The Fragile Chain
| One day, about nine months after Lynne's change took place, Jason noticed a difference in her. Things had been going well, and they were gradually building a mutual trust. He was actually hopeful that things could continue this way. He instinctively knew that was not to be on this particular day. Lynne wouldn't look at either Jason or Autumn. Her eyes seemed to wander to a point above her family members' heads. Lynne's voice seemed cold, and her words were distant. She pretended that nothing was wrong, but Autumn, the child with endless eyes saws through the facade right away.
"Mom, what's wrong?" Autumn asked directly.
"Oh, nothing. Everything is fine." She tried to make it sound light, but Autumn saw through that, too.
"No, something is seriously wrong. What is it?"
"Everything is fine, but I do have to go."
Lynne didn't visit for the next week, and Autumn and Jason knew something was terribly wrong. They were both afraid it was the thing that originally split the family. When she finally came, Autumn wasted no time with pleasantries.
"Why were you gone for so long?" she asked pointedly.
"Oh, I've just been busy."
"Things were picking up at the job you don't have?" Jason asked in a sarcastic tone.
"What are you saying? Are you accusing me falsely again?" Lynne sounded guilty to Jason. He didn't want to pursue this issue in front of Autumn, but Lynne made that completely irrelevant.
j"You two have no right to do this to me."
"Are you having another affair?" Autumn asked. Maybe she was just a little more honest than the rest.
"Of course not," Lynne began, but she wouldn't meet Autumn's gaze. That's a sure sign, Jason thought. He would find out for sure.
"I have to go," Lynne said abruptly. When she was out of sight, Jason followed her. She got into her car and drove to the north side of town. This was a seedy area, where most of the crime took place. Whatever was she doing? Lynne parked in front of a run-down apartment building. Jason saw a man meet her at the door. Through a slit in the window shades, he saw them embracing and kissing passionately. They have no shame! They're not even trying to conceal their activities.
Jason wanted to kill them both, so he drove off into the night. He didn't want to do something foolish, and it was his human nature that was taking over. He needed to get alone, where he could hear the still, small voice. God would have to help him heal from this latest blow from the woman who was supposed to love him.
"She's with another man," Autumn stated flatly when Jason walked into her hospital room the next morning. "I just knew it! Dad, shy does she do this?" Jason hadn't seen her fall apart so thoroughly since the security guards took her mother away when he was granted full custody.
"I really don't know, Autumn." Jason said softly. She was right to question Lynne's actions. She was not trustworthy. Hadn't he known that before? Why had he fallen into her trap again? Maybe he deserved this for his foolishness. Jason didn't hear the door open or the footsteps. He was so deep in thought, and the gentle pressure on his shoulder startled him. He looked into Sariah Golden's face, so filled with compassion, understanding and...love? No way, it couldn't be. What kind of crazy world was this? That had to be something different he detected in Sariah's eyes.
"I am so sorry, Jason." she said softly, her voice so filled with concern.
"You didn't do anything."
"I know, but that type of thing hurts so much. I'm sorry you're going through this. My husband did the same, and I know how much it hurts. I'm always here when you need to talk."
"thank you, Sariah," Jason said quickly. Then he rushed out of the room, so neither woman could see his tears. He knew neither one would ridicule him, but he still didn't want to show such emotion. Whatever would he do now? He would never fall for that again. He held his anger tightly as a protective shield. In a sense, he wanted, he didn't want to care about Lynne. She made this mess, and he wouldn't rescue her again. He decided that he hated Lynne and never wanted to see her again. Maybe she would leave Autumn alone, so they would never have to deal with her and her lies again.
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