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"I hope you like your popcorn buttery," announced Charlie, coming into the front room.

"Is he always like that?" asked Adam, referring to Chuck.

"Not always," replied Charlie sitting down beside Adam on the couch. "Sometimes, he grunts. And I think, sometimes, he knows who I am. I can't help feeling that if he only tried harder, he would be better than he is now. I suppose it's not possible, though."

"I'm really sorry, Charlie," apologized Adam. "I had no idea he was this bad."

"Time changes everything," replied Charlie. "Come on, the popcorn's getting cold."

They ate popcorn and watched an old black and white romantic comedy that Charlie had loaded into the VCR. Adam greatly enjoyed the evening. For a few hours, he could forget the pressures that his music career demanded of him. Charlie didn't talk about music, so neither did he. For one night, he could just be Adam Clark-- and not Wallace Shipley.

As the evening wore on, Adam inevitably fell asleep, for he was that relaxed. Charlie clicked off the set, and guided her father to his bedroom. She covered Adam with a blanket and was about to go to bed herself, when the house phone rang. It was Bill.

"Is Adam still there?" asked Bill.

"Yes," replied Charlie, "he fell asleep on the couch."

"Oh," said Bill, "then don't wake him up. You know how hard it is for him to fall asleep. Goodnight, then."

Charlie climbed into bed when, this time, the satellite phone rang. She got out of bed and looked down the hallway into the front room. Adam was still fast asleep. Who could be calling her on the satellite phone, she wondered.

"Hello?" she said, answering the call.

"It's Gary. I think you should wake him up, and send him back home," he advised.

"But," said Charlie, "he's already sleeping. It would be a shame to wake him up, now."

"Charlie," said Gary, in a barely audible whisper, "the media can't see him leaving your house in the morning. Under the circumstances, I think it's better to wake him up."

"He'll be home in a few minutes," conceded Charlie. "And Gary, thanks."

Charlie put on her robe and went to the living room. She nudged Adam's shoulder, and took back the blanket.

"What is it?" asked Adam, groggily. "Did I fall asleep?"

"It's time for you to go home," said Charlie.

"I'm sorry I missed the end of the movie," apologized Adam, getting up.

"That's all right," smiled Charlie. "I'll tell you how it ended, later."

Adam wished her goodnight, and left. Charlie locked the front door, knowing that her grandmother could use her keys, and went to bed.

"The voice of Thy [God's] thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook."
~ Psalm 77:18 ~

"In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then He [God] openeth the ears of [Charlie], and sealeth their instruction... He [God] keepeth back [Adam's] soul from the pit, and his life from perishing."
~ Job 33:15,16,18 ~

"O love the LORD, all ye His saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful."
~ Psalm 31:23 ~

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