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Having Faith
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Writer dreamingheart
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
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Having Faith
A - A - A
Coast to Coast: Chapter Three
Mar 12, 2018
8 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!Tr5FD5LeNoLaMKi6WB9mposted on PENANA

But she couldn’t afford to drop the Seattle job.  He’d have to understand that. It was the chance of a lifetime, one no one in their right mind would pass by!  Sure, it would be difficult for his work to transfer across the country, but they’d promised that nothing would get in the way of their being together – nothing.  Not their careers, not their histories, not their futures. She put her faith in that, sniffling into her soggy Kleenex as she pushed away from the door. Realizing she still held her coat in one hand, she flicked on the overhead lights – harsh, but soothing, dispelling the gloom that the candlelight cast as it guttered out, drowning in good beeswax.  Dinner, congealing and cold, was no longer appealing. She cleaned up the table mechanically, scraping the chicken into the trash before stacking the plates in the dishwasher and hitching up the portable device’s water supply. They had laughed over it a thousand times, and wished and lamented that it was just a portable one. The new kitchen they’d planned for their home had one built in.copyright protection3PENANAsaSYaMR3TO

Surely, he could build that home in Seattle, just the same as he could here!copyright protection3PENANAaMgfrTkd78

And, she knew, he’d realize that.  A few hours – she checked the clock again – of tramping around, wrapped in his own private hell, and he’d miss her, and come home.  They’d fought before, although never like this, and while she hated his moodiness, he always made it up to her. Well, she could lay the grounds for that.  Grateful to have something to distract herself with, she shed her suede jacket and slacks. Her shower was brief and perfunctory, although she took a chance on slathering herself with his favorite scent – patchouli and vanilla – always with one ear cocked toward the door.  Moving around their apartment, she dimmed the lights and put on the soft music that cloaked the sounds of the busy city night, turning their home into a haven, a sanctuary against the outside world.copyright protection3PENANACTioDBvAdF

When she woke in the morning, she was alone on the couch, Puccini looping through the speakers.  The bed held his imprint, and his dirty clothes were folded atop the bathroom hamper. So he’d at least come home.  And, she decided, working the stiffness out of her neck, he was still angry. She checked the door for notes, but there were none there.  Reluctantly, she fished out her BlackBerry, and with one eye closed, she thumbed it into submission. Nothing there, either. When he was too angry to speak to her, days stretched like months.  This was not how she’d pictured this at all. Of course, she was quick to add, she hadn’t pictured his reaction to the move realistically.copyright protection3PENANAXFPQE0Dv4w

Twitching the blankets up, she grumbled.  Screw realism: she had been firmly wrapped in a fairy-tale euphoria.  And worst of all, she had only six more days to fix this breach! Airline tickets had been ordered for her through the firm’s travel agency, reservations made for Monday morning at 10 am.  Nonstop from New York City to Seattle: she wondered how she could make that happen. How crazy was she? Glancing down at her silent BlackBerry, she fumbled through the menus, only to stare blankly down at the keyboard.  How did she begin to apologize for this gaffe? What could you say when you’d pulled the rug out from under someone else’s feet?copyright protection3PENANAkejBuLvOYC

She turned the phone off, and retreated.  Some things weren’t best communicated by phone, anyway.  She’d drop by his office. She’d bring a picnic lunch, take him to Central Park, ply him with wine and Brie and some public kissing.  Well, if he’d let her: he was fussy about that at the best of times. With a plan to move her, even on the tails of last night’s defeat, she felt galvanized.  Her official leave had begun at last night’s office party, and so she wasn’t expecting any interference on her work front for a week–– not until she needed to tell Human Resources her new address.  Which, of course, she should be deciding on now. Casting a glance toward the shelter brochures, nabbed for their website addresses rather than their promises of ‘idyllic living in the heart of the city’ she bit her lip.  It was the chance of a lifetime. Evan would have to understand! But what if he didn’t? And should she be looking online now, rather than hunting for a tablecloth for this impromptu picnic?copyright protection3PENANAXBwg0aSvL5

Priorities, she told herself.  Only, which should come first? She had gone through school – through hell – to get her degree.  Evan was an adult. Her career was in its infancy. If she wasn’t completely reliable for Waters and Wheeling, would she ever have another chance?  But at the same time, she was married to Evan: she had promised to love and care for him. Snorting, lifting a lock of her loosely tied back brown hair on the force of her exhalation, she muttered “Cradles and careers.”copyright protection3PENANAaIL0yp0cV5

It was something of a buzz word, one that had never before been explained to her in the sense that she saw it now.  Catchphrases weren’t supposed to happen to people, were they? Pausing to stab a barrette into her fine hair, she inspected the swirling skirt of her leaf-motif dress.  This shade of rusty brown was particularly pretty on her, with her milky skin and green eyes. The dress was one of Evan’s favorites, too, a hold-over from her ‘boho’ phase in law school.  Was it too obvious that she’d gone full out to please him? She cast another glance into the big pier glass that dominated their modern living room, and shrugged. She didn’t have time to change anyway:  if she wanted to snatch a decent lunch from the gourmet deli, she’d have to hurry as it was.copyright protection3PENANAIgj1RNMmCL

“Meet me in the park,” she texted Evan, following up with the quadrant and time as an afterthought.  Central Park was too big not to give that information, but when it was Evan, she tended to forget. He was the organized one.  Not waiting for an answer – he might not answer, but he would still come – she locked the door, dumping her keys into the depths of her bag as an afterthought.  Checking the bus schedule in the lobby, she weighed the ten-minute wait against the twelve-block walk, and turned up the corner of her coat. The press and bustle would do her good, she was sure.  Something about the hive aspect of city life soothed her, anchored her in a way that it did not Evan. Evan hated “living in a kicked anthill” and dreamed of a quieter life “somewhere green.” She had never mocked those dreams.  In fact, she had always thought she shared them.copyright protection3PENANAZznvQnGISr

Now, as she stared into the steamy delicatessen case, she wasn’t entirely sure that had ever been true.copyright protection3PENANAO3az3JY4VU

Numbly, she ordered lunch, waited while the sandwiches were constructed by a scarred man with a long mustache carefully secreted away inside a hair net, and paid a bored cashier who was busily – and secretly – reading a copy of Star under the counter.  Her eye traveled blindly over the latest accusation that Brangelina was cheating on each other in the South of France as she turned away. Seriously, who cared about the petty troubles of the rich and famous? Her chest heaved in another sigh as she turned toward the bus stop, and she broke into a run as the lumbering dinosaur of a New York Transit bus, belching diesel fumes, drew up to the marked stop.  Stepping aboard, she flashed her pass to the bored driver, and found a seat next to a woman who reeked of the cats whose pictures she proudly displayed to Wynn.copyright protection3PENANA9DatF1grnS

She craned her neck, eager to escape the clutches, and scent, of Cat Lady, but when the bus stopped on the fringes of Central Park, she nearly missed the stop.  Waiting, she realized, for her first sight of Evan: Evan hadn’t yet arrived. The furrow in her forehead reappeared as she paced a few yards into the green haven at the heart of New York City, but no amount of effort or staring brought his broad shoulders and dark hair into view, because he wasn’t there.  She raced farther into the park, her shopping bag slapping her thigh, the heat from the deli purchases a faint sting goading her on, but he wasn’t anywhere that matched the description of where she’d told him to meet her. It wasn’t like him to stand her up: he was firm in his word, and if she had suggested they meet up for a naked dive off the Triborough Bridge, he’d have been five minutes early, with his britches off, tapping his watch and glancing at her meaningfully.copyright protection3PENANAdnsATiXz1Q

Forced to admit he was missing, she whirled in a circle.  Tears stung her eyes as she dug out her BlackBerry, paging through the messages, hoping there was one from Evan, and she flopped to the grass, careless of her brown dress and her suede jacket.  Who cared if she had to have some errant mud dry-cleaned off the expensive coat? Who would even see? Digging into the blue plastic shopping bag, she dragged out the tablecloth, the cloth napkins, the crystal glasses.  He’d come. She yanked the phone out again with her free hand, glanced at the hateful liquid-crystal display. No incoming calls. No voicemail.copyright protection3PENANA1PUbpXUn2P

Ten minutes later, she was forced to admit, no Evan.  No way would he be this late – either for work, where he was due back in four minutes, or for a date with her.copyright protection3PENANAictsF8tVAR

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