The following is an excerpt from my latest W.I.P. Enjoy!
After church children reunited with their parents and families left the building and returned to their homes, the Templetons among them. The twins were unusually quiet as John drove the minivan.
“How was your class?” Rebecca asked the silent void.
“Okay,” Cameron said.
“Yeah? Did you do anything fun?” This time neither child said anything. Rebecca turned in her seat to look at the kids. Rebecca never tired of seeing her three boys all in their child seats. Things definitely changed since she was a kid and children could pretty much sit anywhere in a moving vehicle.
“Hey guys, you doing okay?” The boys looked at their mother and the twins nodded at her question. “Okay…I was just checking.” Rebecca turned back and looked at John. He met her look by raising his shoulders signifying to his wife that he didn’t know what was going on with the children either. The Templetons concluded their commute without the ambient sound of children droning on. The experience was foreign to the parents—too bad they couldn’t enjoy it.
Once again Sunday afternoon brought a sense of melancholy to Rebecca as she wished she could spend time with Wanda, but as the days passed, the feeling began to ebb, and this realization made her feel even worse.
Once her blog post was written and posted, Rebecca and John relaxed in their bedroom. The twins had been put down 30 minutes earlier. Rebecca looked in the doorframe of their room and saw Dillon standing in his pajamas. The boy had as serious a look on his face as a child under four years old could have.
“Dillon, honey…what’s wrong?” Dillon said nothing but slowly walked to the bed. Rebecca’s question caused John to sit up and see what his son wanted. Both parents could tell as Dillon walked into the dimming light that their son had been crying.
“Oh, come here,” Rebecca said as she wrapped her loving arms around her son and he melted into her embrace. Almost instantly Rebecca could feel the child’s shoulders shudder as the tears began again to fall.
After a few moments where no one spoke, Dillon composed himself enough to talk. When he did, his parents were now very concerned.
“Mom?” the feeble question escaped Dillon’s quivering lips.
“Is dad going to go away?”
A Shock of confusion hit Rebecca with as much force as if someone had literally slapped her across her face.
“No. What made you ask a question like that?” Rebecca asked. Dillon said nothing.
“Dillon,” John said. “Dillon…I’m not going anywhere.” Still Dillon remained silent.
Confusion turned to worry for Rebecca. “Come sit up here with us.” Rebecca lifted the youngster up and placed him in the space between herself and her husband, a spot both twins loved to occupy and a source of many sibling rivalries between the growing boys. A moment of joy flashed in Dillon’s face as he sat between his parents.
“Now, Dillon. I want you to know I’m not mad at you, and neither is dad…” Rebecca said as she looked up at John who sat and towered over his son on the bed. Dillon nodded. “We just want to know why you asked that question, that’s all. Okay?” Again Dillon nodded.
Rebecca adjusted her position on the bed to allow her to fully face her son. “Did you have a bad dream that daddy was going to go away?”
Dillon shook his head.
“Did someone tell you that daddy was going to go away?”
Dillon nodded his head and a chill raced up the spines of both parents as if the room suddenly lost all heat and was replaced by a winter wind. Rebecca wasn’t sure how to proceed.
“Dillon, who told you daddy was going to go away?” This time Dillon didn’t move. Rebecca wondered if they would ever find out what happened.
“Okay, son,” Rebecca smiled into her son’s sad and worried eyes. “Did the person say how daddy was going to leave?” Dillon shook his head. This relieved Rebecca, but only just.
“Was the person who told you this one of your friends at church?” The question offered Rebecca a glimpse of hope. She thought maybe one of Dillon’s classmates at church may have said something Dillon misunderstood or maybe a child said trying to hurt him. Dillon furrowed his eyebrows at his mother’s latest question and hiccuped as an after effect of his previous crying. It was obvious he was confused and didn’t know how to answer.
“Did the person who told you this one of your classmates at church?” Dillon shook his head.
“But it was at church, right?” Dillon nodded.
“Was it your teacher?” Rebecca heard herself ask, her volume just above a whisper. A thousand terrible thoughts raced through her mind as she considered the gravity of what was happening to her family and a sense of panic began in her gut and rose up her throat. When Dillon slowly nodded his head, Rebecca stopped breathing.