Looking for Love — and the Scissors

Scissors   

Jill Brady darted forward to catch the cantaloupe as it rolled from the kitchen counter. It hardly seemed worth grocery shopping anymore. Being alone felt horrible She grabbed the carton of eggs and shoved them into the refrigerator. The eggs reminded her of her marriage to Kevin—fragile and breakable. They had been walked around each other on egg shells, their feelings enclosed behind flimsy casings until they made the decision to separate.

Separate? Unbelievable. What happened to the “better or worse. . .until death us do part?” The promise had splattered on the floor like a dropped egg.

Eggs had become the theme of her life—walking on egg shells, living on scrambled eggs, and killing herself with an overload of cholesterol. Tears escaped the rim of her eyes and rolled down her cheek. “Stop feeling sorry for yourself,” she said aloud. “Just keep praying.”

Now, pride and stubbornness kept her from admitting she wanted to make amends. Pride was a sin, she knew. How could she ask God for help when she didn’t let Him work in her life?

 The telephone’s strident jangle jarred her thoughts, and the canned goods in her arms toppled from her grasp. Like a juggler, she caught them before they hit the ground. She set the cans on

the kitchen counter, then caught the phone on the fourth ring.

“Jill, this is Kevin.”

When she heard his voice, a chill rolled down her spine. “Kevin.” His name caught in her throat.

“Is something wrong?” His voice had filled with concern.

“I’m fine.” She pictured his soft green eyes and his familiar full lips—kissable lips.

“I thought you weren’t home. You usually grab the phone on the first ring.”

“My life is such a whirl of excitement, Kevin, I don’t have the energy to rush to the telephone.” She cringed at her blatant fabrication. Her life had been dreadful without him.

“Oh,” he said. The word sounded like a deflated balloon.

If her foot could reach, she would have kicked herself. Why play games when she wanted to forget their problems and tell him to come home? “Why are you calling, Kevin?” The tone of her voice hit her ear like a brick. Why had she spoken to him as if he were a strange instead of the man who’d been her husband for eight years.

“I-I. . . well, I wanted to come by and talk. We have some things to discuss.”

Her throat slammed closed, and her response clogged like the drain in her bathtub. “Discuss? I suppose we do.” Discuss what? A divorce? A. . . Her thoughts sank into a black mire.

“Is this afternoon okay? I could be there within the hour.”

She closed her eyes, imagining his face—the way his eyebrows raised when he asked a question. “I guess,’ she mumbled, fighting the knot in her throat. “An hour’s fine.”

She replaced the receiver and swallowed back the emotion that tumbled through her. Closing her eyes, she grasped for control. With a deep sigh, she returned to the groceries and stored them in their proper places. Each item had a spot on the shelf. After eight years, Kevin still hadn’t learned how to put away the groceries. She’d find the canned green beans mixed with canned peaches. Tomato sauce with the salad dressing. The procedure seemed so simple to her.

She folded the grocery bag and jammed it into the canvas holder in the closet, decorated large blue letters—Old Bags. Today, she felt like an old bag. Her thirtieth birthday was Friday. February 14. Valentine’s Day. Two horrible occasions to be alone and unloved. She’d messed up her life royally.

Staring at the kitchen cabinets, her thoughts skidded to a stop. Had she been the problem? Why was it so important that the jam be on the jam shelf? She remembered being in a tizzy one day because she couldn’t find the scissors in the scissor drawer. Kevin found them with the utensils where he’d put them. “Here,” he’d yelled. “Run them through my chest. Maybe then, I’ll learn where they belong.”

They’d laughed that day, but now, it wasn’t funny. Why had she allowed scissors to become so important. God’s word said nothing about being organized, but it did speak of patience, kindness, compassion, and love. Wasn’t their love worth more than scissors?

Jill plopped into a chair, staring at the clock. With each noise, her heart plummeted to her toes. She walked to the door. She paced. Finally, the doorbell chimed, and she froze.

The image struck her heart—Kevin. . .standing a the door and ringing the bell at his own home Before their problems, she pictured him opening the door and calling, “I’m home. Then she would call out, “Hi. I’m in the kitchen”—or upstairs or where ever she was. Always, she rushed into embrace, wrapping her arms around his neck and placing her eager lips on his.

But today, he stood on the porch and rang the doorbell like a stranger. Heavy with guilt, Jill opened the door.

Kevin faltered, peering at his shoes before looking at her. “Hi.”

She pushed open the storm door, and he stepped into the foyer.

“Come in,” she said, motioning him into the living. She closed the door and followed him, avoiding his eyes where she witnessed so much apprehension…like her own.

“Have a seat, Kevin.”

He sank into an occasional chair, his hands knotting in his lap.

“Would you like a soft drink or something?”

“Sure. A cola would be nice.”

“I’ll be right back,” she said, dashing into the kitchen. She stopped inside the doorway and took a deep breath before pouring the drink into a glass. Her hands trembled, and her chest ached from her bound emotion.

When she returned to the living room, he’d shifted to “his” chair, and her heart warmed at the familiar picture.

After a moment of nervous silence, he leaned forward. “I told Rod when I moved in with him almost two months that it was only temporary—until I found my own place.”

She held her breath. “Have you found a place?” Her heart spiraled downward at the idea.

“No.” His eyes searched hers. “No,.I haven’t looked.”

Her chin shot upward. “You haven’t?”

“I don’t want to, Jill. I want to make our marriage work.” He lowered his elbows to his knees, his hands folding and unfolding in front of him. “I can learn where to put the canned goods and the scissors. I will do anything to make this work. I promise.”

She bowed her head. The scissors. Trivial things had grown out of proportion, and she’d been the center of the problem. She rose and stepped toward him, ready to fall on her knees—ready to take the chance.

The doorbell’s summons stopped her in mid-step.

She eyed Kevin and he shrugged.

Jill looked through the front window. “It looks like a delivery truck.”

She opened the door, and a young man held a large package toward her. She could see a florist’s name printed on the paper wrapping and on his jacket pocket. “Someone is pretty lucky,” the man said, handing her the immense box.

She nodded, bewildered, and closed the door. “What in the world is this?”

Kevin gaped at the box as if surprised at its size.

Jill carried it to the coffee table. As she tore the paper from the arrangement, a small card fell from the wrapping, and she removed it from the floor without taking her gaze from the flowers, a lavish spray of red roses.

“I don’t think these flowers were meant for me, do you?” She gestured toward the gorgeous display of roses and babies breath that resembled a casket spry. “I think they should have been delivered to a funeral home.”

“They’re meant for you.” Kevin’s lips curved into an embarrassed grin. “I wanted something special for your birthday. It’s your thirtieth, and I told them I wanted a unique table top arrangement of red roses—one for each year. Then I decided you’re worth twice that much, so I told them to make it two for each year. ”

“You mean you sent me sixty roses?”

He grinned at the coffin-sized arrangement. “I wanted something special. I didn’t know it would look like a casket spray.”

The situation settled over her like a balm, and a warm feeling rolled through her. “Are you sure this isn’t meant to be a final goodbye?” She’d found her sense of humor after a long dearth of anything to smile about.

Kevin gave her a blank look.

“I thought maybe you planned to bury our relationship.”

He chuckled and rose, moving toward her. “Not by a long shot. I’m praying for a rebirth.”

“Me, too.” Tears edged her eyes—whether from laughter or happiness—and she opened her arms to Kevin.

He met her halfway and pressed her close to his chest. He was her Kevin. For better or worse, she cherished him. In his arms, she felt loved and needed. For the past months, she had been longing for the love they had lost. Today it filled her heart, glowing in his misty green eyes.

His tender lips sought hers, and her heart swelled with joy. The kiss deepened while Jill trembled in his arms. God had answered her prayer and had helped her see the truth about herself. Drawers and shelves weren’t important. What was, was Kevin. Now, he was here, and she wasn’t going to lose him again. They could work it out. She felt confident, and she really didn’t care if she ever found the scissors again.

©2003 Gail Gaymer Martin
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Offer: Try to guess what part of this story is based on a true life incident and leave it in the comments secton of the blog. If you’re correct, your name will go into a drawing on July 5 for a complmentary free download to one of my novellas now on Kindle. You can chose from two.

3 Comments

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  1. Nancy Kellum July 1, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    I believe you had Jill be ultra organized with everything in it’s place. You and Jill had to learn to let go and not let the little things bother you. Fine if scissors are in utensil drawer and not in scissors drawer

  2. Cindy Hall July 2, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    I think that the roses are the true event. At some point you received a humongous amount of roses.

  3. Davalynn Spencer July 8, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    I know this is an after-the-event guess, but I loved the story. I think the true event was the cantaloupe rolling off the counter.

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