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Saturday, March 29, 2014

March 29: THE FAMILY WAY

      Lisa tried to do as Pastor Glenn suggested, once she calmed down from the excitement of her plan and Anne's interest and her promise to pass the information on to Arc's directors. She avoided the wedding album at first, choosing to pull out her college scrapbooks. Todd had figured so prominently in all of them because he had come into her life in her freshman year. Looking through them, she couldn't find any gaps to show where she and Todd had broken up, sometimes for months on end. He simply seemed to be everywhere.
      Photos of days on the beach on Lake Erie or walking the trails in the Metroparks. Or trying to sail a boat. Or at Cedar Point amusement park. The two of them always together, no matter how many other people were around them.
      Picnics. Dorm parties. Family picnics she had agreed to attend, even after she met his father and knew the man despised her because she was an artist. Lisa looked at the pictures of Todd's sisters and wondered why she hadn't seen the stiffness and coolness between Mr. Montgomery and his daughters even then.
      Had she been that much in love with Todd, she couldn't see beyond the rosy dazzle he put on everything?
      They did have good times. Lots of good times. Tears came to her eyes, but she managed to laugh as she remembered all those silly good times they had together. Back when it was enough just to walk down the bike trail through the Metroparks and talk.
      Lisa remembered how happy she had been the day Todd put that gumball prize ring on her finger because he couldn't afford an engagement ring the first time they became engaged. Later, she learned he had asked his father for a loan and his father had refused.
      She had been so happy with just a bit of cheap plastic and glass on her finger.
      The day after she moved into her apartment, Lisa had looked at her wedding band and the diamond engagement ring Todd gave her right after his first big raise at DeWitt-McGregor, and contemplated taking them off. It wouldn't be hard. She had lost enough weight already they tried to slide off. But no, she had decided to keep her rings. Was that her subconscious telling her to keep hoping?
      It didn't matter, she decided. She hadn't left Todd because she didn't want to be married to him. She had left to protect her mind and her life, and the baby. She wouldn't divorce Todd until he asked. She wouldn't even think about remarriage, about dating, about finding someone to love her, until she was sure Todd had cut every bond between them.

      Friday night, she finally looked through her wedding album. She didn't open the fancy, formal album full of staged and posed pictures, but the one full of photos taken by friends. The joy and innocence and dreams shining in her and Todd's faces made her cry. When had they lost that simple happiness and love?

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