It seemed within in a mere matter of days that life in the household resumed its usual ways and the Australian adventure had lost its focus; but this was only short lived.
See Part One to get into the Story.
His mobile sounded, “Is this Mr Travis speaking”, a strong Australian accent questioned. “It is”. The husband responded in a voice, he hoped didn’t reveal the tightening in his gut and restriction in his throat. “Mr. Travis, we are pleased to tell you that your application for a position at Koolieba Mine has been successful; congratulations Sir”. The husband choked on his reply, heart beating furiously, “Thank you”. “We shall forward our formal invitation to join the company and HR will send you all the necessary documentation for registration as an employee. Mr. Travis. We hope this will be acceptable to you Sir, but once all documentation has been formally accepted you are to respond to HR immediately, so that immigration requirements can be processed. Sir, your earliest date for commencement of employment on site, is critical to this mine. Kindly acknowledge your acceptance of this fact”. “I will”. The husband stammered. “Good bye and good luck”. The voice ended the call.
‘Hey Joe, you OK”? His close friend Clinton asked, waking him out of his daze.”Excuse me, I’ll be back in a couple of minutes”, Joe responded and hurriedly left for the garden downstairs.
He walked briskly to the futherest boundary and began to sob uncontrollably, walking all the while, to avoid any unnecessary attention. “What have I done”? He asked himself.
He was quite sure that he could not continue his day at the office and very cautiously made his way to his line manager’s office, hoping above hope his emotions would not fail him.
“Hi, Peter, I am feeling pretty rotten, do you mind if I head for home”? His immediate senior, knew him to be a man who was rarely ill and looked at him with some concern, “Hey Joe, you don’t look good Bud; need any help getting home”? “I’ll be fine and thanks for the offer”.
He could not remember the drive and on arriving was surprised, if not somewhat shocked, that he was in fact home.
He went to the bedroom and literally collapsed, before remembering that he needed to remove his safety boots; after which he fell into a deep sleep. Sleep was restless and finally he escaped into a place of rest. It seemed only moments, before he awoke to a gentle squeezing of his big toes, easing him out of his sleep.
“You OK my Darling”? The warm comforting voice of his wife asked gently. He stared at her blankly for a few seconds, trying to orientate himself. Then he stammered, “I got the Job Carrie”. At the look on her face, he lost control and began to sob! “What have I done Carrie, how will I be able to live away from you and our children”?
He saw the quiver around her lips as she fell upon him and they sobbed together until their tears dried.
She lifted herself, lay on her side and faced him intently. “It’s frightening and painful for each of us, but all the same, I am so proud of you for your accomplishment – congratulations”.
“I won’t say anything to the children; you can tell us all at dinner” she said, sitting down at her dresser, doing her hair and fixing her makeup. “Go have a long shower, you’ll feel better and come though when you ready”.
There was a distinct silence when they all sat down to dinner; as if the children sensed that there was something that needed to be explained about Dad’s unusual behavior. ”Are you ill Daddy” questioned the littlest one. “No, my angel, Daddy had a hard day at work, came home early and fell asleep”.
Once again the silence continued and the Father spoke. “I was told today that I have been offered the Job in Australia”.
“We going to see kangaroos, kangaroos, kangaroos” the little one piped up and everyone laughed – the tension was broken.
“Of course we will little one”. The Father continued. “But I would ask each of you not say anything to anyone until all the arrangements have been finalized. Do I have every one’s word on that”?
“You, little one, must not tell anyone about kangaroos until Daddy says you can, OK”? “Promise to Jesus”. She replied solemnly.
Silence had vanished and excitement was the order of the day. Husband turned to his wife with a knowing look and she mouthed, “I love you”.
To be continued…..look out for it next week.
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