a short story by the Wynn Brothers
While making a blueberry pie, a young married couple reaches a crossroad and takes a leap of faith.
The Wynn Brothers
Copyright © 2014 Pretend Pictures Inc.
When Charlie awoke and stumbled through the hall, the windows were still dark as night, but he could sense the morning sun about to break through. Arriving in the kitchen, he saw his wife, Emily, digging through the cabinet.
“What time is it?” he asked.
“Oh, good morning,” she said, twisting to look at the clock on the wall. “It’s five fifteen.”
“What happened with the meeting?”
Emily should have been an hour down the road by now, halfway to an annual meeting with one of her biggest clients. Instead, she was leaning against the kitchen counter in her pajamas, holding a jar of blueberries.
“I didn’t want to go,” she said. Charlie recognized that look on her face. She had something very important to say.
“What’s going on?” he asked.
“Nothing. I just wanted to stay home with you.”
“Well, I’m flattered,” Charlie said, dryly, “but what about Henshaw?”
“Don’t worry about them,” she said, seeming to have no time for anything outside of the immediate moment. “I want to make a pie.”
“Yeah, like we used to.”
“Should I be worried?” he said, as he watched her collecting ingredients. She didn’t answer. “Are you pregnant?”
“No, I just want us to talk, and spend some time together.”
“Is Gerald okay with you canceling the meeting?”
“Don’t worry about the meeting.”
“Okay.” He knew whatever she had to say was important, and he couldn’t drag it out of her any faster by continuing to ask. So, he pulled up the sleeves of his pajamas and grabbed a mixing bowl from the cabinet. Looking over the ingredients laid out on the counter did bring back fond memories.
Step by step, they followed the recipe, with her stealing a kiss here and there, bumping her hip into him, and wrapping her arms around him as he mixed the batter. All of this had his mind racing. Was she about to announce that she had gotten a big promotion?
In the warmth of the heat rising from the oven as Charlie removed the pie, their lips met for a final kiss. The first glimpses of daylight were peering through the windows now, and he was feeling a subtle tug to get ready for work and to get their daughter Caitlyn ready for school.
“It’s time to buy the boat,” Emily said.
Charlie was relieved. “That’s what this was all about?” It had been his dream to buy his own boat and give tours of the nearby islands. He could see that she was actually serious.
“Well . . . that would be great,” he said, “but we don’t have the money for it . . . or the time.”
“Sure you do,” she said. “If you quit your job and jump into it full speed, you could have it up and running in a few months.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa . . . quitting my job? Where’s this coming from?”
“It’s time for you to be happy.”
“I’m happy,” he said, looking her in the eye and trying to sound convincing. She looked him right back.
“You’re not happy at work,” she said.
“Who’s happy at work?” he replied.
She shook her head at this lame excuse. “You’re not going to go in to work today, anyway. So, I want you and Cait to sit down, enjoy this pie, and think about it.”
“I’m not going in to work, today?”
“You deserve to be happy,” she said. “That’s all that’s important to me, now.”
“I don’t know,” he said. “That’s a big decision, and we—”
“I’ll be out there on the water,” Emily said, “waiting for both of you.”
Just then, the doorbell sounded. Charlie woke to find himself in bed. He heard the doorbell again and made his way through the house to answer it. Standing on the front step was an officer with the worst news imaginable. He informed Charlie that his wife had been in a car accident on her way to the meeting. She was killed instantly. After twenty minutes of the officer consoling him, Charlie staggered back into the kitchen, where Caitlyn stood, fresh from bed—hair a mess, pajamas wrinkled, the picture of innocence. He scooped her up and held her for a silent moment.
“You’re not going to school, today,” he whispered, as a tear rolled down his cheek. “Mommy wants us to make a pie.”