“There’s nothing on TV.” I popped a movie in and stretched out on the couch, rubbing my ever-growing belly. “Daddy should be home soon.”
The phone interrupted my dozing. I yawned, “Hello?”
”Hi, Hon,” my husband’s voice greeted me.
”Hi. What’s up?” I glanced at my watch and realized he was really late.
“Well, first I’m ok and so is the car.”
I sat up, wide awake and heart pounding. “What happened?”
“Well, I got jumped. Bill and Linda are taking me to the ER to get checked. They’re going to follow me home, so I can drop off the car first and then file the police report.”
“Alright…I love you.” I was too shaken to move.
”I love you, too.”
“Lord, just bring him home safely.” Even though the worst was over before I even knew what had happened, I was in too much shock to cry. I knew there was no way I’d be able to go back to sleep until he was home and safe. I watched another movie in an attempt to keep my mind of things, without much success.
After a couple hours crawled by, I saw familiar headlights pull into the driveway. I met him outside, kissed him and just clung to him, finally letting the tears fall. “I could have lost you!”
I looked up and saw the black eye, swollen shut. “What happened?”
“Some kids called in a fake order and jumped me. I’ll tell you the rest later, I need to go.”
I didn’t want to let go. “Ok.” We kissed again. “I love you.”
“I love you.” He got into his manager’s car and left for the police station.
* * *
He finally arrived home about the same time the sun started to peak up over the horizon. We sat on the couch and I looked at his injuries, which appeared worse than they had earlier. “So how did it happen?”
“We got a late order, and it was going to be the last run of the night. It seemed odd, so we even called to confirm the order. Bill decided it was ok to go ahead and go, but I left my wallet and tips for the night at the store. I took just enough change for what they ordered if they had forty bucks. I got there and the house was dark, so I should have just left, but I didn’t. I got out, looked around, but stayed near the car, leaving it running and had Bill on the phone.
A kid came up to me, and started digging in his pocket for the money. While I was waiting, another guy came around the car on my blind side and punched me. I dropped and just started yelling that I had wife and a daughter.”
How we were going to explain it to our daughter what happened when she woke up? I tried to keep from shaking as I listened and rubbed my belly, trying to relax so the contractions wouldn’t get stronger.
“After I dropped, they grabbed my phone, the cash and the pizzas, jumped in the car that was waiting for them and took off. I got up, and noticed the lights were now on at the house. They heard me yelling and came out to check. They let me use their phone to call the store.”
* * *
“I told them I’d finish out next week, but I wanted Friday and Saturday off, so we can go camping. I need to get away from here. Then I’ll look for something else when we get back. You don’t need to worry about me every night.”
”Ok, but we just won’t tell my doctor that we’re going.” I smiled, “I can sit in a chair there as easily as here.”
* * *
After he unpacked the car, he told me, “I’m not going to quit.’
”Yeah, I decided I can’t let those punks make the decision for me. I’m not going to let them control my life. But, I want you to call around and find a karate school for me once I’ve finished healing. I’m not going to let it happen again.”
* * *
I leaned back in bed, with our newborn son in my arms and listened to our daughter say her prayers.
“…and keep Daddy and all the other drivers out there safe.”
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