Maurine Adams, harried as always, trudged up the front steps, four bags of groceries on each arm (her idea of ‘achieving balance’ in life), a coffee precariously perched in one hand, door keys in the other.
Carefully balancing the coffee on one knee, she unlocked the door and was greeted immediately by her dog, neurotic at having been left alone in the house for more than half an hour, spinning round in circles in front of her feet, threatening to spill her precious beverage - her one vice, the one thing she would take time to buy for herself. “I will beat you with your own tail if I spill so much as one drop of this coffee you silly mutt,” she murmured.
Kicking aside a mountain of shoes, and carefully avoiding sundry toys, pets and half-finished school projects, she made her way to the kitchen to put away the groceries. The sight she beheld as she rounded the corner to the kitchen startled her so much she almost dropped her coffee.
There, leaning against her counter, was the one man she had never expected to encounter. The one man she never wanted to see again. The fact that he leaned so nonchalantly against her kitchen counter, munching his way through a peanut butter sandwich and then had the nerve to quip, “You’re out of milk,” was enough to push her over the edge.
“Get out! Get out! I told you not to come here. I told you - you are not welcome here. I have no desire to see you anywhere near me, much less standing in my kitchen!!” Hastily thrusting the groceries onto a counter, she started to shove Paul’s six-foot, 220 pound frame away from the counter. Desperately attempting to steer him out of the kitchen, out of her house and out of her life, quickly and permanently, she swore under her breath as she heard her ten-year-old daughter Anne bounded through the front door, slamming it behind her.
“You will NEVER believe what Clarissa said to me at school today Mom!” Anne stopped in her tracks, and a slow smile crossed her face as she ran to the man and hugged him fiercely. “Dad! You’re back!” She looked at her parents questioningly and asked her mom, “Are you getting back together?”