Steven walked through the front door after a long, hard day at work. He glanced around as he made his way through the living room, past the bathroom and into the kitchen. The tantalizing aromas of a roast in the oven, potatoes boiling, and a cooling homemade apple cake floated through the house.
This woman will never cease to amaze me, he thought. The house always looks so nice, and she never fails to cook a delicious dinner.
“Hey, there you are”, Cindy said, coming in from the back yard, holding their six month old baby girl. She kissed his cheek then smiled down at little Allyson, “Look, Allie, daddy’s home.”
Steven took Allie, and held her closely to kiss her little neck. “How’s my little princess today?” After just a few moments, he handed her back to Cindy. “I have to go do some work on the estimates for the new building.” He ignored the defeated look in Cindy’s eyes. “Call me when dinner’s ready, okay?”
“Sure.” She secured Allie in her high chair, and cleaned her little hands with a warm washrag.
Cindy’s angelic voice wafted in to Steven’s office as she sang to Allie while finishing up with dinner preparations.
I love it when she sings to Allie. Sounds so beautiful. He almost called out to tell her, but didn’t. Too many numbers to crunch.
At the table, he rushed through his delicious meal, in a hurry to get back to his office. Cindy tried to make conversation, but his thoughts were on his work, so he didn’t have much to say.
A couple hours later she brought Allie into his office to say goodnight. Cindy had just given Allie a bath, and as he held her, Steven breathed in the beautiful scent that was reserved for babies alone. His eyes locked on his wife’s for just a second. She has such beautiful green eyes, he thought. Then he turned back to his paperwork.
After tucking Allie in, Cindy brought Steven a piece of cake and a cup of fresh brewed coffee. Gratefully, he took it from her and made haste to finish every last crumb.
“Allie did the cutest thing today,” she said, trying to get him to notice she was still in the room.
“Oh yeah?” he said, without looking up from his desk.
“Yeah.” She quietly left the room knowing that he wouldn’t be listening even if she told him about Allie waving her arms and smiling at a little bird that landed on the blanket they were sitting on in the backyard.
I wonder if he’ll ever have time for us? It’s like he doesn’t even see me anymore. Am I that unattractive to him since I had Allie? I worked so hard to loose all my baby weight. I make sure the house is clean and he has a good dinner every night. Maybe he just doesn’t love me anymore.
She went upstairs for a shower. The phone started ringing but she decided to ignore it. If Steven didn’t pick it up, the machine would answer it.
Downstairs, Steven waited for the ringing to stop. Where’s Cindy? Doesn’t she know I’m busy? Finally, irritated, he picked it up. “Hello.”
“Steven,” said his close friend Jim, they had been friends since middle school and were the best man in each other’s weddings. Through the years, Cindy and Jim’s wife, Nancy became great friends. Nancy was expecting a baby any day now. “Something happened. Nancy started bleeding. I rushed her to the hospital, but they couldn’t stop the bleeding in time. She didn’t make it. She’s gone. So is the baby.” His friend sobbed into the phone.
“Jim, I am so sorry. I’ll get Cindy and we’ll be right over.”
“No. Her parents are on the way here. I just wanted you to know. I’ll call you when I get home. Say a prayer for me. I don’t know how I’m ever going to get through this. I didn’t even get the chance to tell her I love her and how beautiful she was to me.” Steven heard a sob right before the line went dead.
He hung up the phone in disbelief. Nancy was gone?
Numb, he slowly stood up and left the office to find Cindy. Never again would he take his amazing wife for granted, or skip the opportunity to tell her what she meant to him, how beautiful she was, and how much he loved her.
Tomorrow isn’t always guaranteed.
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