ACROSS THE ROOM – conclusion

He stood, one broad shoulder propped against the wall, surveying the group in front of him.

A smile tugged at one side of his mouth as he watched the short little man in the jeans and sweater attempt to smooch up to a cute redhead that stood head and shoulders over him.  Smile growing, he looked down into his mug of coffee as the redhead shook her head and turned away.

Sorry buddy.  She’s too old for you.

As his eyes ran around the room, taking in all the people that were so dear to him, he thought over the past few years that had brought these people into his life.

His gaze settled on Rachel, his best friend, his love, his wife and he remembered that first meeting ten years ago tonight.

He grinned as he realized his love for her had only grown over the intervening years.

As he studied her, the cute redhead approached her and Rachel immediately turned her attention to that conversation.

Feeling someone touch his arm, he turned to find the guy in the jeans and sweater standing next to him.

“Hey there, Caleb.  What’s up buddy?”

“Uncle Jake, Laura won’t play with me.”

“I’m sorry Caleb.  It looks to me like Laura is busy now with your Aunt Rachel.”

Jake reached down and hoisted the little guy into his arms.  “What do you say we go get you a glass of juice and something to eat.  Are you hungry?”

The two moved through the room to the table that was laden with a feast of pizza, chicken wings, and macaroni-and-cheese; a far cry from the elegant spread Ted had put on all those years ago.  Jake stopped and glanced at his passenger.

“Well, Caleb, what would you like to eat?”  He grinned.  “Sardines?”

“No!”

“Ummm…”  He rolled his eyes in thought.  “Dog food?”

The giggle delighted him.

“No!  Uncle Jake!”

“Well, let’s see…..No, don’t tell me, I’ll get it eventually…..I know! How about pig’s feet?”

“Uncle Jake!”

The giggle had turned into a full-blown belly-laugh making Jake chuckle.

“Ahh-hah!  I got it!  Liverwurst!”

“Uncle Jake, that’s gross!”

Jake laughed.

“But I like liverwurst!”

He watched Caleb’s little nose wrinkle in childish disgust and hung his head in shame.

“All right.  I give up.  What would you like to eat?”

“Uncle Jake!  I want mac-n-cheese!”

“Mac-n-cheese???  Well, why didn’t you say so?”

Suddenly Caleb placed a tiny hand on the side of Jake’s face, causing Jake to stop and look at his nephew.

“I love you, Uncle Jake.”

“I love you too, Caleb,” Jake answered with a tight throat.

He moved around the table to grab a bowl and spooned in some hot macaroni-and-cheese, feeling so blessed and thankful with the life God had led him into.

* * * * *

Rachel stood, leaning against the wall, trying to keep up with the activity going on in front of her.

She watched as Caleb approached Laura, sighing as her daughter gave him the brush-off.  She was just thinking she would have to talk to the eight-year-old about her attitude when the object of her attention approached.

“Mom, why can’t I go in and play with Tommy and Ethan?”

“Did they ask you?”

“No they said I was a girl and not allowed in their room.”

“Well, then, you’ll have to stay out here.”

“But, Mom…”

“Laura.  Boys don’t always want girls around.  Sometimes they just want to do boy things, with no girls.”  She watched the lower lip stick out in a pout and sighed.  “Tell me, Laura, do you always want to play with Caleb?”

“No, he’s just….”

Rachel watched the lesson sink in without further discussion.

“Fine.”

The tone of voice made it obvious it was not fine, but she knew her daughter would take it to heart and remember it.

“Can you help me get your little sisters something to eat?”

She smiled as Laura walked away rolling her eyes; before turning her attention to where her husband was spooning mac-n-cheese into a bowl for Caleb.

Her gaze swung to Ted and Kate where they stood talking over the head of baby Emma, asleep on her mom’s shoulder.

A loud crash brought the attention of all four adults swinging to the hallway just in time to see nine-year-old Thomas and seven-year-old Ethan come racing through with hundred-pound Kayla on their heels.

“Thomas!  Kayla!  No!”

The dog skidded to a halt and turned to look at Ted, who raised his arm in silent command.  She walked over, head hung, and lay down at his feet.  Ted looked at his two older sons and scowled.

“You two know better than to run through the house with her, especially when we have company.”

Rachel placed a hand over her mouth to cover the grin that would not be controlled; and glanced across the room.  Jake turned to catch her eye and suddenly she was transported back ten years to that first encounter.

She could see it as clearly as if it were actually happening in that moment, and she smiled softly at the man she had grown to love so dearly.

So much had happened in the intervening years.  God had filled her life so full of love and joy.

She stepped away from the wall and toward her husband, praising God for bringing them together from across the room.

THE END

I hope you have all enjoyed this story of Jacob and Rachel as much as I have enjoyed writing it.  Thanks for stopping in to keep up with their lives.

© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2011

ACROSS THE ROOM Pt. 8

Rachel stood at the window looking down into the church parking lot which was  just visible in the waning light. Snow swirled around the cars that filled the lot, partially covering the pine garlands and burgundy bows that draped the picket fence next door.

Lights were just coming on in the nearby houses, making it look like a scene from an old Christmas card.  Sighing, she turned away from the window and moved to stand in front of the full length mirror on the wall near the door.

Lifting a hand, she smoothed the yards of white lace back from her face before turning to look at Kate.

“You look beautiful, Kate.”

Kate laughed.

“I look beautiful?  No, Rachel that is not allowed.  Only the bride is allowed to look beautiful on her wedding day.”

Rachel laughed as she studied her attendant’s deep green gown, trying to swallow the lump that kept squeezing her throat.

Kate moved to stand behind her, smoothing out the white layers of silk and lace that fell to the floor to pool gently around Rachel’s white high-heels.

As she shifted, Kate glanced up and caught the melancholy look in the bride’s eyes.  She reached out and gripped the cold fingers in her own.

“You are the one that’s beautiful.  Your parents would be so proud of you.”

Rachel smiled mistily and nodded, trying not to picture the mangled wreckage that had taken her and Ted’s parents a few years before.

“I hope so.”  She sighed and swallowed hard.  “I just wish they could have been here.”

Kate nodded, about to say something else, when a knock drew their attention to the door.  She moved to open it, then stepped back as Ted came into the room.

Rachel stood and watched as her brother wrapped his arm around Kate and placed a gentle kiss on her lips.

“You look beautiful, Mrs. Nelson.”

Kate grinned at him and then laughed, placing her hand on her slightly rounded belly.  “Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Are you going to tell me that in a few more months when I am big as a cow?”

“Of course I will.”

Rachel grinned at her brother, thinking about how much had happened in the past months.

She had not realized that these two had been dating for weeks when she stood in Ted’s kitchen talking to Kate.  She had not known that Ted had proposed just days before Jake asked her out on their first date.

It was only when they showed up at her apartment to tell her about Ted’s salvation that they had also filled her in on their relationship.  A relationship that had come to a grinding halt after Kate’s acceptance of Jesus into her life.

Ted had been angry over Kate’s change of heart, until he had begun to see the true change in her life.  He had watched her, taking in the peace that suddenly filled her very being; and after a few weeks, decided he wanted that change in himself.

Rachel pulled her mind back to the present and realized that her brother was studying her intently.

“You look like Mom.”

The huskiness in his voice brought tears to her eyes and she blinked rapidly.  He moved to take her hands in his and smiled at her.

“You are beautiful, Rachel.”  His smile widened into a grin.  “You are gonna’ knock Jake’s socks off.”

Rachel laughed and reached out to hug him.

“Are you ready?”  At his sister’s nod, Ted turned toward the door.  “Then let’s go put the poor guy out of his misery.”

A couple minutes later, Rachel stood at the double doors leading into the sanctuary,  gripping her bouquet of roses as Kate walked down the aisle.

Rachel glanced past Kate and felt her heart turn over within her.  Jake stood between the minister and Ted at the front of the church, so handsome he took her breath away.

When those blue eyes met hers, she was suddenly back in Ted’s living room, seeing him for the first time.

As she took a deep breath and stepped forward, she sent up a silent prayer of thanksgiving that God had brought him into her life.

© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2011