| Jason was startled when he heard the phone ring. He rolled over in bed and glanced at the clock. Through the fog in his brain and his bleary eyes, he saw that it was 6:00 in the morning. Who would be calling him now? He suddenly sat up and grabbed the phone. What if it was Autumn? What if she needed him?
"Jason?" The voice was not that of his precious child; it was Lynn.
"Yeah," he said flatly.
"Jason, I'm not sure how to..." Her voice trailed off, and Jason wasn't sure what he heard in her voice. Maybe it was helplessness, pleading.
"Is something wrong?" Would this blasted compassion for Lynn always make him want to rescue her? He had to let her fall...and fall hard so she might finally learn her lesson.
"I can't believe how I have screwed up!" she said, beginning to cry. Was this an act? It couldn't be; she sounded sincere, maybe even repentent.
"What prompted this?"
"I just...I just started thinking about Autumn and how little time she has left. I think...we need to work together to get her...and us...through this."
"Are you serious?" Jason asked, incredulous. She couldn't be...she had never worried about that before. Autumn had always been the one to clean up her messes, and now she was willing to stick it out until the end...with Jason's help?
"I am serious, Jason. I mean, Autumn shouldn't have to deal with this on her own or with one parent."
"Well, you've never been there before. Did it take her impending death to make you see what crap you have put us through?" He couldn't believe the harsh tone in his own voice. Apparently God was still working in him. However, he was immediately ashamed because of his reaction to Lynn. What should he do?
"Where, are you right now, Lynn?"
"I'm still in town."
"Let's meet somewhere so we can talk about this."
"We should go to the hospital."
"Not on your life, lady! There is no way I'll discuss this there and put Autumn in the middle of it. She has enough to worry about without dealing with our problems." Jason heard Lynn sigh, and she finally said, "Meet me at the Village Inn at 7:30?"
"Fine," he said, feeling troubled about the whole thing.
Jason arrived at the restaurant first; that was a good thing, as he would have time to pray before Lynn got there. Please, Lord, show me what to do. Give me the words to say...
"What are you doing?" Lynn's voice suddenly broken into his earnest prayer.
"Oh, just praying."
"Yeah, whatever. Jason, sometimes I'm just overwhelmed by my mistakes. I can't believe how I've messed up your life as well as Autumn's. I want to try again." Jason's heart leaped; he would never tell, but he still loved Lynn, despite what she had done. It didn't mean he wasn't angry, hurt and sad, but he still cared for her and was concerned about her welfare. He had often wondered what mess she was in and if she'd ever find a way out. Before he found God, he was able to push his concerns away, justifying this with what she had done. Now, God was changing him, and he was filled with compassionate for the woman he still loved. Was he crazy? How could he love her after all this? Would she ever change?
"Jason?" she said softly, and he realized he had missed something.
"Sorry, I was just deep in thought."
"Anyway, we should try again. I mean, I know that so many of the things that happened were entirely my fault."
"Lynne, I don't know if I'll ever be able to completely trust you again," Jason answered honestly, "with everything that has happened. I mean, I'm working on forgiving you, but I can't put Autumn, or me, for that matter, in that place again."
"Well, I guess I'll just have to show you that I have changed."
Viewing chapter 52 out of 136