The next morning, Brielle woke to see Bill packing a suitcase.
“Another business trip?” she asked.
“Of course. What else?” Bill said coldly.
Bandit came into the bedroom and hopped onto the bed. He licked Brielle in the face before she sat up in bed and smiled. Bill paused and looked at his wife suspiciously.
“What’s that smile all about, huh? ‘You glad I’m leaving? What? You know something I don’t?” He snapped in a tone of suspicion.
Bandit lowered his head and lay on his belly beside Brielle.
“Why are you always so negative? ‘So suspicious of people?” Brielle asked.
“Shut up. I’ve heard all I want to hear from you.” Bill snapped as he closed his suitcase and headed toward the bedroom door. He stopped at the door and turned around.
“I’ll be in Las Vegas. If there’s an emergency, I’ll be at the Biltmore.”
Bill took out his business card and threw it on the floor.
“The address and phone number to the hotel are written on the back, as is my room number. I’ll be home on Saturday.” He informed her in a rough tone.’
Opportunity presents itself
Brielle just sat there, shrugged her shoulders, looked off to the side, and raised one side of her upper lip in indifference before looking back at Bill.
Bill just stood there and glared at her.
“I don’t know what this smart-ass attitude is about, Brielle. But it better be gone when I get back home.”
And he walked out of the bedroom, down the stairs, and out the front door. Brielle sat on the king-sized bed and listened as the car engine cranked on and Bill’s BMW backed out of driveway. She then heard the gears shift and the car drive away.
Bandit hopped off the bed, gently took the business card in his mouth, then walked back to the bed, jumped onto the bed and dropped the card in front of Brielle. He then sat there and began to pant.
“Good doggie! Good dog!” Brielle gushed as she ruffled the fur on his head, then picked up the business card. Bandit licked his chops as Brielle continued to show him affection.
Brielle took a deep breath and exhaled. She then got up and walked across the Master Bedroom to the door of the walk-in closet and opened it. It was a good thing that summertime was here, so she was in no rush and didn’t have to take Jane and Olivia to School.
A Well-Thought Out Plan
It was almost six-thirty in the morning and the kids were still asleep. Brielle decided to put this time to good use. Bandit sat on the bed and watched Brielle attentively as she went into the walk-in closet, stood on her tiptoes, and reached for the luggage that was kept on one of the top shelves.
Brielle pulled down three huge rolling suitcases, a duffle bag, and two overnight bags. She then drug them all out of the closet, flung them on the bed, whipped open the zippers and opened them all.
Next, Brielle began rummaging through her bureau, chest of drawers, and dresser, removing all the contents of all the drawers, and flinging them on the bed. Bandit scurried and jumped off the bed. Brielle then, began quickly folding the clothing, starting with her braziers and panties. Next, she folded all her night gowns and pajama sets. When she was done with them, she began folding her smock tops, tee shirts, pairs of shorts, sweaters, and sweats.
Once she had emptied all the drawers and folded the contents and placed them neatly in one of the huge suitcases. She then rushed back to the closet and removed all her nice dresses, pantsuits, stylish blue jeans, slacks, and blouses. Brielle made four trips from the walk-in, to her bed and back, carrying armloads of her attire, still draped through the plastic hangers. She flung them on the bed next to the half-filled and opened suitcases.
Bandit sat in the corner and his ears perked up. He cocked his head, as he watched Brielle working.
Brielle worked quickly and efficiently, going into the master bath and to the huge vanity and huge lighted mirror. She began grabbing all her makeup, skin care items, and fragrances. Brielle pulled one of the bottom drawers open, took out two huge makeup bags, then set them on top of the vanity. She then began placing the makeup and skin care in one makeup bag and the fragrances in the other.
After she was done packing her beauty items, she grabbed one of the overnight bags and quickly packed her toiletries. She opened the huge linen closet, took out three rolls of toilet paper, and threw them in too.
Just as she finished packing all her personals, she heard Baby Kennedy start to whimper in the nursery down the hall. She quickly rushed into the baby’s room as the baby girl began a full-blown cry and lifted her out of her crib.
“Mama’s got you, pumpkin.” Brielle assured the baby in a soothing voice as she lifted her in her arms and kissed her forehead.
She then laid the baby back in her crib, checked her diaper. Baby Kennedy cooed and sucked on her fist as Brielle pulled the soiled diaper off, then cleaned and powdered her little bottom. As soon as Brielle secured a clean diaper onto the baby, she lifted her in her arms again and the baby cooed happily, taking a hold of Brielle’s nose and studied the tip of it as a jeweler would a diamond.
Making Good Time
“Are you hungry, darling? Let’s go downstairs and get some breakfast!” Brielle said in a playful tone of excitement. She took the baby downstairs with Bandit following at her heels.
Two hours later, Brielle had fed the baby and placed her in the play pin and was preparing a breakfast of eggs, sausage, ham, and biscuits, when Olivia sleepily trudged down the stairs and came into the kitchen. Bandit was thirstily lapping up the water in his water bowl.
When Olivia came into the kitchen, rubbing her eyes, Brielle smiled.
“’Morning, sunshine. ‘Ya want some breakfast?” She asked cheerily.
Olivia nodded her head ‘yes’ and plopped down at the table. Just then, Jane came into the kitchen, yawning. She blinked her eyes a few times as she sat down across from Olivia.
“Is Dad gone already?” Jane asked sleepily.
“Yep. ‘Sure is.” Brielle chirped.
First Day of Their New Lives
Jane stared at her mother as Brielle happily bounced about the kitchen, preparing the food.
Jane noticed her mother’s usually upbeat demeanor and gave her a strange look.
“Boy! You sure are chipper today. What’s the occasion? I mean, I know Dad’s gone and everything, but I’ve never seen you with this much pep in your step, Mom.” She remarked.
“Oh, it’s nothing.” Brielle said as she took the spatula and placed two fried eggs on each of the three plates. She then forked over two pieces of crisp bacon per plate and buttered a piece of toast for each of them.
Jane and Olivia exchanged funny looks. Puzzled, Olivia looked at her mother, then looked back at Jane and shrugged her shoulders.
Brielle brought the girl’s plates and sat them on the table in front of them. She then walked back over to the counter, where her plate was sitting.
Jane slightly turned her head to a side and looked at her mother with suspicion.
She Couldn’t Contain Her Smile
“Okay, Mom. Something’s up. Now, what is it?” She said sternly.
“It’s nothing, honey.” Brielle said.
“You’re practically glowing, Mom.” Olivia added.
“Okay, girls. Eat your breakfast.” Brielle said, standing at the counter with her back turned to the girls, popping a piece of bacon in her mouth, and trying harder to conceal her excitement.
Bandit let a cheerful yip as he sat beside the door, panting in excitement. Brielle paused from her cooking to open the patio doors and let him out.
After breakfast, Brielle handed Jane the baby and the girls went back upstairs to their rooms. Next, Brielle went outside, with the dog following close behind her, to the tool shed and rummaged through the tools until she found a spade. She then went out to the stone-built fence that bordered their huge back yard. At the far-east corner of the fence, just under the three huge palm trees, Brielle knelt and began digging.
Because the weather had been dry and it had been about six weeks sense the last rain, the ground was hard, and Brielle had to extend extra effort to dig. It took an hour of digging before she finally set the spade down beside the hole.
Brielle wiped the sweat off her forehead before she reached into the hole and pulled out something wrapped in a black trash bag. She then tore open the trash bag and pulled out an old, tin lock box sealed in a gallon Ziploc bag.
A Well-Hidden Secret
Bandit came sniffing around Brielle and his large snoz twitched as he sniffed the wrapped object in Brielle’s hand.
“Not now, Bandit. Run along. Go play.” She commanded the dog.
After removing the small lock box from the Ziploc bag, Brielle opened it and took out two small envelopes wrapped in clear plastic wrap. When she tore off the plastic wrap, she opened the envelopes to reveal a slew of one-hundred-dollar bills. She then closed the envelopes, placed them back in the lock box, and took it inside the house after refilling the hole.
When Brielle got back inside the house, she went upstairs. As she then headed down the hall to her room, she could hear Olivia in her room, playing with the baby, and the baby laughing. She could also hear Jane in her bedroom, typing on her computer.
Brielle went into her room, closing the door behind her. As she finished packing her suitcases, she heard Bandit scratching at the door and yipping. Brielle dashed over to the door and let Bandit in.
The Value of a Dog
Bandit was so close to Brielle that he could not stand being away from her. Not even a short distance away. Bill, on the other hand, the dog avoided like the plague. From the time, Brielle brought him home as a puppy, Bandit avoided Bill and would even growl at him if he got to close. It seemed that on the very first day in the family, that small puppy could sense evil when it was near.
Brielle thought of this.
“Isn’t it funny how much better dogs were than humans at figuring other people out? How I wish I’d been as smart as Bandit when I met Bill.”
It was sad that most people did not give dogs the credit they deserved, or any animal for that matter. They often mistook animals to be stupid and they were anything but! Animals had stronger instincts than humans, or did they just listen to them more and stay in tune with their natural instincts? Whereas people often ignored their intuitions.
Brielle remembered the first day they had Bandit. She remembered Bill coming home from work and reaching to pet the cute puppy only for baby Bandit to let out a ferocious snarl, then snap at him, prompting Bill to snatch his hand out of the puppy’s reach. She remembered telling Bill that the new puppy would just have to get used to him. But Bandit never did get used to Bill and now, Brielle knew why.
The Love of a Dog
But he loved Brielle and those girls, and he was fiercely protective of them. Bandit was their four-legged defender and they loved him back. Dogs were more loyal than humans and would defend their beloved humans to the death. The loyalty and love of a dog was the closest thing and second purest to the love of God.