TITLE: Redemption Chapter 1c 27 Jan 15
By Randy Somers
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Her eyes shift upward, reliving the many sexual experiences she enjoyed in the past few months. “Men love me.” Looking back at Pastor Chad, “And they’re teaching me so much.” She challenged him with her eyes.
“Different sex?” Chad echoed. “What does that mean? Are you becoming a lesbian? Do you want .... What do you want?”
Silence settled down on the pair. Thick, heavy air suppressed words and honest conversation. Emotions clouded the sun, clouded their past twenty one years of dating and marriage. The honest words of love and desire died suddenly. The memories of shared joy, ecstasy and peace vanished into thunderclouds of searing pain and noise.
What do I want?, Barbara wondered. I don’t want to leave you, but I have to. Why do I have to? I don’t know. Something is pushing me away. I love you Chad, my dearest. I love our sons. I love our life. But I can’t stay. I can’t say why. Slumping her head into her hands, tears started to form in her eyes. I can’t explain it to myself, how can I tell you.
I will not cry! I made my choice. I’ve got to explore my cravings. I’ve got to experience what life is, all of life. Not just the stale and spice-less community that surrounds us. I want more! Yes. That’s it. I want more!
A voice challenged her thoughts: Why? Why do you want more Barbara? What does simply multiplying partners and experiences give you, except more? You are throwing away a great life, with a loving husband and sons that make you proud.
Taking a deep sigh, Barbara rode the dragon that surged against the average plain life. Does it matter why or what? Just go. Just do it. Don’t look back. They’ll be alright. They can exist without you.
Pulling back, Chad had no more words. His shoulders slumped forward, curling around his chest in protection. A deep sigh escaped. Tears tried to drown his sorrow, but he refused to let them fall. “You’ve just killed me Barbara. I’m dead. Our marriage of nineteen years has simply bled out.” Looking up at her face, he saw no
remorse, no tenderness. Barbara had come to say good-bye and was anxious to be off. She was as dead to him as he felt to her.
Barbara stood and said, “Well. No use prolonging the inevitable. I’m gone. Have a good life Chad. You deserve it. You’ll find another young girl that wants to be a pastor’s wife. You’ll be happy.” Looking deeply at him, “Be happy for me, please.”
She walked around the table and gave him a kiss on the cheek. “How does that song go, Thanks for the memories.”
With that Barbara turned to walk away. She stopped after a few steps, turned back and said, “Oh. The cigarette. I don’t really smoke. I just wanted the old ladies in the Church to have something to talk about.” She then turned and left. Chad watched as she walked away, exaggerating her hip swing, letting her long blond hair bounce with her steps.
No, Barbara. There’ll never be another ‘you.’ Dead men don't enjoy life.
Jeremy and Jason raced out to the table. “Where’s mom going?” Jeremy cried. “Isn’t she staying?”
When Chad said nothing, Jeremy raced off after Mom.
Jason just stood next to Dad. “She’s gone?” Chad nodded his head, yes. “I guess we’re alone now. I can tell everyone at school that my mom has died. She’s dead to me and us.” Without further words, he walked off in the opposite direction, to wander for a couple of hours.
Chad watched Jason leave. No words of pastoral comfort came. No words to soothe a mutilated heart. Chad heard the walls slam down around Jason’s heart. ‘Mom is dead.’
Chad turned to see Jeremy catch up to Mom. He saw her turn and face him, talk a couple of moments, reach out to hug him and then turn to continue walking. Jeremy sank to the ground. He sat there until Mom had disappeared from sight.
Pearl came out to clean up from lunch. She stared at the prodigal pastor’s wife and offered a prayer. Keep her safe Lord Jesus. Help these men to endure by your grace. Silently she cleaned up the table, the kitchen and dishes and left for home.
Chad sat well into the night at the table. No thoughts floated through his mind. He died that afternoon. Deep down died. No Easter resurrection would bring life back. It is over. Life was over. How can a man live with half his heart gone?
Chad remembered the Pastor’s counsel at their wedding ceremony:
Marriage is like taking a red ball of clay and a white ball of clay. The years of interaction, intimacy, making decisions over finances, raising children, arguing and making up, mash these two different colored balls together. This interaction between your personalities do not turn the balls of clay pink. Both of you will retain your separate personalities. Instead, your lives will become a swirl of red and white, finely intertwined. The deeper the experiences, the longer you stay together, the more intricate, entwined and detailed will the small vines of red and white become. This intertwining becomes the strength of your love.
Chad thought, That’s true. What that old man didn’t tell me was that when one color left, it ripped away from the other color. No clean lines. No surgical skill. Just a searing pain as skin is peeled away from the flesh. It’s like ripping all the capillaries out of your body without any pain killers. No blood. No life. Only pain for eternity.
Buck refocused on the present. Across the dance floor, Barbara still stood among the crowd. Standing back as not to spook her quarry. She stood and looked at Chad. Only looked. He’s shocked to see me. Oh, Lord. Thank you for letting me find him. How I love him. Can I ever get him to love me again?
Buck looked at Barbara again. Ten years and she just suddenly pops in. Buck turned and left the dance. The dead do not dance. He died again. Anger filled him with rage. He had to leave or explode.
Pain and rage stiffened his steps and he stomped away, not looking back. All else forgotten except the memories and grief flooding back again. There is no resurrection. The past is dead.
Silvia noticed Buck’s sudden stop. Following his gaze she saw a blond haired lady. Silvia squirmed to where she could see her better. Nice dress. Nice smile. Good looker. Is this the mystery? Looking back and forth at the pair, There’s such pain in their eyes.
She watched Buck stiffen, standing statuesque among the swirling dancers and laughter. She watched as Buck started a half step forward, then froze again. Moments flashed into eternity. A quick glance at the blond Silvia noticed, She’s in love with Buck. Her face shines, even in the shadow of the flood lights. Where did you come from young one? What do you have to do with our Buck? Did he cause you pain or did you chase him away?
Movement broke her train of thought as Buck turned and jerked his way out of the light, into the darkness, becoming the living dead. He disappeared so quickly that no one else noticed.
The band played on and the dance continued.
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