Author: ae PM
Laurie ponders after the death of an old friend.Rated: Fiction K - English - Drama - Words: 1,167 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Published: 12-19-03 - id: 1647904
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Laurie smiled a bit, picturing him, aged and gnarled with balding gray hair. And yet his appearance had never once scared a child, no matter how young or easily frightened. He had been gentle as a lamb and even Bess had taken to him as a toddler; and he could now tell by the quiet expression on her features that she grieved the loss with the rest of the town.
Mrs. Wells would be pleased and proud of him, her son. She had named him Jemoke, although he had long since fondly been referred to as "Jem," with the wish that he would bless those around him just as he blessed them. He had indeed--an entire town, in fact--one that now greatly mourned his passing.
"Father?" Bess looked up from glancing outside, blue eyes calm. "Do you think he was angry? Losing Ruth and being so sick?" She caught her lower lip. "I think would be," she made a soft admittance, words honest.
Quiet for a moment, Laurie considered his daughter's earnest question. He had often wondered the same, yet when he had dared to ask one time, the man had said otherwise. It had never ceased to amaze him, the way Jem had always been so cheerful and ready to embrace whatever things befell him, good or bad. He and his wife, Ruth, had never been able to have the children they had longed for, though neither ever let that stop them. Nor had he grown bitter after the death of Ruth six years before. With his fait and trust, God had taken his pain, Jem had explained, and filled the void, giving him peace. He had never had his own children, no, but other people, old and young alike, had been brought into his life--ones that needed to be loved. And God had enabled him to do just that.
"I don't know, Bess," he answered at length. Part of his still could not fathom it, this enigma. "I don't think so."
"No." He shook his head slightly. "He mourned over his losses, but he did not let it keep him from blessing others. He was a rare--"
"Gem?" Bess smiled.
His eyes reflected fatherly pleasure at seeing her smile, and he nodded, "Yes."
When the carriage arrived in front of the house a few minutes, he stepped out then turned to help Bess, whose pale countenance had grown quiet again. He kissed forehead, the gesture earning him a brief smile before he motioned toward the driver to continue on. It drizzled still, and they carefully wiped their shoes before moving on into the rest of the house.
Bess followed the maid then for tea, while Laurie ascended the stairs, loosening the tie around his neck on the way. "Amy?" he asked softly of his wife as he walked into the room. She had remained home with a fever and slight catarrh, and he wanted to check on her now. The bout of illness had mellowed her somewhat, and probably would continue to for awhile, although it was not serious, thank goodness.
Half propped against the ornate headboard, Amy managed a small smile. "Laurie."
"How are you feeling?" Despite his relief at seeing color in her cheeks, his brows were drawn with concern. "Do you need anything?"
"No, I'm all right for now I think." She raised a slender hand to briefly close her fingers around his, touched by his worry yet not wanting him to fret over it. "Thank you."
Laurie returned her light squeeze with a warm one of his own and smiled, "Good."
"How was the service?"
"I think he would have been pleased with it."
"Good, I'm glad. I would have liked to have been there." Her blonde head rested back against the pillows and she closed her eyes, as if the exertion from the last moments had begun already to weary her. "He was such a dear soul."
"Yes. Yes, he was." Laurie nodded in agreement. After a moment, and realizing she needed more rest, he squeezed her hand once more and bent to kiss her forehead. "I'll let you sleep now. Call if you need anything."
"Thank you, Laurie."
Leaving his coat over the back of a brocade chair, Laurie turned toward the door, prepared to leave... but something caused him to pause, to turn back. Seize the day, Jem had said, live every day like it's your last. After all, He can come and take a person home anytime He chooses. "Amy?"
Her lips moved slightly with another tired but sweet smile. "Yes, dear?"
"I love you."