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Consequences (standard:drama, 4554 words)
Author: CoopAdded: Mar 23 2003Views/Reads: 1809/1197Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
After a miscarriage, Jean lets herself fall into a deep depression and neglects her family and kids. A trip to her parents home brings her back to reality in a surprising way.
 



CONSEQUENCES 

By Coop 

“Jean, I don't know what else to do.  I've been patient, giving you time
to get over the physical and emotional trauma.  I've helped more around 
the house.  Gosh, lately I've even done what cooking that's been done.  
It's been two months since the miscarriage and hysterectomy.  It was a 
shock and disappointment to both of us.  Yes, I know it was worse on 
you emotionally and physically.  But, you have had time, love, patience 
and even a little scolding in love, and still you are no better.  In 
fact, I think you are getting worse.” 

“At first the kids were still in school and busy, then summer came and
they were busy with summer activities.  They were gone a lot and that 
helped give you some time, but they couldn't help but realize how bad 
you were and tried to help by not asking for much.  They know you've 
had a hard time, but they miss their mother.  They need you.  I need 
you.  You weren't the only one to suffer a loss.  Now they are away at 
band camp for two weeks.  I want them to be able to come back to their 
happy, secure home with two loving parents.” 

“Enough is enough!  I have done everything I know to do.  You refuse to
go for counseling and the doctor doesn't want to prescribe medication.  
This is a last resort.  I've talked to your parents.  Actually, I've 
talked to them several times.  Your mom would have been here if she 
wasn't afraid to leave your dad alone since he's been sick.  He is well 
on the way to recovery now and has agreed that this is a good idea.  In 
the morning we drive to Kendra and you will be staying with your folks 
for a while.  How long you stay will depend on you.  I need a break or 
I will either go crazy or strangle you!  No, you have no choice in the 
matter.   It's settled.  You may go up and pack your own clothes or I 
will do it for you, but either way, tomorrow you are going back home.” 

Without another word, Oliver left Jean sitting at the table staring at
the now empty chair.  It was so rare that he laid down the law about 
something!  Jean had a strong personality but she had married a man she 
loved and respected so they rarely came to a stand off.  His speech had 
jolted her to a moment of mental alertness.  Had it really been two 
months?  It seemed like only yesterday.  It was a wonder he had put up 
with things this long, but he had always been wonderful to her.  He had 
resorted to taking her to her parents, which means he had really been 
tried.  Her mom had talked to her weekly and encouraged her, but she 
forgot her mom's words as soon as she hung up and slipped back into 
mental oblivion.  If she was being taken home, it was not going to be a 
happy visit.  She knew her folks would never tolerate her actions for 
more than a few days.  Their old fashioned way of dealing with behavior 
didn't jive with modern understanding.  Suddenly she got a funny 
feeling in her stomach.  She shook her head and stood to go upstairs 
and pack.  She really didn't want Oliver to pack for her.  By the time 
she took the suitcase out of the hall closet and opened it on the bed, 
her mind had slipped back into the fuzzy world it had occupied lately.  
She packed on auto-pilot.  Maybe Oliver should have packed for her. 

Oliver knew that in her state of mind she had no idea what that speech
had cost him, how much this whole situation was costing him.  She was 
his wife!  He loved her!  Why couldn't he break through her fog?  It 
was more than he could take.  Calling her folks last night had been a 
last resort.  If anyone could get through to her, they could.  He 
prayed that this would work.  He gave them carte blanche in their 
actions.  For the next week or so she was their little girl again.  He 
knew that they were very old fashioned, even with their adult children 
and grandchildren.  Jean had told him-and he had heard the stories from 
her brothers-about their parents' high expectations and strict, 
disciplinary action given with unconditional love whenever needed. 

Corporal punishment was used often and if there was an exceptional
problem Dad used something called a punishment tour.  It started out 
with a trip to the woodshed. Her dad didn't use the strap in the 
woodshed on Jean, but the boys were pretty familiar with the process.  
Oh, she had been paddled, though.  All privileges were dropped and 
extra chores were given.  Except for school, church or practice, they 
were home.  If chores were finished before supper, they had corner 
time.  Bedtime was right after supper, preceded by a brief stern talk 
to remind them that they were still being punished.  It wasn't cruel in 


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