Let's find out how long I can drag out this break. I am soooo tired right now! The only reason I haven't already been caught is that Neaksis was kind enough to snuggle the Dervish so he would hurry up and go to sleep, and stop throwing things all over and hitting and jumping and spitting and doing all the things a Dervish does to try and stay awake. And, well, there's nothing snugglier than a sleeping Dervish, now that he's asleep. Neaksis might not be quite all the way asleep, but must be dozing by now.

One thing I forgot to mention earlier, is that while we were talking on the phone as he drove home, he asked me what it would take for me to even be willing to hear him out. I promptly replied that he would have to immediately start being fully honest, or I was done.

I stood by the gate, filled with the knowledge that I was in the right, and that whatever happened next would be of my own choosing.

AJ drove in and parked. When he got out of the car he looked awful, as bad as the first time if that's even possible. A life of sin really does leave its mark on the face, and it certainly showed up on him. He walked toward me and thrust a double handful of cellular phone equipment. "She bought this for me."

There was no change in my exterior, but inside, his battle for me was nearly half-won when he did that. It showed me right there at the start that he was willing to admit to things that I didn't already know about. (I had looked for another phone, but hadn't found it yet.)

We went in and sat down at the dining room table. His composure was pretty well shattered before I began reading PBL #2, and when I got to the Bible verse part that Mimi and Believer had suggested, he broke down. My voice got a little trembly as I read the part about "that you and your children may live", but other than that I showed very little emotion, partly because I had very little emotion left.

He read through my list of boundaries and precautions, and immediately embraced them all. I was concerned that it was a little too quickly, and that he was not necessarily sincere. After all, he had cried all over me once before, too.

I just very nicely stuck with the idea of him leaving for a little while, emphasizing the need to take time to sort this out.

Through his tears, he quoted back at me just about everything I had ever said to him about how separating was not the answer, and how could we ever fix this if we were apart? Aha, so he was listening after all!

All in all, we talked and he begged for four hours. Mom was amazed I had lasted so long. It wasn't vengeance, or even wanting to see him suffer, but after everything he had done, I had to test his sincerity quite extensively before I felt safe taking him back. Hmmmmm. Not exactly safe, but safe enough for temporaries.

The last hour or so he went and sat in his chair, and asked me to sit in his lap. You would have laughed to see us. Of course he was hoping I would snuggle, but I sat there as prim and proper as a nun. Spine erect, Mona Lisa face, dinified barrier up high.

At the end of the four hours I gravely informed him he could stay on a trial basis, as long as the items on that list were attended to quickly, and never broken.

AJ is on his way home now, so I need to go start his supper. There is more to tell that may prove helpful, but that is the end of the major drama. In other words, you don't have to kill me.

A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb

Neak's Story