Crack the Whip - 11

 

All the pertinent information is in Part 1.

Suprisingly, it was a relief to "spill it." Jed told her everything that happened the other night. He detailed every horrible word that passed between him and Toby. How Leo had been caught in the crossfire. It was difficult to admit to her that he accused Toby of only being angry because he wasn't one of the first to know. Abbey raised her eyebrow. He was equally ashamed to say that he heatedly told Toby to address his wife as Mrs. Bartlett or the First Lady. Jed knew full well that Abbey always expected Toby to call her by her first name. That one, made her upset. Jed caught the look, but kept on. God, it felt good to let it all out to her.

Sitting across from him, it took everything she had not to jump up and shake him. Abbey knew that this was perhaps the first time her husband had admitted and voiced all his fears and mistakes to himself, to anyone.She made a mental note to thank Toby for that.

When Jed began to talk about how Toby looked and behaved this morning, Abbey got up and sat next him on the couch. Resting her hand on his knee, she absently drew circles on it with her finger. Jed found it comforting as he continued. Abbey listened carefully to both Jed's feelings and description. The description told her what to expect. What kind of problems she would have to deal with when she got to Toby tonight. Right now, Abbey was going to deal with Jed's feelings.

Jed released a cleansing breath, "So, that's everything up to now. Abbey, I'm stuck. I don't know how to fix this between us."

She quickly glanced up and searched his face. Did he mean Toby or her or both? Abbey saw the truth in his eyes. He thought he could do it all. He thought he didn't need anyone's help. He realized his mistake, maybe to late. Even in perfect health he was never meant to do it all alone. He was suppose to do it *with* her, Toby and the others. He was suppose to run the country *with* the People. Every President before and after was suppose to do the same thing.

********************

The girls were giggling and screaming. Ellie was the anchor, pulling the long chain of friends this way and that. Dozens of hands held each other in tight almost painful grips.

"Don't let go! Don't let go!"

Ellie pulled them all into a tight 180 and ran. The result was a huge, undulating snake of girls sharply whipping around and shrieking.

But they still held on.

Crack the Whip

 

Crack the Whip - 12