Delights in Time Ch. 03bythecelt©
Roz goes downhill and the girls ask Reese to come home but things take a turn for the worse. Problems with both Roz and Reese come to a head.
Thanks to Angel Love for her comments, suggestions and editing. She is an inspiration for me.
Roz settled into a routine, taking care of the girls, running the house and making sure everything was in order and attending the Church she and Reese were married in. That was pretty much her life now. At first, she tried to get back to some sense of a normal life but she couldn't stop the pain in her heart from growing. It was ironic: she had destroyed her perfect life trying to find what was missing from her perfect life. Now that she had driven Reese away, she found his absence was creating a hole that couldn't be filled. She realized that now something truly was missing from her life. With Reese gone, her life was a shambles and she no longer cared. She stopped socializing with the people she once shared so much with.
Sabrina and Paul had finally divorced. She had been quite active in the social scene and always tried to get Roz to join her, but Roz wanted no part of it and made that clear to Sabrina. She blamed Sabrina in part for agreeing to sell her shares to Reese without telling her, even though she understood why she did it. Their relationship slid just like everything else in Roz's life now. She also quit the counseling sessions but promised to continue to take the Zoloft. She went back occasionally only to renew the prescriptions.
As time passed, it was clear to the two girls that their mother was falling more and more into a dark depression. She did nothing wrong as a mother and homemaker. She always had dinner ready for them after school, she had clean clothes in their closets and all of the routine duties were meticulously completed, but she made no effort to do anything else. When they had school functions, she would drive them to and from but never attended and if they needed an adult, she called Sabrina and insisted she fill in for her.
She showed no interest in any of their activities and made no objection if they wanted to have a pool party or barbecue with their friends so long as they made all of the plans and arrangements. She was there and made sure nothing bad happened but she did not mingle or talk to their friends while they were there. Any attempt to include her were soundly rebuffed. She rarely left the house anymore except to do some shopping and an occasional trip into town to 'visit friends'. These trips were infrequent and were normally made later in the evening. Other than these few things, Roz was slowly withdrawing from everyone.
At the urging of Jacey and Jada, the minister of their church came to the home to talk with Roz. He was a young man and very personable. He liked the girls and most of their friends and knew they were good kids, never in trouble. He couldn't understand why they were worried about their mother since they obviously came from a loving home. But he agreed to visit as part of his outreach programs. Jacey led Reverend Parker into the den where Roz was sitting, listening to music but otherwise just sitting silently. Her face was slack and her eyes were unfocused, temporarily frightening the Reverend. He looked at her for a moment before softly speaking.
"Ms. Delgorio, it's Reverend Parker. May I talk with you for a while?"
Roz flinched as he began to speak and some life came into her face. She turned to see him standing there. She rose and faced him as Jacey left the room.
"I'm sorry Reverend. Welcome to my home. Did you say something?"
"I asked if I could speak to you for a while. You daughters invited me over. They are worried about you. May I sit down?"
"Of course, please have a seat, but there is nothing to worry about. I'm fine, really. What did you want to talk about?"
Roz sat back down and seemed to wait for the Reverend to speak. She made no effort to be polite, instead looking almost resigned to this interruption in her world.
"I just wanted to see how you were and if I could be of any help. Is there something bothering you?"
She looked at him with an expression of what appeared to be pity. She smiled briefly before she answered him.
"Nothing that you can help me with. I made a very bad mistake and betrayed my husband and now I have to live with that. Unless you can change that, there is nothing anyone can do."
With that, Roz turned away and again looked at something only she could see. She simply seemed to go away and that scared Reverend Parker more than anything else. He made several more attempts to talk to her but her responses were either abrupt or she simply ignored him until he finally gave up. He left the den and went into the kitchen where the girls were patiently waiting.
"I'm afraid I can't help your mother. I think she needs professional help. If you would like, I can recommend someone. Are you girls all right here? Do you need anyone to come in to help you?"
"Mom's fine about everything else. She's never neglected us. She does everything around the house: she fixes our meals, she does our clothes, she keeps the schedules and appointments but she won't talk to us and doesn't seem to care what we do. She won't let us have wild parties or anything like that but she won't talk to our friends when they're here. We don't know what to do."
"I would talk to your dad first. See if he can help you. They may be divorced but I'm sure he cares about you. Let him know what's going on and that you're worried and frightened. I think you should call him as soon as you can. I am worried about your mother."
He stayed for a short time just calming them down before leaving. He'd let it go for a while longer but something had to be done and done soon. He made them promise to talk with their dad and then to let him know what they decided. He left with a heavy heart, fearing things might not get better.
When Reese called that evening, Jacey and Jada both told him what was going on with Roz. They finally made it clear to him that they were scared for her and they were afraid that something bad was going to happen. They cried at first when he said he didn't want to get involved and finally convinced him to come back as soon as he could. They wanted him to come right away but he said that it would be a week or so before he could. He would let them know for sure later. They had to be content with that. He finally told them to tell Roz that he would come for dinner the Tuesday after next. Maybe that would cheer her up. They agreed immediately and made final arrangements.
The girls discussed it between themselves and decided to tell Roz the next morning before leaving for school. They hoped that it would help boost her spirits if she had something to look forward to. A family dinner should get her moving. They went to sleep feeling better about everything. If dad could help mom, they would be grateful. Dad was the fixer in the family. He could fix this.
As planned, the next morning at breakfast, Jada waited until Roz sat down with her usual cup of coffee for breakfast. "Mom, we have some good news. Dad's coming home to have dinner with all of us next Tuesday. He wanted to know if that was OK?"
The change in Roz was immediate and unmistakable. She stopped with the cup halfway to her mouth as she turned to look at Jada with her brow wrinkled in confusion. She put the cup down carefully as she asked Jada to repeat what she had just said.
"I said, Dad wants to know if it's OK for him to come have dinner with all of us next Tuesday. Is it OK?"
Roz paused for a minute as she considered her daughter. She seemed to be trying to determine whether Jada was playing a trick on her. When it became clear that Jada was waiting for an answer, Roz understood that this was real.
"Of course it's OK. Did he call you last night? Is that when he mentioned dinner? What else did he say? I should talk to him if he calls again tonight. Will you let me know when he calls?"
"He said he would call you tonight instead of us. He'll call on our regular phone, not the one for Jacey and me."
Jada glanced at Jacey with a smile as if to say, "Told you."
"Well then, that will be fine. I'll talk to him then and see what his plans are. Now, you girls should get ready for the bus. You don't want to be late."
Since the girls got themselves off to school every morning without Roz even noticing, they thought her comment a positive one. They both left with smiles on their faces and hope that their mother would be all right again.
Roz couldn't get her mind around it. Reese was coming home? He was coming to dinner? She hadn't seen or talked with him for several years and now he was coming to dinner. Jada said he was going to call tonight. He was going to talk to her, not the girls. As she thought about seeing and talking to him again, her heart began to pound and she had to sit down before her legs gave way. Could this be the beginning of the end of her torment? Could he have forgiven her? Maybe they could at least be friends again. That was worth anything. She still loved him completely but she accepted that he would never again be her lover and husband. Friends was all she could hope for and it was enough: she could live with that.
Roz got up and wandered through the house looking around. It was a mess. She had to clean it. She had to make things perfect. Like her life before she ruined it. Stop! Stop thinking like that! He was coming home so stop this and make things right. She began to gather the things she would need and began making the house perfect.
When the girls came home, they were surprised to find dinner on the stove, the smells coming from the various pots and pans delicious and inviting. The table was set but Roz was nowhere to be found. They put their books and packs away and went to their rooms to change but stopped when they heard singing coming from their mother's room. They tiptoed down the hall and peeked in to see Roz sitting at her vanity combing her hair. She had put makeup on for the first time in a long time and her hair was shining with a fresh washing and curling. She looked like another person. They ran back to their room smiling and giggling. It seemed that their mom was back.
Dinner was altogether different but pleasant. Instead of just dishing out their plates and then going into the den, she joined them. She served a delicious meal of baked chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and bacon, fresh baked biscuits and a fresh fruit salad. They enjoyed the meal as well as conversation: Roz asking about their day, their activities and their plans. It was as it used to be, before dad left. Jada and Jacey shared looks that said their plan had succeeded far beyond their expectations. It was the first really fun meal they had since longer than they could remember.
Since it was a Tuesday night, the girls had a regularly scheduled meeting of one of their many clubs so Roz agreed to drive them and pick them up. Recently, her normal reaction was to let someone else do the driving so the girls told her that they had already scheduled rides. Roz was surprised but then quickly understood that she had not been an active part of their lives for some time and apologized to Jacey and then to Jada for her seemingly antipathy. She felt tears come to her eyes but the girls quickly told her that they would rather go with her and they could call to cancel their rides. That seemed to please Roz and she happily cleaned the table while they got ready.
With the girls gone to their meeting and the house cleaned top to bottom at least twice, Roz nervously waited for the phone call from Reese. For the first time, she wondered where he was and how he was living. She was surprised to realize she knew nothing about his activities over the past two years. She stopped asking the girls when her depression became severe and she had not tried to find out. The girls had stopped talking about him when it was clear that it just upset Roz to hear anything about him. Thus it was that she waited for a call from a man that she hadn't spoken to in several years, a man that used to be her husband and who was living somewhere else and perhaps with someone else. She decided to take one of her pills to calm herself down. She hadn't taken anything since the girls told her about Reese.
At just after 8:00, the phone rang and Roz froze. She couldn't move for the first two rings but finally found the courage to pick up the receiver.
"Hello Roz. It's Reese. How've you been?"
"Hello Reese. I've been OK. It's good to hear from you. How are you and where in the world are you. I guess I lost track."
"Well, I'm fine and I'm currently in Costa Rica, in San Jose'. I've been here for the last eight months or so and I have to tell you, I love it here. I'm staying with a couple from the states that I met. He's retired and they moved here about three years ago. It's really great. I think you would love it."
"I don't know about that. I was never one for roughing it. I always liked the creature comforts as you know."
"Well, anyway. I am going to fly back to the states, leaving here Friday and I should be back in Springfield by Sunday evening. The girls said it would be OK if I came for dinner and we could talk? Is that still OK?"
Roz paused as her heart was beating so hard that it made her uncomfortable. She was waiting for the pill to kick in and calm her down. Maybe another one.
"Of course. I would love to have you come to dinner and so would the girls. Can you come Monday evening? I know the girls have things on Tuesday and Wednesday so Monday or Thursday would be fine. Whichever is best for you. I have no plans so I'm open."
"Monday would be perfect. I'll call in the afternoon to confirm and to find out what time to come. Should I bring anything?"
"No, just come as you are. You might plan on about 6:30. We usually eat about that time."
"Good. It's set then. It will be good to see you again Roz. It's been too long."
"I would love to see you again too. Goodbye, Reese."
Roz hung up quickly before she could say something stupid. She thought she had done well just to keep it together. His voice sounded so good, like nothing had changed. Of course she heard his voice in her dreams all the time. She saw his face everywhere and she still found herself expecting him home at dinner time. Even after all of this time, she hadn't accepted the loss of her husband, her friend and her lover.
For her, the past years had been a constant reminder of her stupidity, her greed and her shame. She continued in her depression even with the damn pills. They made her so tired that she had to find something else to ease the pain without driving her to bed. She had made a connection with one of the delivery guys and he had put her on to a source for oxycontin, a pain pill. She found that one or two of those in the evenings when things were so bad put her at ease and made sleep welcome. She had read up on them and found that they weren't physically addictive but she had to be careful with the dosage so that she would not have withdrawal symptoms from the psychological addiction. Once in a while, when things got too bad, she took both the oxycontin and the Zoloft. That really put her into the zone. No problems then!
The phone call lifted her spirits and she began to make plans. She wanted everything to be perfect and she began to plan the dinner. This is what she did well and it was second nature to her so the pills didn't affect her as she began. She worked solidly for the next two hours until it was time to pick up the girls. She answered all of their questions about the phone call from Reese. She pretended to be calm but they knew better and they teased her unmercifully. She welcomed the feeling of really connecting with her girls. They had a fun evening of girl talk and plans. It had been almost a year for the girls as well so they were excited to see him again.
Over the next several days, Roz put everything together, making several trips into town to pick up the odds and ends that she found she couldn't do without. She filled the days with preparations, just as she used to do for her business, but this was far more important to her than business. She had the menu for dinner, she had candles, the house was spotless, and the wines were selected. The girls would each have a glass: she had promised them. Dessert would be a choice of chocolate cake or fruit with whipped cream. To be certain that everything was perfect, she arranged for everything to be delivered to the house by 5:00 Monday evening. She had decided at the last minute to have everything prepared by the best kitchen in town and used her contacts to make arrangements. She was taking no chances. Now she had only to wait.
Roz made sure she had worked her way down on all of her pills so that Sunday she had taken nothing. She was so high with anticipation that she felt no need for anything. She was happier than she had been for over a year. She was anxious to see and talk to Reese. They had said so little to each other before the divorce and nothing since. She had so much to say and so many things to apologize for that she had been practicing in front of her mirror for days. She felt scared but ready. She wanted him back in her life, even as just a friend. She had hope for the first time in so long.
Monday arrived and she was nervous but ready. The girls went off to school and Roz made final preparations. The wines were chilling, the table was set, the china was clean and the silver polished. She had to admit, it looked wonderful. She waited.
At 4:00 the girls got home from school and went up to finish their homework so as to be free the rest of the evening. Roz helped them pick out clothes for dinner and she asked their opinion of her choice. They had suggestions and she accepted most of them. They waited.
At 5:00, the food came and Roz went over everything with the deliveryman to be sure things were as ordered. Once satisfied, she took the entrees into the kitchen and put them in the oven on warm. She made sure all the sides were transferred to the good serving dishes and the desserts were in the fridge. She made a final check and was ready. She went in to be with the girls and they waited.
At 5:45, she went in to the dining room to light the candles and make a final check of the settings. Everything was right, and the table looked perfect. She lowered the lighting to allow the candles to show and went back to be with the girls. They waited.
At 7:00, they all were becoming concerned. Reese hadn't called to confirm and they couldn't understand why he wasn't there. He said 6:30 and he was never late for anything. And anyway, he hadn't called. They waited.
Finally, at 7:30, Roz called the number she had for the local airport. She thought Reese had said he used that airport to fly in and out of when he was learning to fly. Maybe they had some information or could tell her who to call. She was finally connected to a Mr. Phillips, one of Reese's original instructors. She explained the situation and Phillips told her he would make some calls and get back to her. She thanked him and hung up. They waited.
Forty five minutes later, he called back. The news was not good.
"Rosalind, it's John Phillips. I called the FAA and got some information. It seems Reese left Costa Rica early Friday morning and he was scheduled to land in Tegucigalpa Honduras, before continuing on to Belize and then to Mexico. There is no record of his landing at any of those destinations Friday or Saturday. The word was passed on to begin searching for him but they wanted to wait to be sure he didn't land somewhere else. He wasn't required to file a detailed flight plan since he was flying in sight most of the way. I'll stay on it and keep you informed. I think it's far too early to be worried, so please be calm. OK?"