Maggie's Marriage (The Cloverleaf Series Book 2)(10)

By: Gloria Herrmann

“Mom,” Maggie said as she let her mother inside the home.

Ridding herself of her coat and hat, Mary reached for Maggie, pulling her into a tight embrace.

“Maggie, sweetheart, I had no idea you were coming home this weekend,” Mary said as she lead herself to the kitchen.

Maggie followed her mother, who was pouring water into the kettle to heat.

“Tea?” Mary offered.

“Um, sure.” Maggie took her seat back at the breakfast nook.

“Now, I won’t waste time beating around the bush, Maggie,” Mary started. Maggie raised her hand to stop her mother.

“Mom, I know.”

“Well then, you want to tell me why this morning I received a frantic call from your husband?” Mary’s stare burrowed into Maggie.

Maggie felt the salty tears emerging. “Mom, it’s complicated.”

Mary sat across from Maggie. “I’m sure it is. Can you imagine the fright I had when he called? He had no idea where you or Melanie were.”

“Wow, I’m surprised he even noticed we were gone.” Maggie’s tone was vile with anger.

Mary reached for her daughter’s hand. “Well, he did notice, and he was awfully worried, dear.”

Maggie could only imagine how she would feel if she came home to find that her daughter and spouse were gone. But considering the stunt he had pulled on Friday with a no call, no show for the performance, she didn’t have a whole lot of sympathy for her husband right then.

The kettle whistled loudly. Mary quickly got up to fill two mugs with the steaming hot liquid. She returned equally quickly to the table. It was obvious Mary O’Brien wanted answers.

Maggie reached for her mug. She inhaled the floral scent of the herbal tea, the warmth from which radiated through her hands, bringing the promise of comfort. It amazed her how a simple cup of hot water mixed with some tea leaves and a little honey had the ability to immediately soothe and calm her.

“Look, dear, I understand that you may be upset with Michael, but running off like this sure isn’t going to solve any problems.”

“Mom, things have been building up, you know that,” Maggie said defensively as she took a leisurely sip of the hot tea.

Matching her sip, Mary eyed her daughter. “Maggie, I realize that, but he’s your husband, and what about Melanie? It isn’t just about you, you know?”

“I told her we were coming to visit. Mom, you should have seen how upset she was that Michael didn’t come to the spring concert.” Maggie looked down, feeling the urge to say everything that had been trapped inside her. “There’s something else I need to tell you.”

“Oh, Lord, are you two getting a divorce?” Mary’s eyes were wide with concern.

“No, we haven’t quite got to that level yet. Well, it seems that our family is going to be a little bigger.” Maggie watched as her mother’s mouth twisted from a frown into a faint smile.

“Well, that’s wonderful, dear. I mean, I can see with the current situation that this is probably not the best timing. God works in funny ways, doesn’t He?”

“He sure does.” Maggie paused. “I haven’t told Michael yet.”

Mary’s eyes grew large again. “Oh, Maggie.”

Maggie knew she should have told him by now, but honestly she hadn’t really found the time. She sure as heck didn’t want to spill the beans over a voicemail or text message. Maggie wasn’t all that excited about telling Michael, considering how awful things had been at home lately, except for that rare night last week. The thought sent a silent ache to Maggie’s core.

Liam and Melanie noisily entered the cabin. “Hey, Mom, I didn’t hear you pull up,” Liam said as he grabbed some cocoa mix from the cabinet to make Melanie some hot chocolate. “Mel, you want any marshmallows, kiddo?”

“Sure, Uncle Liam.” Melanie had propped herself in his recliner and started playing with her handheld game.

“I was going to make her and I some grilled cheese sandwiches, you guys want some?” Liam offered as he removed all the items he needed from his stainless steel fridge.

“I’m okay, thanks,” Maggie answered as she swallowed another sip of tea. Her stomach was beginning to go a little uneasy.

“None for me, dear, I will be heading home. Maggie, you and Melanie come over for lunch tomorrow.” Turning her attention to her son, she said, “Liam, let Rachel know if she wants to join us. I figure I can throw something together a little early so we have some time to visit.”

Mary put her empty cup in the sink and gave Liam a kiss on his cheek. She strolled over to Maggie, bent down, and hugged her shoulders, placing a kiss on top of her chestnut hair. “I love you, sweetheart.”