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Chapter Forty-three
Love is Always Brave

"Be thou strong and very courageous."
~ Joshua 1:7 ~

"Charity never faileth."
~ 1 Corinthians 13:8 ~

Maggie was so excited about the upcoming wedding on Friday, that she spent Thursday night tossing in bed, making Vera lose more than a little sleep. Charlie slept soundly on the living room couch until she was awakened by the anxious bride at about half past four in the morning.

"Charlie," she whispered, shaking the young woman's shoulder. "Charlie, please wake up! I have to talk to you."

"Just thirty more minutes," pleaded Charlie, still half-asleep, for she had opened one eye and looked at the clock.

"But," protested Maggie, impatiently, "I have to ask you something important."

"Nothing is important at four thirty in the morning!" groaned Charlie, turning over to shut her eyes once more.

Then Maggie bent over and whispered something in Charlie's ear that made the young woman sit up with a start.

"You mean, you don't know?" cried Charlie in disbelief.

"Shhhh!" hushed Maggie, abashedly. "The others will hear you!"

"You're almost thirty-two, and you still don't know about sex?" reasoned Charlie in a lower voice. "Didn't your mother or father ever give you the old birds-and-the-bees speech?"

"No," replied Maggie. "Did yours?"

"Now that you mention it, no," recalled Charlie, thoughtfully. "Daddy never even broached the subject, so I had to find out from my friend, Donna."

"Charlie, I'm getting married, today! Shouldn't I know this?" asked Maggie, a little frantically.

"I wouldn't be too concerned," smiled Charlie. "Jeff's been married before, and what you don't know, he does. After all, his little girl didn't just drop from the sky!"

"Won't you give me the speech?" pleaded Maggie.

"ME?!" cried Charlie, dropping back onto her pillow.

"Just tell me what Donna told you," begged the woman. "Please?"

The teenager looked at her for a moment and sighed heavily.

"Let's go into the kitchen where no one can hear us," said Charlie, getting up and leading Maggie into the next room.

There, Charlie repeated the birds-and-the-bees speech that Donna had given her, years ago in Montana. At first, she wasn't sure how much of it Maggie understood, but by the end of the speech, the look on Maggie's face told Charlie that she had comprehended, after all.

"Are you sure you're not just making this up?" asked Maggie, a little uncertainly.

"Would I make up a thing like that?" responded Charlie, with a laugh. "Believe me, Maggie, that's how everyone in this world was conceived. God set it up that way. It's the 'natural use of the woman,' as the book of Romans puts it."

continued on next page...
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