Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Somewhere Between Two Houses Continued

Right now, he just needed to survive the next couple hours. Once he got out of the house and away from them, he would be fine. Sighing, he got up, straightened his clothes and went to the kitchen. Christi would be serving supper right about now and would be expecting him to be there on time. As he roamed through the kitchen, the smell of chicken assaulted his senses. Grinning, he went in search of everyone else. Hearing laughter from the living room, he headed that way. Just as be turned the corner into the living room, he ran into Christi. Looking down at her, he quickly reached out to steady her. Out of habit, he reached for her hand but quickly stopped himself when he realized what he was doing. Andrew held his breath. Christi was bound to say something about him touching her, but to his surprise she simply smiled and slipped past him. He shrugged it off and went to greet Erin and Thomas, Christi's parents.
    "Hey Thomas, Erin, how did today go?" Sitting down across from the couch they were on, he smiled and propped his feet up on the coffee table.
    "It went really good. Thomas and I rarely get time to ourselves so it was nice being able to be by ourselves." Erin smiled and shook her head at his on the table. "I don't think Christi will like your feet being on the table, she's real picky about that... if you haven't noticed yet."
    "Yeah, I guess I better." As if on cue, Christi appeared in the doorway. Taking one look at him, she stomped over to the couch and frowned.
    "You know I don't like feet on my coffee table. We've been married how many years and you still have not learned that yet?"
    Andrew knew she was teasing, but her words still cut deep. You're just being over sensitive, he told himself. Just because tonight is your last night here doesn't mean you can act like a baby. She was just kidding and you know it. Despite how much Andrew tried to convince himself he didn't care, he knew the truth. He was losing everything he had worked for and more. He was losing everything he had ever really cared about. Pushing those thoughts away, Andrew smiled and moved his feet. "Your mom and I were just discussing that." Grinning, he turned to Erin and winked. She just shook her head and tried to hide a smile. Andrew turned back to Christi and started to do the same, but when he saw the frown and icy glare she gave him, he decided against it. "Yes ma'am, I'll remember that next time." Christi nodded and headed back to the kitchen.
    Christi sighed and checked the chicken pot pie in the oven. It was almost done. Calling Mandy, she opened the fridge and looked for the tea. Not finding any, she found some tea bags in the nearby cabinet and pulled them out. Just as she was putting them in a sauce pan, Mandy came bounding through the kitchen door.
    "You called me?" Mandy screeched to a halt just inside the door.
    "Yes, I was wondering if you wanted to make tea."
    "Sure!" Mandy took the sauce pan and filled it up with water then carefully walked to the stove, set the pan down and turned it on.
    Christi shook her head and grinned. For some reason, Mandy had this obsession with making tea. She loved to make tea and if anyone else made it, she would be mad. Her thoughts turned to Andrew and she frowned. Even though he had cheated on her, he still made her grow weak in the knees when he smiled and made her skip a beat when he touched her. If only him leaving would solve all the problems, but she knew it wouldn't. They were Christians and Christians didn't have these kinds of problems. Christians were happily married, their spouses didn't cheat on them and they didn't get divorces. This was not how it was supposed to be. Christi shoved those thoughts away. Andrew had to go and that was just the way it was going to be. Her parents may not agree with it and it may not be the "Christian" thing to do, but she couldn't live with a liar. She had been lied to way too many times and she was not about to put with that from him. Christi stood up and checked on the food. A few minutes longer and it would be done. She got a stack of plates from the cabinet and began to set the table. She had just finished when Andrew and Mandy came running through the kitchen.
    "It’s time to eat guys!" Christi took the chicken out of the oven and set it on the table. Pulling the salad from the fridge and the tea, she called them again. After she had put everything on the table, she went in search of everyone. They were in the living room bent over something that Andrew was holding. Curious, she walked behind them and tried to see what Andrew was holding. Mandy squealed and jumped up. Andrew glanced up and saw her standing there.
    "Look at this." Andrew moved his hands where she could see what was in them. Christi peeked over his shoulder and shrieked.
    "Get that thing out of my house!!!" Andrew laughed as she scooted past him and flew out of the living room. He handed it to Mandy and stood up.
    "You better get it out of the house before your mother comes back in here and sees it again."
    "But it’s so cute!! It has really long legs and a tiny body! Can I keep it? PPllleeaassee??" Mandy jumped up and down and put on her puppy face.
    "That's up to your mother and from her reaction earlier; I doubt she will let you keep it."
    "He is absolutely right! You are NOT keeping that thing. You know much I hate bugs," Christi hollered from the other room. She came stomping into the living and her hand went to her hips. "There is no way we are keeping that! It could be dangerous! We don't even know what it is."
    "I know what it is, it’s a daddy long leg." Andrew walked over to Christi but didn't dare touch her. "Oh, and it’s perfectly harmless. Its legs are too long for it to bite anyone."
    Christi frowned and crossed her arms. "Look, I don't care if it harmless or not. I don't like bugs in my house and that's final."
    Andrew knew he was getting nowhere. "Ok, ok. The spider goes." Turning to Mandy, he got down on her level and told her, "Mandy, it’s going to have to go outside. Your mom hates spiders."
    Mandy frowned but complied. "Ok, but he's going to be really lonely."
    "Well, I'm sure there are lots of other daddy long legs that he can make friends with. He won't be lonely after he finds some friends." Andrew glanced at Erin and Thomas. He had forgotten they were there but now he grinned at them. They smiled back and burst out laughing. He turned to speak with Christi but found that she was no longer standing there. Did Erin and Thomas know about what was going on between them? Would they approve? Andrew went in search of Christi so he could ask her. It would probably start another fight, but at this point, he had nothing to lose.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

God's Love

Isn't God's love amazing? Lately I have been feeling His love and learning more and more about it everyday.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Somewhere Between Two Houses Continued

Andrew tossed his jacket on the table and went in search of Christi. It had been a long day at work and he just wanted to sit back and relax with his wife. He found her in the laundry room finishing up the laundry.
“Andrew, you’re home early!” Christi exclaimed and set the basket on the floor.
“Yep, I am and I want to spend the rest of the day with my wonderful wife.” Andrew gave her a kiss and leaned against the wall. “How does a movie sound to you?”
“It sounds great, but I have a lot of work to do. If I don’t get it done today, then it will probably never get done.” She sighed and picked up the laundry basket. “Oh and my parents want to take Mandy to the zoo tomorrow. I told them it is fine with me if it’s fine with you.”
“That’s fine with me and it’ll give you time to catch up on your work since you are going to slack off today.” Andrew grinned and walked away.
“Wait! I didn’t…” Christi let her sentence hang, it was no use. Andrew had convinced her to take today off and spend it with him, after all, it wasn’t very often he came home early. Shaking her head, she dumped the last load of laundry into the wash and turned it on.
Andrew plopped down on the couch and sighed. He really should tell Christi, but he didn’t know what to say. It had been three days since he had come home late. She would probably never find out anyways. Standing up, he went in search of Christi; she should be done putting the last load of laundry in. Just as he was walking through the kitchen, his cell phone rang. Pulling it out of his pocket and reading the caller id, he cringed. That was the last person he wanted to talk to right now. He silenced it and shoved it back in his pocket. Finding the laundry room empty, he turned right into their bedroom and found Christi seating on the bed.
“Christi, is something wrong?” Walking over to the bed, he put his hand on her shoulder. That’s when he saw what she was holding. Christi jumped up and spun around.
“Something is very wrong when I find a picture of a woman in my husband’s jeans. It may just be me, but I think something is definitely wrong with that! Is this why you came home late the other day? Because you were at another woman’s house? Am I not good enough for you?”
Andrew held his head in his hands and sighed. He should have told her when it happened. It was stupid of him to think she would never find out about it. Rising, he pulled started to pull Christi into his arms. “Don’t touch me!” Christi couldn’t believe this was happening to her.
“Christi, that’s not how it was. It was a one-time thing and it will never happen again. You are all I need, all I want. I-“
“I don’t want to hear it. If this is how you show your family that you love them, then get out.” Just then, the front door slammed. Mandy must be home and her parents would be home soon.
“Get out? Where am I supposed to go? What am I supposed to do?”
“I don’t know and I don’t care. Just leave, now.” Christi dried her eyes and straightened her hair. She could hear Mandy moving around upstairs and she would soon be looking for an after school snack.
“At least let me explain, make it up to you, something.. Anything.” Andrew gently grabbed her arm and turned her around.
“I said, don’t touch me.” He let go of her arm, but didn’t move from in front of her.
“At least let me say goodbye to Mandy.”
“Fine, but you will be gone after supper. Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go fix Mandy something to eat.” Christi walked out of the room and headed to the kitchen.
Andrew could hear Mandy and Christi talking in the kitchen. Mandy was saying something about her play and Christi was laughing. He had just gotten kicked out of his own house, for one little stupid mistake. The least Christi could have done was let him explain. He had no idea where he was going to go or what he was going to do. Flopping down on his bed, he thought about Christi.
Mandy rushed through the door and sped up the stairs. She couldn’t wait to tell her mom all about her new singing lessons. Mrs. Courtney had volunteered to give them to her last week, but she had forgotten to ask. Mandy wouldn’t let herself think about anything else or she would forget to ask her mom. Running back downstairs, she went in search of her parents. Hearing voices coming from their bedroom, she headed that way. Stopping when she heard her mom raise her voice, Mandy hesitated. They were fighting, again. Knowing she shouldn’t listen, she started to turn around. When she heard her mom yell “Get out, now!” she stopped and listened. Mandy couldn’t hear the rest of the conversation but she could tell that her mom was upset at her dad. “After supper…. Mandy... Afternoon... Home.” She heard her mom sniffle and took this as her cue to leave. As she sat in the kitchen waiting on her mom, she wondered if daddy was in trouble again. Mandy had only been sitting a few minutes when her mom came in to fix her afternoon snack.
“Mommy, guess what?”
“What, honey?”
“I get to take singing lessons, if it’s ok with you. Mrs. Courtney offered to teach me!” Forgetting all about her parent’s fight, she jumped up and down then plopped down in a kitchen chair.
“That’s fine with me.  Now, what would you like for a snack?”
“I want chocolate chip cookies!!” Mandy licked her lips and grinned. Laughing, Christi grabbed a few from the cabinet and handed them to Mandy.
“Ok, but only a few. I don’t want to spoil your supper.” Giggling, Mandy ran off to her bedroom to write some more. Christi sighed and sat down. Mandy was so full of life and carefree. Christi didn’t know what she was going to do without Andrew, but she did know that he had to get out. She couldn’t believe he would do something like that. As Christi sat there thinking about what this would mean for her and Mandy, she began to have doubts. They had relied on him to provide for them for over ten years. What was a little slip up compared to all the years of faithfulness? She knew he said it would never happen again, but how she could trust him to keep that promise when she couldn’t even trust him be faithful to her. No, he had to go. It was best for Mandy and best for her. She was not going to deal with unfaithfulness and Mandy didn’t need to be exposed to the fighting and arguing. The problem would be telling her parents. She checked the time and got started on supper. Tonight was movie night for her family so they were going to eat just a little earlier than normal. Movie night!! She had forgotten all about movie night. What was she supposed to do about Andrew? If he just up and left on movie night, Mandy and her parents would know something was wrong. Just then, the front door opened and she heard Mandy squeal. Her parents must be home and Mandy must be in the living room instead of doing homework upstairs. Shaking her head, Christi went to greet her parents.
“Hi Mom and Dad, did you guys enjoy yourselves?”
“Yes, we certainly did.” Turning to Mandy, she smiled mischievously and winked at Christi. “Mandy, I have something for you.”
“For me, what is it?” Jumping up and down, she tried to see what was in the bag, but her grandmother held it up out of her reach.
“If you ask politely, she might give it to you.” Christi said sternly, trying her best not to grin.
Sighing, Mandy stopped jumping and asked politely, “May I please see what you got for me?” Smiling, her grandmother reached in the bag and pulled out a notebook. Mandy snatched it out of her hands and turned it over and over. Opening it up, she grinned and closed it.
“It’s for you to write in whenever your other notebook is filled up.”
Surprised, Mandy glanced up. “How did you know I like to write?”
Smiling, her grandmother answered, “Why, your mother told me of course.”
“What do you say to your grandmother, Mandy?” Christi cut in.
“Oh, thank you so much Nana, I will keep this in my secret hiding place with my others.” Giving her grandmother a big hug, she turned and ran upstairs to her room to stash her new treasure away.
Christi grinned and turned to her parents. “Every Friday night, we have movie night and today’s Friday so we’re going to have a supper a little earlier tonight. You don’t have to stay up the whole night if you don’t want to. You’re welcome to bed anytime since you getting up early and taking Mandy to the zoo tomorrow.”
Her mother raised her eyebrows and said<,” We’re not that old, honey. I think we can stay up just as late as you can.” Turning to her husband she pretended to whisper,” Did you hear that? She thinks we’re old.”
Her dad laughed and shook his head. “I may not be as young as I used to be but I think I can sit around all night. It’s not like we’ll be running around.”
It was Christi’s turn to laugh. “You think so? Just wait, after tonight, you’ll be wishing you took my advice and went to bed after the first movie.” Christi grinned and went back to fixing dinner.
Back in the master bedroom, Andrew was deep in thought.  He was remembering how he and Christi used to be. They used to have such a connection, it was almost unreal. Maybe that’s what it had been – unreal. This is how it is supposed to be, Andrew thought. He wasn’t fit to be a husband; he didn’t know why he ever thought he could be one. Sure it had lasted nearly ten years, but he had planned it for life. Shaking off his thoughts, he slowly sat up and took a deep breath. There was no use in thinking about the past, it wouldn’t change the future. It wouldn’t change the fact that he was about to lose his family and all that he had worked for in the last ten years. Feeling the anger slowly seep in, he stood up and made himself calm down. It was his fault, not Christi’s. He made the choice when he knew exactly what he was doing.