As fast as David's life was coming together,
Scott's was falling apart, a little more than one hundred miles to the south. Monday he'd
been beat up, and by Friday he was deeply involved in the dark side of the Department.
After his meeting with Mr. Henderson, all he could think of was Tom and his son dying in
the car accident. Dan never returned after lunch Wednesday and Scott regretted not taking
his chance with Dan and leaving the Department right then. But he had sold himself out. He
was now bought and paid for. All he could do was prove his worth to Mr. Henderson.
Working late Thursday afternoon, throughout the night and into the
early morning, Scott diligently labored on the special project Mr. Henderson had assigned
to him. He had found a small Christian orphanage that he started to attack in the Friday
morning newspapers. Scott knew how much Mr. Henderson feared the Christian movement and
hoped that this might be the salvation to save his family. He was headed home at four in
the morning, his made up stories already on the wire service for the Friday morning
newsrooms. He hated what he had just done, but he had no alternative. Driving home Scott
kept tapping his brakes.
Mr. Henderson sat at his desk reading the copy of Scott's wire service
release: CHRISTIAN COUPLE ABUSE CHILDREN AT ORPHANAGE. THREE CHILDREN DIE.
POSSIBLE MANSLAUGHTER CHARGES TO FOLLOW. . . Pleased, Mr. Henderson walked across
his office and fed the only copy into a paper shredder. Although it was just past eight
A.M., this story was worth a drink. Mr. Henderson hit a switch, the panel lifted and he
made himself a Bloody Mary then toasted himself. His plan was right on schedule, plus
Scott was on his side to defame and undermine Christianity. He could taste victory. Within
ten years mercy killing could be at full speed, especially without the Christian movement
getting in the way.
The plan was perfect because it was so simple. First discredit small
Christian organizations, then hit the larger ones with more hideous claims. All he had to
do was feed the news and press offices incorrect statistics and indiscretions; the media
would do the rest. Most reporters thrive on sensationalism. They call it good
investigative reporting, but the truth is, they have been bought. To keep their jobs, they
overlook the truth. As Mr. Henderson saw it, organized religion would suffer the most,
being preoccupied with their own manmade doctrine. Ecumenical would become a word that
would fade like integration. Too busy pointing their nonjudgemental fingers at each other,
Christians would never unite. The world would be controlled by the worthy and strong;
there would be no place for the weak and righteous.
Mr. Henderson made himself another drink, went back to his desk and
gloated. Nothing was going to get in his way! He picked up the phone and called up one
floor. Moments later the electric latch buzzed and Kirk entered Mr. Henderson's office.
"What do you need? Do you want me to take care of Scott's wife?" Kirk asked
"No, I don't need you to do anything to Scott's wife. I think
Scott is going to work with us. I've got him working toward undermining Christianity. And
if Scott does what he did to the auto makers with that metric system scam, he will be very
valuable for us."
"Oh," Kirk replied disappointedly.
"I called you down here to see what you've got on the computer
infiltrator," grunted Mr. Henderson.
Kirk pulled a small notepad from his shirt pocket, flipped it open and
read. "From the test probe reading Monday afternoon I calculated the call was placed
within two hundred miles of here. I am almost sure the infiltration was made by someone in
Colorado." He flipped the page and continued. "I have checked the phone books
within a two hundred-mile radius of here for all the David McClintock's that spell David
with three D's and found none. I think it may have been a kid that could not spell at the
keyboard so I figured the name was David spelled the regular way."
As Mr. Henderson leaned back in his big black leather executive chair,
it groaned under his weight. He rubbed his chubby fingers on his double chin and asked,
"Has Scott been helping?"
"Yeah, I went back to the tape backup for that Friday night and
everything Scott told me checks out. Even the guy spelling David with three D's."
Scott flipped another page and went on. "Another reason I think the computer hacker
may have been a kid is that he also said his name was Paul, then something about being on
a mountain freezing. I'm in the process of checking out all the David and/or Paul
McClintock's right now."
"I still don't see how somebody could tap into our computer
system, especially after I gave you millions for the most sophisticated equipment,"
said Mr. Henderson.
Scott knew he was on the hot seat and offered an explanation. "I
checked with a source of mine and he said the Air Force at the Lowry Air Base has been
working on some top secret unscrambling equipment. They developed some chip that can
decipher enemy intelligence and communication. They call it the Clipper Chip."
"Well, have you been to the Air Force Base to check out this
Clipper Chip?" Mr. Henderson asked.
"I tried but I don't have clearance to get on base."
"I will get you clearance! Then I want you to get up there and
check out this Clipper Chip project. I want answers. And don't give me this kid theory
about tapping into our computer. How the hell would some kid know my name?" yelled
Mr. Henderson, agitated that Kirk did not yet have the computer hacker.
Mr. Henderson picked up the phone. "Get me the Brigadier General
at Lowry Air Base."
It took two calls for Mr. Henderson to get clearance for Kirk. He had
so many people in his back pocket that he could get clearance to the Oval Office if need
be. Kirk was to be at the front gate of Lowry Air Base at thirteen hundred hours that
It was almost a two-hour drive up Interstate 25 from Pueblo to Lowry
Air Base. There was a clearance pass waiting for Kirk at the gate and within an hour Kirk
had Airman Green's recorded confession to selling the Clipper Chip for $5,000 to a
middle-aged man just over six feet tall with graying hair and a fake beard. Airman Green
more than cooperated, hoping to a plea bargain. One piece of information that he offered
was the white pickup with Colorado plates and a business name on the side. Although he
clearly remembered that fact, he could not recall the name of the business on the door.
Kirk was back at the Department before four, alone on the second
basement level amongst all his computer and security equipment. He had written all the
information about the computer infiltrator on a chalk board. It was turning into more than
finding out who it was; he now had an opponent to challenge, someone deserving of his
cunning wit. Kirk stood back and looked at the display of information he had written.
1. Friday night message: MY NANE DDAVID MCLINTOCK PLESSE
HELP I''M TRAPD ON MTANTREO. EMERGECY.
2. Message one hour later: NEED HELP! MAN IS
FREEZING. MY NAME IS PAUL. I NEED HELP IMMEDIATELY!
3. Message Monday afternoon: IS MR. HENDERSON
Kirk had some of the pieces, but something just wasn't right about the
misspelling of all the words in the first contact. It was as though an eight-year-old kid
had typed that message. But then all the words in the second message, by someone name
Paul, were spelled correctly, even the word freezing. Freezing! I wonder if? Kirk
darted to a keyboard, shaking as though he too were chilled. As he typed, he noticed how
many words he misspelled. That's it! This guy was freezing. Kirk was close
he could smell the blood of another victory.
Meanwhile, David completely unaware that he was being challenged
had just finished his last job in the shop and was carefully tending to last minute
details prior to taking ten days off. It was past four when Bill came into the back shop
with bad news. "Mr. Johnson from the Denver Bank just called. He said that computer
line you hooked up for them Wednesday is still not working right. He wants you there first
thing on Monday."
Throwing some tools onto his bench, David looked at the digital clock
display on the pink boombox. "I still have time. The banks close at six on
"It would be great if you made it up there tonight. The jackass
said he won't pay the bill from the other day if we all don't get it fixed up right. And
if you got up there tonight it wouldn't mess up your vacation plans."
When David arrived at the bank, it was ten to six. He had just enough
time to grab his tools and test equipment and get inside before they locked the doors. He
went over to the desk where he had installed the data line for the account verification
and signature machine and started to do some checking. He was down on the floor under the
desk checking the wiring and noticed some legs standing in front of the desk. The problem
was obvious: someone had run over the telephone connecting wire with the wheel of a chair
and almost cut it in half. David crawled out from under the desk to go get a new hookup
"You screwed up! I could only check accounts at other banks for
one day," Mr. Johnson said, loud enough for all to hear.
"I don't think it was my screw up. Someone wasn't careful and ran
over the cord. It's cut halfway through," David smugly replied, handing the severed
cord to Mr. Johnson.
Examining the coiled phone connecting cord, Mr. Johnson said,
"Must have been the cleaning crew," and handed the cord back.
"I've got another cord in the truck. I'll go get it if you can
hold the door open for me. It's almost six and I don't want to get locked out."
"Sally, hold the door for this repair guy. I've got a tennis match
to get to," yelled Mr. Johnson across the lobby. Then he turned back toward David and
said, "You shouldn't have left the cord on the carpet like that, so don't be charging
me for this service call."
David stared down Mr. Johnson, ready to give him a piece of his mind.
Instead, he bit his tongue. I'm going on vacation Monday. There is no use letting this
jerk get to me. David exited the bank while Sally stood by the door to let him back
Returning with the new cord, David was glad that Mr. Johnson was gone.
The bank tellers were busy counting and balancing their cash drawers and Sally went into
the vault. Though it took less then a minute for David to snap a new cord in place, it
took a while to affix the new cord to the bottom of the desk, up and out of the way.
Finished, he stood from under the desk and looked for someone to check the machine before
he left. Everybody was busy; Sally was still in the vault. David was anxious to leave. He
still had to finish some work back at the shop. The display on the verification machine
WELCOME TO INNER-NATIONAL ELECTRONIC BANK SERVICE. ENTER
NAME OF ACCOUNT TO VERIFY FUND ENTER NAME.
Deciding to test the machine himself, David typed his name and then
stopped. Why should I use my account and get tabbed five dollars? I'm not even getting
paid for the service call. Let's see, I'll use that Jack Henderson name again. It worked
on my laptop from the phone room the other day I was here. David cleared his name and
then typed in JACK HENDERSON. The display listed the forty plus Jack Hendersons and David
selected the one with a P.O. Box in Pueblo, Colorado. The display changed.
SELECT 1 FOR SIGNATURE VERIFICATION.
SELECT 2 FOR THIS BRANCH ACCOUNT TOTALS.
ENTER PASSWORD TO CHECK ACCOUNTS OR TRANSFER FUNDS TO OTHER SUBSCRIBING
HIT ESCAPE TO EXIT.
David hit 1. The machine started printing and dropped a paper into the
bin. David picked up the paper and looked at it. He examined the sloppy signature of Jack
Luther Henderson. Then he hit the 2 to check the other functions. The machine started and
dropped another piece of paper into the bin. It was the account at that branch that had
$680,000. Everything worked. David slipped the papers into his notebook, elated that he
could leave Monday as planned. A beep came from the machine.
ENTER YOUR PASSWORD IF YOU WANT TO CHECK ACCOUNTS AT
David should have quit but instead reached for his wallet to get the
number Mr. Johnson had written on the pad the other day, the one he lifted off by rubbing
a pencil on edge. He typed in the secret password. In less than ten seconds the machine
started printing. A full page of account numbers with amounts dropped into the wire
hopper. The machine continued printing. Another full page fell into the hopper, then
another. I hope this hurries up and quits. I might get caught. David quickly picked
up the papers and hid them in his notebook while surveying the bank to make sure no one
was watching. David got back under the desk, prepared to disconnect the power if the
machine didn't quit soon. Only two more papers dropped into the hopper and it finally
"Did you get our new account signature verification machine
working?" asked someone standing above David.
It was Sally. David jumped up! "Yeah, it was just a severed
"Good timing. It's almost six thirty. We need to leave now, or I
will have to reset the alarm."
David hastily gathered his tools and grabbed his notebook while Sally
followed and unlocked the front door. David exited with her and the tellers. No sooner had
he heard the door lock than he got the feeling he had forgotten something. Got my tool
box and service notebook. I got everything. David walked out to the truck, happy that
the call went so well. His plans for next week where still on.
By the time he got back to the shop Bill had already gone home. There
was something David wanted to do when Bill was not around. He went over to his bench and
hooked up a microphone to a frequency counter. Holding the microphone up to the boombox,
David rewound the tape, then hit PLAY. It was that spy intuition in him just like
rubbing the pencil on the pad to get Mr. Johnson's password. When the eleven tones on the
first part of the tape were picked up by the frequency counter, it displayed what
frequencies they were on the red digital display. David had to rewind and start the tape
several times, but he got all eleven frequencies. A quick check on a phone tone chart and
he had the phone number. Now I'll see if the number that the senator had dialed is the
same Mr. Henderson I checked accounts on at the bank.
Flipping open his notebook, David started to examine the bank
printouts for a phone number. There was no phone number on any of the sheets, but one
thing was sure whoever Mr. Henderson was, he was loaded. He had three completely
filled printouts of accounts all over the country. David scrutinized the papers a little
closer and noticed that all the accounts were for different organizations, and that Mr.
Henderson was listed as the trustee on each one. All that was on the last paper was Mr.
Henderson's signature, no phone number. This has to be the same Mr. Henderson. The
senator mentioned on the tape something about money that was appropriated for studies that
never amounted to much. As David looked closer at the accounts there was one that had
$290,000 in it for the Committee of Retired Doctors. Another account that caught his eye
was two million dollars for the Study to Find Unethical Reporters.
The phone ringing in Bill's office interrupted David's investigation.
"Bill's Electronic shop," David said, still examining all the accounts.
"David, it's past eight. I called to see if I should hold dinner.
The children are getting hungry."
"Oh, Marcea, I'm sorry I didn't call. I had a late job at a bank.
And I still have a few things to finish here at the shop so that I can take a week or so
off. Go ahead and eat dinner. I won't be home till late."
"A week off! What for? Are you going someplace?"
"I'm going to go see Paul's father, then Paul. I also need to go
to the military base in San Diego where I got discharged also and to get some paperwork
straightened out. We'll talk when I get home," said David, still looking over the
printouts of Mr. Henderson's bank accounts.
"Okay. I'll keep dinner warm for you. Bye."
"Bye." David hung up. Instinctively, he started unraveling
the facts about D.O.S. These are the accounts that the senator was going to check into,
the ones he accused Mr. Henderson of appropriating money for. Boy, there must be over
three million dollars here. I wonder if the senator's plane blowing up wasn't an accident.
No, that couldn't be. The papers reported it as a faulty gas line. Anyway, what's the big
deal if some bureaucrat wastes all this money? Everyone in the government does it. They
pay six hundred dollars for a hammer. We've got a President who funded some worthless
swamp land deal; the one before him sold weapons all over the world. Why should I get
involved? In today's politics, there is nothing here that anyone would think was wrong.
David went back to his bench, wadded up the printouts and shot them
into a wastebasket in the corner. He started to finish up some other work but couldn't
concentrate. A lot has happened. Last week at this time Paul and I were stuck up on
that mountain. That next morning when he held his hand up and prayed over me something
happened. It's as though new blood is flowing through me. Things have changed so fast in
one week. I'm now Danny's Godparent and every night he wants me to come in and say a
prayer with him. I know that I will get things straightened out and will soon own this
shop and business. I will start treating Marcea better so she will want to marry me. I'm
even going to ask Paul to be my Best Man. Thank you, God . . . if you are listening.
The time display on the boombox read half past eight. Deciding to
come back in the morning to finish, David turned off the lights, closed up the shop, and
Turning into his driveway, David yawned, exhausted from the long day at
work. Under the carport, the tarp that covered his Harley had blown off again. Covering
back up his prize possession, he thought about driving it when he left on his trip. While
he tied the tarp down to the glistening machine he was figuring out how much stuff he
needed for the trip. All I really need is my laptop computer with the Clipper Chip plus
a few other items. I'll take my bike, weather permitting. Might as will mix business with
Marcea was in the same spot she had been the night before, reading
the book Paul had sent. "I got your dinner in the oven. Why don't you come into the
kitchen and eat? Then you can tell me about this trip you have to go on," Marcea said
as she closed the book and forced down the footrest of the recliner.
David followed her into the kitchen, paying attention to the
body-hugging leotard and bare backed workout top. Her firm body reminded him that last
night he came home early and went to bed. In fact they had not been together since Paul's
visit. But tonight he wouldn't go right to sleep; he wasn't that tired. David sat in front
of the plate Marcea had put out for him, watching her sexy movements as she got the warm
food out of the oven.
Marcea brought over a square pan and dished out some lasagna.
"Now, what's this trip you have to go on all about?"
"I need to get some records straightened out and I want to go see
Paul's father. I hope I can get things ironed out between him and Paul."
"How could the father of a priest have problems with his
"It's kind of a personal thing. Someday maybe I'll explain it to
"Then what's this about getting some records straightened?"
David took a bite and while chewing said, "There is some mix up
with our Social Security numbers." Not wanting to go into any more detail, he ate
"So, this mix up between your Social Security numbers also mixed
up your military records. Is that it?"
David swallowed and then said, "Yeah, you got it."
Marcea was satisfied with this vague explanation for leaving on such
short notice, but she still felt uneasy, almost afraid. "When are you leaving?"
"Probably on Monday. After going to Portland, Oregon to talk with
Paul's father, I'll head south to California to see Paul. Then I'll go down to my old
military base. I should be back in about ten days. I might even take my Harley, depending
on the extended weather report."
"If you take your motorcycle, be careful! Don't you think it would
be safer to drive the truck?"
Paul just smiled. Telling a cycle rider to be careful were just empty
words. All bikers know and live with the risk it's part of the ride.
"You know, this will be the first time we will be apart since I
moved in. What should I do? Do you want me to go stay with my mother or something?"
Marcea asked. She had never felt like David's home was hers.
As David looked across the table at her big beautiful brown eyes, some
of what he read last night in the book Paul had sent him started to sink in. He needed to
give more and take less regardless if it was in a relationship, the country,
society or even a church. Greatness comes from giving, not taking. Before, all he wanted
was to take; now he wanted to be man enough to give. Things would be different when he got
back. He finally swallowed and was able to say, "Marcea I want you to stay here. My
house is your home."
Marcea almost glowed. She had never been happy with their living
arrangement but had trusted that her prayers would be answered, that someday she would be
living that fairy tale marriage. When Marcea brought over a piece of pie she said,
"I'm going to bed early, if you're interested."
"If the kids are asleep, I'll be right there," Paul said
excitedly. "I just want to go see if Danny is still waiting up. You know how, now
that I'm his godfather, he likes to say his bedtime prayers with me."
"I'll go and get ready," said Marcea. She went to the bedroom
and slipped on a satin teddy, washed, and then dabbed some perfume behind her ears, on her
neck, and on her chest. She turned out the lights, pulled back the comforter, fluffed up
the pillows and lay there, waiting for David. Tonight she actually wanted David to hurry
with Danny and come to her an eagerness she rarely experienced.
David looked in on Ann, who was sound asleep. But Danny had been laying
awake waiting for him. When David went into his room the two of them prayed and then they
started to talk. Danny hardly ever talked much and David did not want to cut him short.
Tired from a long day at work, David slipped off his shoes and laid in bed next to Danny
to listen. Danny snuggled up and laid his head on David's massive chest. David could feel
the pureness of Danny's love and it shot like an arrow right into his heart.
Danny spoke softly and honestly. "David, thank you for taking care
of my mom, sister and me. And thank you for giving me and teaching me how to use that old
computer of yours. I like how you are teaching me how to connect with other computers.
When I grow up, I want to be just like you."
David just laid there rubbing Danny's head, his skin and red hair so
soft and smooth. David knew that he did not have to respond to Danny; they had some sort
of mystical telepathy that bonded them. It was a bond closer than most father and sons
Danny continued, "I know you will be the best godfather anybody
could have. I love you."
Marcea looked at the time on the alarm clock, somewhat frustrated that
David was taking so long. Thinking that he might be reading that book again, she got out
of bed, put on a robe, and went to check. As she walked by Danny's room she noticed David
had fallen asleep with Danny. Danny's head was still resting on David's chest and he had
one of his tiny arms wrapped around his neck. Marcea pulled some covers over the two of
them and turned off the light. She stood there in the darkened room and cried. She had
been trying so hard not to fall in love again but now she was losing the battle.
Marcea needed someone this night. She closed the door to Danny's room
and wiped the tears from her face. She went into Ann's room and slid in bed next to her.
Ann sluggishly moved over and they both slept peacefully.
David rose early and left a note on the kitchen table.
I didn't want to wake you this morning and I surely didn't mean to fall
asleep in Danny's bed. Anyway, I'll be home late. I've got a lot to catch up on in the
shop. I keep thinking about that overnight home for special children you talked about the
other night. It's a wonderful idea. You know, we've never had a weekend all to ourselves.
It's not that I mind the children, but the thought of spending a night or two just by
ourselves would be wonderful. There's so much I'd like to do for you and just being
together without any interruption would be great. We could really get to know each other,
if you know what I mean. Anyway I'll see you later. David
When Marcea woke and read the note she folded it once, took it to the
bedroom and tucked it in a small box where she kept her special things. All morning she
tried to think of someone or someplace she could take Ann and Danny for a night. She so
much wanted to surprise David with an intimate candlelight dinner, maybe some dancing
followed by a drive in the country. Then she would show David how much she loved
him. Her heart turned heavy when she realized it was just a dream.
David worked longer than he had expected to Saturday, but his plans
were still on schedule. He picked up pizza and two movies on his way home. It had become a
ritual Danny and Ann enjoyed. They all ate pizza and watched one of the movies. After the
first movie Marcea got the children to bed and David went in and said good night to them.
Marcea and David were finally alone and they retired to the front room to watch the other
movie. Marcea poured herself a glass of wine and fixed David a drink. He put his arm
around her as they watched the movie together. Marcea felt warm inside and not sure why,
blamed it on the wine.
About halfway through the movie David started to doze off. Marcea
pulled off his shoes and got a blanket. Before the movie was over David was sound asleep
on the sofa. Marcea so much wanted to be alone with David before he left on his trip, but
tonight would not be that night. She had put together another plan and it was just as well
David slept tonight, and save his passion for Sunday evening. Marcea wanted the last night
before David left to be one that would make him always want to come back home to her.
The plan just fell into place that afternoon while David was working.
Bill called to let her know what time he and the Misses would pick them up for church
Sunday. That was when Marcea asked if Sunday evening he and his wife wouldn't mind looking
after Ann and Danny for a while. Mary got on the phone. They talked almost an hour. Being
childless, she was thrilled to take care of the kids and asked if she could have them all
day Sunday starting right after church. She also wanted to help with the romantic evening
Marcea was planning. Her Texan hospitality could not be denied and she insisted that
Marcea let her cook the whole dinner. She'd keep the children and Bill would bring the
meal over at six sharp. Marcea accepted Mary's offer.
Sunday morning the sky was dark blue and clear when Bill and Mary
arrived at the house. Marcea had the children dressed and their hair brushed. She had on a
dark skirt and white sweater. The excitement in the warm fall air, compounded with Marcea
and Mary's whispering about the romantic interlude planned later that day made David
somewhat uncomfortable and nervous. Bill could see that David was not planning on going to
church with them and broke the tension. "Y'all need to stay home and get packed for
your trip tomorrow."
"Yeah, you're right. I'd come to church with you if I didn't have
to get things packed. But thanks for the offer," David said, relieved the way Bill
let him off the hook.
"We all best load up and head out," said Bill.
David was putting Danny's wheelchair into the trunk when Bill came back
and shook his hand, saying not a word. It was strange, as if Bill knew what he was
planning to do while they were at church. The car backed out of the driveway and all five
waved at David as they drove off. Then David walked under the carport and pulled the
tarpaulin off his Harley. He pushed it out on the lawn and then started to strap on some
stuff. He went to the truck got his laptop computer and the Clipper Chip and slid it into
the left saddle bag. In less than an hour he was packed and ready to leave. But he had one
more thing to do. Walking over to his truck, he unlocked the passenger door and took out
the two boxes on the floor. The longer box contained a dozen long stemmed red roses, the
other held chocolate truffles. David carried the boxes inside and put the roses with the
clear cellophane top on the table. He then took the box of candy and placed it on Marcea's
pillow in the bedroom. David found some stationery and sat at the table in front of the
roses and started to write.
I decided to take off a day early while you where at church so to avoid
a good-bye. So much has changed inside me in the last week. Never before have I felt so
good about what the future holds for us. I'm not the type of guy that says things but I
want you to know that I really do care about you. Please forgive me for taking off like
this but it only means I'll be back a day sooner.
P.S. I'll try to call you from Oregon.
David looked over the note and slid it under the roses. Then he started
Sorry that I didn't stay around to say good-bye. I hope the two hours
of horse ridding lessons I arranged will make it up. Have your mom take you to the Aurora
Riding Stables. Everything's all set up. See you in a week.
David took this note put it on Ann's bed then returned to the table.
I know you will be the only one that understands why I left a day
early. You know all that hugging, good-bye stuff gets to me. When I get back I owe you a
long ride on the Harley. We'll go to that old hamburger stand you like to ride to. When
I'm on the road I'll call you and we will try to hook up via our computers. I'll be in
Oregon and California. Remember to switch your modem to 1200bps. I'll be calling long
distance. Take care of the women and yourself.
David went into Danny's room and laid the note on the computer
In the car, returning from church, there was an air of fellowship among
the five. Marcea and her children were well received at the small community church that
held their services at a school. The children enjoyed the Sunday School and Ann was able
to show off with all her knowledge from The Wonder Bible that Paul had given her.
Bill pulled the car into the drive way and Marcea was the first one to the house, anxious
to surprise David with news of the romantic evening that she had planned for just the two
of them. It was strange that the front door was locked. She searched her purse for the key
while Bill was helping Danny out of the car into his wheelchair. Mary was leading Ann by
the hand up the ramp. Marcea found the key, opened the door, and immediately spotted the
dozen red roses setting in the center of the table. Cherishing them, she read the note.
Mary walked over to admire the roses and Marcea handed her the note. She read it and
turned toward Marcea. Both disappointed, they held each other. Bill entered, pushing Danny
when Mary whispered to him about their failed plans. Bill suggested that the meal should
not go to waste and Marcea should come along with them since they still had planned a
Sunday with the children.
Everything did work out. The five of them went to the Denver Zoo and
then back to Bill and Mary's for a wonderful southern style dinner. Bill even churned
fresh ice cream with Ann and Danny.
It was past eight before Bill got Marcea and the kids back home. The
day had turned out wonderful after all. Bill and Mary helped Marcea get the children to
bed and they all exchanged thanks and hugs before they left. It was hard to tell who was
the most thankful Bill and Mary for the opportunity to take everyone to church
followed by the joyous fun-filled afternoon, or Marcea who was doing what she always
wanted to, exposing her children to the love of Jesus. But the children were the most
thankful, because they finally felt like part of a family. That day they had found out
that everyone was a brother or sister of God. This realization was almost overwhelming to
them. They both thanked God as they fell off to a peaceful sleep, comforted with the love
of that one Sunday. There was now a small glow burning inside each of them.
Marcea locked up the house then went down the hall to go to bed.
Entering the bedroom she spotted the box of chocolate truffles on her pillow. On the box
David had written:
I hope these this small box of chocolates
brings you one tenth of the pleasure you have given me.
Love you, David
Marcea sat on the edge of the bed. Never before had she wanted so much
for David to be there with her that night. She washed and found one of David shirts to
sleep in, the smell of his manliness mixed with the cologne still in the collar. She
prayed before she fell to sleep.
Marcea dreamed about David, about being a family, each one bound
to the other not by commitment, but by love.