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"We're going to have a few inches of snow on the ground by tomorrow," forecasted John, as he went to the refrigerator to pour a glass of milk for Izumi. "Abby, maybe we could build a snowman for your mother outside her bedroom window, tomorrow," he suggested. "You know how she loves playing in the snow! Jake, you'd think I married a schoolgirl!"

"You nearly did!" came a voice from the master bedroom. Chuckling, John went to talk with his wife, who was eagerly watching the heavy snowfall from her bed.

Abby was about to make a remark to Jake about the silliness of her parents, when he suddenly excused himself.

"I think I need to lay down for awhile," he announced, untying the apron he had been wearing.

"Maybe I should come with you," she hesitated, "in case you have a flashback."

"I can handle it myself," he brusquely replied.

"All right," said Abby. "Whatever you need, Jake."

At this, the young man paused. She was being so kind to him, that Jake felt a pang of remorse. With a troubled conscience, he went home, leaving Abby to feel more uneasy and perplexed than before.

"Where did Jake go?" asked Terry, returning to the kitchen to resume cooking.

"He went home to lay down," Abby slowly answered. "I'll fix dinner tonight, so Jake won't have to." She was hoping against hope that fatigue was the culprit for his disturbing behavior. Perhaps, he didn't know he had hurt her feelings... perhaps, he hadn't lost his patience... perhaps, he wasn't in sin, after all. Jake so rarely gave her cause for this kind of concern, that she wasn't sure how best to handle it. Abby prayed for wisdom.

"There's no pressure about Jake coming back to work on a daily basis," said Terry. "We may need him, but getting better is more important. And tell him not to worry about his paycheck. He can earn it later. Besides, your parents and I have decided-- " Terry stopped short of finishing his thought out loud. "I may have already said more than I should of," he scolded himself. "John!" Terry shouted down the hallway, "is it all right if I tell Abby?"

"You never could keep a secret for very long!" laughed John from the master bedroom. "Go ahead!"

"We were thinking of presenting it to you and Jake, tomorrow," beamed Terry, going to their home office and returning with an envelope.

"What is it?" asked Abby, accepting the mysterious white object from her uncle.

"Hey!" shouted John, "bring it in here so Little Dove can see Abby's reaction!"

Terry hurried Abby down the hall to her parents' room.

"Sorry, I got a little ahead of myself," he apologized to them.

"Does she know, yet?" asked John.

"Nope," grinned Terry, as Izumi eagerly watched her daughter peek inside the envelope.

Unsure if the light was playing tricks with her eyes, Abby pulled a slender piece of paper from the envelope. It was a check, made out to her. Abby reeled when she saw the dollar amount clearly written out in her father's handwriting.

"Seventy-six thousand dollars!" she exclaimed in shock.

"It's your college fund," explained Terry, beaming with joy.
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