Christi sighed and went in search of her father and Mandy.
Erin shook her head and flopped down onto the couch. Was she doing the right thing? Christi was an adult after all. She didn't want to make Christi feel like she was trying to control her, but she felt like she should say something about her decision. Christi was making a horrible mistake. Yes, she had every right to be angry, but shouldn't she be willing to forgive him? Erin hoped Mandy would be more forgiving than her mother is. She stood up and went to see if Andrew had already left. She needed to talk to him before he leaves. On her way out of the living room, she heard a cry and then someone stomping up the stairs. Uh oh... that didn't sound very good. Just as she was leaving the hallway connecting the living room the rest of the house, she saw Andrew slipping through the front door at the end of the hall. She picked up her pace and caught the door before it shut behind him. "Andrew!" When he turned to look at her, she closed the door and stepped off the porch. "Can I talk to you for a sec?"
"Why?" He sighed and crossed his arms.
"Because it’s important. Now, are you going to listen to me or do I need to go back inside?"
"Ok, come and sit in my car and we'll talk." Andrew unlocked his car and slid in, not bothering to wait for a reply. Erin slipped in beside him, trying to find the right words. 'Lord, give me the right words' she silently prayed.
Andrew crossed his arms and waited. He wasn't sure what this was all about, but he really need to go. The faster he got out of this nightmare the better.
"You do realize you don't have to go."
"Yes, I do. Christi wants me to leave and I know I deserve it. I messed up, big time."
"Christi really doesn't want you to leave, she's just running."
"I don't blame her. I broke her trust; she has every right to run."
"She's not running from you, Andrew. She's running from her past."
"What do I have to do with this?"
"Everything. Just think about it."
"What's there to think about? I'm done here, that's that. Whatever she is running from, I'm obviously not helping the situation any. I want her to be happy and if it means me walking out of her life forever, then I'll do it." Andrew looked away from Erin and gritted his teeth. He still loved her and always would. He didn't know how he was going to walk out of her life forever, but he had to.
Erin studied Andrew while she silently prayed. 'Lord please restore this marriage. It was bound by you and cannot be unbound by man. Make it better than before.' She folded her hands in her lap and waited for him to continue.
"I have to do this, Erin." He sighed and started the car. "Now if you don't mind, I really need to get going."
Erin nodded and opened her door. "Where are staying tonight?"
"I don't know yet."
When she had said goodbye and went back in the house, Andrew pulled away and drove. He didn't know where he was going or what he was going to do once he got there, but he knew that he needed to leave.
Once Erin was back the house, she went in search of Christi. She was going to have to deal with the legal side of this rather she wanted to or not. On her way to the living room, she decided to take a detour and go upstairs to talk to Mandy. Just as she was about to know on her door, the door swung open and she was nearly run over by Mandy. She was crying and almost looked hysterical. "Whoa! What's wrong Mandy? Erin caught Mandy in her arms and pulled her around to face her.
"Why didn't you stop my daddy? Why didn't you tell him to come back?!" She fought to pull herself away, but Erin only held her tighter. Gently leading her into the bedroom and onto the bed, she sat down and pulled Mandy into her arms.
This was so hard on her, why couldn't Christi see that? Was she so wrapped up in her bitterness that she couldn't see beyond her own needs? Mandy pulled away and she mentally shook herself. Erin knew she needed to be there for Mandy.
"Is daddy really gone for good?" Mandy asked through her tears.
"I don't know, honey. That's up to your mother."
"Why did she send him away? He was always so nice to her. When she needed something, Daddy ways got it for her. If she was sad, Daddy was the first to make her happy again.
"They just needed some time alone." Knowing Mandy liked to write when she was down or not doing well, she added, "Why don't you write for a little bit and I'll come get you when it's time for the movies, ok?"
Mandy nodded scooted off the bed. "But you have to leave, first. I can't let anyone see my secret hiding spot."
"Ok, I love you." Erin got up and headed out the door.
"Love you too, Grandma." Mandy reached up and gave Erin a hug. "Can you leave now; I really need to get busy." Mandy put her hands on her hips and tapped her foot impatiently. She looked so much like Christi when she was that age. Erin smiled at the thought and backed the rest of the way out of the room. As soon as she was out, Mandy closed the door and she heard feet shuffling. Erin turned to find Christi.