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"I don't understand," hesitated Jake.

"If I can wake you up at the first audible sign of a flashback, then I think I can cut down on the severity of the episodes," she explained. "This was Mom's idea, actually. I'll put this monitor next to your bed, and the receiver in my room."

Jake skeptically eyed the lamb shaped baby monitor with its infantile pastel colors and oversized dials.

"You're not putting that thing in my room," he refused, pushing himself away from the kitchen table and getting to his feet.

"Why not?" argued Abby. "This is a perfectly good idea!"

"I don't need a baby monitor!" he exclaimed. "I'm not a child, Abby!"

"Really?" retorted Abby, all too soon losing her patience. "This is coming from a man who sleeps with the hallway light on!"

Stunned by her words, Jake's face quickly fell. He was too ashamed to even look her in the eye.

"You're right," he mumbled. "Put it where you want." The young man grabbed his jacket and quickly left the house.

"Jake, I'm sorry!" Abby cried after him, as the front door slammed shut. Helplessly, Abby looked to her mother.

"Abby," Izumi reproved her daughter, "a person like Jake requires a lot of patience and understanding. As Christians, we are to 'comfort the [fainthearted], support the weak, be patient toward all men. [1 Thessalonians 5:14]' That goes doubly so for Jake."

"Mom," grieved Abby, "I think I really hurt him."

"Then don't stand there like your feet are glued to the floor," advised Izumi. "Go talk to him, Abby."

With a contrite heart, Abby stepped onto the front porch as Jake's form quickly walked down the beach toward the small dock that was located near the end of the Johanneses' private property. When she finally caught up with him, Abby could see that his eyes were wet.

"What do you want?" he asked wearily.

"I came to apologize," stammered Abby. "I had absolutely no right to say that to you. Will you forgive me?"

Jake wiped his eyes with the sleeve of his jacket and struggled to keep from bawling like a baby.

"I don't believe it," he sighed, shaking his head in disgust. "I thought I was pretty tough-skinned. I'd refuse to scream when I knew my father wanted me to, just to deny him the pleasure of knowing that he had hurt me. After everything I've been through-- to allow myself to feel like this, over one comment an eighteen year old makes!" Then Jake dropped to his knees, and wept.

"I'm sorry," Abby repented. "I have coming every terrible thing that you're thinking about me." As she turned to leave, Jake grabbed her by the sleeve.

"Don't go," he pleaded, wiping the tears away with the palm of his other hand. "You don't have to say anything, but please, don't leave me alone right now!"

As she sat down beside him on the dock, Abby's heart inwardly groaned. She felt guilty that she wasn't also in tears, but Jake was taking everything so very seriously, that it put the young woman on her guard.

"Abby, I forgive you," sniffed Jake. "I'll always forgive you."

"Oh, Jake," she sighed, "I pray you won't have to! 'Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips [Psalm 141:3],'" Abby prayed out loud. "Thank you for forgiving me, Jake. Please don't think that I'm taking it for granted."

Slipping off her sandals, Abby swung her legs over the end of the pier, and dipped her feet into the cool water of Three Mile Bay.

"If you sit here long enough," she told him, "fish come up and nibble your toes."
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