Part XIX: A New Addition
Gale came back home to receive a surprise from his wife.
“I’m home!” he called, just as usual.
And, as usual, his lovely Annalise appeared from out of the clear blue and flung herself at him – but, this time, it was close his mouth with the palm of her hand.
When she finally released him, he said, “What’s the matter, my love? Are we hosting somebody this evening?”
Annalise giggled. “Did I ever tell you how amazing it is when you read my mind?!”
“No, but you did just now,” he said with a chuckle that always let butterflies grow and roam around in her stomach in sheer excitement. “Now, tell me—what is it?”
“I will tell you – in a second!” She pulled her husband down to sit on one of the chairs in the living-room and sat at his feet, hands still clutching his. “Are you now ready to listen to me?”
“Oh dear Lord, please don’t tell me that the cat’s been at our milk again…and that you’ve now tamed it!” He was being trifling and she knew it.
Leaning forward, she narrowed her eyes at him. “Gale…?” she drew out his name.
Gale smiled and nodded at her without further ado. “All right… Anything to relieve my dear wife of her wishes, you know that!”
“Of course!” she replied and cleared her throat. “Okay, here goes: how would you like to father a child?”
At first, Gale was stunned and rendered speechless. Then, he picked her up easily by the waist – to him, she was as light as a feather! – as he got up from his seat and swung her around.
“Is it confirmed?!” he whispered to her in great excitement, eyes shining.
Annalise felt a tad guilty about how her words must have misled him. “Actually, not quite,” she replied, giving him an apologetic smile. “But,” she added, as he set her back down on the ground, “how does ’adoption’ sound to you?”
Gale frowned in thought. “No… I mean, we haven’t been able to find any child who wants to be taken in, right?”
“Right,” his wife agreed. “But, what if I said that a homeless child came right into our lives and wants to stay with us now?”
Gale stared at her, dumb-founded. “Go on,” he muttered.
Annalise grinned, knowing that now she had had her husband’s approval – most likely – and told him the story of how she had found Laura Trent that afternoon after Lunch, as she was water the plants.
“But, actually, it was Rachel who’d found her,” she concluded. “But, she told me that I should keep the child, if she wishes it. After all, you know how much we’d desired for one… And God has answered our prayers at last…!”
“Yes, that he has,” Gale replied in a whisper. “And I really admire you for your love for the child… I know I’m yet to see her, but the way you so animatedly describe her…I already know in my heart that she’ll be the new addition to our happiness!”
With that, he gently bent down to kiss her.
The child’s voice broke them apart: Annalise reddened in the face as she licked her lips in awkwardness and Gale began scratching his head in embarrassment, both looking away from each other.
’Not in front of the child,’ he thought. ′It was bad enough in front of Anna’s parents, but they were at least experienced…’
His chain of thought broke off, as he heard his wife say, “Laura, come here, child! Meet your new Papa!”
The child, though, was rather reluctant to obey. She yawned a little, making her face scrunch up in a really cute manner.
Annalise tried to goad her, but the child simply refused to come.
The young wife sighed as she turned to her husband. “I think she still views you in the light of her violent father,” she told him, sympathy for the child very much evident in her voice.
Gale gave a polite shrug. “I suppose we must respect that. I don’t mind waiting, though.” He winked at the little girl.
At once, a flush crept up Laura’s neck as she gazed at the seemingly harmless man in front of her. She was actually rather taken aback by the way she had seen him treat Annalise, the woman who agreed to take her in.
Perhaps – just perhaps – he was a nice person…