Prelude 62

“Dad, I'd like you meet Tony.”

Aaron looked at the tall, slender, balding man in front of him, seeking out the two eyes behind the heavy, thick-rimmed glasses. Tony met the appraising stare without flinching. Liesel had warned him about her father.

“So what do you do, Tony?”

“I'm a Chartered Accountant with Hollings and Squibb in London.”

“Accountant, eh.” Aaron chuckled. He knew a good joke about accountants. “Do you know what accountants use for contraceptives?”

Tony shook his head.

“Their personality.”

Tony didn't smile.

“Dad!” Liesel protested.

“Oh well. I thought it was funny.” pouted Aaron.

“Dad,” said Liesel, “Tony and I are going to get married.”

“Oh?”

“Don't you mean congratulations?” asked Liesel, raising her eyebrow in an expression all too familiar to her father.

“Er, yes, I meant that. I'm … very happy for the both of you.“

Liesel rolled her eyes in disgust.

Tony looked at the old man in front of him, saw the mirth in his eyes, and smiled for the first time. He extended his hand. “Nice to meet you at last, sir. Liesel talks a lot about you.”

Aaron shook his hand and smiled back, regretting his silly joke. There was potential here.

Prelude 61

Elsbeth smiled to herself. She thought after James died that there would be no other relationships, no other men, but here she was, head over heals in love like a silly young girl.

He had looked so tired tonight. She loved the trouble he had gone to in his efforts to woo her, but she feared it had taken too great a toll. She thought about him dying and it filled her heart with an unbearable pain.

She knelt next to her bed and offered the same prayer she had offered so many nights before, that her Father in Heaven would heal this man that He had allowed to cross her path like this.

Prelude 60

“Holy Father,

I pray for Aaron. I pray that you will put Your healing hand on him and take away this awful illness.

Lord, I know You heal – I have seen You do this in my life and the lives of others - but I know Your plans are higher than ours, and so I ask this little thing trusting that You will answer it for Aaron's good.

In the precious name of Jesus,

Amen.”

Elsbeth prayed for Aaron every day. She had grown to love the dear old man, so full of pain, yet never losing the twinkle in his eye that endeared him so much to her. She wanted him to get better. She thought perhaps she might be able to grow old with this man. He was a good man.