Aedan and his dad hung out in the living room late Friday night, shortly after his dad's flight got in. They were both exhausted, but of course Aedan had to explain what was going on between him and Cheri before either of them could sleep. So they grabbed a beer each and Aedan explained the whole thing.
"Hmm... that doesn't sound much like her." Aedan's dad said when he had finished explaining. "You really need to talk to her and find out what's going on. I know it's frustrating that she's not really doing anything, but you need to try to let it go. Talk it out first, before you yell at her... again."
"Except she won't talk to me now. I've tried." He had tried several times over the last few days to get Cheri to talk to him, and to make things right, but she was giving him the cold shoulder.
"Just wait until she's come home and has cooled off. She'll be more willing to talk then."
"If she comes home."
"She will. She's not going to just walk away like that. You guys have been together, in some way, your whole lives. She's not going to give up such a big part of her life so easily."
"Well, she's doing a lot that's not really like her right now. So that's not reassuring. And it feels like she's already done so. She won't talk to we and she's run off to her parents. It's always been the other way around and that really worries me. If she's running to them something's not right."
"They're still her parents, no matter how strained her relationships with them. When she can't turn to who she normally would, of course she'll turn to them. They still love her, she still loves them, and they'll be there to give her advice and offer her a shoulder to cry on."
Aedan rolled his eyes, "I don't think her parents are any good for relationship advice. Unless it's how to ruin them. Of course her dad will probably delight in telling her how to end things with me."
"They'll convince her to stay with you. They won't want her to endure the same miserable divorce and doomed relationships following it that they have. They'll want her to be happy and they know you make her happy. Even her dad knows that and will want her to be happy. Trust me, it's going to be fine. I have enough parenting experience to know, when it comes down to it you just put aside your own feelings and worry about your kids. And I have enough relationship experience to know that a fight like this is really nothing. It'll blow over and things will be fine. Fights happen, it's not the end of the world. You guys are long overdue for a fight anyway, by like 20 years. Like seriously you're freaks with how little you fight."
Aedan laughed, "Yeah, I guess. It is pretty amazing we don't fight more. She's really good at putting up with me... which is why I love her."
"See, you'll be fine. Now, if you're feeling better, I'm going to turn in for the night. We can talk more tomorrow, I think there's more to sort out, but you guys will be fine."
"Yeah, sure. Thanks, I do feel a bit better."
Aedan curled up on the sofa to get some sleep himself. His dad had offered to take the sofa, but Aedan felt with the work he was demanding of his dad over the weekend he should be nice and let him have the bed and get some proper sleep. And Aedan was getting used to the sofa anyway, it was where he'd slept all week.
Aedan's dad looked at him like he was crazy the next morning after learning their weekend task was to build a bigger-than-the-house greenhouse. But Aedan assured him it wouldn't be so bad, the floor was already done and the planters moved over, he'd done that the night before with some help from his partner, who was also a close friend, from work. And the same friend was going to come help again.
They did have to tend to the plants while waiting for Amy, Aedan's friend. Normally it would be quite the daunting task, but it was a slow day so it wasn't too bad. It would keep them busy for a bit though so they took advantage of the chance to talk more while they worked.
"Okay, so, what I want to know." Aedan said, "Is how you and mom manage the crazy schedules. You both work probably even more than I do and it's not an issue. I want to be able to keep working as much as I do but I need to know how to do so without ruining my marriage."
"Sorry to say, but you're probably going to have to cut back for a while. You're mother and I are at a very different stage in our relationship and our lives. You're just getting started in marriage and probably a family in the near future. You've gotta worry about those more right now. And it may never be right for you guys, it helps that both your mother and I work so much. Neither has to be home alone missing the other, we're too busy to think about that. Cheri's home alone all the time, she probably misses you a lot. You're going to have to sacrifice work more than you want to or sacrifice your marriage. But I know Cheri is more important to you, so sorry but your career will suffer some."
Aedan sighed, "I blame this on you and mom. You set a bad example working so much."
"Yeah, well, we're happy one of our kids picked up a good work ethic from us... or anything good. Maybe you picked up a bit too much of it but oh well. Anyway, the other thing is to make every second you have together count. Just take advantage of every second and use it. Do the chores together, don't split the load by taking different tasks just work through them all together. It's much less annoying when you have somebody to talk to while doing them and it's less time wasted apart. And take a night a week off from the chores, the renovations, everything and just watch a movie together or something. The world won't end because the house gets a bit dirty."
Aedan shook his head, "No chores, I'm getting a maid. Well, assuming Cheri is okay with it, we haven't discussed it, but I think she will be."
"Even better. Make the most of the time that frees up. You could also just get rid of this garden, this is insane."
Aedan laughed, "Yeah, it's a bit excessive. She would kill me if I got rid of any of this, though."
Aedan, his dad, and Amy stared proudly at their work Sunday afternoon. It had been a lot of work but they'd gotten the greenhouse done, slightly ahead of what Aedan expected, too. And it looked great, Cheri would love it.
They all started to head in side to reward themselves for a job well done with beer and pizza. But Aedan's phone rang and it was Cheri so he abruptly stopped to answer it. "Babe, hey, what's up? I miss you." His dad and Amy whispered for him to say hi for them, he waved them off but did so anyway. "My dad and Amy say hi. We just finished working on my surprise for you. I can't wait for you to come home and see it."
"My flight has been cancelled. There's a big storm, nothing's coming in or out. But" He heard a heavy sigh on her end "we really need to talk." She did not sound happy and Aedan's heart sank.
"Shit" he muttered.