SPINNING THROUGH PERIL
The boys could hear a distant vehicle every once in awhile, but most people were staying wherever they were. Frank and Joe were careful to not walk down the middle of the street, in case someone would come along attempting to plow their way through. As Frank had suspected, it was slow going and the police station had never seemed farther away. They prayed the trucker would be able to hang on until help got there.
They didn’t know that by answering the trucker’s distress call, it had given him that flicker of hope he so desperately needed right then. Yet as he was there, trapped in his tractor trailer, unable to reach anyone again, including those two souls who had promised to get help, he wondered what two little boys would be able to do. After all, he hadn’t even heard a snow plow near him, the CB had ceased working, and he had the bad feeling he had some pretty serious injuries. His hope started to falter again when he began to wonder if the phone lines were working.
As he worked to stay conscious, the trucker thought of the words he had last heard, “Don’t worry, we’ll call for help for you. Hang on.” He was a pretty good judge of character, and he had made some observations about those two just from what they said during the course of the conversation and the determination in which they said it. He had the feeling the two boys would do everything they possibly could to keep that promise.
A flash of pain captured his attention for a few moments. He wondered if he would be able to hang on long enough. Maybe, if the boys didn’t live too far away from where he was, their parents could come help him. The trucker thought about his own family, tears welling up in his eyes at the thought of being separated from them.
LaGuardia Airport –
Laura looked at her phone and bit her lip. She still couldn’t get through to her babies. Her phone normally had a good signal, but when she couldn’t get through on that, she decided to try Fenton’s, just in case hers was messing up.
Fenton was coming from the restroom and saw his wife’s tense shoulders. His long legged strides quickly lessened the distance between them. He could tell she still had been unable to get through to the boys. Roads were impassable and electricity as well as phone lines had been effected by the unexpected, brutal snowstorm.
When Fenton’s plane had gotten in four hours later than expected, the snow had really been coming down. His flight was the last one before all remaining flights had been cancelled, and it was amazing that that one hadn’t been as well. At least Laura isn’t stuck here alone, plus the boys are home safe with the babysitter, he thought to himself. He came up behind his wife and spoke softly to her, “Darling.”
Laura leaned back against Fenton’s strong, lean body. She was so thankful he was there and safe. She still couldn’t shake her feeling of concern, though, for their sons. No matter how much she tried to tell herself it was only because she wasn’t right there and couldn’t see them for herself that she was feeling this way, she remained unconvinced.
Fenton kissed the top of his blonde wife’s head. He turned her around so he could look into her deep blue eyes, carefully hiding his own concern for the boys. She gazed up at his handsome face.
“Those are two very smart boys. They’ll be fine,” he told her, his deep voice gentle, praying he could ease her worry that he could see so clearly in her eyes. “Besides, Melody is there if there are any problems.” He thought this reminder would help comfort her but it didn’t seem to, in fact at the mention of the neighbor’s name, a frown came over Laura’s pretty face.
“Oh, Fenton,” she said softly, apprehension in her voice. “I wasn’t real thrilled with having her watch the boys. She’s nice, a little annoying at times, but nice. She was the only one available so I didn’t have much choice.” Laura sighed. Her mind was busy on all of the possible, dangerous scenarios that their sons could be in right then. Laura couldn’t figure out why she was so worried.
“Come on, let’s go sit down on that bench over there,” Fenton gestured with his chin toward the only vacant bench in the waiting area of the airport. Weary travelers, anxious to be together with family during the holidays, filled the large area, all stranded for the time being. Some of them joined together to form an impromptu group of carolers. Their voices were in earnest and they shared their heartfelt singing with everyone there, determined to perhaps get some of the travelers’ minds off of their troubles, if only for a short time.
Taking Laura by the hand, Fenton led her over to the bench and they sat down, snuggling close to one another. They shared their strength, drawing from one another. As Laura laid her head against her husband’s shoulder, their fingers intertwined, she pictured their two little boys in her mind’s eye. Warm dark chocolate eyes, so much like Fenton’s, shone from a friendly, often serious little face. Their precious Frank, their oldest. Twinkling blue eyes, the smile in them as bright as the one on his lips from which one could easily hear the happy laughter, this was their precious baby, Joe. Both were their babies and always would be.
The last time Laura had seen them, she had gone in and kissed Joe, who had still been sleeping. He had awakened for a few minutes and had given his mother a sleepy smile. She had brushed a lock of blond hair off of his forehead before kissing him once more. Laura recalled how she had stopped in the doorway to look back. Joe had still been looking at her, so she had returned to her son to give him another kiss. He had wrapped his arms around her before dropping back off to sleep. She could have stayed there forever gazing at him. Yet she had to get to the airport. Due to early morning work traffic as well as detours that often accompanied road construction it was going to take much longer than normal.
Afterwards, she had gone back down to the kitchen to where Frank was waiting for her. She and Frank had already enjoyed a quick, light, breakfast before she had gone to kiss Joe. Laura had been so pleasantly surprised when Frank had gotten up early to be with her before she left. There in the airport she revisited that whole beautiful memory that she knew would never leave her. Frank had smiled so happily at the delight on his mother’s face when he had entered the kitchen, his slippers making cute sounds on the hardwood kitchen floor. They had talked easily with each other, as they usually did. Both Fenton and Laura were always careful to treat Frank and Joe as people with opinions and feelings to be respected. Their sons didn’t realize this would be unheard of in some households, but they appreciated the love and care always exhibited by their parents.
In the airport waiting area, tears threatened to leave Laura’s eyes and find their way down her face, but she fought to hold them back. Fenton didn’t need anything to add to his worry. He had tried to hide it, but she had sensed it nonetheless. Her soul continued to pray for her boys.
Fenton could tell his wife was struggling despite her attempts to cover it. He wished there was something he could do, but there really wasn’t anything else he could do that he wasn’t already doing, which was to try to ebb his wife’s worry, and to pray. The roads were closed, phones were out, and they were stuck, plain and simple. In this season of miracles, he knew there were plenty every day. Some that people knew of and some they weren’t ever aware of, sometimes not even realizing the need for some of them.
He was looking forward to being home with his family. After more than a week away on a case, which was longer than expected, it seemed like forever since he had seen them. Fenton was so happy to see his wonderful wife. They had melted into one another’s arms after he had disembarked from the plane. His arm tightened a little around her as they sat there on the bench. He was very thankful she had made it to the airport without any problems. Anytime anyone traveled on the highways without mishap that in itself was a miracle which should be appreciated with much thanks. He was also thankful he had made it safely to the airport.
Fenton reflected that some people were often more given to thinking such things around the holidays, being grateful and being kind. That always seemed odd to him. Every day, all through the year, people should be nice and thoughtful as well as appreciative. That was his way of thinking.
How he got on that subject he wasn’t sure, but his thoughts circled back around to his family. He couldn’t wait to play outside with his sons, go sledding, and then play some video games afterwards. Fenton smiled. He and Joe had a friendly competition going with one favorite game and he was anticipating finding out just how much practice his youngest had gotten in while he was gone.
Fenton also looked forward to sharing details of the successful case he had finished. His wife enjoyed hearing about his cases, as did his sons. They ate up all the information that their dad relayed to them. Fenton thought fondly of their intense little expressions. Many times they asked questions that impressed Fenton as they would both sit there and listen. Picturing their sons in his mind, he corrected his thoughts. Frank would sit there and listen intently and Joe would listen just as closely, but not always sit still.
Glancing down at his wife, nestled against him, he caught her eye and smiled at her. She returned it with one of her own that was full of love. His grin widened and he leaned his head down to press a kiss to her lips. She reciprocated, and relished his love as his lips told her how much she meant to him. It was a few moments later before either could talk.
“As wonderful as your kisses have always been, how is it possible that they get even better and sweeter with every day?” Fenton asked, smiling at the look on her face.
“You should write greeting cards,” Laura smiled.
“Now is that the most romantic thing you can think to say after that great kiss I just gave you?” Fenton’s eyes sparkled. He had no doubt how much his words had meant to his wife.
“Let me say this instead.” Laura kissed him again. He loved it when she talked like that.
After the kiss, his eyes flicked over as he sensed someone staring at them. A little boy and a little girl stood watching them. He felt a little self-conscious as they continued to just stare. He noticed their parents were at the vending machine getting some snacks. Even though Fenton’s gaze went back to his wife, he could see out of the corner of his eye that the parents had joined their kids and now were also staring at him and Laura. Good grief, he thought.
Laura snuggled back against his shoulder, having noticed the staring family as well. Why do people do that?, she wondered. Soon both she and Fenton were lost in their thoughts. First the thoughts were of each other, but after awhile they drifted back to their sons.
Fenton couldn’t help but wonder what was happening with Frank and Joe. It was very possible that they were safe at home, he reminded himself. Why wouldn’t they be? Why should he think otherwise? While his sons did have very adventurous natures, with large doses of curiosity, they also had good sense. Sure they were seven and eight, but little kids often didn’t get the credit they deserved for their intelligence. Not Fenton, though, he was well aware of his sons’ early common sense. He wished more adults had such sense.
Still, no matter how smart, capable, and industrious anyone is, things could happen. Frank was more cautious, Fenton noted, and Joe was often one to push aside any thoughts of danger, throwing caution to the wind. Yet they balanced each other out.
Fenton’s dark eyes looked out across the waiting area, to the large windows of the airport. The lights outside allowed him to see the thickly falling snow. It was cold out there, Fenton knew. He hoped their boys were warm.
He thought about the last time he had seen them. He had been backing out of their driveway, his eyes riveted to Frank and Joe standing in the yard, watching him. Even now, just the memory of how they both ran to the edge of the street, waving to him, brought tears to his eyes. The little boys were very aware that he planned to be gone for a week and, although it wasn’t talked about much, they knew his job was sometimes dangerous.
Fenton had kept sight of his boys in the rearview mirror as he had slowly driven away. When he thought again of how Joe had started running out into the road, wanting to follow his dad as long as he could, and being stopped only by his big brother reaching out to halt his progress, a single tear slid down Fenton’s tan face. He felt an overwhelming need to see their sons, safe and sound.