Episode 1: On Sunday
As it has happened nearly every Sunday for the last several weeks, Frank leaves the Sunday morning worship service in an unconscious blur of motion not reaching full clarity of heart and mind until Sharon opens the door to let him in. Three weeks ago, he realized that just like today, he no longer has to knock before she appears.
The flurry of anticipation, the beautiful flood of joy still washes over him when she greets him with a smile and a soft “hello Frank, come on in.” The words mean more than come in to my house. He hears come in to my life, come in to my heart. Enjoy my company. Accept my love. It’s almost like being reborn each time that door is open. He never wants to take it for granted.
Frank no longer waits to get inside her home like he did the first few weeks before he hugs her and kisses her. Everyone knows about the two of them by now. Those who judge judge and those who care are happy for Frank, the retired preacher or lonely widower and Sharon, the independent woman, busy bachelorette entrepreneur finally settling down.
As usual, Sharon has some final preparations in the kitchen before lunch is ready. She invites Frank to relax in the living room as she apologizes for not having everything ready and on the table. Frank refuses her invitation and follows her in the kitchen and reminds her that she need not apologize and if she wasn’t so insistent about Sunday meals at her house, they could go out to a restaurant for which she counters with “so you don’t like my cooking” while Frank sneaks a sample of some of the cuisine.
After more teasing and sampling and fully engaging in the comfort of one another’s company, lunch is served and they eat and chat and continue to absorb the other like a newlywed couple in the first year of marriage, except they’re not newlyweds and being of Social Security age, not very new at anything.
This Sunday ritual follows with a team effort of the clearing of the table and putting the dishes, pots, pans and utensils in the dishwasher. Sharon offers her hand and Frank gentle folds his hand around it and they retire to the living room or like on this sunny October day, they go out and sit on the front porch.
This is when the visits become unique. The conversation opens up to expose personality through plans, dreams, reminiscences, and even immediate thought. Today, Frank is first to take that risk.
“There was a point in my life,” Frank begins looking out over the neatly manicured front lawns of the cul-de-sac as the front porch gently glides.
Sharon intuitively braces for the affect this point in Frank’s life plays on this moment.
Frank stops the swing and the soothing rhythm of the moment, “a misguided point in my life where I would never considered a close friendship with you, Sharon.”
Sharon has always been aware of this. She unconsciously pinches a sleeve of his favorite fall sweater and twists it between her thumb and forefinger.
“I cannot recall one moment where I didn’t wonder what it might be like to be close with you,” Sharon adds.
Frank’s eyes glaze over beneath a cloud of regret and he turns away to stare back into the cul-de-sac abyss.
“If I’d known how rewarding a friendship with you could be, I’d have never succumbed to the haunting legalistic opinion that guided me away from you.”
“Whose opinion, Frank? With whom did you share your feelings for me?”
Frank turns again to face Sharon, his eyes burning from the lightening flash of self awareness.
“I spoke to no one. Any biased judgment was all my own,” Frank confesses.
“Can’t you see how I felt when someone I thought was my friend rejected me? It seemed like you were saying that you were better, purer than me.”
“I see that now. How you must have hated me and my hypocrisy! Saying we are all equally loved by God and acting as if you were bad for me.”
“Funny, I never did hate you. I did despise that whole religious scene that brainwashed you and alienated you from me,” Sharon places her hand on Frank’s shoulder.
“If I am honest, once I realized you’d left and were gone from my life, I blamed the system, too and those other hypocrites.”
“Well, since we’re confessing our sins, I might add my pride. I was and still am at times, so glad that I’m too intelligent than you poor religious dotes and your ideas that keep you from fully engaged in living life fully.”
Frank starts to give an answer but before it can fly free from his heart, he stops short and pretends he doesn’t know.
“I wish I could tell you, Sharon. Maybe some day soon when we get to know and trust each other more.”
“I believe I do trust you, Frank.”
“Then, you’ll need to trust God to develop our relationship according to his plan.”
“I think he is but it’s you, Frank that lacks the faith. There is still too much of the legalistic Frank that believes every relationship must fit a certain acceptable pattern to be good and proper and divinely led.”
Frank sighs, “How about some coffee?”
Sharon chuckles and offers her hand and leads Frank back into the house.
Categories: Author Confession
I write about what I'm thinking or what I've imagined in an effort to regain that childhood imagination and marry with my many years of real experiences. I'm getting better at it the more I write.I am a published author of two romantic intrigue novels.My books can be found at Amazon.com or if you want a personalized copy, by emailing me at email@example.com.