I could stay at her place for as long as I wanted."

"Go away?" said Vera, confused. "What's going on, Pumpkin?"

"My life is going on," answered Charlie. "Everything is happening so fast, that I need to get away and think. I must think!"

"All right," sighed Vera. "I'll go pack our bags."

"No," resisted Charlie. "I need to go by myself."

Vera looked at her with a puzzled face.

"Are you sure you don't want to tell me?" she asked.

"It's complicated," said Charlie.

"The only way I'll let you leave, is if you take Kevin with you," answered Vera. "I refuse to let you take a step out of this house without your bodyguard. And then, you MUST call me when you get there. I want Mrs. Jenkins' phone number and address, and I want to talk to her, myself."

Charlie nodded in agreement, and handed her grandmother a slip of paper with the required information.

"Do you want me to call LAX, and reserve two seats for you on the next flight to Montana?" asked Vera, seeing that she was still intent on going.

"Thank you for understanding, Grandma," said Charlie.

"Don't thank me," answered Vera, throwing up her hands. "I don't understand anything. What about Adam? Won't you at least talk to Adam?"

The young woman hesitated. A look of apprehension crossed her face.

"No," she stammered, "I can't talk to him-- not right now."
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