Meeting Lizbeth - Chapter Two Part IV
Blue skies, fine music, a peaceful ride home. Tom loved ending his day at the office and heading home. What more could he ask for? A beautiful wife and adorable daughter. That's a man's dream. He had known Louise would have a hard time with a child, but he was still surprised at her aloofness after ten years. She took pride in Lizbeth, but there was always something missing.
He thought back to his own childhood. His father had worked his way up in the oil fields. Starting as a hired hand on his father's oil trucks he had worked hard and saved money. As he accumulated more money, he reinvested it until he owned an oil field of his own. He worked hard and in a surprisingly short time he rose to the top and soon he owned several oil fields, then he started on oil refineries. Alexander Sanders was a hard working man, but he was also a hard loving man. When he saw Sophie Willis the first time, he fell in love immediately and nothing would keep her from him. After the wedding, he had a new house built, a grand house with rooms for many children. It had all the best of everything. Sometimes providence gives in one direction and takes in another but the Sanders were not to know that right away. Alexander and Sophie were happy and when little Tom was born, they had son number one. Alexander believed he was on the way to a perfect life.
They doted on that little boy and chose his nanny very carefully. Nanny Matilda was a happy and loving woman who fit the bill perfectly. Matilda and Sophie became friends and sometimes worked together. There was no snobbery about Sophie. After two years went by both Alexander and Sophie began to fear there was a problem. They certainly wanted more children, but they now thought it might not be. Sophie went to a specialist who told her she suffered from “secondary infertility”, the inability to conceive after having given birth. The doctor explained more than half of infertility cases are secondary infertility. After hundreds of dollars and numerous doctors, they finally accepted Tom would be their only child. Well, Sophie did.
Alexander was heartbroken and rather than hurt the love of his life he began seeking comfort elsewhere. There were women he could sleep with who wouldn't care who he was. He was discreet. but these things have a way of becoming known. Matilda was the one who confronted him and so a relationship began between Matilda and Alexander. Matilda's husband John was a simple man and never interfered in her life. He had a fondness for their daughter Maddy but didn't interfere in her upbringing in any way. Sophie loved Matilda and knew Alexander was talking to her about their problems. She thought it was safe to have Matilda be his confidante, well, safer than him running around with those floozies anyway. Tom knew all of this, but what he didn't know and no one else knew was Matilda and Alexander found comfort in more than just words. Her understanding of his sorrow drew him closer and she was attracted to his vulnerability. Before they even realized what was happening, they began sleeping together.
Whoa, Tom's mind must've really been wandering. Here he was pulling into the driveway. He must have driven home on autopilot.
A Night Out
"Hey Daddy,” said Lizbeth as she ran towards the car.
“Come give me a big kiss young lady. I haven't seen you since breakfast!” Tom replied.
They bantered and affectionately shared each other's joy at being together. Louise watched from her bedroom window. She always watched from afar never putting herself in harms way. At least that was how she felt about it. She loved Tom with every part of her being and she had to admit she was fond of the girl but how far that fondness went was something even Louise couldn't fathom.
Tom and Lizbeth charged into Louise's room both ranting about going out to dinner and where, and when and what. Finally, Louise laughing in spite of herself said,
“Okay you two. Calm down and start from the beginning. I get something about going out to dinner.”
“Oh Mom, exactly. We thought we'd go out tonight, just the three of us and eat, and maybe even a movie if it wasn't too late. It's always fun when it's the three of us. There's lots of places we could go and you could choose...” Lizbeth was bubbling over.
Before Tom had a chance to add his two cents Louise replied,
“First there is washing and changing of clothes. While you are doing that Lizbeth, your father and I will decide where we are going to go and if there is time to see a movie.”
Before Louise's final words died down Lizbeth was out the door headed to her bathroom to wash up.
“That was really beautiful Louise. Sometimes you surprise me when your motherly love slips out,” said Tom.
“Really,” Louise replied. “So you think I have a motherly side and keep it hidden?”
He smiled and knew better than to keep this conversation going. If he did there'd be no eating out and certainly no movie.
“Lizbeth wants to go to that new diner, you know the one that's known for its hamburgers. I know it's not the Ritz but it could be fun. A nice juicy burger with a side of crispy fries won't kill you once in a while.”
Louise, much to Tom's surprise, consented without an argument. She added,
“I guess I'll have to see if I have some kind of dungarees I can wear.”
“Dungarees? Seriously? Can't you call them jeans like the rest of the world?” Tom said.
“I suppose I could but then I'd be just like the rest of the world” she said slyly.
Tom was a happy man at that moment. His wife was acting like a normal wife and not being snobby at all and it looked like he was going out to dinner with this two favorite women. He was afraid to think more about it because he didn't want to jinx it. While Tom and Louise were talking and dressing, Lizbeth was washing with the greatest of care. She looked for her best slacks and a nicely matching blouse. She wanted to be sure her mother would be proud of her. She thought if she did everything right this might be the beginning of more time for the three of them together.
They went to the new burger place in Daddy's car and had a splendid time. Mommy was lovely and laughed and joked with Daddy and Lizbeth just glowed. They all ate burgers, even Mommy, and they ate tons of french fries. It turned out to be too late to go to a movie, but Lizbeth didn't care. They sang songs in the car on the way home and laughed about how badly they sang. Lizbeth thought she had just had the must perfect night of her life and wished it would never end.
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