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"I came to apologize to you for what I've done to your granddaughter," said Adam. "I assure you, it wasn't intentional."

"I believe that," said Vera, wiping a tear from her eyes. "I believe you never intended to fall in love with Charlie."

Adam was stunned silent. He tried to open his mouth, but the words wouldn't come.

"You see," explained Vera, "like you, I didn't think Charlie was experiencing anything but an immature, schoolgirl crush. But this morning, she told me WHY she loved you, and I had to admit to myself that the one not facing reality the way it really and truly was, was myself-- and not her. She has a rational, honest, and pure love for you, Adam. And though it's true that your ages are so far apart, I can't deny that she loves you. I don't pretend to know you so well that I can claim to know your heart, but I think you do love my granddaughter. Yours is not an easy situation-- I know," continued Vera, "but if you look into your heart, I believe you'll have to admit that what I'm saying is true."

"But, it's not right," said Adam, "for two people to be together that are so different in ages."

"I know I'm taking a great liberty with you to speak my mind, but if you'll bear with me a little longer, I'd greatly appreciate it," said Vera.

"Please, continue," replied Adam.

"I know you said it's not right, but I wonder-- can you show me anywhere in the Bible that affirms this belief?" inquired Vera.

Adam was silent.

"'Charity doth not behave itself unseemly,'" quoted Adam.

"May I ask, what is 'unseemly' about Charlie's love for you?" questioned Vera. "Maybe, what you're confronting is your own prejudice about such relationships, for if you go a little further in that same passage, it reads, '[Charity] seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth... And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.'"

Adam was deep in thought. He knew that passage from the Bible all too well. It was the very chapter from First Corinthians he had insisted on publishing, along with every music album he had ever created.

"Do you love her?" asked Vera. "Please, be honest."

"I don't know," answered Adam, slowly. "I've never allowed myself to even contemplate it for a second. I never even thought it might be possible."

"Please," begged Vera, "go and think about what I've said. Leave now, for she'll be back home, shortly. I don't want her to find you here."

Adam got to his feet to leave. Before he left, though, Vera had a request.

"If you find you don't love her, I must insist that you never come to this house again," stated Vera, gravely.

Thoughtfully, Adam nodded in agreement. He quickly departed Twin Yucca as silently as he had returned.

When Charlie arrived home from school that day, Vera kept Adam's visit a secret. Whether Charlie would ever see him again or not, was up to Adam.

"And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."
~ 1 Corinthians 13:13 ~

"When I [Charlie] was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a [woman], I put away childish things. For now we [Charlie and Adam] see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face."
~ 1 Corinthians 13:11, 12 ~

end of chapter
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