Midnight blue is a shade that is a derivative of blue. Blue is connected with things that are holy and set apart in God’s service. Midnight blue is a deeper shade that takes in surroundings. Things can be hidden and blended into the dark. This color is one of deep trust, honesty and loyalty. It is a color that represents a person that likes to do things in their own way. Much of the time when we use royal blue we are looking for deeper meaning in our lives.
Audrey and Teddy finished their drinks together. Teddy sat down with Audrey and detailed the scene he had arrived upon when she was injured as delicately as he could. Al served them a delicious meal. The three friends sat in a familiar quiet. Audrey needed time to digest the news. It was best that they just leave her be. They could see her thinking things over as she ate her meal in silence.
After dinner, Teddy guided Audrey up the stairs to their bedroom. She sat in a chaise chair as he laid her cotton pajamas out.
‘Would you like a bath or a shower?’ , Teddy faced Audrey.
‘Teddy, I will be fine. I Just want a few minutes alone. I think I can manage.’ Audrey smiled at her husband.
Teddy left the room and headed down the stairs.
Audrey walked slowly to the bathroom. She looked around. Teddy had taken the time to lay out a toothbrush, face cloth and towel. The man really tried hard. Audrey appreciated it. He made her feel safe. It was plain to see and feel the man loved her.
Teddy entered the kitchen to find his buddy cleaning and packing things away.
‘Once again I must tell you, you can go home.’ Teddy stared at his friend.
Al looked at him and shrugged him off.
‘I am out the door as soon as I am done. Go call your mother, before they blame me for being a bad influence.’
Teddy headed to the living room and picked up the house phone and dialed.
Evelyn was use to sitting alone and eating by herself. Leon was always out.This was her first night off in a month, so she was going to enjoy it at home. She had been on duty every night and had not eaten homemade meal in a while. She had stopped by her son’s best friend’s restaurant and ordered a meal to go. Al’s restaurant had great food. The staff there cooked every meal like it was for their very own family.
Her daughter-in-law was home. She liked Audrey. She thought she was a good girl from the moment she had first laid eyes on her. The phone shook her from her walk down memory lane.
‘Teddy is she settling in okay? I can come over if you need me. ‘ Evelyn looked out into her backyard awaiting her son’s reply.
‘No she is okay, just wanted to let you know that. We just finished dinner and she is upstairs settling in.’, Teddy watched his friend pack his bag with food to take home.
‘Well…. okay then. Get some rest.’ Evelyn tried to muster up strength and reserve.She wanted to jump in her car and go over to he son’s house and take over.
‘Talk to you later son.’ Evelyn clicked end.
Just like that, the conversation was over. Evelyn placed the phone down and continued to eat. She turned on the television to catch Jeopardy. They were up to the Double Jeopardy round. Alek Tribek looked as old as she felt. Her mother’s intuition was hat the hard part was still to come for her son and his wife.
Teddy watched his friend pack his things and take a few tupperware bowls of food with him as he headed out the door.
‘Teddy if you need anything ..let me know.’ Al noticed the tired look on his friend’s face . He was beyond tired. It was the first time in a long time he had seen him this tired.
‘Good night Al.’ Audrey called down the stairs.
‘Sleep well Drey.’ Al shouted back.
”Thanks man. I think we will just rest. She is home and I am home. We’re good.’ Teddy stated simply exhausted. He watched his friend head out the door and get in his car.
Teddy closed the door when he heard the ignition turn over.
Al sighed. The last time he had seen Teddy this tired was when they were sitting in the hospital waiting for the results after his mother’s cancer operation. Just like then, Al had stuck by his side.
Al pulled out the driveway and headed home. His thoughts were racing ahead of him, He turned the music on just to keep him company. He was hoping that it would soothe him some. He made the sign of the cross as he drove pass the local church. It was one of his tiny idiosyncrasies. He was still an altarboy at heart. He prayed before his meals, crossed himself when necessary and attended weekly mass.
He replayed the conversation he overheard Teddy and Audrey having in the living room. Funny how telling the truth had shaped their relationships. He thought back nine years ago when Teddy and Audrey had gotten married.
‘So you really marrying that girl?’ Michael chided Teddy. The backyard was filled with the bridal party celebrating the nuptials tomorrow.
‘Leave that boy alone. You married Frances two months ago.’ Al voiced walking in with an arm full of gift bags.
‘Well look at here. .. the Hawk has landed and he is bring packages. Man you are trained well..’ Michael laughed amusedly.
‘Don’t you ever stop making noise? Man you yelp all the time. Make yourself useful start handing these things out. Everyone’s names are on the ribbons.’
Michael was the voice of the group. He knew when to speak up and when to dial it down. He also knew how to listen and ascertain from what he heard. That was his natural born skill. He knew what every situation needed when he was in a room. Michael started handing out the gift bags one by one to guests.
Al had listened to the guys tease him. for weeks now. Tomorrow , he was going to be best man to the guy he considered his brother. The guys were going to head over to the newlywed’s new home and start finishing off the details in their new home after they were done at this luncheon. Audrey was entertaining guests over in the corner. The bridesmaids were playing some silly wedding game. It was just then he saw Teddy’s dad standing in the doorway signaling to him.
‘Yes sir…’ Al said gauging Leon’s mood. Teddy’s dad was hard on all of them.
‘Listen, I’m going to trust that you and those other silly boys are going to have their home completed by the time they come back. If you need anything you come to me okay?’
‘Yes sir. I have your number. Sir, not for nothing but this is what I do. ‘ Al surreptitiously advised.
‘Good,.. it’s not that I hate you boys, it’s that I don’t necessarily like your behavior.’ Leon placed a hand on Al’s shoulder and continued with a smile.
‘You … I actually like you. You seem to have a good head on your shoulders.’ He patted Al looking over at the other young men surrounding Teddy.
‘Sir.. those young men over there are loyal to your son. They are loyal like I am and we will be sure to keep our promise to finish the house’, Al responded trying not to sound defensive.
‘Somehow I believe you.’ Leon walked away to join his wife had just sat down on a bench with a slice of cake.
Al felt like he had just been interrogated by the CIA. Al called the guys over to make a game plan to finish the house Sunday afternoon. Assignments were given and game plans were affirmed. It was going to be an easy assignment as only cosmetic stuff was left.
The wedding that Saturday afternoon went off without a hitch. It was shades of midnight blue and black everywhere. No one from Audrey’s family had seemed friendly or inviting the whole day. While driving his on again, off again girlfriend Virginia home he was struck by something she said. He had tuned out her happy babble and now was tuning back in.
‘So they’re a great couple. Nice wedding and I actually liked this bride’s mate dress I am wearing.’ Virginia rattled on. Virginia was in a great mood. Weddings did that to people.
‘Do you now? Hey how was her shower? I know you didn’t talk about it much?’; Al quizzed, his mind lining facts up.
‘It was weird. I liked our bachelorette dinner better.’ Virginia mused.
”Why?’ Al asked casually.
Virginia thought back the first day she had met Audrey. They had met on a nice summer day . It was the same day that Michael had announced engagement to Frances. She had known Frances all her life. It was amazing what time had done to them all. Michael was a sweetheart. Frannie was happy with him. He seemed like he really cared about her. He worked hard as a real estate lawyer. She recalled hearing her mother tell Frannie’s mom that it was a ‘good living’. Audrey had been the outsider. She sat down at the picnic table and started making friends.
Everyone had loved Audrey. Teddy had done a great thing bringing the new girl around. Al had whispered in her ear earlier that day, ‘Teddy’s got a winner.’
‘Drey doesn’t seem to like her family much and I get the feeling they don’t like her either. I got the feeling they were there to see if she was actually getting married and it was real.’ Virginia stared a ahead. She seemed to be searching for a way to say something positive.
The lightbulb went off in his head. There was something more there. They continued chatting about Sunday’s plans for readying the newlyweds home. Al was going to bring breakfast and have lunch and dinner delivered from his restaurant. The girls were going to unbox and unpack things. Audrey had written in a book for the girls specific instructions for everything they had dropped off from the shower and received from the wedding.
Al pulled up in front of Virginia’s house and dropped her off. She gave him a peck on the cheek.
Al yelled out the front window.
Hi Loretta! ‘ Al watched Virginia’s mom sitting on a swing on the porch.
Al watched Virginia bound up the stairs with her phone in hand. She had pictures to show off. He pulled off and headed home for some rest.
The next morning with keys in hand and Virginia sitting next to him he headed to the new home. All the bridesmaids and the ushers rehashed the day before’s events with joy. As they unlocked the door, one of the guys from his restaurant pulled up with breakfast and an assistant. The team got to work unwrapped, unboxed and cleaned up. Al’s team cleared a spot on the back porch and laid out the food for the team.
‘Be back later boss.’ The young man called out to Al.
‘Thanks Nick… see you in a bit.’
Al had revisited all those memories on his way home.
“Virginia has sent you a text message’. The Android was a shake back to the present.
Virginia’s simple text belied her love for him. It said simply, ‘Are you okay?’
The sound jarred Al from his thoughts as he pulled into his driveway. He had driven home on an autopilot of memories. Al had purchased his home for very little. It had three bedrooms, a living room, day room, kitchen, garage and finished basement. He had crafted the house to his desires after buying it from an elderly couple. He had a few projects left. He was going to change the backyard gate and re-style the basement. Al entered the house placed his keys on the key hook and took the leftovers from Teddy’s to the kitchen. He fixed himself a cup of coffee and headed to his living room.
He picked up his phone and texted Virginia back, ‘Yea.. let’s talk in the am. ;)’
Placing his phone down he picked up his laptop and opened his research. He was going to get to the bottom of this story. He kicked off his midnight blue sneakers and settled in with carafe of coffee.