Chapter 90

Sarah stood staring at the blackness of the ocean, her hands shoved in her pockets.  The run had helped her sort through her thoughts and she’d resolved things in her mind.  She was ready to talk to Howie for his advice but when she saw Nick, her defenses went up.  Now, as she stood there, she knew Howie would come down to talk to her. 

Hearing his approach, she asked, “Is Nick here to chew me out?” 

“No, he just wanted to know what was going on,” replied Howie as he wrapped his arms around her. 

“Doesn’t surprise me she didn’t tell him but she probably spilled it all to her new best friend,” sneered Sarah, jealousy dripping from her words. 

Howie heard it and knew this was just the tip of the problem.  “He said she’s really upset.” 

“Don’t know why.  She didn’t do anything.  It was me who was the brat.” 

Howie waited quietly, holding his wife close.  She had to do this on her own. 

After several minutes, Sarah asked softly, “Do you think I’m insensitive or selfish?” 

This question to anyone else had the potential to be an explosive situation but this was Howie and he could tell her anything.  Despite that, he still weighed his words carefully and before he spoke, he had her turn to face him.  He touched her cheek tenderly to wipe away the tears and sweat. 

“Yes, there are times when you are insensitive and selfish but I don’t think you do it intentionally.  It’s usually when you’re excited about something or have a lot on your mind.” 

Sarah’s shoulders drooped and a tear ran down her cheek.  “I guess I have been excited lately about what I have coming up.  I never meant to hurt her.” 

“What happened?” 

“Last week, Becca called me to tell me about the plans she and Nick were making for their anniversary.  She was really excited since they didn’t get a honeymoon.  Well, I listened but when she was done, I changed the subject to tell her about working with Jon and Richie.” 

“That was last week, Sarah.  What happened today?” 

“Today was the explosion because several things happened over the last week.  A couple days after Becca called about the anniversary plans, she and I were on IM talking and she was venting about the stuff with Nick’s community service.  I listened and the changed the subject to ask her advice about something I’d written in response to a question on one of the lists.  I didn’t know she wanted me to say anything or offer advice.” 

Howie listened but didn’t speak. 

“Then, Sunday, I invited her and Nick over but they already had plans with Kevin and Lynne.  I made a comment about the amount of time she’d been spending with Lynne.  And today, we were supposed to meet for lunch but she called to cancel.  She was really cool and aloof so I asked her what was wrong.  That’s when she went off on me telling me how insensitive and selfish I am.  When I tried to apologize, she said she’d heard one too many apologies from me…..that I never changed….and to have a nice life.” 

By now, there was a steady stream of tears rolling down Sarah’s cheeks.  Howie knew Sarah was hurting and he wanted to have a magical fix for her but this was going to take time.   

Taking her in his arms, he held her tight, rubbing her back as she cried.  Softly, he said, “It’s going to work out, ‘Angel’, but it may take some time and work on your part.  Becca loves you.” 

“I love her too, Howie.  I’d never intentionally hurt her.” 

“I know, sweetheart.  Why don’t we head up to the condo where we can talk?” 

“Is Nick still there?” 

“Yeah.  Do you want him to leave?” 

“If he’s going to be hateful, yes!” pouted Sarah. 

“Come on, Sarah.  Nick has a right to defend his wife…just like I defend you…but you know he’d never be hateful to you.” 

Sheepishly, she conceded, “Yeah, I do know.” 

Hearing her stomach rumble, Howie laughed, “Besides, you’re hungry and I expect it’s almost time for DJ and Caroline to eat too.” 

Sarah gave him a tearful giggle, “I am hungry.” 

“Ilse kept our dinner warm for us.” 

“Were you waiting for me?” 

“Of course!  Couldn’t let my ‘angel’ eat alone,” smiled Howie as he touched the tip of her nose. 

As Howie took her hand and led her across the beach, Sarah asked, “What if this doesn’t work out before I join Nick on tour?” 

“Then you’ll just have to deal with it.  You do know I’m not done with you.  There’s still the issue of you being jealous of Lynne.”  Howie looked sideways at her in time to see her cringe.  “Why would you be jealous of Lynne, Sarah?  She’s been a really good friend to all of us.” 

“I don’t know.  She and Bec just seem to have so much more in common.” 

“Not really.  You are being extremely selfish expecting Becca not to have other friends.” 

“I know and I really do like Lynne.  I’m glad we could convince her to move down here too.” 

“Then let it go,” admonished Howie sternly as they climbed the steps.  “You’ve never been the jealous type.  Don’t start now.” 

“I know….I just….” 

“NO EXCUSES, Sarah.  Let it go and be GLAD that Becca is reaching out and making friends.  She needs that….especially when Nick and you are out on the road.  It’s not fair of you to expect her to not have friends.” 

“You’re right.” 

Reaching the balcony, the couple looked in to see Nick holding DJ while Jesse sat beside him reading a book.  Howie used the extra minute to reassure Sarah.  He turned to her, took her face in his hands, and kissed her tenderly.  

“Learn from this and move on, Sarah.  It’s all going to work out.” 

Hand in hand, the couple went inside to finish the evening with their family.

Chapter 91            Index