Love Among the Thorns-Excerpt
I managed to finish high school then went on to college. That’s when I met Jeffery Wayne Vincent. Our Science Lab assignment was to count onion cells under a microscope. Although he seemed innocent, Jeffery Vincent was about to put a new spin on the term cell. Jeff’s skin had a healthy bronze tone. His juicy lips were shapely, and round hooded eyes gave him a mysterious air. Although he was not buff or muscular, he had just enough muscles for me.
Even though Jeff didn’t know me very well, he decided to prank me. As I stood studiously behind my microscope counting my cells, Jeff had someone to draw my attention away from my task. While I was occupied, he switched my slide with a slide of live sperm. Can you imagine my horror when I returned and saw that my onion cells were swimming about?
Everyone was in on the prank except me. When I made the horrifying discovery the entire class broke into laughter while I ran out of the door crying. Of course, Jeff caught my odd expression on his cell phone. After an apology and a brief courtship, I became Mrs. Celeste Vincent.
Jeff was dependable; hard working, friendly and witty. He didn’t smoke and hardly ever took a drink. Yes, he was a little flirtatious, but it was all in fun. I learned to live with his insatiable need for attention. He was easy-going with a wild sense of humor. As a result, I thought nothing of his parading around the house in my silk robe and powder-puff slippers. It was all in fun. That’s what I kept telling myself. It’s all just a big joke.
Jeff and Clint were the best of buddies. There was nothing they wouldn’t do for each other. They loved spending time at Clint’s lodge. A peaceful day of hunting or fishing, always made Jeff glow. Nothing could have made me believe that Clint was not the ideal friend for Jeff. Clint, although quite handsome, remained single and unattached. The two were avid sports fans and took the kids to most sporting events. They were a team; eager to take on any task I asked of them. They’d do anything to be in each other’s company.
One morning, after breakfast, Jeff announced that he and Clint were going fishing for the weekend. Although, I adored Clint, I had to attend a very important seminar in Dayton. It was imperative that Jeff stay with the kids. This time, Jeff was unusually persistent about going to the lake. Finding another sitter was out of the question, but Jeff didn’t seem to understand. “But Jeff, Honey,” I pleaded, almost unacknowledged. “This seminar is very important. It could mean a raise for me. Can’t you and Clint go fishing next weekend?”
As usual, Jeff was cleaning up after breakfast. On hearing my reply, he paused, his large round eyes held a pleading stare. When he saw I was not buying his exaggerated expression, he shrugged then continued to place the milk in the refrigerator. Standing upright, he bantered playfully, “Ah, come on, Celeste. I promise this will be the last trip until deer season. Come on, please--please--please,” he whined. His dark brown eyes squinted into a pitiful frown.
I could never resist Jeff’s humor. So, I fixed a smile across my lips. “No,” I teased. “Not this time.”
Jeff balked. “But Clint will be expecting me, Sweetheart.” He reached for the butter and started to place it on the shelf in the refrigerator. “Baby, Fannie could keep the kids this time. She loves the kids!”
I was lightly amused by my husband’s whimsical absurdity. I smiled, and again... “No,” I insisted. “Clint won’t mind this time.”
All of a sudden, Jeff grew a bit impatient. “Crap, Celeste. Fannie can keep the damn kids!’
Shocked that Jeff would become angry enough to swear, I stopped sweeping. He hardly ever used profanity, especially after the kids were born. He usually had a happy-go-lucky attitude. I was appalled, but answered with a firm, “No, Jeff!” I couldn’t believe he had become so incensed. “Fannie’s children are visiting from out of town. She will want to spend time with them.”
Jeff almost threw himself down on the chair at the breakfast table. He was disappointed, and it showed. Although I felt his frustration, I couldn’t give in.