Thursday, October 27, 2011

Missing the Kids

It had been over five weeks since Shawna and Collin rode away in Stevie's white Cherokee. The weekly phone calls to Redding only seemed to make Jon's loneliness more acute. He not only missed his daughter and son, he even missed his ex-wife. The dissolution of their marriage on the heels of losing their oldest son had been excruciating. Piercing resentment and cutting accusation had slashed them both deeply. Well over a year later, the emotional wounds were not healed, only sufficiently anesthetized and bandaged. The scar tissue would likely never completely disappear. The reconciliation hinted at by well-meaning friends was out of the question after what Jon and Stevie had put each other through. But sometimes, when the pain seemed far away, Jon yearned for the oneness that once characterized his life with Stevie.

Jon cleaned off the kitchen table and wedged the pizza box into the refrigerator. He shut down the house for the night, then headed for the bedroom to catch the midnight news. On the way, he found himself in Shawna's dark, empty room. Standing still and silent for a few seconds, he relived his daughter's infancy and childhood in a flash of unbidden memories. It happened in Collin's room also. The nostalgia materialized as a swollen knot of emotion in Jon's throat. He missed his kids terribly.

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