She found her in the living room with her head in
"Christi." Sitting down next to her on the couch, she waited. "Yes,
mom?" Christi sat up and looked at her mother. "You
know, Andrew still loves you." "Yeah
right! He sure has a strange way of showing it." "He
really does love you, rather you believe it or not." "If he loved me,
he wouldn't have cheated. Look I don't want to talk about this. Did you come
find me just to harass me or was there some other reason?" "We
need to talk about what to do next." "What
do you mean?"
"Well, since Andrew is no longer supporting this family, you'll
need to find a job." "Can
we think about this later? I need to talk to Mandy."
"Fine, but we ARE going to talk about this." Erin opened to
her mouth to say something else, but Christi was already out the door. Christi
had no idea what kind of a mess she just created. And all because she couldn't
forgive and let go of something that happened over ten years ago. Suddenly
exhausted, she flopped down onto the couch. Next thing she knew, she was being
"Honey, honey wake up." Erin cracked an eye open and grinned. "I
was just resting my eyes Thomas, don't worry." "Do
you want to go to bed? It is pretty late." "No,
I'm awake now. Sit down; I want to talk to you." She slid over to make
room for Thomas. When he had sat down, she began. "Do you think I'm doing
the right thing in letting Christi do this?"
"Honey, there's really nothing you can do about it." "I
should have seen this coming. All the times she called me, why didn't I suspect
something? I might have been able to talk some sense into her."
"Erin, you know how stubborn she is. If she had her mind set on
this, then nobody was going to change her mind. Every marriage has problems and
everyone makes mistakes. Christi just hasn't learned how to forgive yet.
Remember, Andrew isn't the first to break her heart." "I
thought she was over that. Josh did some horrible things to her, but I thought
she had forgiven him."
"Obviously not. I think the best way for her to learn to forgive is
to just let her go through this. I really think God is trying to say something,
here. Christi has always been the one to learn things the hard way. She never
would listen to us until she actually experienced it. Let’s just be there for
her and pray. That's all we can do."
"You're right; I shouldn't be worrying about this. You always know
what to say, how to deal with things." Erin slid closer and kissed him.
Thomas smiled and kissed her back.
"Let's go see if Christi needs help finishing up supper and getting
movie night going." "You
go ahead. I'm going to get Mandy and see how she's doing. I left her to write,
so hopefully, she's doing a little better." Erin stood up and headed
toward the door. Thomas nodded and followed her out. Mandy slid her diary out of her hiding spot and picked up a pencil from her desk. After reading the last couple of paragraphs she had written last time, she began to write. She had no idea what was going to happen in her story next, but that's how she usually wrote. Nothing was ever planned out. As things came to her, she wrote them down. Soon, she was lost in her fairy tale world. In her story, everything was Ok and her world was perfect. It seemed like just a few minutes later when there was a knock on the door. Trying to push the cobwebs aside, she sat up and called, "Come in." She pushed aside her journal and turned toward the door. "Hi Grandma, is it time for movies yet?" "Almost, but we're going to eat supper first. Come downstairs so we can eat." Erin turned to go but Mandy's voice stopped her. "Is
daddy back yet?" She turned
around and answered, "No, honey, he's not. Do you want him to come
nodded and held up her arms. Erin knelt down and wrapped her in her arms. Mandy
doesn't deserve to go through this, she thought. She's only eight. Focusing on
what she needed to do now, she pulled away just enough to look at her.
"Why don't you tell your mother that? I don't think she knows you want him
back." "Ok." Mandy pulled completely away and grabbed her hand.
"Lets go, Grandma, we're going to be late." Erin laughed and let
Mandy pull her down the stairs, through the living room and into the kitchen. When
they arrived downstairs, supper was ready and the table was set. They all sat
down and after Thomas had prayed, they dug in. Erin thought Mandy was going to
withdraw, but it seemed as if nothing had happened. After they had finished
eating, Mandy cleared off the table as quick as she could and rushed to get
ready for bed. Christi put the dishes in the dishwasher and turned it on. After
wiping everything down, she headed into the living room. Her parents had
decided to go ahead and go to bed. They had just thought they were going make
it until 1. Christi smiled at the thought. After all these years, her mom still
thought she could conquer the world, it was her dad who was the realistic one.
He knew how much Erin could take and when she had reached her limit. On her way
to the living room, she stopped to pull a stack of movies out of the closet in
the hallway and looked through them. There was no telling what movie she would
want to watch. One day she likes Barbie, the next fairies, the next chic flicks
and then cars. It just depended on what mood she was in. As she rounded the corner
into the living room, Mandy came running out plowed into her. "Whoa! Where are going in such a hurry?" "I
was just coming to find you. I thought you forgot that tonight was movie
honey, I didn't forget, I just had something that I needed to do." "Oh
ok." Mandy backed up and grabbed Christi's hand, pulling her into the
living room. Can we watch a fairy movie tonight? Please?" "Sure." Christi pulled the fairy one out of the stack and put
it in the DVD player. After turning it on, she grabbed the remote and sat down
next to Mandy. "You
can't turn it on yet!" "Why
not?" "Daddy isn't in here. Remember, we never start movie night without
everybody?" Mandy looked up at Christi and rolled her eyes as if to say 'duh,
Mom.' "Well, honey, daddy isn't coming tonight." "Does
he have a lot of paper work to do?" "Not
he on a long trip, then?" "No.
Listen, Mandy. He's never coming back. He did something very bad to Mommy, so I
sent him away." "You
sent him away?? For good? Forever and ever and ever?!" Mandy's eyes filled
with tears and she stood up. "I want daddy to come home, Mommy. He doesn't
need to be out there all alone." "I
know you do honey, but I think it’s the best thing to do." "But
he'll be lonely and hungry and cold. Can he come home?? Pleeaaassseee?? Pretty,
pretty please?" "No,
Mandy. He's not coming back." At this, Mandy burst into tears and resisted
all attempts to comfort her. Christi sighed and slumped down on the
couch. If she did the right thing then why did it feel like her heart was being
ripped out of her chest? Why wasn't she feeling any peace about it? She looked
up as Mandy ran out of the living room and up the stairs. Shaking her head,
Christi stood up and turned off the TV. There would be no movies tonight. Why
did this have to be so hard? Why couldn't life just go on as before? Flopping
back down on the couch, she put her head in her hands. Maybe she really had
done the wrong thing. Maybe Andrew really was capable of changing. If that was
true, she had just thrown away the chance of a lifetime.