Monday, 3 April 2017

Maintenance of a tender heart.


The word I spoke on the porch maybe had more weight than it needed to but Sam let the door swing closed on Caleb's face as they made their way past each other. Sam was going in as Caleb waited for him to clear the door so he could come out. Usually whoever opens the door outward waits and whoever is coming through comes through but Sam chose not to be polite.

He turned and held the door wide with his arm. Sorry. Didn't see you in the darkness. 

Caleb passed him with a nod and came out to sit with me. I don't know if he caught that double entendre but I sure did.

Sam is doing that thing where he's annoyed that I missed church again and even more annoyed that I haven't seen much of him as he hunkers down in preparation for the coming weeks of heavy work. The biggest season of the year for church. It kind of makes me crazy how people who show up at Christmas and then again at Easter in their finest get a pass while I'm singled out in my contentment to give up cookies and get my forehead orthodoxed out with a cross every couple of days while at the same time thoroughly corrupting my minister to the point where hopefully he won't notice my absence in front of him during the weekly sermon.

I think it's working, though.

Caleb and I sit for an hour or so until the tea is cold and so are the tops of my feet. Then he heads inside to bid the rest a goodnight and Sam is back on the porch before I've had time to register that I have the whole thing to myself.

He's here too much. 

What's wrong, Sam? 

I worry about you. I don't know how you can give him the time of day sometimes. 

I forgive easily. I can hold a grudge with both hands and not let go in a tsunami, but I still forgive him. 


It's necessary. 

But is it? Can't I or someone else take his place? 

Not the same. 


Jesus Christ. I'm not here for numbers. I love him, Sam. 

Do you love me? 

He stares earnestly at me. I've never seen such hope in his eyes. Even during dark times. It makes my eyes water even as I hold my breath.

It's late. We should go on up. 

Yeah. I have some reading to-

Come with me. You can read later.

There's my answer, Bridget. 

Yes, Sam. There it is.