Dale wasted no time calling Ivy and getting her over to the house. They had it out on the side porch in the cool autumn evening. Ivy at first tried to play like it was some sort of misunderstanding but Dale would have none of it. Voices began to raise and Dale confronted her further.
Finally, Ivy admitted she had skewed the information. At this point, she told him, the job was far more important than his family and he should have enough sense to realize that. Unless, she reminded, he wanted to be looking at his family through steel bars. He was in this job and there was no getting out of it.
Besides, she said, it’ll be over soon one way or the other and then she apologized for her behavior. “It was for your own good whether you can see that or not.”
Before it could escalate further, Ivy excused herself for the night. She wasn’t over to the house much after that.
Over the next several weeks, Dagmar recovered slowly. Dale tried to be home more and Calder carried his share of the load as well. She did better when stress was kept low and when she had time with family.
But there were still moments when both Dale and Calder worried for her. Like the one time she stared out the window at the rain for the entire day. It was easy to see that though almost back to full health, some of her spark had left.
Dale worked more on the job but refused to talk about it. When he did he always stayed positive. In order to keep her stress down he hid that nearly all the elements were in place and the job would be going down in no time. He distracted her with gifts, dates, and, more importantly, a birthday party for Brendon. Which turned into more of a social gathering than anything.
Even during the party, Tessa and the other friends noticed that something had changed with Dagmar. She was quie
ter, kept more to herself. But, overall, she was back to her old self.
And through the problems and stress, Calder still had no intention of giving up on his quest. No matter how many times he got shot down.
Overall, the party was a success and Brendon grew up yet a bit more.
That evening, Dagmar was able to reflect on everything that had happened. The party had been good and she felt more secure. She spent the evening with Brendon helping learn his first few words. The house quieted around them and she found herself feeling more grounded than ever before. For the first time in weeks, she felt at peace.
(Thanks everyone for their patience! It would appear I’ve gotten a bit more on-track and the graphics card has settled down for now. Onward!)