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Chapter Nine
A Family for Jake

"Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby Thou didst confirm Thine inheritance, when it was weary."
~ Psalm 68:9 ~

Abby woke up the night after her wedding, to find that she had fallen asleep on the living room couch. Upon hearing her parents' voices coming from the kitchen, Abby got up and went to go see why they were up so early on a Saturday morning.

"Well," said Izumi, greeting her daughter, "you finally woke up!"

"What do you mean, 'finally'?" yawned Abby, pouring herself a cup of coffee. "It's just after five! What are you guys doing up so early? Don't you know it's Saturday?"

"Well," answered John, "a lot has been happening. It's not everyday that your daughter gets married."

For a moment, Abby looked at him puzzled, and then suddenly remembered the wedding ceremony that had taken place just the night before.

"I almost thought that I had been dreaming," she mused.

"I realize," said John, "that it might be a little too soon to ask, but have you and Jake made any plans concerning the future?"

"Such as?" asked Abby, sitting down at the table with her parents.

"Are you going to move in with Jake?" wondered John.

"I'm not planning to," replied the teenager. "Why? Are you and Mom trying to get rid of me?" she laughed.

"Absolutely not!" said John, emphatically. "We'd love for you to live with us, for as long as you want to stay. I know you and Jake came to an agreement about the boundaries of your relationship, but your mother and I were wondering if Jake expects you to move into the little yellow house."

"I don't think that's going to happen," replied Abby, slowly. "I suppose I should talk to him about it, though."

"How are you and Jake fixed for money?" asked John, candidly. "I know he can't be making much down at the marina. You may earn more than he, but you have the jeep and art supplies to keep up, so you probably don't have very much left over after those expenses. If Jake needs money, we'd be happy to help in any way we can. I would have said this to his face, but I didn't know how he'd take it."

"Thanks, Dad," smiled Abby, gratefully, "but, I think we can make it on our own."

"Please, promise me that when you need money, you won't just try to tough it out in silence," begged Izumi, knowing the strong independence of her daughter. "We're you're family, and we're always going to be here for you."

"Thanks, Mom," replied Abby, not quite sure how to take her parents' offer. "If we need your help, I promise to let you know. You guys don't sound very confident, though. I hope you realize that I'm not a child anymore."

"With Jake's criminal record," pointed out John, "he's going to have an extremely hard time finding a good job."

"No worries, Dad," smiled Abby, getting up from the table. "Jake and I will get by."

"Aren't you going to eat breakfast?" asked Izumi, seeing that Abby hadn't fixed her usual bowl of cereal.

"I'll eat later," said the young woman, disappearing into her room.

After Abby had finished changing clothes, she went to the supermarket and bought a few groceries that she knew Jake needed, since he couldn't easily afford them on his salary. Then, Abby went to the yellow house and knocked on the door. When there was no answer, she realized that he must still be asleep. Not to be deterred, Abby pulled out the spare house keys John had given her, and unlocked the door.

continued on next page...
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