Inspirational Romance, 314 pages
Cover art by Trisha FitzGerald
Blurb: Annie sits at her piano, hoping the music will ease the tension from her earlier discussion with her husband. She’d only reminded him that the electric bill was past due. Never expecting his reaction to be so angry as he yelled and cursed and stomped out the door.
Annaleah Preston cringed when the back door slammed. She’d only mentioned to John that the electric company called again reminding her that their bill was overdue.
She could still hear her husband’s angry voice, “Dammit, Annie, it’ll have to wait. I don’t get paid until Friday and my paycheck will only go so far.” Before leaving, he’d also informed her he didn’t know when he’d be home after work.
Close to tears from John’s harsh, hateful words, Annie was relieved that Rafe had offered to drop his sister Leah off at school on his way to work. Thankfully they’d left while John was still in the shower and before their discussion.
Annie sat at her piano and placed her shaking fingers on the keys, hoping the music would ease the anxiety coursing through her body. Almost without thinking, she began to play DeBussy’s, Clair de Lune.
The old piano remained her most prized possession; a gift from her parents on her tenth birthday. The music began to work its magic as she closed her eyes and allowed the tension in her shoulders to relax.
Later she decided to make her children their favorite meal for supper and checked to make sure she had the ingredients for a butterscotch pie.
John’s behavior wore deeply on her mind and heart throughout the day. He seemed to be in a bad mood most of the time and after many attempts to talk with him, she’d learned it was best to stay out of his way. His sense of humor and the relationship they once shared were the things she missed the most. It felt as if he had walked out one day and a stranger returned. Annie hated to admit she was glad to see him leave in the morning and dreaded him coming home.
~ * ~
When Annie heard the door open, she glanced at the wall clock hanging over the refrigerator and it surprised her to see it was time for Leah to come in from school.
“Hi Mom, do I smell butterscotch pie?”
“You might.” Annie opened the oven door. “It’s ready to come out.”
“What’s the occasion?” Leah took off her coat and sat it on top of her books.
“I decided to make you and your brother’s favorite meal.”
Leah lifted the lids off each pot on the stove, “Country style steak, mashed potatoes and green beans. Rafe better be on time, or there might not be anything left.”
“I think there will be plenty, but you can afford to eat as much as you like; you’re slim as a reed.”
“Luckily, I take after my mom.” Leah gave Annie a quick hug. “If it’s okay, I’ll get my homework assignments done.”
“Sure honey, Rafe won’t be home for at least an hour. Why don’t you sit at the table? I’d like your company.”
After Leah completed her school work and took her books to her room, she returned to the den and sat beside Annie on the piano bench. “Let’s play a duet; you start and I’ll join in. I’ll never be as good as you or Rafe, but I’m glad you taught me to play and read music.”