IT'S ON IT'S WAY
by Terry Lee
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
“What are we going to do?” Marjory quipped as she sat with her head in her hands, pondering over a pile of bills.
Marjory and Bill were a couple who were thrown together so to speak; products of recent divorces and in every way, victims of circumstance. Bill was a recent retiree, a fifty year old, forced into a retirement buy-out and one of those 'good guys'; you know, the kind of guy that really didn't want any trouble. His ex-wife conned him into taking his retirement and sinking it all into a home; a remodel, one of which his ex-wife owned outright. But, Bill was this kind of guy. Sadly, through a crafty lawyer, plus his own preppy lawyer, made deals behind his back, won it all through the divorce. Bill's ex-wife got it all except an old motor-home and his pick up, forcing Bill to move the motor-home to a local campground.
You see, Bill was a 'believer', knowing whatever he was dealt, it was the Lord's work in progress; so nothing bothered him much. Bill, however, was a pretty industrious character, one who could make do on nearly nothing, so he soon went to work for a newspaper, selling ads. As time went by, he made a few bucks here and there and sometimes would help out a friend; James, who owned a little run-down hamburger shack. So, all in all, Bill had a few dollars in his pocket. Bill also had a knack for singing, doing a few Karaoke stints; where he was actually pretty good.
Majory was recent divorcee who had 3 grown children. Taking the few dollars she had and putting up her house for collateral, she invested in a small cafe. Leasing the place, she knew she could create meals that would help her to get back on her feet. Enlisting the help of her brother; Mike, and her daughter Amy, the little cafe was the talk of the town. Pretty soon, the place was hopping.
During the course of an evening, after the dishes were done and the place wiped down and cleaned, Marjory and Mike set down to mull over the day and sip on some freshly-brewed coffee;
“Marj, I've been thinking, why don't we do a special event here? I mean, you know, some kind of dinner show, or something. What do you think?”
“Well, brother, I hadn't thought about that. Since we started, it does seem to be catching on pretty fast; the restaurant, you know. That might be a good idea. When would we do something?”
“Valentine's Day is next month, what about a Valentines Day dinner? We could spruce up the place, put linens on the tables and a few red roses in a vase on each table? What about that?”
“Great idea Mike! Hmm, maybe some entertainment too? Let me work on that. Sheesh, we might make some extra money and give away door prizes. I'm getting excited already!”
A few days went by and Marjory made calls to entertainment people, to music stores for leads and kept running into brick walls; money was always at the end, the big hold up. Marjory mused; “what is it with these entertainers? They want an arm and a leg for just a couple of hours work! I just can't afford five, or six-hundred dollars on my budget!” As the days wore on, there were no solid leads.
“Welcome to Marge's sir, what can I get you? Prompted the cute little brunette. The subtle tone always the same. Marjory's daughter Amy, was always polite; especially to Bill, who made it a habit of stopping by for coffee.
“Well, let's see here; what's on the menu? I think today, I'm going to eat some breakfast. Give me a couple over easy, some crisp bacon and some home fries. Oh, give me some of your mom's biscuits; she makes the best I've ever eaten.”
“Okey-doke, uh, you do want coffee don't you? Black?”
“Yep, that'll do.”
Mike stepped into the dining room and seeing Bill; set down at the table;
“What's new Bill? Haven't seen you for a couple of days; where ya been?”
“Hey Mike. I been out of town. I went over to Tyler, to a Karaoke contest. It was pretty big; there were over sixty entries. (he laughs); but I didn't win; I was third over-all.”
“I hate to hear that, for I hear you are pretty good. Say! Wait a minute! Hold on, I'll be right back.”
Retrieving Marjory from the back, Mike dragging her along, they both set down at the table;
“Would you be interested in doing a Valentine Dinner show for us?” Marjory asked
“Hmm, that might be interesting.”
“Uh, what would you charge for something like that?” Mike rubbing his two fingers together, asked.
“Oh, I don't know; how about breakfast for life?” As he laughs.
“Seriously, how much?”
“Couple of hundred be OK?”
With the entertainment cinched, the Dinner Show came off without a hitch. The place was packed; Marjory made money and a friendship developed between Marjory and Bill, cementing a new life-long commitment.
Outside, the rain was peppering down, making a dull clinking on the roof of the motor-home, where Bill was engrossed in a movie. Sitting in his wore-out recliner, a cup of coffee at the ready, he noticed headlights glaring toward his motor-home. A car pulled up along-side and with it still running, someone got out and ran up to his door;
Banging on the door; “Bill, are you home?” A frantic plea from a woman's voice demanded. “Bill, please open up!”
Bill scrambled from his chair, to the door; opening it, stood Marjory, soaking wet, with blood on her mouth and her head.
“What happened? Come over by the light! My, let me look at you! Holy cow, Marj, were you in an accident, or something? What's going on?”
Sniffling, she said; “Oh Bill, it's awful. My ex came by the cafe right as I was closing and everyone else had left. He slapped me and roughed me up. He said he was going to kill me. He left me standing by the car and said he was getting a gun. As he left to go to his car, I panicked and drove off. I am so scared. If he finds me, I don't know what he will do. Will you help me?”
“Of course I will. Here, hold this wet towel on your lip and I will call the police.”
“No, don't call them. He doesn't know where I am. I just want him to leave me alone. Can, I mean, would you mind if I stayed here for the night? I promise, I won't be any trouble.”
“You must be out of your mind; there is no way I'll let you go. Here, go into the bedroom and get out of those wet clothes and I'll fix you a nice, hot cup of coffee.”
And that is how they started a relationship. Marjory's brother, Mike, wound up with the cafe, which eventually closed. The ex-husband ended up in jail on unrelated charges. Marjory's daughter Amy, got married to her high-school sweetheart. Marjory sold her home, and she and Bill bought a new motor-home and moved on to Oklahoma, where they ended up doing one-night gigs in Bill's new entertainment enterprise. It didn't pay much, but it allowed them to live without bother, in a life on the road. Then again, sometimes the singing engagements didn't come along as often as the bills did.
“What's the matter sweetie? Bills got you down again? We'll make it; we always do.”
“Bill, they are going to re-possess our motor-home. We are late on a payment. Can they do that, if you miss just one payment?”
“Come on now, we'll be OK, we have that $404 dollar IRS refund coming. As soon as it gets here, we can catch up.”
“Bill, it's only been two weeks since you mailed it; we won't see that for at least six more weeks, or longer.” As she cried, she lifted her arms up in frustration. “You just never seem to care!”
“Come now, let's go to bed and you can quit fretting over this; I'll think of something.”
Laying in bed, Marjory whimpered, covering up her head. As Bill lay there thinking, he threw back the covers and exclaimed; “I'm going to go pray.”
“You are going to go pray? Where? It's night-time.”
“Don't you worry; I'll be back in a little while.”
“Bill, come on back to bed, I. .. .I really didn't mean what I said.. . .. .”
Bill got dressed; left the motor-home and started walking down the lane in the moon-light. As he passed by the other campers and RV's he really didn't know where he was going, but he knew the only way to get an answer was to ask for it. He couldn't ask anyone else, so his mission was to ask GOD.
Getting to the end of the lane of the RV park, he crossed a fence into a pasture. After walking about two hundred yards, he sprawled out on the ground, face first; prone, he prayed;
“Father, it is within your power, to help us. Give me the strength to face whatever life throws our way. We are facing a financial short-fall and there is no more money. Marjory and I, I know, are not the most pure of all your subjects, but we owe all we have to you. I am now asking for your help. (he begins to cry), please, give me an answer.” As the tears streamed down his cheeks, they wet the crushed vegetation beneath him. A chill came over him, the hair raised on his neck and a soft, faint, warm, glow began to surround him. “Father forgive me, forgive my sins. . . . . .In Jesus' name, Amen.”
In an instant, the answer came; “It's on it's way.”
With that, Bill got up, and dusted himself off. Walking back to his motor-home, he had this awe-inspiring feeling of being completely at peace. Pausing as he walked through the door, he mused over that answer; “It's on it's way”; what could that possibly mean? As he undressed, Marjory asked;
“Well, what did you find out? Did you pray? Did some answer come to you?”
“All I heard was; 'It's on it's way'. I have no idea what that means. Now, let's get some sleep!”
Seeming to be content with the answer, Marjory settled down into her pillow and pulled the comforter up over her head. All was well.
Marjory was up cooking breakfast, about 9 o'clock the next morning, when the phone rang; it was her mother;
“Thought I'd let you know, you have a letter here; it looks like a IRS check. (Marjory's mother took their mail in as a 'permanent address', as they didn't have one on the road.), and another letter from Bill's sister. Do you want me to mail them to where you are going to be?”
“Oh, mother; look, open up that one that looks like an IRS check! Please tell me it's the refund! It should be for around four-hundred and four dollars! But, it can't be, it's only been two weeks!”
“OK,. . . .. . .. Yes, it's a refund check alright, but not for $404!. . . . . . .”
“Oh no, it's got to be that much, or we are sunk. How much is it?”
“This says; '$808.00. Oh, and here is a letter that came with it; 'The IRS re-figured your taxes for you and it seems you made a mathematical error. We show that you are to receive double your original amount. If you feel that this is in error, please call us. Thank you, your IRS representative.' Marj, that's all it says,. .. . . Marj?. . .. . .Marj?”
Marj was screaming and jumping up and down; Bill, Bill. .. . we got it!. . .We got it!”
“Good grief Marj, what have you got? Are you nuts? Who's on the phone? (Bill picks up the phone), hello? Oh, hi Mildred, what's up?. . . . . ..Really? We'll drive in to get it; Dallas is only a couple of hours from here; see you in a little while; bye! . .. . ..Marj, would you calm down!”
“Oh, I don't know what to say; I am so relieved! You were right! I should never doubt........”It's on it's way?” And. . .. . .in two weeks?. . . .. ..This is an impossibility! Bill, does this mean what I think it does?"
Bill was quickly getting dressed.
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