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‘July Sense’

As she entered on her way to the third floor, Brenda wondered if the elevator had just been mistaken for another small, windowless room. She held her breath as long as she could, relieved her dentist’s office wasn’t any higher up. The clear blue sky with patchy clouds and sunshine, barely visible from where she waited, reminded her that better times were ahead, and she found the strength to sit tight. She did not have to do anything but wait. The words would come. Somehow, when enough time, fight, and tears are spent on asking in earnest, she knew the One with whom she had to do would give her just what to say if anything needed to be said. The dilemma of whether to speak or not to speak was more concerning than what to say if she was to speak. She resolved to rely on the God who spoke the world into existence. Her motives were pure as far as she knew. Soon it would be made clear to her what she should do.

Lyle opened the refrigerator door and pulled out an old butter wrapper to grease the bread pan. Flipping a quarter, wild-caught Alaskan Coho was heads, and local grass-fed Beef Wellington was tails. Heads. He had a couple of hours to plan and prepare. The bountiful summer produce of fresh tomatoes and garlic from the farmers’ market filled his senses along with the basil he had just snipped from the pot out back. He wanted the flavors in the salmon to be just right. The food disposal was running since he didn’t have time to bury the food scraps. When it stopped, he realized the phone had been ringing, and then it stopped too. While the olive oil was heating, Lyle finely chopped the garlic, browned the salmon on both sides with the garlic and set it aside. With the tomatoes gently stewing, he added the basil, and then after a minute, returned the salmon to the pan. The salad was made, the bread and rice were almost done. He would have a glass of Shiraz for himself and a good Chardonnay for Brenda to better complement the meal.

On her way home, since he hadn’t answered her call earlier, she decided she would put the matter aside, and enjoy dinner with her husband that evening. She took her hair down though it was hot and humid out. Lyle liked it best that way, and it would cover the pink, scaly splotch at the nape of her neck that she tried not to scratch. She remembered how she was in the past when she thought this way and wanted to make sure she handled things differently today. When entertained, her thoughts easily found their way out of her mouth. She resisted so as not to offend the One who had saved her from so much.

After dinner, they walked hand-in-hand around the neighborhood commenting on the clouds that had formed, and hoping it would rain. “Maybe you ought to do that outside. You’re not sure what it might be.”

“It doesn’t smell. It’ll be alright.” Brenda proceeded to the bathroom to scrape and scrub the bottom of her left sandal with an old toothbrush and water until the caked-on mud patch had disappeared. She glanced up at the handmade calligraphy verse set loosely in a plastic, blue frame: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.” Lindsey, an old friend, had made it for Brenda years ago. She started to floss and brush her teeth and get into night clothes as was her before bedtime routine. She checked her toothbrush and continued scrubbing her teeth.

copywrite 7/30/2012    written by Karen Wallace, Durham, NC

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