“Welcome. I didn’t think you scared easily. I just didn’t believe Rick. I’m having a little trouble with my friend, but nothing a little .45 won’t fix.
The winners of yesterday’s daily contest: Cindi Altman wins a man’s watch, and Joanne Elliott wins a $25 Visa Gift Card.”
“I’m Ilsa and as soon as I read this rude statement, the sooner we can get down to business: If you’re here just for the contest. Just scroll on down to the bottom, the back of the cafe. Do what it says to do. Don’t ask questions and don’t stare at my patrons as you move through.”
“I really don’t know what I see in Rick. He is so rude sometimes, but I love him. Crazy for him.”
“Just one more statement and I’ll be done with this foolishness. Here are the rules. Don’t comment on the misfits that come here. Don’t stare at their outfits. We have a few ‘time-travelers’. Everyone behaves better if you don’t stare. Oh, if you leave a comment you might win some cool stuff to make your trip memorable. Seems the
dames ladies of InfiniteCharacters.com like to treat people nice.”
“I’m going to find Rick and work things out. You stay and go to the table in the corner. Those ladies you spied on are still here. Go on, and if anybody asks, I was with you the whole time.”
Madeline (Madeline’s Protector) sips the strong coffee the servant brought to the table. Warming her hands against the rough china, she cast her gaze again on the healer. “So you help mainly women, Miss Coleman? A mid-wife of sorts?”
Jillian (Deliver Us): “Yes. With all my heart, I want to open the Jeremiah House to provide girls an alternative to abortion.”
Samantha (One Among Men): “What a great goal. I just want to know God can use me in some special way, like my missionary best friend who teaches orphans in Africa.”
Mara (A Healing Heart): “I love teaching art and design. I wish I had time for it, but so many families rely on Bridger Pack and Rescue to meet their budgets. Someday I’ll have time to share the legacy of art that was shared with me.”
A tall woman with long, strawberry blond hair and gray eyes approaches the table. She’s wearing a green sweater and tan pants. Her gaze narrows on the dark chocolate brownies. “I’m Molly Finnerty (A Place to Call Home). Sorry I’m late. I got stuck at the Hotel California. It was difficult to check-out.”
Molly Finnerty (A Place to Call Home): A quick round of introductions takes place as Molly slips into the seat in between the Southern Belle looking woman and the one in the lab coat. “You haven’t seen my friend, Kurt. Oh, of course you haven’t. He’s too busy trying to prove his innocence.”
Margaret (Stopped Cold): “I know how it is to track people. Until I find the drug dealers who sold my brother, Sean, a steroid, I can’t think of the future.”
Madeline (Madeline’s Protector): “If my aunt were here she’d think a tall, slender genteel girl like yourself should think only of marriage. ”
Molly (A Place to Call Home): Reaching for the chocolate goodness, Molly spoons on a dollop of fondue on it for extra measure. “My mom would push Margaret into a career as a model like she did to me when I was just a teenager. I missed out on lots of high school activities. I grew up too fast. Don’t let anyone do that to you.”
Madeline (Madeline’s Protector): Puzzling over what a ‘model’ or ‘high school’ might be, Madeline just assumes it’s not good. “I’m glad Aunt’s not with us. I couldn’t think of belonging to a man now. This is my first time from home, and I want a moment of peace.”
Deborah (Deborah’s Secret): “When you are ready, you’ll want a man who won’t rule over you, but who will walk beside you through this life. I was married the first time such a short while—only two weeks. I know the difference. My prayer since Jamison’s death has been that God would send someone who would love me. Someone who would treat me and our children with gentleness and love.”
Mara (A Healing Heart): “Love again? I just didn’t think it was possible. After my husband died, I felt so betrayed. But there is a new guy, Joel. Well, he makes me dream again. Like I might have something to give the world, not just jobs. Something longer lasting than paychecks. Love. I’m not sure.”
Samantha (One Among Men): “I want a man who’s stable and reliable. One who won’t just drool all over me, but see me as important for who I am. One who’ll be there for me when I need him … And I wouldn’t mind if he was just the teensiest bit creative and passionate about things … maybe.”
Margaret (Stopped Cold): “I’ve never cared about anyone like I do Jimmy Willmore. He can smile at me and make my day better. I’ve been spending lots of time with him while my brother, Sean’s, been in the hospital. He’s so supportive. I don’t know what I would have done without him. Now he’s asked me out. I hope we’ll start seeing each other a lot.”
Jillian (Deliver Us): “You are young. Don’t let Jimmy pressure you into anything. Actions have consequences.” She brushed the crumbs of her cookie from her mouth. It gave her a moment to soften the edge in her voice. Not every girl would make the mistake Jillian made. She curled her lips into a smile. “I want a man who can support me in my dreams and goals in the future. I want a husband and children more than anything. I just don’t think God will allow it after what I’ve done.”
Madeline (Madeline’s Protector): “I know that God’s will is perfect, but someone destroyed my confidence in men. It would take a great deal to convince me that I should marry right now.”
Molly (A Place to Call Home): She swallows another chunk of the brownie. With the deaths of her husband and father constantly on her mind, she nods at Madeline. “I’ve made some bad decisions in the past when it comes to men, so I’m not interested in a romantic relationship right now.”
Samantha (One Among Men): “I’m with you, but lots of people tell me I’m building walls, not trusting God to guide me through the challenges. They just don’t realize I really stink at picking men. Most of my past boyfriends were losers and jerks. I don’t have a very good track record and don’t trust myself to choose well now.”
Deborah (Deborah’s Secret): “It’s not your fault. My first husband claimed to be a Christian, but he angered so easily. I sometimes wonder if true love exists between man and woman. I must take the man my father has chosen for me, but if I could do my own choosing . . .” Deborah looked into the distance as if seeing what wasn’t there. “He would be gentle, kind, and see me as more than a possession. I know Dane wants a housekeeper and a mother for his children, but I’m hoping he can learn to love me. I believe love is important.”
A shot rings out. Rick trudges from the back. “The place is closing down now. Everyone out.”
Ilse emerges. She is pale as a ghost. “Yes, everyone has to go, but come back tomorrow for the celebration.” She falls to the ground.
Madeline (Madeline’s Protector) gasps. Miss Hart doesn’t flinch as if she’s use to gun shots and puts a protective arm about the youth and Miss Keegan. Miss Coleman (Deliver Us) and Mrs. Asberry (Deborah’s Secret) rushed to Mrs. Lund’s aid. Mrs. Finnerty slumps in her chair. Her eyes glaze as if she’s caught in remembrance, but then soon starts to pray.
When the healer signals everything is fine, Madeline stands, adjusts her bonnet, and runs from the cafe. So much for love.
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Today’s Comment: What taught you the most about love?
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