One Tuesday Morning

One Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury

Book: One Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury Read Free Book Online
Authors: Karen Kingsbury
were married.
    It was the reason they'd walked down the aisle when Laura was just eighteen, barely out of high school. Eric had been working on his master's degree back then, and money was scarce. When his parents arranged for them to live in Eric's aunt's guest house, he and Laura jumped at the chance. The place was small, two hundred square feet tops. It smelled old and musty, and they called it “the bunker.” When they weren't asleep or in class, they spent most of their time sitting outside on a weathered picnic table, him playing his guitar while they sang and talked about the future.
    Back then life was simple. The memory Eric could see now was from a night like that, crickets keeping time in the distant background and a canopy of stars sparkling overhead. He could see himself, finishing whatever song he'd been singing. He set the guitar down and leaned closer to Laura. “I love to sing.” He'd brought his face closer to Laura.
    “Mmmm.” She closed her eyes. “I love to hear you.”
    “Know what else I love?” He'd leaned in and traced the outline of her lips with his finger.
    “The bunker?” she giggled, wrinkling her nose in a way she never did anymore.
    He waited until her laughter faded. Then he framed her face with his hands and gave her a kiss that was both long and unhurried. When he drew back, he let his forehead fall against hers. “No, crazy girl. I love being with you. Everything about you.” He eased back some and his eyes locked on hers. “I love you, Laura.”
    And suddenly the memory was playing out before him as clearly as the scene from the restaurant earlier that evening. Yes, there it was … Laura's eyes had sparkled like the stars above them. Like the eyes of the woman in the restaurant. The memory blurred some, and Eric forced himself to think. What had happened next? Something important, wasn't it? Something he'd thought about often after that night until … until their baby girl died and life somehow fell flat. Until some point when it had stopped being important.
    He opened his eyes and stared at the dark hotel ceiling. Gradually, the rest of the memory returned, and he closed his eyes again. Laura had stood up and made a small, slow circle, glancing at everything around her—Eric … his guitar … the picnic table … the bunker … even the cracked cement patio where they'd spent so many evenings.
    “What're you doing?” He'd been amused by her actions.
    “I'm taking it in.” She leaned her head back and breathed in deep through her nose. “Every single detail.”
    “Of this?” Eric had given a short laugh. “This is nothing.” He stood and caught Laura in his arms. “But one day, Laura, one day I promise you'll have it all.” He studied her face. “You'll live like a queen, the way you deserve to.”
    Laura had only smiled at him. “You don't get it, do you?”
    “What?” He'd searched her eyes.
    “I already do. No matter how much money we make when we're older, all I need is you, Eric. You and God.” She took another slow breath, as though she were trying to bottle the moment deep within her. “Nothing in the world could make me happier than I am right now.”
    The images in his mind faded, and he opened his eyes again. Instinct turned his head to the clock on the nightstand. It was after midnight. He'd be going on fumes all day tomorrow if he didn't get some sleep. Yet as he lay there, still the memory haunted him. And in that moment, still groggy from the wine, his conversation with Murphy came back to him. The one about power and money and success.
    How had those things replaced what he and Laura had shared that night outside the bunker? And why had he stopped playing the guitar? The soft refrains had comforted him back then, mingling with the evening breeze and giving him the sense that all was right with the world. Playing the guitar had been one way he could slow down, focus on God and the people in his life and not just the tempting, all-consuming

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