David adjusted his tie and smoothed his suit. Hands shaking, he reached for the doorknob and opened it to find his best friend standing before him.
“Sam you look as nervous as I feel.”
“David. Are you sure you want to go through with this?”
David’s warm brown eyes looked directly into Sam’s eyes as he answered. “Yes Sam. Sarah is my chosen one for life. I know she isn’t perfect but she is perfect for me.”
With a sigh from Sam and an eager smile on David’s face, the two friends headed toward the sanctuary.
Music played softly then rose in a crescendo as the young bride entered on the arm of her father. Her gown was a pristine white satin and Sarah held a crimson bouquet of roses.
They promised before family and friends to be faithful until death. Next to them yet unseen, Yashmea nodded and a tear trickled down his face.
“David you have to do something. She has squandered every penny of your money and … well son I’ve talked to Sam and I know the rest.”
David sat on the worn couch and sipped the hot coffee his mother had made. There were random papers on the coffee table and he picked one up perusing it slowly before he gently put it back. In the kitchen dishes were heaped in the sink, a musty smell hung in the air and a clean surface couldn’t be found.
“Mom, I know you mean well but I made a promise. I’m staying with Sarah and working to make things better. You need to go to your house and I will take care of mine. I love you.”
David’s mother had tears in her eyes and a bright flush to her face but she turned and walked to the door. For a brief second she looked back at her strong and wonderful son … then she closed the door gently behind her.
Yashmea sat next to David and put a hand on his shoulder.
Sarah screamed with the pain of pushing the new life forward. Bright lights revealed the beaded perspiration as the drama continued to the pinnacle of a small crying voice. David’s face beamed. Sarah stole a glance at her husband and lowered her eyes with shame.
Some time later the two new parents sat alone and watched as Benjamin slept in the tiny bassinette.
“David I have something to tell you.”
David turned his gaze from his sleeping son to his wife. She was still so beautiful to him. He knew what was coming.
“David … the baby … Benjamin … oh this is so hard.” Sarah began sobbing uncontrollably.
David wrapped his arms around her as he spoke, “There is nothing you can tell me that we can’t face together.”
“But you won’t love me anymore. You won’t want me as your wife.”
David gently wiped away Sarah’s tears. He touched her trembling lips and took her hands in his.
“There is nothing you can tell me that will make me want to leave you. We took a covenant of marriage … I love you forever.”
“But David-“ Sarah paused and drew a deep breath then whispered, “I broke the covenant.”
There was silence in the room for several seconds before David spoke, “I know.”
Sarah looked up. “But Benjamin isn’t your son.”
“He is now.”
Yashmea nodded and smiled.
David straightened his tie and smoothed his suit. Hands shaking, he reached for the knob and opened the door. There seated in a wheelchair, her iron gray hair wild and uncombed, Sarah sat gazing out the window.
“Don’t want any. Get out. No salesman allowed.”
David picked up the hairbrush from the nearby table and began to gently brush Sarah’s hair. Hours later as she sat still staring out the window, Sarah looked over at him and smiled.
“I love you.”
David’s face beamed with joy as a tear dropped to his lap.
“I’ll always love you.”
As David shuffled down the hallway he saw Maria, a nurse’s aid with a sunny smile, headed his way. David stopped and smiled.
“Maria so nice to see you.”
“Mr. David, nice to see you also. How is Miss Sarah today?”
“She just told me she loved me.” David reached for a handkerchief and Maria averted her eyes.
He probably has no idea that she says that phrase multiple times a day usually directed to the air. And I don’t plan to tell him. Maria looked at the obviously exhausted elderly man before her and felt a stab of pity.
Aloud she said, “You know Mr. David, Sarah wouldn’t know if you missed a day and the rest would do you good. She doesn’t always even know who you are.”
David inhaled deeply and let his breath out in a slow measured exhale, then he smiled.
“But Miss Maria … I know who I am. ”
They were both silent for a moment.
“Good-bye Miss Maria. I’ll see you tomorrow.” With a smile and a twinkle in the warm brown eyes, David headed home.
Yashmea nodded his approval.