Determined to overcome her fear of heights and show her husband the depth of her loyalty, Tia mustered every droplet of courage within her, and arduously climbed the 20-foot ladder toward the roof of their house.
Keith, desperate for his wife’s help, was already on the roof. Lying on his stomach, he stretched out his hand toward Tia. “Come on babe, you can do this. Just keep looking at me and don’t look down. I’m right here. Trust me, once you’re up here, you’ll be fine.”
Almost within reach of Keith’s hand, Tia’s voice began trembling. “I don’t think I can do this Keith. I know we need to finish the roof before the rain hits tonight but I am beginning to feel like I weigh 300 lbs and the minute I take one foot off of this ladder, we’re both going down.”
Smiling compassionately, Keith gently reminded her, “I wouldn’t ask for your help if I didn’t really need it Tia. Neither would I ask you to come up here if I didn’t think you could handle it.”
Reaching the last wrung on the ladder, Tia grabbed Keith’s hand, and before she had time to retrace all the reasons she wanted to go back down, she was up on the roof.
Still trembling, Tia quickly sat down. “Whew, just give me a minute to calm down and get use to being up here.”
“Okay, but I’m going to keep working. We only have a couple hours of light left. Between the two of us, I think we can finish before dark.” Walking away, Keith pointed to the ridge of the roof, “I’ve got you all set up, up there with the Ridge Cap, a hammer and nails. I’ll keep working on the edge pieces.
Refusing to ascend to a walking position like Keith, Tia scooted her way up to her designated spot and began her assigned task out of pure adoring love for her husband.
As twilight descended, Tia hammered her last nail. Feeling much more comfortable now, she slowly rose to a standing position when shockingly, a bolt of green light roared across the sky. The noise was horrifically deafening making the entire house rattle beneath her.
It had only been two months since 911 and Tia felt sure that America, specifically California was being attacked. Overcome with genuine terror, Tia yelled out to her husband while falling to her knees, “Woe, did you see that Keith?” However, there was no response, so she abruptly turned to where Keith had been working, but he was gone.
Frantically, Tia made her way to the ladder and as she approached it, there was Keith on the ground looking up at her, smiling!
“Heck yeah, I saw it, why do you think I got down so fast.”
Pulled between spewing out her indignation at Keith for abandoning her to die alone while saving his own skin and her desire to get off of that roof, her better judgment opted for the latter.
However, once Tia was safely on the ground, she no longer subdued her soaring adrenaline to make known her racing thoughts of disappointment.
“Unbelievable Keith, all I could think about up there was that I was going to die alone and my last spoken words were Woe, did you see that? Only to discover that you obviously did, which is why you weren’t there.”
Unable to squelch his inner amusement, Keith’s smile turned into somewhat of a refrained laugh. “Honey, you’ve got to believe me, I knew that whatever was going on, we had to get off of the roof fast. I decided that if I wasn’t there to help you down, well…you’d get down a lot quicker, and I have to say, I think you made it down that latter faster than I did.”
Turning her back to Keith to avoid giving him the satisfaction of seeing her smile, Tia headed toward the house, “Yeah, right, whatever. If that’s the story, you want to go with.”
Turning on the T.V., they were relieved to hear the “special report” from their local news station indicating that a local Air base had successfully launched a test rocket which flew across Central California before heading west out over the Pacific Ocean as planned.
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