Excerpt of Lightly Seasoned:
My secretary/ receptionist, Maeve Lister, had left an hour earlier, and
I had just finished charting on the occupational therapy client I had
seen from my temporary home office.
I opened the door to a tall, well-built man in his mid-thirties, with
shiny, thick dark hair and expressive brown eyes. Something about him
made me curious, though I couldn’t have explained why. He had wide set
eyes with long black lashes, framed in a fair complexion, and handsome
regular features. Standing there, he reminded me of someone, but for the
life of me, I couldn’t think who it was.
His gaze held mine as he asked, “Excuse me, but are you Della Bradshaw?”
With an apologetic smile, I said, “Oh, no. I’m sorry. I’m Creighton
Bradshaw. May I help you?”
“I beg your pardon?” he asked.
“Please come in, and we can talk.”
In my wildest imagination, I couldn’t fathom why I had just opened the
door to a perfect stranger. I grimaced and sighed briefly at my own odd
behavior, as I turned to show him to the living room.
been threatened several times over the past few months, I would’ve
thought I had gained some perspective on the subject of stranger danger,
but perhaps that was too much to hope for.
I gestured to a chair. “Please sit down, and tell me what I can do for
Awkwardly, he said, “I’m sorry to bother you, but I came to find my
mother. Your neighbor told me where to find you.” He sank into a chair.
I blinked in confusion. “Your mother? Did you say ‘your mother’?”
He nodded. After a pregnant pause while I pondered his words, I said,
“Could I get you something to drink? Coffee or juice perhaps?”
“Oh, juice would be nice. Thank you.”
“All right. Please excuse me. I’ll be right back.”
I stood and strode toward the kitchen, my mind whirling. His mother?
A minute later, I handed him a glass of apple juice and held another in
my hand. Suddenly, my mouth felt dry, and my heart raced. I took a sip
of the juice then sank into my seat.
I said, “Pardon me, but I don’t know your name.”
Suddenly embarrassed, he jumped to his feet and extended his hand. “Oh,
I’m sorry. I’m Michael Farraday.”
His handshake felt confident, safe, and I relaxed just a bit as he
“Well, perhaps you can explain what you meant when you said you were
trying to find your mother?”
He took a quick sip of juice, then set the glass on a coaster on the
coffee table and folded his hands in his lap. I noticed his hands, long
and graceful, like those of an artist. They began moving restlessly in
his lap while I watched.
He gave me a sardonic smile. “This is going to sound unbelievable, but
please bear with me.”
I nodded, wishing he would get to the point. But the gentle yearning in
his eyes encouraged me to be patient.
His gaze scanned the room and finally settled on my face. “I have reason
to believe that Della Bradshaw is my mother.”
I blew out a gentle puff of air, hearing his words.
“Della Bradshaw is my mother.”
My own hands felt suddenly restless, and I had to force them to stay
put, as I said, “I’m sorry. I don’t understand.”
After a beat, I added, “Della Bradshaw couldn’t have children. She and
Will were childless during their marriage, so I’m at a loss to
understand how she could have had a son.”
“I don’t know about that, but I’ve been trying to track her down for
several months now and from all indications, I find that she lives here.
Could you tell me where I can find her?”
Feeling awkward, I realized that he had no idea she was dead.