Part XV: Money Matters
That night after a rather small Supper, Annalise lay on their bed, eyes staring unseeingly at the ceiling, mind deep in thought.
Gale came out of the bathroom; although she heard him sit on the other side of the bed, she did not acknowledge it. Gale had the common sense to keep his mouth shut, despite the knowledge that she was in utter misery.
Finally, she turned to him.
“Gale,” she whispered, fresh tears welling up in her eyes, “will I be okay? Will we be okay?”
Gale moved towards her on the bed and nestled her small round face in his hands. “Why won’t we?” he said. “As long as we’re together, we will be happy, Anna.”
She nodded her head, trying to smile. “Yes, I know in my heart that we will – as long as we stay together!”
That night, they lay cuddled in each other’s arms, for, even if neither of them admitted it, they felt torn inside and needed all the comfort and warmth that they could get.
The next morning, it was Gale who awoke first.
He turned to his right and saw his young wife breathing softly, eyes still closed. He frowned, wondering if it is too early. However, when he turned to the window, he saw bright sunlight shone into the room.
He got up on his elbows to check the time on the other side and was aghast to find that it was almost eight!
’I’m late! What do I do now?!’ As he pondered over this question, another thought struck him: ’That’s it: I’ll take the day off. Tomorrow’s a holiday anyhow and – and, anyway, Anna needs me to-day.’
Gale turned to see Annalise stirring a little. As he bent down to peck her lips, he noticed that the area beneath her eyes were red and puffy…from crying herself to sleep? He frowned.
’I better send that e-mail,’ he thought. He pecked her soft pink lips and got off the bed. He put on a shirt from the hanger beside the bed and moved towards the worktable that the young couple used for their work.
He opened the laptop and switched it on.
Annalise opened her eyes to see her husband with a tray in his hands, standing beside the bed.
She rubbed the sleep from her eyes. “What’s that?” she muttered.
He shrugged. “Just something I made for my beautiful wife?” he suggested.
“Breakfast?!” Annalise jumped up and checked the digital clock on her side of the bed. “Oh my God, Gale, it’s nine!”
“Yep!” he replied with a cheerful grin. “You woke up right on time!”
Annlise shook her head frantically. “No, that’s not what I mean! You’re late for office! Or,” she added, as a thought struck her, “did I sleep through yesterday and to-day’s a holiday?”
Gale gave his trademark chuckle, shaking his head. “No, you didn’t. You woke up the night after we went to the clinic.”
“Oh,” said Annalise, her face falling.
Gale almost kicked himself for saying what he did. ’You could’ve made do with something else, you idiot!! Now, you’ve gone and made her sad!’
Almost as if she read his mind, Annalise chuckled. “That’s all right.” She took the tray from his hands. She moved on the bed so he could sit beside her. “Now, tell me, what happened? How is it that you’re still home?”
“Well, I sent an e-mail to Jimmy, saying as how yesterday’s news broke your heart and I wanted to be by your side to-day.”
She stroked his cheek. “Oh, isn’t that sweet of you! But then again, you needn’t have done that! Your boss will now think that I’m needy or something!”
He laughed. “I’m still not sure how that little brain of yours works, Ann! But, you needn’t think like that, you know!”
“All right, I won’t. Did he accept, though?”
Gale nodded his head. “Yes. In fact, he said that I could take another day off, if need be.”
Annalise finally decided to start her Breakfast. As she took a bite of the toast he made, she asked, “What about yours, Gale?”
“I already had.”
“But, you need to have one more Breakfast…with me!”
He chuckled. “Yes, I knew this was coming – so, I saved space for it!”
The rest of the day had gone by with Gale going out of his way to make sure that his young sorrowful wife would keep her sweet smile on her face.
He took her to the nearby park, the Dolls Café – their first and favourite date place – and to the fair that had just began the day before in one of the town’s open grounds.
They had been invited for a Supper at Gale’s parents’ home, along with Annalise’s parents, to discuss the financial difficulties that the young couple might incur with the kind of lifestyle they were pursuing – which was in fact not very fashionable, but comparatively sedentary.
“You want to adopt a child?” Gale’s father asked them, as they were all seated at the table.
“Yes, Father,” replied Gale. “The doctor told us that it would be next to impossible to have one of our own and so, we’ve decided to adopt.”
“Someone who needs parental love,” added Annalise, tears filled with emotion brimming in her eyes, “and someone whom we can give all our love to.”
Her mother-in-law smiled kindly at her. “That is indeed a good thought, my dear. I think you should find many orphanages in this and other neighbouring localities. Both of you could perhaps take some days off and spend time with some of them and see who would be able to take in the kind of love and affection you’re capable of giving.
“I think that should be your first step.”
Annalise and Gale turned to one-another, conversing silently as they stared into each other’s eyes.
They then turned back to their parents.
“Yes, I think we’ll that,” Annalise answered for both of them. Her eyes shone with such determination that Gale’s mother was sure that the children will find what they want so desperately.
During the course of the rest of the meal, the family discussed other financial aspects. The young couple finally decided upon a list of the luxury costs that they could cut down upon. Annalise also revealed that she had been applying to various magazines in the city, in the hopes of joining one as a writer of sorts and help her husband with their income.