The next three months passed quickly, as Rebecca and Michael tried to get back what they once had. But something was off, and neither one of them could pinpoint what it was. It wasn’t until Michael’s parents came to visit the weekend before Michael went back to work that they got it.
“Mom, dad! It’s so good to see you,” Michael said as he walked slowly towards his parents, wincing in pain with every step, “How have you been?”
“We’ve been well,” Andrew said as he wrapped his youngest son in a bear hug. They hadn’t seen Michael since he had been drugged up in the hospital, “How are you feeling?”
“Never better. I get to go back to work on Monday, and the doctor says the heart is as good as new. Rebecca went into town to get food for dinner, so she’ll be back shortly.”
Andrew looked over his youngest son with trepidation and couldn’t help but wonder if anything had really changed between Michael and Rebecca. They said they had started counseling, but it looked as though Rebecca was pulling her usual disappearing act. Rebecca and his wife had never gotten along, and she made a habit of making herself scarce during their visits.
Amelia looked at her son and wondered whether or not he was ready to go back to work. He was still in a lot of pain and had to use a cain to get around the house. He was the youngest of her three children, but he looked to be the oldest. Years of stressful living had aged him well beyond where he should be, and she couldn’t help but wonder if that was because of the job, his wife, or both. She smiled as Michael wrapped his arm around her and led her into the house.
“What are we having for dinner, dear?” Amelia asked, “Did Rebecca remember your father and I are vegetarian?”
“Yes, mom, she did. I do believe she was running out to get vegetables of some sort. Speak of the devil.”
Hello darling,” Amelia said with a hint of skepticism in her voice, “Can I help you with dinner?”
Amelia noticed that Rebecca’s demeanor towards her had changed. It seemed more welcoming, less hostile and she couldn’t quite pinpoint why.
“I would appreciate the help,” Rebecca said, “I haven’t quite mastered that lasagna recipe you sent me and I think Michael is getting tired of eating cardboard every time I make it.”