Saturday arrived. Beth was still going through coupons while Robert texted with Richard, his younger brother. He was still in bed while doing that, but she was downstairs on the couch with the coupons. She saw the time on her phone: 8:08 AM. Robert came downstairs still in his pajamas.
"Beth, I've been texting with Richard."
"What did he say this time?"
"He was still asking about when we could meet Rebecca because of my yawning all evening last week."
"Depends on how tired you are this week. Read to me what you told him."
Robert wasn't surprised that she wanted to know that.
"I will do my best to show up, but with students staying in after school, but you know how it is."
"That's all you said to him? I thought you said more than that."
"That's all I told him."
He is one of those people who loves his job, and Beth has never forgotten it.
"What do you say, Beth? I would like to go if I don't have any students coming in to see me. Do you want to miss out on that opportunity again?"
"Let's talk more about this, Robert, and then we can tell Richard."
"Sounds fine with me. I just got another message."
"Read to me."
He saw she has shown interest in this latest text message.
"Here's what I said, Beth: 'What did she say about me, Rich?' Him: 'All Rebecca said she was looking forward to meeting you last time with all yawning you having been doing.' Me: 'What do Mom and Grandpa think of Rebecca?' Him: 'They seem to like her. With Mom at ninety – three, she wanted to invite her to the nursing home and entertain her.'"
Now it was her turn to nod.
"Pearl sure did love that. Speaking of friends, have you told Richard about the new neighbors?"
"No, I haven't. I will, don't worry. I'm not sure what he thinks."
"Breakfast is ready if you want something to eat. I can bring it in."
"No, breakfast in bed is out of the question, honey. What's for breakfast?"
"We're having cereal with bacon and eggs today."
"Yum. You make the best eggs. Find any interesting coupons for this weekend?"
"Yes, but there's no need to share. I'll help Lynne with hers again. You know she doesn't pay much attention to coupons like I do."
All he did was nod his head.
"Mom was good at that too."
"I'm sure she was."
Robert saw the dog walk in. When he came, he saw Robert was going to change into new clothes because he'd been in bed. He started to pant and wag his tail to let Robert know he followed Beth inside.
One of the things you should know about he happens to be a workaholic. No, he's not a severe workaholic. He has been this way for the past twenty years of his career.
Richard is retired. He used to be a news anchor, but he only was on the evening shift. He was just finished getting dressed when she came in with a tray of the breakfast menu.
"Beth, I just told you I'm not having breakfast in bed."
"Honey, you have been busy with work. It's usually a good idea to have breakfast in bed."
"No. You can take the tray back to the kitchen. I will be there shortly."
She left because it was almost going to turn into an argument.
When Robert walked into the kitchen a minute or two later, he asked, "Have you eaten yet?"
"Not yet. Tom wanted you to get up earlier so you could take him out. I did that for you."
"Thank you. I will take the dog out later today."
"That won't happen, Robert. You have been working too hard, and I think bed is the best place to be this weekend. You didn't do that last week."
"Of course I have been working hard this week, but I see that there is no need to stay in bed for both days."
After they finished eating, he helped her clear the table. Beth thanked him.
"You're welcome. Today I will be busy, so I'm not going to stay in bed."
"We'll keep arguing about that," Beth told him.
"Of course we will. You know how it is."
"You sure can be stubborn sometimes, honey. Now you're starting to act that way again."
"Beth, I want to plan ahead for the upcoming week."
She didn't say anything. He normally doesn't work on the weekends, but somehow he needed to do so today.
He did exactly what he just told her – he stayed in bed for a while longer. Then he changed into fresh clothes and began to start work. When he grades his students, he doesn't give them a printed copy. He e – mails them instead. That's how it works for him. And at eleven o'clock, he was still sitting on the couch and working.
"Robert, you should put your work on hold for this weekend. You're always working."
"If I don't work, how am I supposed to bring the money in? It gives me something to do.
Here they are – still arguing. She hoped they weren't too loud to disturb the neighbors. Last time they had an argument, it was so loud that their neighbors on the whole block could hear them. Beth still remembers that this day also. He didn't bother getting up from the couch for this argument, so he just stayed where he was.
When twelve – thirty arrived, he was still working. It looked like she took Tom on a walk for him like he said he would do. Beth and Tom returned within a few minutes later. He didn't look up from his computer. It's actually more of a laptop.
"I told you should put work away."
He looked up at Beth as she took the leash off and then gave Tom his treat, and it never takes him long to enjoy these treats they give him.
"I wish I could stop working, but I'd like to get this done so I won't have to wait until Monday."
"Okay. You can have it your way like you always do. I'm going to the store. Is there anything you need from the store?"
"Not really. Maybe some chocolate for school lunch dessert."
Beth usually puts a little something in his lunch that is something sugary. They're not a big fan of sugar, but he likes to have some once in a while.
"I forgot you ran out. Of course I'll bring some home. Any other suggestions?"
"How about if we have some chicken and dumplings tonight and tomorrow can be fried chicken?"
"Those are good suggestions. Anything else you can think of?"
"Not at the moment. Are we out of waterbottles?"
"Yes, we are, Robert. I have it on my list. I should be back home soon."
"Take your time."
Robert was still on the couch when Beth returned from her shopping visit.
"Still working, are you? It looks like you haven't budged at all when I left."
He looked up from his laptop so he could give her eye contact.
"No, I haven't moved at all," he answered.
"I saw Richard at the grocery store. He asked about you."
He didn't say anything this time.
"He wants to come over for dinner tonight. I hope you don't mind. Lynne isn't feeling very well today, so he'll just come over without her."
"He's always welcome. He knows that."
"I told him to come at six – fifteen."