SIXTH INSTALL MENT OF...THE LAKE...by b. Malin
Sarah and Robert fell into their own routines..He would commute by train, Monday through Friday to his law office in Manhattan...Sometimes he ran late, with meetings, or new clients, and had to stay overnight in their New York apartment. Sarah understood it went with the job. She worked from the cottage, she was taking time off from her reporting job and doing more special interest stories...But never far from her thoughts, was the death of Mrs. Jordan. She would never believe that this beautiful young woman had taken her life. She had learned that her first name was Danielle... She had also learned that it annoyed Robert if she brought the subject up. "Sarah, give it a rest, he would say, why is someone else's misfortune our business"? " Spoken like a true lawyer", she would reply back...and then there would be stoney silence. Sarah would sigh, "I'm a reporter Robert, it's what I do, we ask questions...we seek answers". "I don't want to hear anymore on this subject, in this cottage, case closed". She could tell by the cold stare that he meant it. "Fine Robert, I'll let it go". But Sarah didn't let it go, she needed to know more...it seemed to haunt her.
She made friends with the towns people...they seemed to like her...her husband, on the other hand, was thought to be a bit stand-offish...but they knew how lawyers could be. But old man Carter liked him. Mr. Blake paid the full asking price on the rent, and was now negotiating to buy the place from Mr. Jordan. Yes, Robert, as he had been told to call him, was ok in his book. Carter was told to keep the negotiations quiet, even from Mrs. Blake, for Robert wanted to surprise her with the deed at the end of their rental time. It struck Carter funny, the way Robert would sneak over with papers and questions, but he went along with the intrigue of it all. One time, Carter was frying up some forbidden Frogs Legs, when Robert stopped by. He held one out on a fork for Robert to try...and Robert became hooked, they were delicious. Without thinking, he offered Carter money for a few to bring home to Sarah. Carter started to say no...but then thought, it's not my business, and who's to find out?
Sarah was talking to Maggie on the front porch when he pulled into the driveway. He retrieved his attache case, and the bag with the warm frog legs, and slowly walked up the stairs. Maggie stopped talking and started sniffing, "what's in the bag sir", she said. "Frog Legs, Robert said sounding smugly...they are delicious, and I want my wife to have some, care to join us"? "I thought I told you Sir, we don't eat them here, it's BAD luck", she said now looking in Sarah's direction. Sarah didn't know what to say. Robert spoke, "look Maggie, I've had a rough day, and I'm tired. My wife and I respect your opinion, but it's not ours, so let's just say we agree to disagree on the subject of frog legs. Sarah, before they get cold, I'd appreciate if you'd come in the house, and we'll have some wine and enjoy them". Sarah quickly said good by to Maggie, again thanking her for dropping off dinner to them on her way home. They had a monthly charge with the Inn and were able to select, healthy, mouth watering meals. Usually the delivery boy from the Inn would drop it off, but today, Maggie needed to talk to Madam. Sarah watched Maggie drive away before coming in. She watched quietly as Robert set up two small plates and now was pouring some white wine for himself and lemon water for her.
"Robert, you know you were kind of rude to Maggie"..."Sarah, I don't want to talk about it, let's just sit down and enjoy them" he said as he pulled out a chair for her. Now seated, she looked down at the frog legs and then up at Robert who had already started eating, and looking like he was really enjoying them. "Oh what the hell she though, as she cut into one, I'm not going to fight with Robert over this, it's silly, he's right". She took her first bite, they sort of tasted like chicken, she was into her second leg, when a piercing pain shot through her stomach and nausea seemed to overcome her as she made a mad dash for the bathroom. With head over the bowl she threw up. Robert came rushing in. "Oh God honey, are you alright"? he said, as he bent down to hold her. "I think so...she said sounding weak, I really don't know what happened, I guess the baby didn't like the frog legs." They both laughed as he helped her up. " I'm so sorry Robert, but I don't think I can eat anymore of them, ever again". "That's ok, Sarah as long as you and the baby are ok, I won't bring them home again. He knew if he had the urge for them, he could always go over to old man Carter's cabin.
Things went pretty smoothly after that night, Sarah's body started to look pregnant and lovely, and Robert would tell her that she'd never looked more radiant or beautiful. Twice a month, she would meet him in the city, after her doctor's appointment, and they'd have lunch. After, she'd stop in to see her co-workers at the paper, and drop off one of her human interest stories, which seemed to be well received. Yes, life was good, almost perfect, like their perfect, perfect, cottage at the lake. But even so, she couldn't let Danielle's suicide go...not after what Maggie had told her...and what she had found in the bathroom drawer.
To be continued...