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"...Choose only entertainment and media that uplift you. Good entertainment will help you to have good thoughts and make righteous choices...Do not participate in entertainment that in any way presents immorality or violent behavior as acceptable."
For The Strength of Youth

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Submitted by Steven ODell on 5 July 2007 - 11:54pm.

Chapter 9

Denise was somewhat agitated as she spoke with her husband, Ron. He was listening intently as she reminded him of Jenna and her new love. That was the word she chose to use, for there was no mistaking the look in Jenna's eyes when she watched Tom. Nor in Tom’s eyes, for that matter.

"Ron, there are some things I didn't tell you last night after I went to get Jenna. I know I was rather abrupt and secretive, but I didn't want to break a confidence. Things have changed for me drastically since then. Now I'm extremely worried for her."

Ron sat up straighter, more alert than before and more serious, addressing her by the pet name that she had grown to love and that her father had often addressed her by. "What happened, babe? Is she okay—she's not sick or anything?" His concern was evident and genuine.

"No, she's alright physically, but she's under a lot of stress and it may soon get much worse before it gets better."

"Perhaps you'd better start from the beginning, if you don't mind—to be sure I have all the details."

Denise took the time to explain everything she knew and Ron felt the anguish in her voice, though she tried to control it. As he listened to her tale he reflected on the recent events in their own lives—how they had been hounded and tortured by a true madman. Ron was loath to think there could be another of that same demented caliber so soon in their lives and affecting his circle of friends again. Most of all, he feared what the very thought of this might do to his dear wife, who still had fresh in her memory an experience that he himself was not anxious to relive. It gnawed at his very bones and turned his stomach into knots. What must it do to her?

"Denise, I know you care about this young lady, but isn't there someone else...some other way to help her?"

"Ron, I know what you're thinking. I love you for your concern, but we both know we’re stronger than we previously thought, and it's because of what happened in the last year, not in spite of it. If you ponder it for awhile, you will know I'm right."

"Yes, I suppose so. How do we help her, though? What can we do except be there to listen and support in small ways?"

"Small ways are better than none. You taught me that."

"Me? In what way?"

"By caring enough to step in when I was in danger. You could easily have turned and walked away, saying it was none of your concern. You didn't do that. Others did, but not you. You prevented further harm to me, in the end at great expense to yourself and you asked nothing in return."

"That's not entirely true." Her brow knit in a perplexed manner and he added, "I asked you to marry me, remember?"

Her smile fairly illuminated the room and he basked in every ray of it. She was a lovely woman and he felt blessed every day that she was his and returned his love.

"Of course I remember. I was afraid you would never ask."

"I was afraid I would burst if I didn't."

They locked hands and squeezed affectionately in silence for several moments, nose to nose and eyes closed in appreciation of one another. When the silence was broken, it was with Ron saying, "I'll help her in any way I can, babe."

"I knew you would and I told her so. You're a wonderful man, Ronald Jameson—a wonderful man."

He smiled again, but with humility and gratitude apparent in his eyes.

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