Chater First iii.
After soup and CNN, Jim clicked off the television and went to the hatstand, pulling on his coat.
“Where are you going?” she asked, watching him with wide eyes, one hand clutched around the empty carton of soup.
“I have some errands to run,” he said, grabbing her wool coat from the stand. He walked to her and held out his hand. “Come on.”
“Jim,” she frowned, watching his extended hand.
“Come on, Emily,” he said, leaning over and taking her hand. “It’s a beautiful day.”
“It’s freezing,” she squeaked, standing in spite of herself. “The roads are probably covered in ice, I just hate the driveway when it’s icy Jim, really, I can’t-“
“Yes, you can,” he said firmly, his lips a thin line. “First you have to put on your coat.” He held it out.
Several minutes later she was bundled in her coat and knit toboggan and he was guiding her down the stairs which were, as she feared, icy. She didn’t say anything but her jaw was tight and he could tell she was gritting her teeth.
They reached his truck and he opened her door, helping her up into the passenger seat. As they pulled out of her steep driveway, her hands gripped each side of the bucket seat tightly, her knuckles flushing white with the strain. Still, they reached the street without incident and pulled into traffic, met as they did by the unmistakeable sound of screeching tires.