Chicago Warriors: Beth

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"Mornin' babe, sleep well?" I gave Beth a kiss then sat on the bed to watch her finish applying her makeup as she prepared for work. I had hoped to get home a little earlier to catch her before she got dressed, but Joe and I stopped a guy that had a gun in Marquette Park; we wound up working a little longer than usual. I wanted to see for myself how she looked, maybe catch her coming out of the shower. How could Joe and Susan notice this health problem and not me...her husband?

"Yeah, I slept fine...watched the news as usual then drifted off."

She was combing her long red hair that made her green eyes even more attractive as it framed her face. She was a beautiful woman, both inside and out. It seems like she hadn't changed since I first laid eyes on her at a dance in high school. She was there with another guy, but when I saw her I was drawn to her like steel to a magnet. I finally got enough courage up to ask her to dance before the night was over. After that I couldn't get enough of her.

Beth attended public high school; her parents couldn't afford the tuition at the Catholic schools. They were good people that worked hard for everything that they had, and thanked God for all of the gifts He had bestowed upon them. They regularly read the Bible together as a family. They made sure that their daughter had a close relationship with the Lord, even though she was educated in the city schools.

"How was work last night? Are you and Joe enjoying the Tac Team job?"

"Well, it's only been a week, but how could you not love being a cop in Chicago, working in plain clothes, and being able to pick and choose what you want to do? Joe says that he doesn't think that he can ever wear the uniform again, he loves working every night in jeans and t-shirt."

"How about your fellow cops-any jealousy from them over your new assignment?"

"No, everybody is cool with it...well except Sal Rosato."
"Is that the guy you call The Hammer?"

"Yeah, that's him. Says Joe and me kissed up to Mac so that we could get the assignment. Sal said that he should have been picked since he is a former sergeant."

Beth was finished getting ready for work now. "Pete you need to watch yourself around him, there's something about that guy that gives me the creeps. It's almost like I sense an aura of evil surrounding him."

"I agree. He's been involved in some questionable things. I'm actually surprised that he's still on the job after that last brutality beef that he had. Mac told me that the bosses are watching him close, one more misstep and he's gone."

I followed Beth into the kitchen. She picked up her coffee mug and was finishing it-I took a close look at her arms-they did seem thinner than I remember.
"Did you already eat breakfast?"

"No, either I'll grab something on the way like I usually do, or somebody always brings bagels or donuts to the office and I'll have one of those"
"You sure?"

"Yeah, don't worry about me I'll be fine."

"Beth, can I ask you something. Is everything okay, are you doing alright?"

"I'm fine Pete, what do you mean?"

"Well, I don't know. With the both of us working different shifts we don't get much time to talk, or even have much opportunity to be together. Sometimes I feel like we're drifting apart, that maybe we're losing that intimacy that we had."

She leaned into me for a hug and gave me a big kiss. "Listen babe, I love you now just as much as when we were first married. You're the only one for me; the only one that I want."

"I love you too honey. It just seems that we're on different pages all the time. I'll be glad when I finish my degree so that I can get off steady mids."
"But you love mids, you told me that's where all the action is."

"It is, but it's not worth staying on that shift if it has a negative effect on our marriage."

"Well I guess in another year you will be able to make that decision."

"Wouldn't you rather have me home at night?"

"Sure."

"I just feel like sometimes we're leading separate lives. You'd tell me if something was bothering you, wouldn't you Beth?"

"Of course honey. Hey, I've got to go or I'll be late. Love you."

She kissed me and headed for the garage. I felt guilty about the hug that I had given her-it was more of an exploratory move than an affectionate one. I was certain that I could feel her ribs through her clothing. She did seem thinner than before. Maybe Joe and Susan were right...maybe Beth does have a problem.

Next: Ask Father Mike

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John Wills spent 2 years in the U.S. Army before serving 12 years with the Chicago Police Department (CPD). He left the CPD to become an FBI Special Agent, working organized crime, violent crime, and drugs.  John Wills is an author of Chicago Warriors: Midnight Battles in the Windy City published by TotalRecallPress.com

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