Emma spent over an hour in the restaurant. The food was good but the service was terrible. She realized she would have saved time by going home to eat. Yet it was very peaceful and she began to relax. She was beginning to enjoy this time for herself.
Yes, she thought, Tom had changed. She remembered almost to the date when he changed. It was just after Annie was born. He had become very serious. Soon after Tom told her what he wanted for the children. She remembered it now.
Emma, honey, I’ve been thinking about
you and me and the kids. I want the kids to
have a good and happy life. I want to give
them a good education. Then they can make
choices. They can be anything they want to be.
The only way to do that is to get a better
education myself. I’ll get a chance to move up
at work. It’ll be hard, Emma, honey—hard on
both of us. But we will do it.”
Emma had never thought like that. She had been so happy with just the two of them. There was nothing more she had wanted. Then Johnny arrived.
Johnny was the icing on the cake. Her world was complete. She never wanted it to change. She never thought it would.
Tom had explained it to her.
Emma, honey, you, no—we, believed
that getting married was the end of it all, and
everything we wanted. Well, Emma, honey, it
wasn’t. Not to me anyway. It was the
beginning, don’t you see? Life is growing,
getting bigger and better.”
Emma was only now beginning to see it as Tom did. She wondered why she had never seen it before. She realized she never thought how it was for Tom. He was working all day and going to school at night. The nights he went to the university he arrived home after eleven.
How hard it must be for Tom. He never
complained. All she did was dream. Maybe she
would take his advice. Maybe she could take a
course in the daytime. She could get a baby
sitter for a few hours once a week. Betty had
offered to teach her to draw and paint. Who
knows, she might even be good at it. As Tom
would say, “
Just dreaming is no good—you’ve
got to take action, Emma, honey.”