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In the Woods - Chapter 3

April had to do something and she had to do it quickly. Jonnie and her dad had not started to get along as fast as she thought. The ice had to be broken. She knew the ice was thick before treading on it.

The winters around there were harsh, and she knew it first hand. The Northern winter wind carrying snowflakes blows straight at the door and the two windows of the cabin, releasing fear in the winter night's inhabitant.
In winter she would use to wait her father in the cabin. He would appear early in the morning carrying the hunted down deer by his hoots over the back of his neck. She would use to pretended to be asleep, just not to agitate him. However, he was a sharp-eyed man. He was able to spot each move as well as the lack thereof; if April was awake he would know.
His sharp-eyedness developed even more several years after his wife and April's mother died. He was broken and distraught. He would tend to spend even more time in the woods; Nothing to come back to. No one. No one to exchange a kiss with. No one to remember the desirable youth with. No one to hug their loving daughter with.

His wife died seventeen years ago. He has not recuperated. Still. April's heart was racing and breaking. She was sitting on a stool on the porch and watched her dad chopping the wood. The chopping seemed endless, day in and day out.

''Dady'', asked April her father, watching both of the men in her life, Jeremiah and Jonnie. ''How long is the chopping wood going to last. You've been chopping it for weeks now.''

''Well, it's going to last, my dear April!'' groand Jeremiah.

''Sir, what don't you take a break...?'' asked Jonnie, encouraged by April who was giving him sign to say something to her father.

''You know what, Jonathan? I am going to take your and April's advice and lie down a bit.'' he threw the large axe impatiently, and headed for the porch. ''But, I'm going to talk a bit with April first.'' he halted at the porch and took a seat alongside April.

''Are you okay, dear?'', he asked April.

''I'm fine daddy...'' April answered thoughtfully. She knew what he meant by asking her about her feelings. ''I'm always fine. You know me.'' reassured she him.

''I can see that somehing has been bugging you...'' Her father was a persistant man, although his heartwas broken.

''It's nothing daddy, really. I was just enjoying seeing you and Jonnie working hard together.''

''Yup. He's a hard worker.'' appraised Jeremiah Jonnie.

Jonnie thought his name was mentioned, so he raised his hand. ''You just take your time, sir! I'm fine!'' exclaimed Jonnie, thinking that Jeremiah is going to come back to him and scold him for something he had done wrong.

April laughed entertained. Jeremiah suddenly felt happiness. He felt his late spouse in April. 'April.' What a beautiful name' thought Jeremiah. 'Each time I say that name it's as though as I'm calling out to May.' thought Jeremiah of his late wife. It was his idea to name their only child April.

He kept imagining the moments April's mother was dying while giving birth to April. Her labors began as he was out in the woods.

He was not able to take her to hospital in time.

'To hell with the deers and the bears and the boars' thought he bowing his hand. He just sat quietly next to April. All he wanted right now was to soak these moments of April's life. He lifted his gaze a bit and observed her watchingJ onnie, and felt genuinely happy, he felt April.

''Come on, Jonnie!... Jonathan!'' creid Jeremiah to Jonnie. ''You gotta put something into your stomach.''

''Be right there, sir!'' Jonathan felt invogorated as he heard Jeremiah calling him ''Jonnie''.

They all gathered in the middle od the cabin where the rustic dining table was situated. There were traces of cutting all over its wooden surface.

''You know, Jonathan, I made this table myself!'' said Jeremiah, expecting Jonnie's positive reaction.

''It looks great, sir!'' Jonnie felt overwhelmed. ''I'd wish I could make things such as this.'' he added.

The cuckoo-clock upon the wall opposite to where Jonnie was sitting was not working.

'I better don't ask about the cuckoo-clock...!' thought Jonnie, but it was too late. Jeremiah's sharp eyes spotted Jonnie's starring at the clock, and he reacted immediatelly.

''It stands still and doesn't work from the time my wife and April's mother died. I wanted to stop the time. I want to stop time. I want to forget time.''

A real little tear rolled down his cheeck. Jeremiah wiped it hastily.

All this time April was silent. She knew that her father needed time to recover. 'Let him get it out of his system' thought she. 'I won't say a word.' promised she to herself silently. Her father was absent minded, so she looked at Jonnie.

Jonnie could tell what was on her mind. He also thought that he heard what she said. He also remembered what April had told him about her mother's death.

He had often heared about the miscarriages happening all the time. Some of them were caused by irresponsible people ... It was Jeremiah's fault that he and May lived in the woods, so far from the civilization, in the middle of nowhere.

So, in the middle of all present anguish and hurt, Jonnie found strength by judging other people. This caused him to feel shame.

His mind was directed somewhere in the depth of the woods, in the solitude. He imagined Jeremiah's looking down the sniper scope while his wife was fighting for her and April's life.

'That's life' thought Jonnie. 'I will always be there for April, no matter what.' he decided firmly.


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