Orb's Year 941
As time went on, the Taylor elders spent less and less time in the shop and more time pursuing their own interests.
He knew enough math to make decent change quickly when manning the register.
Orb's Year 942
Dagmar hesitated. "I don't know, ma'am. I've never sewn before in my life!' she protested.
Barika would cluck her tongue and admonish her, "Again. Try again," as she watched Dagmar like a hawk.
"Och, the girl has never put needle to thread in all her years! She'll never learn!"
Barika raised her eyebrow snootily as her husband's remember.
"In fact, I believe it was you who actually sewed the potholder to your sleeve..."
"Oh, that's enough! I'll be easier on the girl," she sighed as she cuddled against her husband. "I just want to make sure the shop is left in good hands when we're gone."
"It will be," Thomas assured her. "Cedrick and Dagmar love each other very much. They'll muddle through it, just as we did!"
Orb's Year 943
But he knew his time was running short...
Rest in Peace Thomas Taylor, Orb's Years 898-943
Dagmar nodded and gently lead Barika to the room. Barika shook her head violently. "No, not in there! Not where we shared all those years," she said in a whisper.
Dagmar turned and settled Barika in the children's room. "Would you like me to sit with you?" she asked.
Barika shook her head wearily. "No, I just want to be alone."
Cedrick pounded on the door. "Mother, you've got to eat!"
"I'm not hungry," she called out stubbornly.
The knocking resumed. "Open this door or I'll break it down!" he said sternly. "You'll join us for dinner!"
Barika stayed silent, turning to face the wall.
Cedrick pounded again and then stilled. Barika listened to see if he'd finally gone away.
But he hadn't. "Mama, I can't lose you, too. Please..." he whispered hoarsely. "I need you!"
How could she ignore such a plea. Barika straightened her dress and opened the door to face her stunned son. Holding her head high, she asked, "So, what's for dinner?"
The meal felt like it would never be over, Barika thought. It was just so painful to see Thomas' empty seat.
As soon as she was finished, Barika hurried off, oblivious to Cedrick or Dagmar.
Cedrick shook his head. "I worry about her."
Dagmar nodded, squeezing his hand. She hadn't pushed him so that he could deal with his father's death, but she was quite glad to hear him speak of a wedding.
Orb's Year 944
Cedrick hesitated. Mother didn't seem herself these days.
"No!" Barika repeated emphatically, shaking her head. "This is your father's legacy - not yours! We're not changing a single thing!"
Cedrick's shoulders slumped. She hadn't even listened...
Cedrick scowled. "It doesn't matter anyway. It was a stupid idea..."