“You’re one of the best hospice nurses I’ve ever known. I really think you’ll bring much-needed experience to the position. We would really like you to start as soon as possible. I hope you’ll think about taking the job.”
After discussing details of the job offer Sara pushed the disconnect button with a suddenly heavy heart. She’d known this day was coming but still wasn’t prepared for it. The time had arrived for her to leave. She needed to do it before Grant had to tell her it was over. That didn’t make her heart hurt any less. She was being given a job opportunity that she would normally snatch up but now with Lily and Grant...
But she had to go some time.
She would speak to Grant when he came in this evening. It wasn’t a conversation she was looking forward to.
Grant came in not an hour later. She was at the sink and turned when the door opened. He entered with a smile on his face. Without stopping, he walked over and gathered her into a hug.
Her heart soared as she returned it. “Someone had a good day.”
“I have.” Grant stepped back. “Leon just called and said that we won the custody case. We need to celebrate.”
We. There was no real we between them. There certainly wouldn’t be after she told him her news. “That’s wonderful. I’m so happy for you. You’ll be a great father to Lily.”
“I couldn’t have done it without you.”
“I’m glad I could help.” She backed away.
He stared at her. “Is something wrong? I thought you’d be excited.”
“I am. I’m really happy for you.”
“You’re not acting that way.”
She put more space between them. “Well, it’s just that the timing is interesting.”
“How’s that?” He no longer had a bright smile on his face.
She’d dreaded this with every fiber of her being but it had to be done. “I had a call from my old boss at the hospice service. He wants me to come back as part of a new program.”
Grant didn’t look pleased. “When?”
“Right away, if possible.”
“You want to do that?” There was a hurt note in his voice.
“It’s a manager’s position. Those don’t come along often.”
“What about Lily? She needs you.” More softly he said, “I need you.”
“I appreciate that but we knew that this would come to an end one day soon.”
By the stricken expression on his face he had no argument for that statement. “It’ll take me time to get a replacement for you.”
Sara was confident Grant would drag his feet about doing that. “You and I both know that you won’t get a nanny until you’re forced to do so. I recommend you call a service for help tomorrow. That way she and Lily will have a couple of days to get acquainted.”
“Would it really be so bad to stay? I could match the pay.”
That was equivalent to a slap in her face. “It’s not about the money. It’s about our agreement. It’s time for me to go.”
“Go?” He sounded like he’d never heard the word before.
“This was only to be temporary. You’ve not even been looking for another nanny.”
“But I thought you were happy here.”
She had been. Blissfully so. That was the problem. “It has been nice while it lasted but you knew I was only staying until the custody issue was settled. That’s done now.”
“I don’t understand why you don’t want to stay.”
“I’ve been offered another job. This is the perfect time to leave.” That was the wrong word. Nothing was perfect about the timing or the situation. But it was of her own making. Just like being a surrogate mother had been.
“Is this what you want?”
It wasn’t about what she wanted. “It’s the way it has to be. It’s time for me to get back to my regular life. For you and Lily to find your lives together.”
“We could do that with you.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Would he tell her how he felt? Did he trust her enough to share his life? She wanted it so badly but would it be best for them?
“I want you to stay.”
He shifted from one foot to the other and looked anywhere but at her. “Because we’re good together.”
Grant just stood there.