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?”
“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.