...continued from previous page
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"Thank you, Uncle," replied Izumi, concealing her disappointment. She had hoped he had come out of genuine concern, not family obligation.

"I would have come sooner, but you were hard to find. I trust your mother is well?"

John spoke up, "She was here for a few days, and then left. When I last saw her, she was in good health."

"Good," nodded Uncle Shunji, getting up from the couch. "I must leave now." After he said "good bye" to everyone, Izumi got up and showed her uncle to the door.

"Thank you for coming, Uncle," she said quietly. He nodded again,

"Good bye, mei." He turned and left. Izumi slowly closed the door behind him. John and Terry remained silent. They knew the reason why her uncle's first thought was of Izumi and her mother. He did not want to be the one to support his disgraced brother's family. John got up and put his arms around Izumi.

"He didn't even ask about the baby," she commented sadly, burying her face in John's embrace. John could feel something jumping up and down as he hugged Izumi.

"Little Dove, what is that?" he asked.

"Our daughter has the hiccups," she smiled.

"Imagine that!" exclaimed Terry.

That night, Izumi could not get comfortable in bed. She reorganized her pillows and blankets, but to no lasting effect.

"Dove, what's wrong?" asked John, glancing at the clock.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to wake you up." John sat up, and untangled the covers from Izumi's legs.

"Remember, when I told you that whatever is in your heart, will spill over into mine, Dove?"

"Yes, I remember."

"Ever since your uncle left, your sorrow has been spilling over into me. Do you want to talk about it?"

"Uncle Shunji used to be really nice," began Izumi. "He was always my favorite relative. He's changed so much. He didn't even want to stay in our house longer than he had to, so my disgrace would not rub off onto him!" Izumi wiped a few stray tears from her eyes.

"Pray for him, Dove. Wealth and responsibility have changed him. By the hand of God, it can change him again! This time to God's praise!" said John, fluffing her pillow. "Christ said it was harder for a rich man to get into Heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of an needle. But, He also said, 'With God all things are possible.'" Izumi closed her eyes, and yawned. The sleep that had seemed so elusive, had finally come. John kissed her on the forehead, and lay back down.

"Thank you," he silently prayed, "for giving Izumi to me, and not to Uncle Shunji, Lord." He communed with his Friend a while longer, then, he too, fell asleep.

Thus ended Izumi's second trimester.

"When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid:
yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet."
~ Proverbs 3:24 ~

"He that winneth souls is wise."
~ Proverbs 11:30 ~

end of chapter
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