chapter 3

chapter 3

A Chapter by brezybaby3

Chapter Three

 

Josiah stood looking out the bay window of his bungalow.  His mind kept going over what he had learned about Sasha Dane yesterday.  He felt sorrow over her loss, knowing what she was going through to some degree. He hadn't been with Aleena and the girls, and he knew they hadn't suffered, but he knew the pain of loss.  If he hadn't found Jesus during this last year he didn't think even the painting would have helped him.

He looked to where his bible lay opened on the coffee table. He'd been reading in Romans about judging others and that had sent him straight to the window.  His pondering spot, he called it.  Had he been judging her? Thinking her inept just because of her size? Because her face was scrubbed clean of make up? He prayed he hadn't but he knew he had.  If he hadn't he wouldn't be wrestling so hard with this.  He had made a snap judgment based on looks alone.  And she had told him different and he didn't believe her because she didn't look the  part.  For Pete's sake she had discovered one of today's most famous artists.  He thought Jenna Franz had been discovered by an agent, not a shop owner from a little ocean side town.  He had judged her a child based solely on her looks. And she wasn't a child. She was a hurting woman who needed his understanding.

He fell to his knees in repentance and shame.  “Father, cleanse me so I can come into your presence purify me so I can be clean. Forgive me for passing judgment on one of your children. I saw what I wanted to see not what you wanted me to see.  She is a woman wounded and hurting and in need of your healing touch. Allow me to be used of you in whatever way you want to help her.  Thank you for giving me an opportunity to minister to one of your children.”  He spent more time in worship to his father then went back to his bible to settle in to reading. 

Shortly he heard the plaintive sound of a puppy whining at the door.  “Are you ready to come in, Jericho?” he asked the black lab pup who playfully bounded in the door.  Rico jumped around at his feet barking and nipping.  He grabbed a toy from the stash at the door and gave it a toss.  The pup chased after it at full speed, his feet going faster than his body.  He played fetch with Rico for about ten minutes before heading to the studio to start on his next painting.

This one was a cabin in the woods.  He was painting it from memory.  He and Aleena had taken the girls there shortly after Abigail had turned two.  That would have made Emilee five. It was one of the only two vacations he had taken with them.  The other one had been a working vacation to L.A. That had included Disneyland as a way to make up for not being with the the whole trip. But this trip ad been wonderful.  It lasted three days.  High in the mountains, there was no phone, no TV., no computer, no interruptions. Just complete quality time. Now he was grateful that he had had that time with them.  Aleene had relaxed completely, he had bonded with his girls, and he got some special time with his wife when the girl were asleep. He smiled at the memory.  His thumb went to twist his wedding ring, forgetting that he had finally taken it off and put it away. A sad smile played at his lips. It was time.

He mixed his paints. Seeing the cabin in his mind he set out to paint it. He just prayed the finished product came close to what he remembered.

 

Sasha stood under the spray of the water, letting the water wash the last of sleep from her eyes.  She couldn't remember the last time she was up this early. Probably before the accident she thought grimly.  Her life was so firmly divided into before accident/after accident. It was the defining moment of her adult life.  Like losing her parents had been the defining moment of her childhood.  But, she smiled, she had met Derek then. And the loss hadn't been so severe after she met him. Tears started to fall, and soon sobs were shaking her body. Derek had been a part of her for so long. How was she supposed to live without him?  How was she supposed to build a new life that didn't include him? For 20 years they had done almost everything together. It wasn't just losing her husband that hurt her. She had lost her best friend.  He laughed at her stupid jokes. She laughed at his goofiness.  His goofiness kept her from being too serious.  Her seriousness kept his goofiness under control. They had been a perfect pair.

How did she let go?  Kylie said it was time to start. She thought she agreed. She had promised Derek she would. But how? This brought on fresh sobs. She didn't know where to start, or even how. “God, please show me how to say goodbye.” she sobbed out.  She couldn't get out anymore words and just let the water wash over her as she cried out her pain to her savior.

 

15 minutes later she climbed out of the shower to hear the familiar strains of Arthur coming from the TV.

She dressed in a gray skirt that stopped just above the knee and a pink, scoop neck, chenille sweater. She peeked in on Dalynn who was snuggled in her chair with her blanket and milk, eyes fixed on the TV. She ducked back into the bathroom to fix her hair and makeup.  She headed to her room just as the theme song to barney started to play. She sat on the bed as she heard the sound of running feet. “mommy” she heard the softly calling voice coming down the hall. Dalynn rounded the door “mommy” she called again

“what sweetheart,” she replied to her surprised daughter.

“youse up.” Dalynn said with a big smile as she climbed onto her mom's lap.

“I am.”

“G'mornin.” she said as she gave her a big kiss.

“ Good morning, dumplin”

“Barney's on time to eat.” Sasha smiled. It was nice to know that somethings wouldn't change even as she got better.  An hour later they headed out to the car and headed off to their day.

 

“Wow you look great, Sash!” Kylie exclaimed as she walked in. “If it weren't for the dead eyes I'd say you look like the old you.”

She gave her best friend a weak smile “thanks, Ky. I think. I'm going to go do some book work for a bit. You have the front.” 

“It really was a compliment!” she yelled back. Darn, Kylie thought. That hadn't gone well. Sasha had looked amazing. Just like she always had in the days before Derek's death.  Except now there was no life, no fire in her eyes.  And she missed it.  It had been there briefly yesterday.  When Josiah Steele had been in. Oh yes, he had set those crystal eyes on fire again.  So it was with anger, but it was a start.

She knew Josiah would be in sometime today. He had to bring in the canvases he had promised.  He would definitely see a difference in Sasha. But would he see her as an adult after yesterday? Or would he still see her as a little kid playing in a grown up girl. Kylie offered up a quick prayer for both her best friend and for the man who ha been sent to help her.  She prayed God would give them both strength for the journey.

 

Jenna walked up to K &S Rarities with a smile on her face. Her newest painting was complete and in hand.  This one was different though. It was the same beautiful sunset beach. This one in the pinks and purples Sasha adored. But this time there was a lone figure wading in the water.  It had taken her 6 months to get it right, but she finally had and today she felt joy that she would see a smile on her friends sad little face. And maybe it might reach her beautiful, dead eyes too. She remembered their first meeting with much fondness.  She couldn't believe that pipsqueak of a girl was telling her she could get $350 for her painting. She thought she had been joking.  When she called her 2 days later and told her that only 2 paintings had sold for $350 she wanted to say I told you so. Then she said the rest had sold for $600. And how quickly could she paint more? Well, she might be a pipsqueak but she knew art. Jenna smiled as she opened the door.

“Good afternoon, Kylie.” She said when she saw her behind the counter.

“Jenna,” She exclaimed as she came around for a hug. Kylie thought it funny that Jenna at 5' considered Sasha at 5'3” a “pipsqueak” but where Sasha might be taller she was definitely the tinier of the two women. Jenna was nicely plump to put it kindly. And most people thought she was a cranky old woman.  They both had at first too. But as she warmed up to them she let them know it was just an act. The love of God showed up in everything she did.

“where is my favorite girl?”

“She's in the back working on the books.”

“How is she doing today?”

“She is trying to move forward. But it is hard. One day at a time. I just have to remind her of that.” Kylie saw the canvas “did you bring us a new painting?” she asked, excited

“No, ma'am. This is a gift for Sasha. Why don't you go get her.”

Kylie went to the back. “Hey, Sasha, Jenna is here to see you.”

Sasha frowned “But I just saw her last week.” She got up and headed for the front.  “Jenna” she smiled and hugged her friend “what are you doing here?”

“got something for you” she said tapping the canvas.

“But you just brought me canvases. I don't need anymore right now.  I mean I will hang it but you could have sold one.”

“No sweetie, this is for you. For your home.”

tears filled her eyes and she hadn't even seen the painting yet. Her friend had taken time from her schedule to paint a picture for her.  Her heart swelled. She lifted the cover. And tears fell hard. Jenna and Kylie both put their arms around her.

Sasha just stared at the painting.  It was her.  Wading in that beautiful water. Out to the sunset. What she had always dreamed of doing.  And Jenna had painted it for her. God, bless my friend she thought as she looked at the painting.  Even the colors Jenna had used were her favorite.  She didn't know what to say. Thank you just didn't seem like enough.

“Jenna,” she whispered when she could talk “ it's beautiful, thank you.” she looked up at her dear friend, gratitude filling her eyes.

Jenna smiled back. For a change Sasha eyes didn't look dead in her face. They were alive. Jenna could see her hurt and pain. But she could see her love too.  The love she had for her.  Something she had missed seeing when she visited her these past few months.

“Oh, Sasha, don't you know I'd do anything to put a  smile in those beautiful eyes.”

Sasha laughed. Not knowing how true the words were her friend spoke. Or how many people she affected that way.

That was the scene Josiah walked into. The laugh, while just a slight one, was beautiful and took his breath away.

He looked for the person who made the sound and caught his breath. Was this the same woman he had insisted was a kid yesterday? There was no doubt today that she was a woman.  In her gray skirt and pink skirt she was a picture of femininity.

But it was her tear streaked face that caught his attention. Amazingly  her make up wasn't smeared. She had on just enough to highlight and accent her features not overpower them. Her lips glistened in a pink shade to match her sweater.  Her jewelry consisted of a simple gold heart shaped locket, a gold and diamond bracelet, gold watch, and  wedding ring.  But it was her eyes that captured him. They                                        looked alive, with happiness. He had thought her pretty yesterday. Today she was breathtaking.  And off limits, Josiah, he told himself. She is still grieving her husband, you ninny.

He walked over to where they were gathered, “i hate to interrupt but are you ready for me?” he asked.

Three sets of eyes turned to him. Kylie smiled at him “Hey, Josiah, just bring in your paintings when you are ready.”

He smiled at Kylie. She had such a bubbly personality. He wondered why she was still single. But he didn't feel compelled to change it so he wasn't going to ask. He glanced at he painting they were looking at, then did a double take, “That is a Jenna Franz painting isn't it?” he asked.

Jenna turned and looked u at him “Yes sir it is.”

He looked down at her then at Sasha waiting. Sasha smiled. “Jenna I'd like you to meet Josiah Steele, Bluffs Bay newest artist.  Josiah, Jenna Franz.”

He couldn't speak. All he could do was shake her hand. He was in awe to be in her presence. “nice to meet you, Josiah.” she said with a smile. 

“Nice to meet you Ms. Franz” he managed to get out. 

“Please call me Jenna.”

“Ok, Jenna” he agreed.

“Can I see your paintings?” she asked him

“sure” he replied. “I'll be right back”  Jenna Franz wanted to see his painting. Thank you, God, for this blessing he breathed the prayer. He went to the car and got his box of paintings and headed back to the store.

The women were laughing again when he went inside. At least Jenna and Kylie were. Sasha sat with a smile on her face. She really was an extraordinarily beautiful woman.  She needed to smile more. He found himself wanting to give her a reason to smile.

Kylie looked up, “Hey, Josiah, let me see what you brought in and then we will decide what to show first.”

Josiah took out the canvases one by one. 3 oceans, 3 mountains, 2 lakes, and 2 of the woods.  Jenna smiled as she looked at his work. “You are very talented, Josiah.  These are very good.” She looked at the one of the trees with the light filtering through. It was lightly wooded, with heavy underbrush. Jenna felt enveloped by the light as she looked at it. “This one is your centerpiece, Sasha. Work all the other paintings around it.”

Sasha looked at it and fell in love. She wished Jenna hadn't mentioned it, because she would have bought it.  This one she could price high and it would still sell.  It just radiated peace.  And it would look good in her bedroom. But her customers came first. She loved the variety of Josiah's work.

Jenna's oceanscapes were amazing, but with Josiah's there was variety. 

“Josiah, these are wonderful. And be prepared to have more here quickly.  Because these are going to sell fast.”

“Well, I do have more at home.  I just brought in the amount we agreed on.”

“Bring them all in” Sasha said “I'll look them over, keep the ones I think will sell, and we will go from there.  How many do you have?”

“I probably have 25 done. Plus 2 I am working on right now. But 1 is not going to be for sale though.”

Sasha raised an eyebrow but didn't say anything. She let him have his privacy. It wasn't her business.

“Can you bring them in tomorrow?”

“Sure, that's not a problem.”

“Great” She smiled.  He thought he saw a little lite inn her eyes but it was faint. “Now folks, lets get these set up.”

 

 

Sasha threw her purse on the couch with a sigh.  Today had been a long day already. Now she had to get through the evening with her little girl.  “how bout we order pizza tonight?”

“Ok mommy.  Do you think Daddy eats pizza in heaven?” Why did they have to have this talk every time they ordered pizza? Why didn't she remember the answer? She tried to keep the sharpness from her tone. “Yes, I am sure they do, silly girl. It is Daddy's favorite. And heaven is full of our favorite things.”

“Is that why Daddy took Ian with him? Because he was his favorite?” Giant tears filled the brown eyes that were a match to her dad's. 

“Oh, dumplin, is that what you think?” she picked her up and sat down with her on the couch. “You were his favorite girl! He loved you so much. If he could have taken all of us to heaven with him he would have.  But God said he could only take Ian. He wouldn't even let him take me. And you know that I was Daddy's special girl.”

“So Ian didn't go because he was Daddy's favorite” she asked between sobs.

“No, dumplin.”

“And Ian didn't go because I wished him away?” she whispered.

Sasha looked at her daughter and lifted her chin. “No, Dalynn, Ian didn't go because you wished him away.”

“Because, I loved him mommy,” she cried. And sobs shook her little body again. This time, Sasha cried with her daughter.  She cried for all the pain her daughter had been holding inside. The guilt. And she had been so wrapped up in her own sorrow she hadn't seen what her daughter was going through.

She didn't know how long they cried, and then sat there holding each other.  She gave her a tight hug and a kiss on the forehead “How bout we get into our jammies?”

“Already? We haven't eaten yet.”

“But mommy has had a long day and so have you. Let's go wash our face and get into our jammies. Then I will call for pizza.”

Dalynn broke into a smile. “Ok.”

“Let's race. First one to get their jammies on and get to the bathroom gets Daddy's blanket during the movie.”

Dalynn squealed. “We gonna watch a movie?”

“Yep”

“Mommy, it's not Friday.” Dalynn was so structured. Her life was all about routine.  And tonight Sasha was throwing them all out the window.

“I know, dumplin, but tonight is an off night.”

“Ok.”

She went to her room and took her time changing. She took those moment to pray and ask the Lord to give her strength for the rest of the night.  She prayed Dalynn would spring no more surprises on her.

Dalynn beat her to the bathroom as she knew she would. She was dressed in her Ariel princess nightgown. She thought it funny that her mommy always wore fuzzy jammie pants now and Daddy's football jersey. Sasha hadn't worn a nightgown since Derek died.

Dalynn was rubbing a washcloth over her face as she Sasha walked into the bathroom.    She put her hair into a ponytail and applied her facial cleanser. “Thank you for getting into your jammies so quickly.”

“I won mommy.  I get to use Daddy's blanket tonight.”

She smiled. “That's right.” They finished the night time routine minus brushing teeth then headed to the front room. “Pizza will be here soon.”

“Peperoni?”

“Yep.”

“Ok.”

“What movie are we going to watch?”

“Little mermaid.”

Sasha refrained from asking, again, but went  to the DVD cabinet and pulled out the movie. 

 



© 2015 brezybaby3


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Added on January 20, 2015
Last Updated on January 20, 2015
Tags: Christian Romance, Romance, love


Author

brezybaby3
brezybaby3

napavine, WA



About
I started writing in 8th grade when the teacher put up a writing prompt for our journal and the story just flowed from my pen. I have had several poems published. I am currently going through my poe.. more..

Writing
Its just a day Its just a day

A Chapter by brezybaby3