Through the terrible hardship of her daily life, Sarah found ways to cope with things. During the day, she focused on her children and was happy. Before John came home, she carefully crafted the illusion that she had been smoking all day. She was very good at disposing of the cigarettes. She took unopened packs back to the store for a refund and buried loose cigarettes in the woods. Things went smoothly for the most part, but she hated the deception.
Sarah’s parents rented a condo at the beach for a whole month and wanted Sarah, John and the children to come down for a few days. They did not know that Sarah smoked or about her circumstances, so Sarah had a problem. She did not want them to find out because her mother wouldn’t understand the situation, but she didn’t want to make John mad. She would smoke whenever she was alone with him, but wouldn’t anytime her parents were around. He constantly nagged her about it, which upset her, but she was careful not to show it. She did not want to ruin the trip for her children or her parents.
The children had a wonderful time playing on the beach and in the pool. Sarah loved going out alone before dawn to watch the morning light break above the mighty Atlantic. Standing there, in between sea and sky and sand, the greatness of the expanse overtook her. She realized that, under God’s heaven, on this great big green Earth, she was like a speck of sand, and her problems were absolutely nothing. This brought her great comfort.
The time had come to leave the ocean, but they enjoyed their time at the condo so much, they returned a year later, this time with John’s parents.
Sarah did not enjoy her double life. She wished she could be herself with her husband. She wished he would love her the way she was instead of trying by force to change her. But she did what she had to do to keep everyone happy.