More Than I Can Bear by E.N. Joy
Always Divas Series Book Two
Paige begs to differ with the scripture that says God will not put on a person more than they can bear, because she is truly on the edge. One slight push from another one of life’s unexpected and unpleasant occurrences, and she’ll be free falling.
As if having suffered physical, mental, sexual and spiritual abuse from her husband hadn’t weighed heavily on her enough, Paige had to deal with learning that her best friend and sister in Christ had done the ultimate no-no and slept with her husband. Thank God one of Paige’s co-workers, Norman, who she now deems as a true friend, was there to catch her fall before she hit the ground. But will Norman be there when Paige receives news that may not only push her off the edge, but cause her to jump willingly?
In More Than I Can Bear, not only when it rains does it pour, but there is lightening and plenty of thunder to go along with it. Will Paige drown in the storm she finds herself in with no umbrella, or will she catch hold of the life saver God extends to her?
“Was that my boy I heard?”
The singsong voice coming from the dining room was heard prior to Norman, Paige or Miss Nettie ever even making their way into the room.
“Oh, he’s here all right, Mrs. Vanderdale,” Miss Nettie called out as she looked back over her shoulder at Paige while pushing the swinging dining room door at the same time. “My oh my is he here.” Miss Nettie hustled her way through that door with Paige in tow as if there was a three alarm fire they were trying to escape. There may not have been a fire, but Miss Nettie knew one thing for certain, there was at least about to be some smoke blown. And where there’s smoke…
“Son! My only son. Come give Mumsy some love.”
Paige watched as a pail skinned woman with blond hair and a house coat that would have given both Maud and Mrs. Roper a run for their money, brushed by her and embraced Norman.
“Mom, please,” Norman said as his mother began planting kisses all over his face as if he were a five year old child. “Come on, Mom,” he pleaded to no avail, finally just dropping his arms down to his side like dead weight and giving in. He rolled his eyes up in his head while his mother smothered him with kisses.
“You don’t come visit as often as I’d like, so I have to make up for times missed,” his mother said, planting one more smuckerroo right on his nose.
“Come on, Mother, let’s not start with the whole ‘You never come by to see me routine.’ You know I make it by as often as I can.”
“Oh, hogwash. You’re too busy at that ridiculous peasant collar job of yours.” His mother shooed her hand.
“It’s blue collar,” Norman corrected his mother, not noticing the offended look on Paige’s face, seeming she worked at the same place of employment. “And don’t say it with your nose up in the air, so. Miss Nettie here’s job is blue collar. I’m sure she might find that offensive.”
“Oh please,” she shooed her hand again, never taking her eyes off of Norman as she straightened his already straightened collar. “Nettie is family. I don’t even consider her part of the hired help anymore. It’s just like having a dog. Once it’s been around for so long, it’s like part of the family,” she chuckled, planting an unforeseen peck on her son’s lips.
“What the…” Paige started under her breath, lightweight lunging toward her mother-in-law until Miss Nettie’s grip on her hand tightened and pulled her back.
Paige’s words reminded Mrs. Vanderdale that someone other than her and her son were in the room. She turned and addressed Mrs. Nettie. That’s when, for the first time, she noticed Paige. “Why Miss Nettie, you didn’t tell me one of your kin folks was in town again.” She lowered her voice but with a stern tone and wagging finger in Miss Nettie’s face she said, “I thought we had this talk before. Now I don’t mind your people coming for a visit every now and again and sharing your quarters, but you must give Mr. Vanderdale and me a heads up. Is that understood?”
“Yes, ma’am, but I-” Miss Nettie started before Mrs. Vanderdale cut her off.
“Now I hope you saw to it that the kitchen staff made extra for your guest. You know we are already going to start having an extra mouth to feed whenever my Norman comes around now that he’s a married man.” She sharply turned to Norman. “Speaking of which, son, where is that lovely bride of yours? Why I can’t wait to welcome her to the family.” Mrs. Vanderdale began looking over Norman’s shoulder toward the swinging door leading to the living room.
“She’s right there, Mother.” Norman nodded toward Paige.
His mother turned around only to find Mrs. Nettie and her supposed kinfolk standing there. She continued looking at the doorway. “Where, Son?”
“Right here, Mother. Standing right here in your face.” Norman walked around his mother and went and stood next to Paige. “Mumsy, this is my wife, Paige. Paige, this is-”
“Mrs. Vanderdale!” Miss Nettie shouted as she quickly went to her boss’s aid.
Norman joined Nettie in keeping his mother to her feet as she appeared faint and weak, as if her knees had given out.
“Mom, are you okay?” Norman asked worriedly. “Miss Nettie, help get mother over to the chair. And please, have Stuart fetch her some water.”
Miss Nettie just stood there torn, not moving a muscle.
“Please, Miss Nettie, why are you just standing there?” Norman asked.