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Entry date: 12-1-2022 - The Trees part 23 - Things I made up

Dear Friends,

I hope you're having a great week so far. Here is part 23 of The Trees....


When Allie got home, Ron was sitting in their living room watching ESPN. The four of them lived on the edge of an area called Paradise Valley, just a little north and east of where she had grown up near the mountain preserve. She sat down on the couch next to her husband and put her head on his shoulder as he moved to put his arm around her.

The two of them talked about everything. They talked about work stuff although, if truth were told, neither of them really understood what the other one did all day long. Even after almost ten years of marriage, their lives away from each other were still something of a mystery.

Allie could not wrap her brain around the idea of running into a burning building on purpose or dangling from a helicopter to pluck some idiot off Camelback Mountain. It just didn’t make sense to her. For Ron, the idea of sitting in an office was foreign enough and talking on the phone all day seemed like one of the nine levels of Dante’s hell. But they did listen to each other and offer whatever help they could. Sometimes a completely different perspective was a gift and not a curse.

“Tough day?” Ron asked.

“Yes and no.”

Allie bit her bottom lip and watched the soccer highlights flash across the screen of their flatscreen TV.

“You’re biting your lip. What’s wrong.”

“I’m not sure. Just worried about Dan, I guess.”

“I know, babe. Me, too. What’s going on?”

“He’s not telling me something and I don’t know what it is. He and dad got to LA to meet with Rob and then they come back and are heading out again to Boston and then up to Maine. It just doesn’t make sense. Normally Dan would have talked about a trip like this weeks ago. My dad says it was his idea, but I still don’t get it.”

“Well, I don’t know. Maybe they just need some time to sort things out. They’ve been partners a long time and now … “ Ron’s voice trailed off. He squirmed a bit in place on the couch and gripped Allie’s shoulders a little tighter. “Maybe now is the time where they have to just go and do, you know, before it’s too late. What Dan has coming for him in these next seven or eight months will be brutal.”

“I know. I just hate this feeling.”

“All we can do is just support them. They are family. I count my blessings a lot, you know that. Your mom and dad and Jan and Dan and the kids. I love them all. I’m just going to do what I can … what we can … to be there for them however I can be.”

“I count my blessings, too. We are lucky, aren’t we? Since Dan told us, though, I just keep feeling like maybe we’re not that lucky, like something worse is going to happen. I didn’t have this feeling when Peter died. That was an accident. I could accept that. I hated it, but I understood that accidents happen. I’m having a hard time with this, though. This doesn’t seem fair.”

“You’ve had a long time, though, to heal since Peter died. We didn’t exactly have the best first year as newlyweds, if you remember, but we got through it. Jan and Dan stepped up and helped pull us through. Dan’s not gone yet and he’s going to fight. I know it. People like us are fighters, babe.”

“From the stories you tell, you got your asses kicked when you wrestled, if that’s what you’re referring to, sweetie.”

“People who get their asses kicked and keep coming back for more are fighters, my love. If you don’t believe it, we can wrestle right now.”

Allie looked up at Ron’s face and kissed him.

A smile spread across Ron’s face and Allie knew what he was thinking. She’d been asleep when he had gotten home from a 24 hour shift early that morning and by the time he had gotten the kids up, ready, and driven them to school, she’d gotten up and left for work. Allie thought about giving him a playful squeeze in the jeans but figured they would have plenty of time for that later after the kids went to sleep. Instead, she lightly patted his package and said:

“I love you. I just have to let this go.”

“No, you don’t,” he teased. “The kids are in Dawn’s room watching a movie.”

“Funny. No. I mean I have to let the worrying go. You’ve talked me down, yet again. I just feel like something is going on and I hate being left out.”

“Ah, now we get to the bottom of this. You wish you were heading east on Monday, too, don’t you.”

“Yes. Damn it! You know me too well.”

“I know it is time for dinner. I have some chicken in the oven. Want to help me?”

“No. I’m going to sit here and watch Sportscenter. You got this, babe. I believe in you.”

“Will you at least go and get the kids ready to eat?”

“Yes, I will, but on one condition.”

“What’s that?”

“Will you let me pin you later?”

“You know I will. I just hope I get to be on top for a little bit.”

“We’ll see, tough guy, and that chicken better be fucking delicious. Will you open some wine?”

“You got it.”

As Ron got up and headed into the kitchen, Allie wondered what movie the kids were watching. Ron could sometimes forget they were just eight and five. She feared the worst as she got up to walk down the hall and it was too quiet in the house. They had both been begging for horror movies with Halloween approaching and Dawn knew how to manipulate a TV remote as well as anyone.

As she walked down the hall, she looked at the pictures and her eyes lingered on one with of the Rawls and Lewis families huddled together, like usual. It was from Thanksgiving, maybe, or Christmas, when she was about 16.


See you tomorrow.

An ad for Al's Bar in LA. I loved playing that venue.

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