STRIPPED OF THE GOOD LIFE HE’S BUILT FOR HIMSELF…
WILL HE STAY FAITHFUL TO GOD?
Job uncovers an embezzlement scheme at work and reports the crime to his boss, who is murdered before Job can tell anyone else about what he found. Instead of being rewarded for his honesty and integrity, he stands accused of murdering his boss and best friend. He loses his career, wealth, wife, and family and faces prison for the murder. Will the truth set Job free? Will God restore all that Job lost? Restored is a contemporary twist on the timeless tale of faithfulness in the face of unbearable trials and tribulations.
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Copyright 2015 © Kevin Mark Smith
Bailey had waited at the yuppie sandwich and soup bar near College Park, an older, wealthier part of Wichita, for fifteen minutes already. The smells of fresh bread and gourmet coffee permeated her senses. Her mouth watered in anticipation of the turkey artichoke on rye with tomato bisque soup on the side. She glanced at her watch again as the waiter approached. “You ready to order?”
“Just water for now. I’m still waiting for someone.”
He nodded and walked away. She reached into her purse to look at her phone. There was a text message she hadn’t seen before. It said, Meet me at the house.
She quickly deleted the message and looked around the café, looking for people she might know but also avoiding direct eye contact. They had picked this place for a reason. It was far from the office and her house, but in between both so not terribly inconvenient.
The waiter returned with her water. “I’m sorry,” Bailey said. “I had the wrong place. I’ll give you back the table.”
She left the café. As she drove to the house she’d only visited during parties and never alone, butterflies took flight in her tummy. She’d never done something like this before. Maybe she wouldn’t follow through. Before, she’d only gone to lunch or coffee, and their conversations were limited to the weather and other innocuous, innocent things, just friendship stuff. He even played marital counselor to an extent, telling her, “What God brings together, let no man separate,” which confused her feelings somewhat, especially now.
This was the first time she’d been invited to his house—the first time he’d ever invited her there alone. Why now? This was wrong, really wrong. She was tempted to pray about it, like Job did about everything. The last thought made her a little angry toward Job and herself. What if her friends found out what she was doing? What if her mom found out? At least her dad wouldn’t judge her. She didn’t even know where he was—he was probably cheating on whomever he was with at the moment, like he did with her mom.
Bailey drove through several intersections with stop signs and lights, each time tempted to turn and go the other way, but instead, she entered the freeway that would take her to his house. She almost passed the exit but didn’t. All the vacillating and guilty feelings dissipated, at least enough to not make her chicken out.
She pulled into the very long, gravel driveway leading up to the palatial home. He’d parked his black Jaguar in front of the door. The butterflies returned. This would happen, she now realized. I want this to happen.
Bailey turned off the engine and removed the keys, then looked into the rearview mirror to check her lipstick and makeup, smiling as she realized she was past the point of no return. I deserve this. She remembered all the times when her body language in front of Job should have told him exactly what she wanted and needed, yet he was so dense he never got it. This man did.
She stepped out of the minivan and walked to the front door, gazing at the house from side to side, up and down. It was styled like a red brick southern mansion with huge white columns holding up the second-floor roof. There was even fancy patio furniture scattered about the front patio. Bailey imagined sitting with her man in those chairs, side-by-side, as they sipped mint juleps and watched the children play on their ponies in the front lawn. She couldn’t count the number of times she’d fantasized about being the woman of this house, the one who threw the parties for all her husband’s rich friends.
I married the wrong man.
Bailey shook such silly daydreams out of her head as she reached the door. Past was past, now it was time to recapture those dreams and make them real. She reached up to ring the bell but then noticed something peculiar. The door was slightly ajar. Against her better judgment, she pushed the door open and said, “Hello? Anyone here…”
She looked down before finishing the sentence. A man’s body lay in a pool of blood—Jack’s body. Instead of rushing to his aid, she turned and ran to the minivan, jumped in it, and almost hit the Jaguar as she sped around it and out of the driveway.