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"That money will disappear faster than you think," warned Terry. "I want you to seriously consider my offer. Besides, you've taken good care of the jeep. I don't feel as though I'm getting the short end of anything. Abby," he added, in a serious voice, "I don't have a husband and new baby to take care of-- you do. Save money wherever you can. Talk it over with Jake, and let me know what you both decide."

"Are you sure?" asked Abby. "I mean, are you absolutely positive you want to do this? I know how much that truck means to you."

"You and Jake mean much more to me than any set of four wheels ever could," affirmed Terry, with a kind smile.

"Then, I accept," sighed Abby. "Thank you, Uncle Terry. You guys have always been there for Jake and I, but I certainly wasn't expecting anything like this!"

"In a way," explained John, "you and Jake are starting over in a new life together."

"This is our way of helping out," added Terry.

"Why don't you go tell Jake all the good news?" smiled Izumi.

"Don't you want to be there when I do?" asked the young woman.

"It's probably for the best that you be the one to tell him," reasoned John, ruffling his blond hair thoughtfully. "We're not trying to embarrass him."

Abby was puzzled by her father's last remark. How could this possibly embarrass Jake?

Evening was hidden behind a white sky, as snow continued to descend from the heavens. Forgetting to stamp the snow from her shoes before entering the yellow house, Abby tramped wet puddles all over the carpet, unaware that she was making a mess for Jake. When she took off her coat, Abby was unexpectedly greeted with more cold.

"Jake," she sighed to herself, "why didn't you turn on the fireplace?"

Eager to tell Jake her news, Abby headed straight to her husband's room. To her surprise, Jake was not there. Thinking that he went outside, Abby started down the hallway to put back on her coat and shoes and go look for him. As she passed her bedroom, however, Abby noticed a form lying on her bed, watching the aquarium fish dart this way and that in the clear water.

"Jake?" inquired Abby, stepping inside the snug bedroom. "Are you all right?"

"I'm sorry I snapped at you a little while ago," he apologized.

Abby sat down at her fly tying table, and faced Jake.

"I wasn't sure if you'd sinned or not," she admitted, "but I could see you were under a lot of pressure. I just didn't know what from."

"I can't hide anything from you, can I?" he smiled sadly. A tear slid down his cheek, and the ex-convict quickly brushed it away, hoping his wife hadn't seen it. But she had.

"What's wrong, Jake?" she asked, her voice betraying concern.

"Guess I'm feeling sorry for myself," he tried to answer lightly. "Earlier today, I was so hopeful that I could be normal, but now..." Jake sighed. "I know I'm not much help to you. I'm sorry, Abby."

"What on earth are you talking about?" she wondered.

Then Jake handed her the hospital bills that he had been contemplating over while she was away.
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