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By Donna Flood
Chapter 34 - The Kids are Awake

The children slept while Weldon and Gwen watched one horror movie after another. Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Vincent Price all paraded across the televison screen with stories about werewolves, vampires, and monsters. When the screen finally went empty the two spent time visiting.

“Would you like to live here?” Weldon asked.

“What do you mean?” Should she be surprised at this sudden and early proposal?

“I want to marry you, raise your children, along with ours. It’s a wonderful place to grow up. I was never happier, well, except for when Mother died. I had a pony and here the kids could have one.

The next morning Gwen awoke to the sound of Strauss waltzes coming from somewhere in the house. She could smell bacon cooking and coffee, too. She draped the sheet from the bed around her and followed her nose to the kitchen which was actually only steps away from Weldon’s room.

“Bacon, coffee, and eggs, too? She never ceased to be amazed by this man’s kindnesses. How had he kept from being married until now? What was he, twenty-eight?" Aloud she asked.

“How did you avoid being nabbed by some gal, Chief?” The woman was interested in knowing.

“Too busy, I suppose.” His customary answers were always short and to the point. It wasn’t a lie. He never had time for dating, but only on occasion. Many girls of the area had made broad attempts to catch his eye but he always was off and gone before they could corral him.

“There’s a tub of warm water I’ve drawn for you, after you eat. Best you hurry along, the kids are awake, I can hear them tumbling around.After her breakfast, Gwen sank into the warm waters of the deep tub. The Strauss music she could still hear through the door. Surely all the sadness and ashes of her first marriage slid away as the waters in the tub slipped across her skin leaving little circles and rings here and there as it wanted to rush back to its own place.

“I’m going to make it. I know I am,” Gwen spoke aloud and only to herself.

Their lives went rushing along after they returned to Bartlesville. Gwen divorce was granted. She and Weldon were married and the two continued with the same routine. The children were too young to understand all that had happened and sometimes would ask their mother why their father couldn’t still live with them, too.

“Don’t worry about it,” she would tell them. He’ll be by to see you, he’s still your Dad.

“Is Weldon our Dad, too?” They wanted to know.

“He’s your step-dad, and it is almost the same thing.” The mother was trying to bring her children through the transition. “We’re all a family and he will be your father now.”

“It’s okay, Mother. I think he likes us.” The children were equally trying to make their mother feel secure because they could see she was wrestling with this issue.

“Of course he does. You are part of the reason he wanted to marry me. He loves children.”

“Soon you will be having a little brother or sister.” Gwen thought this was the time to tell her children she was pregnant.

The excitement and happiness of the children were all she wanted to see and the woman believed all was well in her world.

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