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Sunday, March 20, 2005

First attempt in Denver

A continuation to the Prelude to Denver entry earlier...It took awhile, I am not sure if I've maintained the Hallmark feel, do let me know though and I'll edit more.
Livy had been excited, scared and restless about the impending trip to see her father. Ray had been a constant rock for her all these time as she deals with this growing anxiety in her as it kept building up from the pit of her stomach. She wanted it to be over. She kept thinking that it is just a day and that’s all she has to spare. All these thoughts were constantly crowding her mind—she came to realize that she just wanted to get her father to accept her and to welcome her back to his love. At this point, she doesn’t know what kind of reception they will get from him once they arrive there. She just hopes that something good will come out of this long trip to Denver.

The day had finally arrived. Ruth stayed with them the night before, occupying her Mom’s old room, they will be leaving at the crack of dawn. Martha would just fetch them in the morning and so Ray was confident that Daniel will not miss them so much as there will be a lot of company in Martha’s house.

As it turned out, the visit was a disaster. Her Dad refused to meet with them. Ray didn’t even get to see his father-in-law. He did not realize that they might have needed an appointment just to see him. Rev. Dunne had sent word that he wasn’t able to see them due to “pressing” matters at the church. Abby had apologized in his behalf and had said that he wasn’t prepared to accept visitors on such a busy day like today. And so they practically spent the day with Abby being the go between for them. Livy kept a brave face and apologized to Ray for wasting the day driving all the way to Denver for nothing. Ray hadn't minded at all and told her it was a necessary trip they had to make.

On their way back, Livy was once again in her quiet pensive state. Ray kept glancing at Livy while driving on their way home. It was a sad and disappointing day for both of them. He can’t do much to comfort her at this moment and so he resorted to holding her hands instead. Ray had not anticipated that Livy’s father was such a stern and stubborn person. He can’t imagine his parents treating any of them that way, it had made him even thankful that he was very blessed with what he had. He now fully understood where Livy stands and why she thinks and acts this way, her idea of love was a consequence of her life. She has never gotten that from her father and when her mother passed, she tried to find solace, love and acceptance from any person who can give it to her at that time. The trip home was quiet, hardly any words were uttered between them. The long drive gave them both the time to be lost in their own thoughts.

They arrived at Martha’s house quite early, considering that the result of the day was pretty much a failure. Ray had imagined that they’d be staying at her father’s house till the evening but that did not happen. Ruth was quite surprised that they came back so soon. Martha had figured out that it wasn’t a good trip just by the look on Ray’s and Livy’s faces when they stepped into the house. Ray just gave her a look that told her not to ask how the day went by. She offered supper for them but they refused saying that it was a long trip and it’d best if they can get back home before it gets dark. Martha then packed them a casserole so they’d have something to eat when they get home. Daniel was happy to see his parents and their reaction on seeing him seemed to have lifted the solemn looks off their faces even for a short while.

Upon their arrival at their house, Livy immediately went upstairs to their bedroom and started to prepare to feed the baby. Ray followed her and seeing how tired and crushed she was from the trip, asked her “Run you a bath, Livy?” to which she looks up and gave him a quick smile and replied: “I could really use that, yes please, that would be really nice.”

While Livy fed and put Daniel to sleep, Ray was in the bathroom running warm water in the tub. While waiting for the tub to fill up, he went to change into his usual long sleeved collarless shirt and a new set of trousers. A few minutes later, he came back and sat by the edge of the tub and was testing the water temperature when Livy came in. She is now wearing a robe and her hair tucked in a towel.

Ray: “Is Danny asleep?”

Livy: “Yes, I think he’s tired from all the attention he got from his cousins. He fell right to sleep after I’ve fed him.”

Ray smiled “I bet”.

Ray had gone ahead and poured some bubble liquid and a little salt into the tub and had lighted a couple of candles by the tub, it will help Livy relax.

Livy looked pleased “that certainly looks very inviting”.

Ray: “the water is warmed just right, hope you enjoy it”.

They have been sharing a bed since Daniel’s arrival but nothing like married couples do in an intimate way yet. That hasn’t happened and Ray was willing to wait until the right time comes, when Livy is willing and ready to give that to him. Besides he was raised a patient man.

Livy came over and planted him a kiss on his lips –“thank you, Ray”. They lingered a bit until Livy teasingly dabbed him on the nose with some of the foam from the tub. They shared a contented laugh. Their relationship had greatly improved as the days went by. Ray is very pleased that Livy had quickly and easily warmed up to him.

Ray: “I’ll make some tea, I’ll come back and you can take as much time as you want soaking. It will help you get a restful sleep tonight”. He was on his way out the door to give Livy some privacy.

They are in that awkward stage where both felt the desire for each other but neither knew what to make of it. Kissing had been the most intimate they’ve been to each other. They’ve gotten the hang of that and have enjoyed and cherished this moment all the time. Ray is also now fond of holding and cuddling Livy in their bed. He looks forward to that every night. It’s also the time where both of them enjoy deep, honest and lately funny conversations with each other. He loves falling asleep with the thought that Livy is next to him.

He was waiting for the water to boil and leaning on the counter, looked up at the ceiling, thinking what else he’d do to help Livy out. The kettle whistles and he distractedly makes two cups of tea. Carrying the two cups, he proceeds to go up the stairs.

Livy went in the tub and it felt good. She is still not entirely back to normal since giving birth to Daniel and coupled with the long trip today, her muscles were just in need of some care and attention. She sits and gives a huge sigh, she knew this will definitely do wonders for her physically but emotionally she is a wreck.

Did she expect something like this to happen?
Was she kidding herself thinking the outcome of the day would have been better?
Had she construed a totally different image of her father now in her mind since she’s been away from home a long time? She felt so lonely again, like the time when her mother passed.
Where did she go wrong? She’s accepted her father’s wishes then but why is he still unhappy with her?

All these thinking just frustrated her, she felt helpless and it doesn’t help when she is also having this problem of dealing with her uncontrollable emotions. Livy brings her knees to her chest and she started to sob, she can’t seem to help this lately and she was getting concerned about it.

She hears a knock on the door, hearing Ray say behind the door “Livy, got the tea… you are pretty quiet in there are you ok?....uh, can I come in?” made her suddenly wipe her face of any tears.

She doesn’t like feeling vulnerable in front of Ray. She appreciated all he’s done but she felt she doesn’t like to drag him into this mess. She’s been blessed with Ray, he’s very kind and loving and she felt this other part of her is something that she doesn’t want Ray exposed to any further.

Finally she says, “Please come in” trying to keep her voice from breaking.

Ray enters, saw her sitting straight up in the tub with her arms around her knees drawn to her chest and her eyes all red but she put on a smile. He knew she’s been crying again. He handed her the cup and tried his best not to stare long enough at her. He sat next to the tub facing her at eye level and puts his tea on the floor.

Ray: “Come now, you haven’t been dwelling on today’s events, have you?, these things happen and it’s not the end of the world. Livy, I know your father loves you, he’s just dealing with his pain in a different way. He will eventually turn around but in the meantime, you have to be strong and we’d just have to keep trying”.

Livy just thinks he knew how to really get into her feelings all the time, she’s desperately trying not to cry but her hormones just have a mind of its own. She half turns to the wall away from Ray’s prying look as the floodgate of tears had come lose.

Ray just couldn’t stand seeing her this way. He’d give anything to her to make her happy. His hand tried to reach out to soothe her but he’s not sure if she’d appreciate that so he hesitated, he regretted having said a word to her, he should have just kept quiet. He looked down on the floor and decided—what the heck!

In one swoop of his arm her took his shirt off and undressed. He held both sides of the tub and went in behind her. He sat straddling her between his legs. The moment he was in, a feeling of uneasiness came upon him, now he’s not sure why he’d done that! Livy sat motionless still dealing with her emotions, he knew she was surprised at what he’s done but she didn’t protest. Suddenly, he doesn’t know what to do next.

What he did from then on was what seemed and felt right at that moment. Ray just let things happen as it occurred. He gently tried to pry the sponge from Livy’s hands and then he softly started to work on the exposed part of her-- her neck, shoulders, arms and her upper back. Then Livy moved and she scooted closer so she can rest her back on his chest. Ray held his breath realizing where this was going but he was overjoyed that in spite of Livy’s sorrow, she’d somehow not entirely shut him out. And so he wrapped his arms around her and whispered in her ear that everything will be all right.

That night, even if they had such an emotionally exhausting day, they slept contentedly together after they’ve resolved to make another trip to see Rev. Dunne—this time they’ll be bringing Daniel with them.