In the five years she had been away from her native New England, young nurse Sandra Colson had adapted quite well to her new life in Minnesota, had made friends, and had become a respected member of the staff at St. James Hospital. And yet, every fall, when the leaves started to turn color and drop from the trees, she could not free herself from the memory of New England and what might have been. What might have been if Dr. Bruce Jennings had been true, if he had meant all those things he had said.
But that was five years ago. Surely Sandy had picked up the pieces of her emotional life since then. Yet how much had she learned from that unhappy experience? Wasn’t she really in the same position with Dr. Rich Harvey, a young obstetrician working at St. James? Oh, it was true, he had never promised anything and their relationship had been strictly professional, but Sandy couldn’t help her feelings. The fact he was engaged to Aileen Gorman, her supervisor, a nurse who worked with clocklike efficiency, made things even worse. Every day Sandy had to face them both, and to see Aileen’s triumph reflected in the engagement ring she wore.
When Dr. Harvey offered her a part-time job in the Lamaze natural-birth clinic he intended to start, Sandy got a chance to use the extra courses in obstetrics she had taken. She also got a chance to see exactly how strong the armor she wore around her heart really was.