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Rated: E · Campfire Creative · Short Story · Drama · #1691873
Sylvia admitted she loved him, but paying for the operation took a different courage.
[Introduction] In conjunction with: Wordgoddess: is moving
For the Paper Doll Gang
Challenge #6


Sylvia hummed "America the Beautiful" as she unloaded the dishes from the dishwasher. Her heart felt light and full. The last year of meeting Sam had been a wish fulfilled, more than her inherited wealth from her father could ever supply. She recalled his regal features when she spied him sitting in a hotel lobby. His jawline strong, noble. His elegant nose beneath a pair of sunglasses. His black wavy hair slicked all the way back similar to Clark Gable's.

She recalled the scene at the Plaza in New York.

Checking her hair, Sylvia glanced over at the handsome stranger seated on a lobby chair. His witty demeanor and wide smile shone through as he conversed into his cell phone. He would shake his head and chuckle at the responses. Sylvia remained out of ear shot, but decided upon eavesdropping upon his call. After all, she needed to know if he spoke to his wife, or whether he might be single. She slunk her way behind his chair.

"Yes, Tom. I am having a good time." He said pausing to let the other party speak.

"I think the meetings are doing very well. I've made some progress on closing the deal. I'll call you should there be some better terms offered."


"OK. Well hang in there. Bye."

Well, that was no help. Sylvia decided to abandon her foray, but tripped on a wrinkle in the rug, and fell to the floor with an "Oomph!"

"Are you all right?" Came the voice of the handsome stranger. He stood and looked in her direction.

"Oh. I'm just clumsy. I'll be fine. You get used to it after a while." She laughed.

"I can relate." Sam smiled and reached for his cane wedged between his chair and end table. "My name is Sam and I'm blind."

Sylvia puled herself off of the floor, she seemed surprised by Sam's responce.
"Really?" she asked. "I...I'm sorry, I... didn't notice."
"Don't worry about it" Sam told her.
"I'm Sylvia, Sylivia Ruiz", she repied.
"NIce to meet you, Sylvia", Sam said. "Would you care to join me, I was just about to order coffee."
Flattered to be in his Godly presence, she kindly accepted his ivitation.
Sylvia loved to recall that scene -- The grand hotel lobby and the almost chance meeting between them. Now, her heart felt even more full. She glided out of the kitchen and peered into the hallway mirror. There's no way if he wasn't blind he would even date me. Look at me. Overweight by 25 pounds. Short. Plain looking. The only thing I've got going for me is my Daddy's money. I wonder if it's time to tell Sam I'm rich? Why mess with a good thing? I know he cares for me.

Sylvia pondered those thoughts when she heard a car door slam from the driveway. Knowing that Sam was due home any moment, she flitted to the window and pushed back the curtains. Bill stood at the opened passenger door as Sam arose. Bill had become a co-worker and good friend since Sam's move to L.A. Sylvia's eyes gleamed and her heart fluttered at the sight of Sam. Even after a year of dating, that old excitement still welled inside her.

Sam's smile spread across his face as Bill backed down the drive. Sam waved in no particular direction and a muffled "Thanks, Bill." struck Sylvia's ears. Bill's car scooted down the street and out of view. Sam tic tic ticked up the sidewalk with his cane.

She left the window and rushed into the kitchen. Even though Sam was blind, he always seemed to know when Sylvia was there. The front door latched clicked and the sound of chirping birds filled the house. The door bounced off the door stop.

"Sylvia?" Sam called.

"I'm in here."

"In the kitchen. Come in here. I have some news."

Sylvia sauntered into the livingroom. The fresh breeze filtered into the room with the sweet smell of honeysuckle. Sylvia wrapped her arms around Sam and kissed his cheek. She grabbed the door and pushed it shut.

"What kind of news?"

"We should sit down for this. I'm really excited."

"Ok." Sylvia's mind raced with possibilities. Is he going to ask me to marry him? Sylvia's hands became sweaty as she led him to the sofa, and they both sat.

"I just came from the doctor's office. He said I'm the perfect candidate for a new surgery. There's a ninety percent chance that I will be able to see again!"

"Oh, honey! That's great."

"The only problem is the money. It costs $150,000. I just don't know where I'll find that kind of cash."
Immediately Sylia's heart sank deep inside her chest. Could this be happpening?
There was a moment of silence that seemed to last an eternity, "Sylvia, " sam's voice sounded worried,
"Is everything Ok?"
"Oh, yeh, I'm..just so ..shocked."
"Tell me about it, Syl." "I could hardly believe it when Dr. Golman told me about it."
"I...bet." "I didn't even know you had an appointmet, I would have gone with you." she said, assuring herself of the fact.
"Well, I didn't want to tell you about it and get your hopes up, I thought it would be better to surprise you if I got good news." Sam rested his hand on Slvia's shoulder, walking it up her neck to her face. His soft fingers found the corner of her mouth.
" you are so beautiful, I cant' wait to lay my eyes on you".
These words hit Sylvia's ears and her heart dropped once again as Sam leaned in, pressing his lips to hers, parting them slightly with his finger.

Beams of light crept through the slats of the bedroom mini-blinds. Sylvia struggled to catch her breath as she shot up in bed. {just another nightmare}, she thought, struggling to recall the details from the night before. A deep grunt came from sam's side of the bed as a track of light found its way across his face. Pulling the covers over his head, he turned away from the window, and Sylvia. Saturdays were for sleeping in, but Sylvia was too awake to stay in bed. With thoughts racing through her head, she peeled herself from her warm sheets, wrapped herslf in her robe, and made her way to the kitchen. Coffee...I need coffee, her hands fumbled on the wall for the light switch, then stopped .just short of the click. {I }I wonder how hard it could be she thought..
She felt around the counter for the coffee maker. pulled the pot from it's place, and headed in the direction of the sink .
"What are you doing up so early", Startled by his voice, Sylvia jumped back, the coffee pot of water hit the floor with a crash.
'Are you alright? don't move!" Sam demanded. " I don't want you to get cut"
"Sylvia stood stunned as Sam felt his way through the kitchen to the pantry, reaching for the broom that hung from a hook on the wall.
"I couldn't sleep" , Sylvia started to explain "so I got up to make coffee."
Sam headed in the direction of her voice, stopping short as his toes found water and reachd the broom out to Sylvia.
'Here you go hon, I'll get a towel"
Sam turned and headed back out of the kitchen, flicking the light switch on the way.
Sylvia's hands shook as she swept up the shards of glass. Tears streamed down her face and splashed in the dark coffee puddled on the floor. She could hear Sam traversing the living-room, presumably with a towel. She tried to keep the well of emotions from bubbling out, but the dam had finally burst.

"Here's a towel," He stated with his arm extended and a fresh baby blue towel dangling from his fingers.

Sylvia sniffled.

"Sylvia? What's wrong? It's just coffee. I'm sure that..."

"It's not that, Sam." She lifted the towel from his hand and began mopping up the black liquid, the smell of coffee strong in the air.

"What then?"

Sylvia kept her head down and focused on the task. "I don't know how to tell you something."

"Honey. You can tell me anything. You should know that by now."

"I know. I suppose it's just me. I'm just afraid."

"Of what?" Sam's voice turned with a hint of concern.

"That if this surgery is successful that..." Her voice trailed off. Sam stepped forward. "Don't step any closer. There's still glass and you're in your slippers."

"I don't care. I just want to know what's wrong."

"I'm not exactly a beauty queen."

Sam chuckled. "Oh, Sylvia. I know exactly what you look like."

Sylvia's head shot up. Can he see? "You do?"

"If there's one thing that blindness has taught me, it's that beauty..." Sam stepped again and felt for her. She stood to face him. "... is on the inside."

She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him. "Oh, Sam. Are you sure?"

"As sure as I'm standing here in a puddle of coffee."

They both laughed. Sam flashed a broad toothy smile.

"There's one more thing. I know you're concerned about the money."

"Well, yes. I don't want to burden you for it. That's a lot of money. I figure your just like anyone else and..."

"I have it, and it's yours. My father left me $2.9 million dollars."

Sam stumbled back, but Sylvia steadied him. "I... I can't believe it. Sylvia, I can't accept that even if you can afford it."

"It's already done. I left a voicemail for my broker to send the check."

"I love you, Sylvia. You know that?"

"Yes. I do now."

"I'm going to see. I'm going to see!" he shouted.
Sylvia sat listening to the steady beep and hum of the equipment, just as she had for three days. The sound had become a familiar melody which helped her sleep through the night.. The doctor had told her that the surgery had gone as planned and without any complications, now only time stood in the way of Sam's recovery. Dr. Goldman, or Bill rather, had always been such a friend to Sam. Sylvia knew that Sam was in good hands. Afterall, he had been Sam's doctor for years and dedicated his practice to developing this procedure for patients like Sam.
"Just as with any surgery, there were no gaurantees", Bill had warned, but nonetheless Sam was determined to give it a shot, and she was happy to be able to help. Sherecalled the joy she felt when she had her broker send a check to Dr. William Goldman, He had been so surprized. He had even warned Sylvia against sending funds to individuals rather than companies, Sylvia laughed and assured her broker that Dr. Goldman was not just any individual, she trusted him.

Sam had been so excited the days leading to his operation. Sylvia tried to be excited as well, but something was eating at her. She was nervous about what Sam's reaction would be when he saw her for the first time. Does he really know what I look like? Will he still love me when he can see? She thought about her father and what he would have thought of Sam. She shook her head as if shaking the thought from it. {iTired...I'm just tired. Sylvia assured herself as she redjusted her position from slouching to learning.

The wait was the worst thing. Sylvia helped Sam around more than usual. She'd peek in at him in the livingroom, and he'd be tapping his feet, fidgeting, and turning the stations on the radio. Sylvia thought of little else during the two weeks after the operation. She could tell that Sam had little else on his mind too. The doctor's stern voice kept ringing in her ears -- "I can't emphasize enough that Sam not have any traumatic events. Even a slight change in pressure could cause the operation to be a failure. We won't get a second chance."

"Sam?" Sylvia called.

She descended the stairs halfway.

"Sam?" She repeated.

She spied him sleeping on the sofa. He has to be exhausted. The last three days he's not slept well. She crept to the foyer and retrieved a quilt from the closet. She tucked it around Sam and kissed his cheek, smoothing his jet black hair.

Sam slept for two hours and finally aroused in a half fog. Sylvia sat reading in the lounger.

"Hey, sweetie. I thought I was going to have to wake you. Your doctor's appointment is in about an hour."

"Sylvia, today is the day. My bandages come off."

"That's right."

Sam shuffled to the bathroom and freshened up while Sylvia gathered her things and grabbed her keys.

"You ready?"

"Not sure. Could I really be on the verge of seeing for the first time in 22 years?"

"I sure hope so." Sylvia squeezed his hand.

Arriving at the doctor's, Sylvia escorted Sam to the door. Just when they reached the door it suddenly swung open and smacked Sam square in the face. He stumbled back grabbing his eyes and hit his head on the handrail. The last thing he recalled was Sylvia's frightened voice "Sam! Sam!" An eight year old boy hurried past them to the parking lot.

Sam awoke with a cold cloth on his forehead. He recognized the voices of his doctor and attending nurses, and caught bits and pieces of their conversation. “Serious…. Trama…” “Two weeks of healing….” “Will it be enough?”

Sylvia wept in a nearby seat. This is not happening. How could we be this close?

“How do you feel, Sam?”

“Not bad given the welterweight that hit me.”

“You took quite a smack there. Let’s find out what the damage is.” The doctor unwrapped the bandages and removed the gauze. A breathless silence filled the room. “OK. The lights are dimmed. I want you to open your eyes.”

Sam squinted. He blinked a few times. He blinked again.

“I’m sure it will be blurry at first.” The doctor blurted.

He extended his hand in front of his face, and a smile crept over his face. “I can see. It’s really blurry, but I can see my fingers!”

Sylvia’s heart pounded in her chest. Her hand trembled as she reached out and lowered his hands. Her face came mere inches from his.

“Can you see me?”
“It’s fuzzy, but yes. I can see you. You’re beautiful Sylvia.”

“It really must be fuzzy.” She quipped.

“No, I’m serious. You’re beautiful.”

He’s serious. He thinks I’m beautiful. Sylvia blushed. “Thank you.”

He reached out and grabbed both of her hands and squeezed.

“Are you feeling any pain, Sam?” The doctor interjected.

“A bit of a headache from the wallop I took, and I feel some pressure behind each eye.”


“Yeah, almost like sinuses.”

“We’ll keep the lights dimmed. Come in here. I need to run a few tests.”

“Ok. Wait here Sylvia. I’ll be right back.” He cradled her face in his hands and kissed her.

“I’ll be right here.”

Sylvia waited for forty minutes while she sneaked peeks into the next room. The doctor’s face seemed very serious as he spoke to Sam. Sam nodded and murmured replies. At last, Sam’s head tilted to the floor and he shook his head.

The doctor escorted Sam back into the room. Tears flowed down his cheeks.

“Darling. I have some bad news. While the surgery was an initial success, the pressure building up behind my eyes and the swelling will eventually cause me to go blind again. There’s no way to correct it.”

Sylvia’s heart sunk. “No. You were the perfect candidate. Ninety percent chance. You can see. This can’t be happening.”

“I’m afraid it’s true. We just didn’t expect the tissue to act or heal that way. The pressure will ultimately undo what we did. At best, he has two weeks of vision.”

“Sylvia, I know I’m asking a lot. But would you marry me? I want to see you on our wedding day and have our honeymoon while I can still see you. Sylvia, you have given me the greatest gift, even if it only comes to just two weeks. I’d given up hope of ever seeing. Now, I’ll know every curve of your face for as long as we live.”

Sylvia felt a happiness inside that leaped from her lips. “Yes! I’ll marry you. You wonderful man. I’ve loved you ever since I set eyes on you. Sam, you’ve made me the happiest woman alive.”

He lifted her off the floor. They embraced and kissed passionately.

“I’m just sorry we couldn’t have done more.” The doctor stated.

“You’ve done enough, Doc. You’ve given us more than either of us could have ever hoped for aside from full permanent vision. At least I'll get to see my lovely bride.”

Sylvia nodded in agreement. At last, I know. Sam loves me for who I am. I’ll never doubt that again.

© Copyright 2010 Wordgoddess back from the dead, BScholl, (known as GROUP).
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