Ch.10 – Final Chapter
See previous chapters for the story so far.
Tom fought his way home through heavy evening traffic. He’d waited at the office as long as he could, not happy with the thought of returning home to face Sue. Kate had successfully stoked his anger and he was inclined to blame Sue for the humiliation of the day. It would be an unpleasant confrontation if Sue was still as difficult as she’d been the evening before. He wished he didn’t have to go through yet another crisis.
Meanwhile Sue sat gazing out the front window waiting for Tom to appear. She could tell he was angry by the way he’d handled her morning telephone call, and she understood why, having talked with Claire who’d phoned an hour earlier to report on what had happened at the office. Sue knew she’d been foolish and expected their meeting that evening to be a disaster. Oh well, if he moved out who could blame him, she thought to herself ruefully. Two lights swung into the driveway and she heard the electronic garage door grind up to let Tom in. “This is it,” she said softly.
The door opened and Tom glanced around the room. Sue sat trembling in her favorite lounge chair looking wide eyed at him. “Hello!” Tom said uneasily. His face was red with anger.
Sue put her head in her hands and began to sob uncontrollably. “I’m so sorry, she whispered between sobs.
Tom’s anger evaporated. He walked slowly toward Sue and stood in front of her not knowing what to say or do. All Kate’s careful work to poison his mind unraveled. He loved this woman and no matter how difficult Sue had been it wasn’t enough to destroy that love.
Sue looked up and saw love and concern written in bold letters over her husband’s face. Hope swelled within her and she reached out tentatively to touch him. Tom shivered at that touch. It was the familiar touch of the woman he’d made a commitment to long ago. This was the woman he loved and no one would ever take her place. He folded her in his arms and rocked her until the sobbing ceased, then led her gently to their bedroom.
Later Tom and Sue sat at the table staring at each other in silence. Each had rediscovered the other and rekindled that spark which had brought them together long ago. No explanations were necessary. Though Sue with her woman’s perception had recognized Kate’s smell on Tom she wasn’t going to ask questions and she was confident he’d never let her down. They were one!
Eventually Sue broke the silence. “Tom I’m going to spend the rest of my life making up for the misunderstandings I’ve created this past week. Claire phoned and filled me in on what happened at the office. You could have accepted the CEO position and sent me packing after my foolish behavior. You turned the job down because you wanted it to be our decision and I didn’t give that opportunity for us to talk this over. I can’t understand why you came home to me this evening, but I’m glad you did. She reached over the table and took his hand.
“I guess you’re more important than a job Sue, but we do have a crisis on our hands and I’m not sure what our future holds now that Bert has the reigns of power. The only good thing that happened during the day was Claire giving me moral support by quitting her new job. I really appreciated that!”
“I guess Kate gave you some support too,” said Sue. She gasped as she realized her old nature was rearing its ugly head again, then stammered “I -I -I didn’t mean it to come out that way.”
Tom’s face clouded over momentarily, then a slow smile appeared. He thought over the afternoon’s activities with Kate and it dawned on him he’d been cleverly manipulated. It was an ego boost to realize a woman wanted him bad enough to go to those extraordinary lengths to entrap him. Maybe he was still attractive to other women, but he only wanted Sue.
He slowly took out his cell phone and dialed Kate holding Sue’s eye as he did so. “Kate picked up her phone and hit cloud nine when she heard Tom’s voice. The excitement she felt came through loud and clear as Tom listened.
“Kate, I’ve decided not to go to the office tomorrow. There’s nothing for me to do there and I need to attend to some important business at home.” Kate let out a gasp of surprise and frustration and slowly lowered the phone back to its cradle.
“I guess I’ll head for my new office tomorrow and start a new life.” Kate muttered softly as she realized she’d lost her battle to Sue.
Sue looked at Tom with tears in her eyes. “Thank you Tom, that means more to me than you’ll ever know.”
No sooner had Tom replaced his cell phone than it rang.
“This is Jake, can we talk?”
“I’m sorry I let you down this morning Jake, what can I do to make up for that?”
“Well now I know you feel you owe me something I expect a positive answer from you this time Tom.” Jake laughed at his joke.
“Tom I’ve decided to make a take over bid for the company and have resigned from the board so no one can accuse me of using my influence on present board members as they discuss my proposal. I feel they made a foolish move this morning in making Bert CEO and he’ll destroy the company in his inexperience. It’s a great company, and that shouldn’t be allowed to happen. I’d like to offer you a job as a Vice President in my holding company. You’ll be able to advise on the best way to integrate the company into my overall interests, and be the point man for looking at other company acquisitions. I think you’ll find this a challenge and while there’ll be some travel you can work from home and attend meetings whenever we have them at the head office. What do you say? This time I expect a positive answer! Of course this means you’d need to put in your resignation to Bert tomorrow morning, and you can tell him you’ll be getting a higher salary than he can ever dream of.”
A deep feeling of happiness and satisfaction welled up in Tom. “Can I take a moment to explain this to Sue?”
Tom had only reported half of Jakes conversation when Sue grabbed the cell phone out of his hands and shouted into the phone, “Tom says yes!”
“Great!” said Jake. “This makes me very happy indeed.”
That evening Tom and Sue sat for a long time in their lounge room talking animatedly and confidently about future plans with an eager anticipation of the birth of their first child.
At long last they were getting their priorities right!
“© Ian Grice Copyright 2011 All rights reserved”