Chicago Warriors: The Airport

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"Beth, hi it's me babe!" "Pete, what's wrong? Are you okay?" "Whoa....I'm fine. Can't I call my wife and tell her good morning?"

"Yes, of course you can," she said. "I'm just surprised that you called me since we haven't exactly been experiencing the best of times lately. I was afraid that something was wrong with either you or Mac."

"No, nothing's wrong. In fact, Mac is getting out of the hospital probably today or tomorrow and will be back to work in about six weeks."

"Wow, that's great news hon. The Good Lord really answered our prayers," she said. I expected her to be in her car driving to the airport parking lot. Instead, I heard what sounded like the airport terminal itself.

"Are you on your way to work Beth?"
"Actually, no I'm not. I'm at Midway about to catch a flight to Milwaukee; I have to attend a conference there this week."

"You didn't mention anything like that to me," I said.
"Pete, we don't live together anymore; we don't talk. My parents know about the trip, as do my friends and co-workers..."

"I'm sorry; I didn't mean anything by that remark. The reason I'm calling is because I wanted to ask you out to dinner tonight."

There was a brief silence on the other end of the line. "Pete...why?"

"I have something very important to tell you Beth."
I heard the trepidation and fear in her voice. "Don't hurt me anymore Pete, not when I'm about to leave on a trip," she said. "I can't take anymore heartache in my life...I'm trying to make amends with the Lord and with my ways. Please Pete, don't say we're through..."

This was not at all going the way that I had envisioned it in my mind. "Wait a second Beth, that's not why I'm calling." I could hear a muffled sob on the phone. "I wanted to tell you how much you mean to me; that I want us to be back together. Where are you?....What time does the flight leave?...I'm on my way to the airport."

"Oh Pete, I can't believe it! Thank you Lord, thank you Jesus... I'm at the ticket counter, waiting to check in at United."

"You wait there babe, I'll be at the airport in 15 minutes."

"I'll be here hon. Wild horses couldn't drag me away."
I headed toward Midway filled with anticipation and gratefulness. I was frankly surprised that she thought I was calling to tell her that we were finished. I guess that it helped me realize just how much pain and suffering this problem has caused us both. I was convinced that this was a test that the Father had orchestrated. In fact, I think it was a test for me to see if I could be a forgiving person, or was I just talking the talk, and not walking the walk. I almost failed, I thought. I was prepared to play the victim and tell the person that I loved the most in my life to take a walk, it was over. Some Christian I was.

I pulled into the day parking lot and ran toward United. I spotted Beth standing by the windows with her carry on. I ran to her, my whole being filled with love and longing, two emotions that had been lying dormant for too long in my soul.

I picked her up and gave her a kiss on those beautiful lips, "Beth, I'm sorry. I have been such a fool. I forgive you babe, and I want us to move on from this-together."

She held him tightly, sobbing gently. "Pete thank you so much. I've have been praying so hard for this day. I didn't know if it would come or not; I was preparing myself for the worst, thinking that I had hurt you so badly that you wouldn't want to be with me ever again."
"Let's not even talk about that Beth, let's move forward and focus on our future. I've been praying also, and talking with Father Mike. He helped me to realize how unfair I have been through this whole chain of events, how un-Christian I had been acting. I couldn't see it because I was feeling sorry for myself. But now I want to ensure that we focus on each other so that something like that never happens again. I think we both became apathetic in our marriage; we took each other for granted. I know that I did. I'm not going to let that happen again. You mean the world to me Beth, and I want you to be my wife forever."

"Oh babe, I'm so happy! What a surprise! I was prepared to spend a whole week in Milwaukee praying and agonizing over what you were going to decide about us. Now at least I can forget the agonizing part, but I'm still going to pray."

"Do you really have to go," I said.
She had a Kleenex out now trying to wipe away the mascara that had run down her face from her tears. "Yes, I'm making a couple of presentations during the conference. It's too late to back out now. But Pete I will call you every day, maybe twice a day! No, you'll be sleeping. I'll think of something. I feel like we just got married!"

"I know, so do I. Thank God it's over with!"
"I've got to get to the gate babe, the flight is boarding. Listen, I know that I probably don't even need to say this but I will. Don't worry about me being gone this week. Every waking thought of mine will be about you babe. I can't wait until Friday so that I can get ‘home' to where I belong, and for that moment when I lay in your arms again."

I pulled her close and gave her another kiss. I trembled when my lips met hers. How could I have doubted her love? "You're right Beth; you don't have to say anything. I trust you...I love you...and I can't wait until Friday either. Have a safe trip. I'll be praying for you each day."

We let each other go and as she turned to make her way to the gate she said, "I never stopped loving you or praying for you Pete, and I never will. Bye hon...see you Friday."
I watched her walk to the screening area and felt so much joy in my heart that Father Mike's words came back to me..."Promise me that you will just stop and listen Pete, listen for His word, He wants to talk with you each day if you will just stop and listen."

Well, I was listening now, and I was thankful that both my heart and my ears were open.

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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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