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Chapter Twenty-four
Jake's Choice

"To prove the sincerity of your love."
~ 2 Corinthians 8:8 ~

After Thanksgiving was over, Dennis left Three Mile Bay as he had planned. His departure was soon followed by Mr. Winkler, who had securely locked up his tackle store for the winter. Abby didn't have long to mourn their exit, however, for she was fast making new friends through the subscribers at "Bassin' the Weeds." It was an interesting job, and Abby was loving every minute of it.

The only one not happy was Jake.

Since Abby worked from home now, it was harder for her to walk away from her workplace and "go home," for she was home; just as she would finish with one task, a new subscriber from "Bassin' the Weeds" had a question that she needed to answer via email. And when it wasn't a subscriber, it was Dennis with new ideas for the magazine, and more work for her to do. Jake soon discovered that even though Dennis had left Three Mile Bay, his spirit was more present than ever-- especially with Abby. In fact, Jake couldn't have a single conversation with her without getting an enthusiastic update of what Dennis had said recently. Everyone had thought Dennis was in California, but Jake knew better. Dennis was actually living in the machine on the desk in the living room, just waiting for Abby to check her email.

Jake peered out the window of the Johanneses' house, watching the front door of the little yellow home across the way. It was lunchtime, and Abby was late. With a disappointed sigh, Jake went back to the kitchen where Terry and John were eating their hot meal.

"Business must be good," mused Terry, "for her to be kept so busy."

"You'd think she could get away for lunch, though," said John, seeing the downcast look on Jake's face. "Maybe, you should call her again," he suggested.

"No," replied Jake, finishing off the last bite of food on his plate, "she's too busy to talk to me right now."

After Terry returned to their office down the hallway, John remained, soberly thinking to himself while Jake slowly cleared away the lunch dishes. The young man was quiet, until John finally broke the silence.

"You really miss her, don't you," the father smiled sadly.

"I don't know why I do," sighed Jake. "She's working at home. I see her more now, than when she was at the marina."

"But, does she see you?" asked John.

Jake looked at his father-in-law, and slowly shook his head "no."

"It's one of the dangers of working from home," said John, knowingly. "I can easily overdo it, and put in more hours at home than if I had a job to commute to."

"I suppose so," mumbled Jake.

"You know," smiled John, "whenever I make the mistake of neglecting my other half, she fights back."

"How?" asked Jake, eagerly sitting down at the table to glean wisdom from Abby's father.

"Well," John chuckled sheepishly, "she has her way, and it never fails to get my attention."

"Oh," said Jake, in a disappointed voice. That didn't sound like something he could do.

"Find a way to let her know how much you care," encouraged John. "Love needs something to burn, or else it will fall away like an unfed fire. A great man of God by the name of James Hudson Taylor once said, 'True love cannot be stationary: it must either decline or grow.' Don't let the love you two share, die out. Guard it jealously."

"But, I can't..." Jake hesitated, leaving the rest of his thought unsaid.

continued on next page...
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