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Chapter Eighteen
Childhood Friends

"Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me: thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead."
~ Song of Solomon 6:5 ~

Izumi began to prepare their first meal at home, as she busily rushed around the kitchen, setting things in order. John sat at the table, his eyes fixed on her.

"I can't cook while you stare at me!" exclaimed Izumi, who was becoming unnerved by his observation.

"Get used to it, Mrs. Johannes," he replied. However, much to her relief, he got up and left the kitchen. At eleven o' clock, they sat down to breakfast. After John asked God's blessing on the food, he took a bite. Izumi anxiously awaited the verdict. She had prepared a Japanese meal, though more elaborate than the ones she usually made for her parents in Japan. John raised his eyebrows,

"Not bad."

"Then... you like it?" she cautiously asked.

"I'd be hard to please if I didn't," he assured. Satisfied that he was not simply trying to spare her feelings, she relaxed.

"How long have you lived here?" she asked, after she had taken a few bites.

"A few years. Why? Don't you like it here?"

"I'd be hard to please if I didn't."

"Little parrot," he smiled.

"Who was that man who brought me home, John?" She had been wondering all morning, but was too ashamed to ask.

"Oh, you mean Terry? We've been friends since we were kids. He and I are partners. That's right... I never told you what I do, have I?" Izumi shook her head. "Terry and I are independent contractors, specializing in computer consulting. That's why I was in Japan. A bank wanted us to make their network Y2K compliant. If God hadn't set up that job, we never would have met."

"He knew I needed you," said Izumi. John shook his head.

"No, He knew we needed each other. 'God setteth the solitary in families.'" (Psalm 68:6) They continued the rest of the meal in silence, grateful that the Creator of all, took time to notice the pain and loneliness of someone so small as themselves. Had not King David felt the same in Psalm chapter eight, verse four?

"What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?"

For the next week, John and Izumi remained home, enjoying their new found happiness. Terry wisely let the newlyweds alone, with the somewhat sad realization that his buddy now had a new interest.

With your permission, reader, I would like to properly introduce Terry, and provide a brief background, while the newlyweds enjoy their honeymoon. John first met Terry on a playground in elementary school, surrounded by a crowd of noisy children. The children knew he was a foster child that mostly kept to himself, and since he never fought back, he was a prime candidate to torment. Children can be cruel, especially to those who are different from themselves.

continued on next page...
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