RUN FOR THE HILLS – Chapter 12

Chapter 12–Sunday afternoon, Tina’s Apartment, Dallas

Tina skipped the prayer walk routine Sunday morning, opting to walk Schotzie only as long as required. She skipped church, too. The prospect of Angie’s inevitable prying questions removed any hope she might momentarily have entertained of finding comfort there. Besides, Jake had promised to go with her this week, and since he’d opted out of going to church or anywhere else with her, well, she wasn’t in the mood, either.

By noon, having exhausted the rest of The Dallas Morning News, she caught herself reading the classifieds and decided she’d given this particular blue funk more time than it deserved.

She removed her left leg from the arm of the sofa where she’d slung it when she flopped down with the paper over an hour ago. “Chin, up, girl. Pull yourself out of it.”

Only one problem: she didn’t know how to pull herself out if it. Facing a lunch comprised of half the Greek salad she’d taken home from Spiro’s last night, a microwaved cinnamon roll, and reheated coffee, didn’t do much to cheer her up. Food never did strike Tina as a way to feel better. Not even dinner at Chez Charles, which she and Jake wouldn’t be doing now, either. With every thought, the list of without-Jake events grew longer.

“C’mon, Schotzie, I’m sinking fast; I need fresh air. Let’s chase the ball around for a bit. We’ll stay out until time for our weekly visit.”

Tina glanced at the clock when they returned, out of breath but refreshed. Almost 1:00 o’clock on a Sunday afternoon: Instant Messaging time with Poppy and Kate.

As her computer booted up, she tried to not hope there might be a message from Jake. She tried, but failed, and when she heard “you’ve got mail” her heart responded with an extra beat.

“Uh oh. It is Jake.”

At the sound of her voice, Schotzie lifted his snout from his water bowl. When he realized she hadn’t called him, he resumed replenishing precious bodily fluids, thus ensuring frequent walks.

T. I got your email. I tried to call (2nd time!) but you were gone.
For the best, maybe. I never meant to hurt you. Love, J.
She blew him a raspberry, then hit “reply.”

She wrote: That’s what they all say. Now WHO IS WITH YOU? And sent it.

The sound of a creaking door signaled that PopnKate were online and ready to Instant Message.

Tina double-clicked on the screen name and smiled to herself as she began.

TinaTX: Hi! Are you both there? How are you?

The reply came quickly.

PopnKate: We are fine, dear. We prayed for you this morning.

TinaTX: I’ve been thinking about you—wishing you were here with me. It’s been a rough couple of days.

PopnKate: Did you go to church this morning?

TinaTX: No.

PopnKate: This is Poppy writing, Christina. Now don’t you lose touch with the Lord. He loves you and can give you strength and wisdom. You taught us that much.

TinaTX: Oh, don’t worry about me; I’ll be all right. Just in a bad mood. What did you two do today? Did you watch a church on TV?

She wondered why they nagged her about church; they preferred to stay home themselves. They “attended” church via satellite or, on those rare occasions when there were visitors, they had their own little worship service, complete with music (Poppy on the piano) and preaching (Poppy with frequently inserted comments by Kate.)

PopnKate: We had church right here in our living room, honey. We had a grand time.

TinaTX: Do you have company?

PopnKate: We’re together and that means we’re in good company. 🙂

TinaTX: LOL! You two are incorrigible.

PopnKate: Just remember, dear, we love you and pray for you every day, and whatever you’re going through right now, God knows all about it and He will work it out for your good.

TinaTX: What do you know about what I’m going through? I told you, I’m just in a bad mood. Was in a bad mood. I’m all better now that I’ve talked to you!

PopnKate: We enjoyed meeting your young man, as we’ve mentioned before. Thanks again for bringing Jake up here to meet us.

TinaTX: That’s a sore subject right now. Besides, He’s not a Christian, you know; I couldn’t marry him anyway.

PopnKate: Nothing is impossible with God. Don’t give up on Jake. He’s a fine young man. We’re praying for you. We have to go now. XXX000

TinaTX: Is something going on there? Is there some special reason you’re praying for me?

PopnKate signed off at 1:31

Tina scowled at the screen for a moment. “That’s weird, Schotz. Jake’s a ‘fine young man?’ Does that mean they think it’s all right for me to marry a non-Christian? Not that it matters anyway. That whole conversation was weird. And what’s up with their hurry to quit?”

She shut down the computer and turned on the TV. The Texas Rangers. Baseball bored her to pieces. She watched all nine innings.

next chapter


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