Page 35 from the series Before the Pirates Came*
Miranda would always be glad she went to Toronto with Harry. How could she have possibly known he was married? Well… she could have asked someone. Lydia Ogletree ran in the same circles as the Stowes but Miranda kept the affair a secret. There were no telltale photos on his credenza, and of course, no ring on his hand. When Miranda got a feeling that he was mysterious and elusive, why didn’t she listen? Ask questions? But no, that would have ruined everything.
There were members of the Orchid Society who had known the Stowe family for years, and mutual friends who sat on the Symphony Board, as did he. And when Miranda looked at the membership directory for the club, did she miss something? Had the pages disappeared, or stuck together? Yes, there were many excuses. Maybe Harry was going to leave his wife anyway, and the union of Harry and Miranda was meant to be…
Truth is, all she had to do was ask her friend Mavis, the bartender at the club. She knew everyone. Not only would she have told Miranda the truth about Harry, but also that it was wrong to be involved with him. Mavis was a devout Christian lady, someone who prayed for Miranda when her drinking got really bad. She knew all about the Bible and kept telling Miranda she should read it, too.
Miranda was sitting at the dinette in the cabin of her old boat, the boat she called “Seeking Miranda.” It was a blustery day in November and Miranda was eating Ocean Spray cranberry sauce out of the can. No need to save it for Thanksgiving, since she would be out-of-town for the holiday.
Miranda loved Mavis and didn’t want to disappointment her by telling her the truth. Mavis would not have rejected her as a friend, but she would have passed along some verses from the Bible that would make Miranda feel uncomfortable. So she avoided the bar altogether and ordered her drinks by the pool instead.
“The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.” Proverbs 13:12 (NIV)
“He who scorns instruction will pay for it, but he who respects a command is rewarded.” Proverbs 13:13 (NIV)
“Every prudent man acts out of knowledge, but a fool exposes his folly.” Proverbs 13:16 (NIV)
Miranda still had the Bible given to her by a maintenance man at the Mallard Point Club in Traverse City, a guy in Carhartts who showed up out of no where. She kept it in a secret hiding place in the galley with her important papers and the money from Charlie. It was wrapped in a Ziploc bag so it wouldn’t get wet. What would Mavis say right now…?
“A Bible in a Ziploc bag is like a candy bar still in the wrapper. The goodness will never come out until you open it.”
Miranda thought that was hilarious, thought Mavis would like it, too. Maybe she would read a few verses every night, if she could come back from the bars a little early. Miranda was so miserable, so tired of missing her husband and living like an Eskimo out on this dock. But before there was time for any Bible reading, a blizzard was coming. There was a winter storm warning in effect for all of northern lower Michigan, 15-21 inches by morning.
With all the mistakes she had made… will she pay for them tonight?
*This story is based on some true events, however, has been fictionalized and all persons appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
© 2012, Shoes for an Imaginary Life. All rights reserved.