What the heck? Chandler had no choice than to respond to his wife’s kiss. He would have looked like a complete jerk otherwise. Here he was trying to come up with something they had in common when Janette looked at him like he was the best husband in the world, and she wanted to thank him in nonverbal ways.
Three seconds was about as long as it took him to have a complete paradigm shift.
He kissed her back. Passionately. Hungrily. Reaching for her as she reached for him. So, what if they didn’t have anything in common? They had each other in common. He loved her and she loved him and nothing else mattered.
If anyone were out in this storm, they would think Chandler and Janette had parked here to make out. Instead, they made out because they couldn’t do anything else but sit here until this rain and wind and hail passed and they could see to drive again.
Thoughts and feelings he hadn’t let flow into his mind deluged him like the torrential rain. Special little moments throughout their life together. Their tenth wedding anniversary when his sister had kept the kids so they could go to a little cottage they’d rented. There was no television and nothing else to do while they were there except snuggle on the bear skin rug in front of the fireplace. He’d done things with her that night he hadn’t done since their honeymoon.
Their honeymoon. A tropical paradise on a secluded island near Hawaii. Torrential rain like today but they didn’t care. They’d made love on the beach in the rain in broad daylight.
Date nights a few times a year when they’d go to a steakhouse or out for ice cream or walk-through Home Depot planning remodel projects. Knocking in walls and rebuilding from the studs out, upgrading electrical wiring and plumbing and painting and staining and wallpapering.
Basketball games cheering for Asher to get the winning three-point shot, football games to watch Blayke on top of the pyramid in her cheerleading uniform with poms waving high. School board meetings where Janette yelled at the board members for cutting funding to the band program. Bible study classes where Janette had stumped the pastor with her deep doctrine questions and philosophies on life.
Happy memories. So many happy memories.
Some not so happy memories.
The day her best friend died of a drug overdose. The night they’d bailed their son out of jail for drunk driving when he was seventeen. The day they’d handed over their beloved old dog to be put down. The night she had her nervous breakdown and was nearly hospitalized. He didn’t want to think about that day. Or the nightmare that had led to that day.
When did the happy and sad days turn into numb days? When did they transition from a passionate duo to barely able to communicate without arguing? What had he done to cause the pain he saw behind her eyes? Or what had she done to drive him away? Maybe some things were best left unremembered.
He slowed their kiss to a gentle, sweet, loving kiss, setting aside the wild abandon he’d experience a moment ago, allowing their breathing to slow to a more normal pace, allowing their lips to part from each other’s. Allowing a soft peace to settle around them.
There was nothing left to do but face each other, foreheads resting together, eyes closed, listening to the pattering of the rain on the roof of their car, sharing a love that was only shared between two people who had spent the past twenty-five years of their lives together.