Harold of Carter House

Coming soon from Ellie Mae ...


of Carter House

Ten years.  For ten years she'd contemplated leaving this man, and here he was threatening to take away that choice permanently.  Sure, he'd left home off and on throughout their relationship. But because she knew that he would return -- whether it was because he had run out of money or been put out by his new girlfriend or somehow missed his children, she knew that she always was the decider in the relationship.  The continuation of their marriage was always her choice.  Now, there he lay, threatening to take away the one power that belonged solely to her. 

By this time, even her pastor had suggested that she turn her prayers for healing into prayers for peace and comfort.  He pitied her, she could tell.  For staying married to a man who left her for stretches of months, following his every wild passion.  Alone.  To raise their only child, then three children.  Then four.  For dropping off clean clothes and food at his parents' house every week that he was away.  For kneeling at the alter every Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday to pray for him.  He pitied her for wanting a man who didn't want her back.  He could hear her praying, Our father who art in heaven.  Give us this day.

Brooding stare, furrowed brows, crooked smirk.  He had to sing a hymn to keep from  speaking falsities.  He didn't petition God for the restoration of their love.   He didn't pray that her family would be reunited.  He didn't hope her husband would get well.  Amazing  grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.  He was wretched to pray for death, but he did it anyway.  Someone needed to intercede on this woman's behalf.  Was blind but now I see. 

She watched him judge her.  Condemn her husband.  Grateful because he was too consumed with his own assessment to get an understanding of hers.  She needed one more chance.  Just one more chance to choose.  This time she would choose life; choose love.  Please, God, just one more chance to love myself as I have loved my neighbor.  She heard the pace of the mechanical beeps pick up.  Hop.  Skip.  Gallop.  Sprint. 

She felt them  whisking her into the hallway.  But not before she could tell him one last thing.  "Don't you dare die on me, Harold.  Don't you dare leave me!"  Oh God, oh God.  I just need one more chance. 



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