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"It doesn't have to be sex," said John, "though it helps. God wouldn't have created men and women the way he had, if it didn't. But Jake, the important thing is to keep making that choice to love each other. Every single day of your life, choose her to be the one. And once in a while, remind her of it."

Jake looked at him thoughtfully.

"Love is a choice," finished John, "or God wouldn't have commanded us to do it so many times in the Bible."

John left to check in on Izumi, while Jake quietly sat at the kitchen table, deep in thought. After several minutes, he slowly got up and finished cleaning the kitchen. Maybe it was easy for Izumi to get her husband's attention when she was being neglected, but Jake was very different from Abby's parents. For him, making that kind of choice would be the greatest act of courage he could think of. It would require so much courage... and love.

An hour after everyone else had eaten, Abby showed up in the kitchen, only to grab a bowl and make herself a quick meal of cold breakfast cereal. Jake turned off the vacuum cleaner he had been using in the next room, and found her noisily munching away.

"You didn't have to eat cereal," he sighed. "I saved you some lunch in the refrigerator."

"That wasn't necessary," replied Abby, loading her spoon once more. "When I'm this late, I don't expect you to save me anything."

"Well, I did," sighed Jake, pulling a plate out of the fridge and setting it on the countertop beside her.

"Would you mind if I saved that for later?" she asked, weakly. "I'm almost done with this cereal, and I really need to get back to my computer." Jake held his breath, waiting for the very next words out of her mouth. "Dennis said..." How many times had she begun her sentences with that phrase! It usually preceded a new task for her to do, or some idea that required her attention. As Jake patiently listened, he seriously thought over what John had told him about love and choices. Minutes later, Abby was back home in front of her computer, hard at work.

As dinnertime neared, Jake went to the master bedroom to ask Izumi what she wanted him to fix for the meal that evening. He found John sitting on the bed with his wife, kissing and nuzzling her neck, obviously enjoying her company.

"Excuse me," stammered the young man, quickly turning to retreat. "I didn't mean to intrude."

"That's all right," John called back. "The door was open."

Embarrassed, Jake mumbled out his question to Izumi.

"Whatever is easiest for you to fix," came her reply. John nuzzled her neck once more, and Izumi playfully swatted him away. "Keep that up," she laughed, "and you'll be taking another cold shower!"

"One more reason I'm counting down the days until these babies are born," sighed John, still in good humor. "I'm looking forward to getting things back to normal."

Confused, Jake looked at him, questioningly.

"In her condition," explained John, "I can't get too serious, or Izumi could go into preterm labor. If the triplets came out this early, it would put them at risk for survival."

Suddenly troubled at a new thought, Jake returned to the kitchen to start dinner. If Izumi shouldn't, then maybe Abby... Jake hurried through the meal preparations and excused himself from joining them at the table.

When he entered the little yellow house, he found Abby still at her computer, oblivious to the time.

"Abby," asked Jake, tugging at her shoulder.

"Hold on," said Abby, typing as she went, "just one more minute."

"What's the phone number for your obstetrician?" he asked.

Abby's fingers suddenly came to a stop. That was an odd question.

"Why do you want to know?" she wondered.
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