tagNon-EroticAnd His Heart Melted Part 3

And His Heart Melted Part 3


Part III

12 — Candlelight

John arrived at his apartment a little after six that evening, and went inside. Angie met him at the door, and took the flowers he had bought for her, and thanked him with a quick kiss on his cheek. But no smile.

John smelled the food cooking, and said, "Spaghetti! Smells great! How long till it's ready?"

"It won't be long!" Angie snapped.

John was taken back. He wasn't sure that this was going to be a good night. But he made an effort to be patient with her. He had noticed unlit candles on the small dining table in his living area, but no plates or silverware, so he went into the kitchen area to get them, and set the table himself.

By the time Angie came in with the spaghetti and the noodles, John had the lights turned down, the candles lit, and music playing softly on her stereo.

Angie realized John was playing one of the CD's she had brought over that afternoon; it was her favorite love song album. She looked at him and smiled, melting his heart melted.

That was the smile John had expected earlier, he realized.

"I'm sorry I snapped at you, John," Angie said apologetically. "I had trouble getting the sauce right, but I didn't have to take it out on you. But thanks for setting the table. That's something Darren would never have done."

"You're welcome, hon," John replied with a smile.

Throughout dinner, Angie told John of her struggles the last week concerning Darren.

"Every time I thought of him," she concluded, "I compared him with you. And he always fell short. I finally realized what I really wanted–needed, and it wasn't Darren." She paused. "Y'know, John, I've really enjoyed these past few days with you. It's such a refreshing change."

"I've enjoyed it too."

Seeing that they had both finished eating, Angie got up and went into the living room. John followed her in, and sat down on his battered sofa. Angie set the stereo to repeatedly play

her favorite song on that CD. She sat down beside John, and leaned against him.

John put his arms around Angie. "Y'know, it's been a long time since I heard that album. You used to play it so much I got sick of it." She giggled. "But that is one song I never got tired of hearing." He let the song play a little more, then added, "It reminds me that God is always 'Still Here'."

"It's one of my all-time favorite songs. But tonight I'm playing it to you, John. I'm so glad you're still here."

"Me too," John replied. He hesitated, clearly struggling to say something. "Angie, I know we agreed not to do this, but I have to say it: I don't want this to end. I want us to stay together. I lov–"

Angie interrupted John by placing her fingers on his lips. "I don't want it to end either, John. You are my husband, legally and physically, and I want to live with you as your wife , as long as we both shall live," she said, smiling.

John tried to respond with "Till death do us part," but found that his lips had decided to kiss her instead.

13 — Reconciliation

Later, they lay together in his bed, and John wondered how they had gotten there from the sofa. Oh well, he thought, what does it matter. Then he thought, God has answered my prayers in ways I had only dreamed of.

John looked at Angie, sleeping peacefully in his arms, and wondered.

Angie opened her eyes, saw his face, and asked, "What is that look for?"

"'You're Still Here.'"

"So are you," she whispered sweetly.

"Yes, but I meant the song–it's still playing."

Angie listened a moment, then said, "Yes, it sure is. It's very appropriate, y'know? The last two mornings, I was afraid I'd wake up and find you had already left."

John chuckled.

"Why is that funny?" Angie inquired.

"I was just remembering how, right before our 'separation', you'd leave not long after having sex. It was very hard for me to watch you go like that, because I knew we were growing apart. I wanted you to stay with me as long as possible." John paused. "So for you to now be worried about me leaving in the middle on the night, that's quite a change."

"Yes, it is, isn't it." Angie replied. "Y'know, I'm so proud of you."

"Me? What for?"

"It took a lot for you tell me you wanted us to stay together. I know you–you've tried to honor our agreement, even though it hurt you. Like watching me leave in the middle of the night."

"Well, I certainly didn't expect all this!" John exclaimed.

"What'd you mean?" Angie inquired.

"Four days ago you almost got engaged to someone else," John said. "Since then we've spent all day Saturday and Sunday, and then the past two nights, together. And now, we agree to live openly as husband and wife. That's quite a turn-around."

"That is what you've been praying for, isn't it?"

"Oh yes, but I didn't expect it all in four days. I figured that we'd end our agreement, and that I'd have to date you for several months, and then ask you to marry me."

"We already did that, John, although we mixed up the order," Angie said with a giggle.

"I guess so," John agreed.

"Well, I had that in mind too," Angie said. "But then I heard what your pastor said Sunday about the roles of a husband and a wife, and that once they are married, they should stay together. You've loved me unconditionally, John. I was convicted. I realized that, having married you, I should stay with you, no matter what, no matter how I felt. And the truth is–"

"Wait a minute!" John interrupted, "Are you staying with out of some sort of obligation?"

"You didn't let me finish, John," Angie stated. "The truth is, I do have very strong feelings for you–that's why I wasn't happy with Darren. But I know I haven't treated you right lately. I've been praying about it, and decided that, if you would have me, we'd start living together as husband and wife."

"If I'd have you??" John asked. "Do you really doubt that?"

"No, but it was your decision to make too, " Angie said.

"So you do love me?"

"Yes! Very much." Angie paused. "Your attitude since we separated has been wonderful. You really took to heart what your pastor has been teaching, and it shows."

"Well, I can't take credit for that. It all belongs to the Lord."

"I understand. You know, if both of us had shown that kind of unselfish attitude and behavior from the beginning, I don't think I would have ever fallen for Darren."

"You're probably right. Before you met him, I had really started taking our relationship for granted. And that's always dangerous."

"I did the same thing. And I doubt that making our marriage public will make it any easier now."

"Except maybe in one respect," John added. "Now, other people will know we're married, especially our parents. We denied ourselves a lot of support by doing it the way we did."

"Isn't that the truth," Angie agreed.

"I think our time apart made us both appreciate how much we really meant to each other."

"I know it did for me. And I was willing to throw all that away for Darren!" Angie said, as she fought to keep from crying. "I'm so glad you didn't give up on me. You gave me some space, but . . ." Her voice trailed off.

"Well, you could have cut me off completely, but you didn't," John reminded her.

"Cut off my best friend? No way! You were there for me when I really needed a friend. And now I'm here for you, wherever here is," Angie replied with a smile.

With that they made love again.

And Angie was reminded that John was always his best in whatever he did when she was in his life. He seemed so lost without her. It was like he belonged with her. He seemed to draw strength from her presence.

And Angie realized that she was happiest when she was with John.

14 — Decisions

John went to the bathroom to freshen up, then came into the kitchen. "Are we going back to your place tonight? I don't have to sleep over, y'know. I could just leave afte–"

"No, John," Angie interrupted. "I don't want us to play that game again. I have thoroughly enjoyed waking up with you in bed with me these last five days; I've already told you that. We're married; I think we should act like it."

"You're right," he admitted. "I just wasn't sure you'd want that."

"John, don't get insecure on me now, okay? I don't really care where we stay, as long as we're together; I meant what I said last night. I love you! I'm not going anywhere without you."

"Okay, how 'bout I just move in up there then?"

"It's too small," Angie responded, "and too far away from your work."

"Your lease is up this month, isn't it?" John asked.

"Yeah, but you just signed yours a couple months ago. Four months to go, right?" Angie inquired. John nodded yes. "I really don't want to live that far from work, but if we can't find something closer, I'm more than willing, you understand? You're much more important to me than where we live."

"I'm glad. I really am," he said with his biggest smile.

"Well, we'll talk more when we get home tonight. We still have to figure out what to tell everyone, especially our parents."

"That sounds like fun."

Angie snorted at John's sarcasm. She gave him a quick kiss, then headed off to the bedroom to get ready for work.

* * *

"Let's get married!" Angie declared over dinner that night.

"You mean again?" John asked.

"Yes, like renewing our vows. My folks always wanted me to have a nice wedding. It doesn't have to be big, but I'd like to have something for them. Besides, I want everyone to know that I love you, and that I'm not ashamed to be your wife. But what about our folks?" Angie asked. "What do we tell them, how do we explain us?"

"We tell them the whole truth," John replied. "My idea is this: We say publically that we eloped two years ago–"

"Which is true," Angie added.

"–but that we had problems from the start, so we didn't announce it. Eventually, we separated, but now we're back together, and we want to make it public."

"I guess that will work. It's the core of the truth anyway. That's definitely what I'll tell Darren, if he ever calls, which I hope he doesn't. But I'll let him know we were through anyway, no matter what would have happened between me and you."

"Well, I just hope he doesn't show up around me."

"He's not worth it, John. He's a lot bigger than you are, and you don't have to prove anything to me. You understand?" John nodded yes. "I'm glad you're mature enough to accept that."

"Thanks. I appreciate your encouragement. We'll need to get rings too," John said.

"Only for you. I'm already wearing mine." She raised her left hand for him to see.

"Where did you get that?" he asked.

"You bought it for me, on our honeymoon at the beach. You insisted, remember?"

"Oh, yeah. I was trying to be so romantic, since we agreed there would be no romance after we got back home."

"Biggest lies ever told, huh, John?" she asked with a smile.

"True" He thought a moment, then said, "You've never called that time our honeymoon before, y'know?"

"I will from now on," she said, and then she kissed him. "Remember our first night together? You were so sweet to me, you know? Sleeping in separate beds! Wow, what a guy."

"Well, you went along with it. At least until the next morning."

"That was your idea, not mine!" Angie exclaimed. "I'd gotten cold, that's all," she said with a grin.

"Yeah right!" John retorted. "Just like what happened Satur­day night was an accident." He noticed Angie's face redden, then added. "That's what I thought."

"Let's go home," Angie said.

"Home," John mused. "I like the sound of that"

"Me too," she said. And she smiled, melting his heart.

* * *

Later that night, back at her place in bed, Angie complained while John was caressing her breasts. "Not so hard, John!"

"I'm not rubbing them hard!"

"I know, but my breasts are feeling tender tonight."

"Okay, I'll go easy on them." And he did.

* * *

"Angie?" John asked later. "What do you think about having chil­dren?"

"Oh, I think it would be great. Especially after I graduate next year." Angie thought a moment. "Of course, we weren't cautious at all on Saturday, y'know, so I could be pregnant now."

"That would be nice." Then John said, "But that was risky. You really should have said something. And I should've asked too. What if we hadn't have decided to stay together?"

"I was pretty sure of what you wanted, as far as the sex goes any­way. I wanted it too. I was so used to not worrying about getting preg­nant that I didn't stop to remember that I was unprotected. I'll get a pregnancy test tomorrow so we'll know for sure, and I'll schedule an appointment as soon as I can get an opening at my doc­tor's."

"Sounds good," John said.

* * *

The next day, (Thursday), John talked to his apartment manager, Mr. Brown, about getting a larger apartment. John explained that he had been separat­ed from his wife, who was living in their old apartment in the other town.

The manager knew which one, because he had checked John's refer­ences before renting to him. "I realize your problem, John," he said, "but I don't have a larger one available here."

"I understand, sir," John replied. "I'll honor my lease. I just wish we could find some­thing a little closer to halfway between where each of us works."

"Where does your wife work, John?"

John told him.

"Call me tonight; I'll be here till after seven. I want to check on some things first. Your wife's name is Angela Morris, right?"

"Angela Potter. She uses her maiden name."

"Okay," Mr. Brown said, writing the name down on his notepad.

John thanked him and left the office.

* * *

That evening before dinner, John told Angie what he found out.

Angie had also talked to her building manager, and found that there was a larger apartment available in her building. But that still left John with having to pay a penalty to get out of his lease.

Angie looked at her wall clock. "It's almost seven now, John. Why don't you call Mr. Brown, and I'll set up dinner?"

John went into her bedroom to use the phone there. When he came back, he was smiling broadly.

"What'd he say?" Angie asked curiously.

"You won't believe it," John replied. "First, he said he talked to your building manager. He wanted to check your references, see what you were like as a tenant. She told him that you were very prompt with your rent, and kept the place clean. She said she thought that something had been going on between us for a long time, and is glad to hear that we are back together."

"So am I," Angie put in.

"Well," John continued, "Mr. Brown owns several different types of properties. One is a two-bedroom duplex right off the freeway, about half-way between where we =each work. He's been having trouble getting good people who won't trash the place. He's agreed to allow us to take it without any lease penalty at my place, but we'd have to sign a one-year lease at the duplex. He really wants some good tenants there." John told Angie what the rent was, which was about 75 percent of the total amount they currently paid for their apartments. "Since he's having to do some light remod­eling, it won't be ready for another two weeks, so we have until then to decide."

"What do we have to decide?" Angie asked.

"If we want to commit to a year there or not," John said. "He said we could look at the place anytime tomorrow or next week. Because of the work being done, someone will be there during the day all week."

"If we like it, I say let's go for it."

"Me too. I believe it's what we've been praying for."

By this time they had finished eating, so they cleared the table, then sat down on her sofa.

15 — Announcements and Moves

On Friday afternoon, Angie told John that the pregnancy test was positive.

John smiled broadly.

"I've got an appointment next Monday at my doctor's. I'm glad to see you're taking this well."

"I'm thrilled beyond words." Then John kissed Angie, and she under­stood that he was.

Then they visited the duplex. Angie loved it, so John agreed that they would take it.

* * *

That night, they invited John's parents out for dinner. They did the same for Angie's on Saturday.

Neither set of parents was very thrilled to hear their story, but they accepted that John and Angie were now trying to do the right thing. Plans were set in motion for the vow renewal ceremony.

On that Sunday, John and Angie asked his pastor to perform the ceremony, and pub­lically announced the event to the church. They also asked to join the church as members.

* * *

On Monday, Angie came home from work. When John got home, she asked if they could go out to dinner, and he agreed.

John asked eagerly, "So, what did you find out?"

"I'm definitely pregnant. That's why my breasts have been so tender lately. It's also why I've been sick the past few mornings."

"Morning sickness already?"

"It's not that unusual," she replied. "Not for someone who's five weeks pregnant," she added, squeezing his right arm lovingly.

"Five weeks?"

"Five and a half, near as the doctor can tell," she said with a grin.

John stared at her for a moment, unable to say a word, but looking like he wanted to ask her a question.

Angie noticed, and guessed what he wanted to know. "You remem­ber what happened about five weeks ago, the night when you came over after you almost lost your job?"

"Oh, yes! When you 'comfort­ed' me?"

"I did, didn't I?" she giggled.

"Maybe too much, huh?"

The implications of what had happened slowly began to register with both of them.

"Angie, you had absolutely no idea at all?" John asked.

"None, I promise," Angie replied. "And I feel so stupid! I missed a period, and thought nothing of it. I figured maybe it had something to do with coming off the pill."

John put his right arm around her, and pulled her closer. "Angie, it's okay. I am so glad we'd already decided to stay together before we found this out. But I'm really thrilled. The timing's not so good–you're due in the middle of next semester."

"I know. I'm glad too, though."

"Won't our parents be surprised!" John said.

"My mom won't. She asked me Saturday night if I was pregnant. Said I were behaving like she did with her first pregnancy." Angie giggled.

"Angie, let's never, ever talk of this as an accidental pregnan­cy, okay? I never want our child to think we didn't want him or her. I don't mind if some day they know the whole story, but I honestly believe that with God, there are no accidental pregnancies."

"You're right. We didn't plan it, but God knew. I was thinking the same thing. I was unplanned, and I heard about it once or twice in my life."

"I remember you telling me that once. That's why I mentioned it."

* * *

John and Angie spent the rest of the week's evenings packing their things.

John had suggested that they each work on their own apart­ments, but Angie wouldn't hear of it, as she refused to consider spending any more time away from him than she had too.

* * *

Mr. Brown called them on Thursday evening to tell him that the duplex was ready.

* * *

The next day, Angie needed to bring over some more things from her apartment. She asked John if she could borrow his sedan, as it had more room than her coupe. John agreed, and drove her car that day.

John hardly ever drove the sedan after that, except when they went some­where togeth­er. Angie liked to sit close to him when they were both in the car, which she couldn't do in the coupe.

They got new licenses because of their new address; Angie's now used her married name. They also closed John's bank account and convert­ed her's into a joint account.

* * *

John and Angie had already picked out a new queen-size bed for the duplex (they each used a full-size), and had it delivered on Saturday.

They spent their first night in their new apartment that evening. They took a few things with them, and John picked up some food on his way in from work. He arrived to find that Angie had set up a few of her things, includ­ing her CD player.

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