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Throughout the rest of the day, Adam looked forward to some time alone with Charlie. It wasn't until after they had gone to bed, however, that he was finally able to speak to her in private.

"Is it because of Maggie's baby?" asked Adam. "Was that why you were crying?"

At his side, Charlie lie in the darkness of their master bedroom, the sound of night filtering through the half open sliding glass door. In the stillness, Adam waited. He rolled onto his side, and touched her face. "Please, Charlie. Talk to me."

"I'm sorry I cried," she sighed. "I shouldn't have."

"Do you want a baby, too?"

"It wasn't the baby," Charlie took Adam's hand in her own. "It was what he represented. When Maggie said she was praying for me to have a girl, I just lost it. Maggie will have a future, and see her baby boy grow up. She'll be able to recognize him when he gets older, and be in her right mind to enjoy her grandchildren. But, me..." Charlie brushed a stray tear from her cheek.

Adam was silent. He squeezed Charlie's hand, and held her tightly. A part of him was grateful he hadn't been the cause of her tears, for even if Charlie had wanted children, he couldn't give her any.

As the wind gently moved the curtains by the sliding glass door, Adam contemplated ways to at least slow the progress of the disease that threatened to rob his darling of her memory. He knew she wasn't yet exhibiting signs of Alzheimer's, but he still felt the need to do all he could, as early as he could. Maybe it would make a difference, and postpone the onset of her illness. He had to at least try.

Movement in his arms brought Adam back to his senses. Charlie had raised her head, and was looking at him with shimmering eyes. He felt a splash of wetness on his chest, and knew that she was crying again.

"I'm sorry, Adam," her voice wavered. "I'm so extremely blessed, and here I am crying over a future that isn't mine in the first place. I shouldn't be wishing for things I can never have."

Adam heard her gulping back a sob. He caressed her cheek and smiled sadly. "It's all right," he whispered. "If you want to cry, you go right ahead and cry."

Having obtained his permission, Charlie buried her face in his pajama top and wept. Struggling not to break into tears of his own, Adam held on to her with everything he had.

"It's not because I'm not thankful," he heard Charlie's muffled voice say. As she continued, Adam realized she wasn't speaking to him, but to God. "Don't let these tears hurt You, because I know You're only giving what's best for me. Please, make me strong enough to bear this!"

Adam could only offer Charlie the comfort of his embrace. When she continued to cry, he did the only other thing he could think of. His lips touched hers, and he awoke her desire. At least while she was lost in his arms, she wasn't thinking of her future.

The next day, Adam shut himself in his music room. When Dave arrived from his bungalow to work, he found the musician deep in thought on the tattered sofa.

"Is your wife's friend all right?" Dave politely inquired, as he set his notebook on the piano. "I hope her baby is healthy."

"Who? Maggie?" Adam glanced at Dave and then nodded in understanding. "Yes, she's fine." Adam returned his eyes to the wall and sighed heavily.
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