by Gloria Lily
This is a love story within a love story.
| It was a beautiful sunny day and Susie the bee had decided it was the perfect day to find a sweet flower to drink from Susie flew around from flower to flower but she could not find one that had blossomed well enough to have the right sweetness for her to drink.
Suddenly there was this interesting flower that had a wonderful sweetness to it and it seemed to be opening up just for her. Susie went closer slowly savoring every delightful smell the flower offered. Suddenly she heard a he bee calling to her "err pardon me Miss? She turned around just in time to escape the horrible flytrap plant that was just about to swallow her whole.
You are not from here Johnny the he bee asked. Well no I flew from way over there she explained. Hmm you really must be more careful which plant you fly to some will eat you around here.
Susie looked at Johnny and thanked him. As she looked she saw a very nice handsome bee and blushed with a smile.
Johnny recognized a lost soul when he saw one and took pity on her. Come on he said I will show you the most beautiful flowers you ever want to see and then we can get some real sweets.
She flew after him gladly and was feeling lucky to not only be getting some sweets but to have found such a handsome bee to show her.
As they flew to a rose garden that Johnny knew about, they heard the familiar buzzing of a large crowed of bees. Johnny looked a bit embarrassed to have taken her somewhere that was already filled with too many bees and apologized regretfully. When Susie only smiled at him and did not seem upset at all he blushed and realized what a very nice and beautiful she bee he had found.
Suddenly Susie exclaimed Look out! The Johnny flew to her side instantly and turned around to see what was wrong. He realized she had just saved him from flying into a wasp nest that was most certainly full. It was a sign he decided and thanked her profusely.
Well at this point Susie had just too much excitement for the day and explained her little wings were growing weary. So Johnny decided that she was "The One" and asked her if she would trust him just once more to take her to the perfect two flowers he had ever seen? Yes Susie stammered he looked at her so intensely and with such devotion it warmed her up and gave her renewed energy. He flew her to a park he had seen earlier that day and hoped the special flowers were still there. When they got to the park she blushed, as she seemed to be doing ever since she met him and agreed that they looked like the perfect flowers.
Now said Johnny you go to that tall white flower on that bench and at the same time I will go to that tall brown flower so we can drink together and enjoy the most perfect juice.
What are they? The Susie asked. Well Johnny answered those two flower are the two legged ones that can move and have no wings and seem to not always know where they should be growing and with what similar plant. Today you and I are lucky to have found two that are similar and in the same area at one time. This is a rarity and it is said these flowers have an over flowing of sweetness that turns to love if they bloom at the same time together.
Come on it is getting late in the day and they may move away from each other and we will have lost our chance. So each bee went to their flower with excitement and began to drink.
Suddenly there was a very loud Smack! Both Johnny and Susie had been hit and they dropped to the ground at the same time and began to die. Johnny said I was right I drank from love and I see that love in you. She said yes honey you were right. They both smiled and as their hearts drifted off to heaven leaving their bodies as their spirits moved on to love for eternity.
Ouch! Gloria cried as she slapped at her neck. A bee had just stung her and it did not feel good at all. Man I protect my whole body and a bee finds my neck she cried out loud as she began to scratch at her neck.
Suddenly remembering that she was in a public park and thinking how silly she must look talking to herself she noticed a handsome gentleman in the bench close to hers swearing up and down out loud about a bee stinging his neck.
Feeling not quite as silly Gloria went over to the man and smiled as she politely asked "Oh I see you have been stung as well" No the man grumbled I always smack myself and talk about bees! Hiram was feeling a bit annoyed since he really hated bees and had not even bothered to look at whom he was speaking to. He realized the voice was being nice so he looked up into a pair of pretty brown eyes and caught his breath.
Gloria for the first time really looked at the gentleman whom from afar thought he was very handsome but when he looked into her eyes she realized she was mistaken he was gorgeous. He had the most handsome face and beautiful blue eyes that she found herself swimming in and she caught her breath.
Umm excuse my rudeness a moment ago I just hate bees Hiram explained. I am sorry to see by your scratching you were stung as well. She smiled at him and explained she hated bees too. Maybe if we go to the river and put cold water on our bites the swelling will go down Gloria offered.
So down they went to waterside that was close to the benches they were sitting at. Hmm Hiram said this may sound forward but I am having difficult time putting water on the exact spot where I was bitten. Me too Gloria said. Ok she offered I would dampen your bite if you do the same for me. So they both agreed to be a nurse to the other and both laughed shyly at how personal they were being since they were perfect strangers. My Name is Hiram he offered, as he put out his hand in a formal fashion. My name is Gloria she replied putting her hand in his. She laughed ok so now we know each other well enough to stop this awful itching. It was really her way of hiding her shyness. In truth Gloria had forgotten her bite for a moment until she realized his neck where the bite was looked awfully red.
Hiram bent down first and laid his hand in the cool water for a while and then placed it on her neck but he couldn't do that for very long as he realized his breathing had become erratic. Your turn he said as moved away from her quickly. Gloria placed her hand in the cool water and then on to Hiram's bite mark and held it there for as long as she could. Better? She asked hoping he did not hear the shakiness in her voice.
Oh yes much better thank you Hiram said. Well I have to go it is late Gloria remarked wanting to back away from all of these confusing feelings. Hiram replied with a little too much relief Yes me too. It was nice meeting you they both explained not offering their hands this time.
Gloria and Hiram walked away from each other both feeling emptier the further away they got. Gloria? Hiram called to her. Yes? Gloria turned around and looked into his eyes feeling suddenly wonderful and excited too. There is this great Ti Restaurant just around the corner that you may really like. It is getting around dinnertime and I have not eaten since breakfast maybe you would like to come join me for dinner?
Hmm Gloria behaved as if she was looking at her appointment book in her mind. (She really was not ready to show just how happy she was not to be going home yet) Well thank you I would love to come.
I bet they also have baking soda that I hear is excellent for bee bites. It was a last minute excuse just to give them an out if so need be. Gloria followed Hiram in her car as he led the way downtown to the Ti Barbecue restaurant.
They entered the place as if they had been going out to eat together for along time. Hiram held the door for her, Gloria picked the table and he held her seat.
When the waitress came to bring them menus Gloria asked if they had baking soda and explained about the bites. Hiram coughed and explained they itch pretty badly and it would be hard to read the menu while scratching so much. The waitress laughed and said of course I will be right back. She soon came back as promised with their water and a small bowel to mix water and the baking soda and left the menus.
Hiram mixed the two in the bowel and offered to cover Gloria’s bite then Gloria did the same for Hiram. They laughed at their white hickeys on their necks and began to look at the menus. Hiram held his menu with one hand and then shyly but with determination laid his other hand open on the table towards Gloria still looking at his menu the whole time. Gloria was holding her menu in
One hand and the other she shyly but purposely put into Hiram's. They both looked up at each other with a content sigh and smiled warmly at the other. Holding each other's hand for them felt like home. Thanks to the bees that is.
There was a smile on her face as Lillieth woke up that morning. She had dreamt another one of her sweet romantic dreams. Honestly it was a relief from the strange nightmares she often gets that sends her into deep thought trying to understand them.
Lillieth found it interesting that she would pick not only such a title but also that sort of bug. She really had had enough bad experiences with them.
Tony awoke from his sleep he looked around for his sweetheart and saw her sitting naked at the computer typing away. He smiled another dream she just had to type out. He was thankful she was too distracted by her writing to bother getting dressed. Seeing her sensual naked body first thing in the morning was something he adored even though she had not kissed him first before getting up.
Tony reached for his robe, got up quietly and headed for the kitchen to make her favorite tea and his coffee. It occurred to Tony as he looked out of the window how beautiful the roses were and decided he would bring her a fresh dew touched rose too.
Tony completed his loving task grabbed Lillieth's robe and (which seemed silly to him but it was a little cold this morning) walked over to the computer watching her still typing away madly. “Good Morning Sweetheart" Tony whispered in Lillieth's ear. There was that wonderful aroma of mint tea Lillieth loved so much. There was that wonderful soft leather smell of Tony that she recognized as love and home for her. This of course broke her writing trance and she leaned back against Tony’s body and smiled. Good morning kind man. Lillieth accepted the tea gratefully and the kiss on her neck with wonderful shivers. What are you writing dear he asked? Hmm I am not sure Lillieth replied but I woke up with this story on my mind and I just had to write it all down. It is a love story I think but it's like none I have ever written or even imagined.
How are you feeling today Tony? Tony who is 54 years old had been having some pains in the last year that worried Lillieth. The doctors were still trying to find out what was the best course of treatment since it seemed his heart was the source of the pain. They had moved to the beautiful mountains of Southern Oregon and lived near a river way off the road. The peaceful environment and clean air seemed good for him. Lillieth who is 43 has her own ailments namely nerve damage and psoriasis so the peacefulness of their home was a miracle to them both.
Tony smiled at his wife and touched the soft brown skin on her face. I feel wonderful this morning Sweetheart! The sun is out; there are some clouds and a nice breeze from the ocean. The river still is flowing nicely from wintertime and the sound is soothing to the soul. Tony could even smell the salt from the sea air which was just about 50 miles from them. No worries today my dear you finish writing, I will make us a healthy breakfast and we will greet the day and be thankful for whatever it brings.
The healthy breakfast usually consisted of fresh wonderful bread filed with dates, nuts and raisins slightly toasted with a taste of creamy sweet butter. Perfectly cut apple slices shaped in half moons with small slices of provolone cheese a bowel of cream of wheat with cinnamon, nutmeg and a splash of ginger syrup to get the heart pumping. For Tony a cup of French roasted coffee for Lillieth more of her favorite mint tea.
Lillieth smiled to herself. She could type later this moment seemed so precious to her and as Tony often told her. If the story is there you will not forget the words
Tony loved his wife very much and wanted her to have all the happiness she would allow and if he could be apart of it that was the even better. Tony did however feel guilt that their marriage was (which legally they were not married at all Tony's idea) often a distraction from Lillieth's first love she's had from her childhood. Lillieth was a good writer No Tony thought damn it she was a great writer. She has always allowed the loves in her life or other outside events distract her from completing a story and even publishing just one of her sweet stories.
He could refuse her nothing and sometimes had to force himself to leave on what he told her was his "I need some space" drives in the country. Every moment he was not with her seemed lonely and he felt incomplete. Every moment he was with Lillieth he found joy and a profound sense of completeness of true being. He adored how she watched over him and fussed making sure he did all the right things to keep him safe and healthy. He adored how even when they were in a room filled with people she only had eyes for him and sent her love across the room to his heart. He also realized in a selfish way that he enjoyed how she placed him on a pedestal although not too high less he fell and hit the ground hard. Lillieth in her own way worshipped Tony completely and he unashamed ate it up on a daily basis. It was the moments when a story would hit Lillieth and she would be so engrossed in it that he knew she was on fire he would feel the guilt of his being a distraction and suddenly without a word go for a drive for hours and not even call so as to not disturb her for a moment.
This was one of those times. Lillieth slowly, softly snuck into the kitchen peaking around to see if Tony was watching her. She gave up on the typing for a moment feeling that need to be nourished by food and by Tony's love. She knew he had meant it when he asked her to stay at her typing. But the smell of him and the longing not to mention the physical ache of just wanting to be close to him overwhelmed her as well as the delicious breakfast she knew would be waiting in the kitchen for her it was the best excuse to leave her writing desk.
Lillieth turned the corner just in time to look outside to see Tony driving off in the truck. She knew he had not gone out to buy breakfast and sighed. Wouldn't he ever realize without him her words wouldn't be on paper? He inspired her and opened up the floodgates to her artistic writing ability. She thought back to a time when everything she wanted to write was blocked and she could not even visualize the words on the paper.
Lillieth had dated other men who tried to push her to write what she felt. It was in their pushing that she rebelled and was stuck. Tony simply loved her and fed her need to be taken care of. Most men found her to be a very strong woman who they imagined did not need help. She supposed that was her own fault since she was not going to just jump out there and say help.
Some how Tony had just known and been able to reach out to the softness in her heart and help stir her imagination again.
This story she was writing now about the bees had not made any sense to her and yet maybe it in itself was another journey that she was working out the pieces to the puzzle on. The man in the story was nothing like Tony. She sighed Ok time to get back to work. I hate to disappoint Tony and make him realize he denied me his breakfast and loving for nothing.
The Bees a love story
Lillieth and Hiram spent their time learning about each other and marveling about how they met. They would hug and kiss at a drop of the hat no matter where they were. Hiram had beautiful deep blue eyes that one could loose herself in which was a great contrast to the dark beautiful brown eyes of Lillieth's that mesmerized Hiram. They laughed and giggled and held each other's hands proudly as if they finally got it right. No mentioned of course of those two horrible bees that bit them thereby allowing them to meet. After a while it got late and it was time to go home to their individual places.
Lillieth sighed she had a long trip ahead of her and hoped she wouldn't daydream the whole way home. Hiram lived in town and only had a short way to go. He hated letting her go to drive home and wished it didn't feel so inappropriate to invite her over. They would have more time together he hoped and made sure to get her phone number as they walked to her car.
Lillieth's drive home was about 30 miles and it seemed to go on and on for her today. She wanted to get home and relax and think about all that had happened that day and she wondered if Hiram thought her a loose women for being so easy to kiss and hold.
Hiram opened his apartment door and suddenly felt very lonely. He walked in, went over his mail; turned on the coffee pot, sat down and lit a cigarette. Hmmm he wondered if maybe he had been too pushy and grabby with Lillieth. He couldn't believe that a simple bee bite helped introduce him to such a sweet lady and someone he wanted to see allot more of. Hiram smiled at the idea that he was actually happy to have been bitten by a bee and actually it was beginning to itch again. Even the itch was great. Silly me he laughed out loud and heard himself giggle for the first time in years.
Dam! Lillieth thought where do I go from here? This story is not flowing like it had for a time. What was stopping her from writing more about this lovely couple? She decided to leave it alone and rest her mind. Tony had come home and made them a delicious breakfast, which she always enjoyed being cooked for. He was now out side doing some gardening and Lillieth decided to join him hoping that smell of the garden and wonderful sea breeze would inspire her.
Four days later there still was not one new word on the paper and it was becoming very frustrating to realize that she was already blocked. On the 5th day she had totally begun ignoring her story as if that would help. The day seemed to be awfully hot and Lillieth had stayed indoors most of the time to escape the 105-degree weather. She started noticing that there were allot of bees around the windows and thought there might be a hive near by. She found none anywhere. One bee made it into her house and kept flying by her head but not landing almost as if it was taunting her to return to her story. Fine she thought you win I am going back to the story just leave me alone! Suddenly there was a loud crash coming from the workroom where Tony loved to make wooden furniture. Lillieth ran into the room just in time to see Tony falling to the floor helplessly and unable to breath. She grabbed her cell phone and called 911.
Lillieth stood at the emergency room window watching as the doctors worked on her beloved man. She felt helpless and alone. When she saw Tony falling she went to his side after calling for an ambulance. He looked pale and his eyes expressed a desire to calm her down. Imagine that calm her down. When the ambulance came and the medics took over he grabbed her hand one last time as if to reassure her. They asked her if he was allergic to bees. He was behaving as if he had gotten an allergic reaction to something. She didn't know. He had never told her if he was. She new her grandmother had been terribly allergic to the point of death if she got stung. The realization of what they were asking her sent her into a horrible panic and she held on tighter to Tony's hand. The medic disengaged her from him and put Tony into the ambulance. A friendly neighbor came to see what was going on and seeing how upset Lillieth was had driven her to the hospital.
Finally! The doctor she thought after an two hours of pacing. Lillieth and the doctor approached each other at the same time standing close to each other.
Doctor Allen Roberts was a tall gentleman he had a large massive frame that belied his warm gentle green eyes. He was in his 40s and had never gotten married as he was married to his work. His height is 6.5, which made him tower over Lillieth who was only 5.8 ½. He tried to not intimidate people by greeting them too abruptly so as he approached he would place a gentle hand on their shoulder. This time the patients wife came up so close to him and so fast it completely caught him off guard. He had to stop just in time for her not to run into him. She looked so frail and alone almost like a small child who is lost without their parent. He realized she was not so frail as she grabbed his arm with her left hand and implored him to tell her what was going on. This was out of his element. He usually stepped quietly up to the patient's family. That way to keep the situation more controlled. Dr. Roberts tried to have Lillieth sit down but she would have none of it. So with a big sigh he gave up the control and began telling her what was going on.
Lillieth stood and listened with great anxiety as the Dr. Whom she had now learned was named Dr. Roberts explain to her what had happened to Tony. Dr. Roberts cleared his throat, which Lillieth believed it was a sign that he was annoyed at her for not excepting his invitation to sit down. How could she? Her whole body was trembling with fear she was surprised no one else seemed to notice. She couldn't take her eyes off the window where the nurse was watching over Tony. She heard Dr. Roberts's voice as if he was speaking to her through a tunnel. Your husband is going to be fine he needs to stay in the hospital for at least two weeks for testing and observation. He was going to be fine! Staying in the hospital for two weeks for testing is not sounding like fine to me. Lillieth thought.
Lillieth finally took her gaze off of Tony and for the first time really looked into the doctor's eyes. She saw friendly green eyes looking gently but worriedly down at her. She noticed that despite his height he had a deep and pleasant voice instead of a loud booming self-important voice she might have expected. Lillieth stood back, and for the first time took a deep breath and let it go slowly. It was time to pull it together and become rational. She needed to know what to expect and truly hear what the doctor was saying. Ok she announced I am ready to sit down and listen
Dr Roberts sighed a breath of relief. Good he could communicate with her now and she would fully hear him. Well as it turns out your husband is allergic to bees. His throat became swollen and he was not getting enough air to his lungs, which is when he collapsed. Because of him being in his middle 50s we are concerned about the loss of oxygen that it may have also caused a small stroke, which is why, we would like to monitor him for the two weeks. Bees! Lillieth didn't know if she wanted to cry or laugh out loud. She of course did neither one. What do you mean strokes are you saying he may have some brain damage? Yes that is a possibility and we want the physical therapist to work with him as soon as he has his breathing is better and we know his strength is ok. He is responding to the medication we gave him but his hands are not moving correctly and his speech is slurred also his heart rate is not the best. But that could be just a reaction to the bite and he could recover completely. Perhaps you two should talk and decide what you want to do. Dr. Roberts suggested kindly. You mean he could come home instead? Lillieth asked could we have a physical therapist come to our home? Yes he replied but we would like to at least keep him for 3 days if not the whole two weeks. We are a little troubled by his heart and would prefer to keep him incase any damage happened to him. May I speak to him now Lillieth asked? Of course but only for a short while he has been given something to help him sleep so he might not be clear about things right now.
Lillieth walked into the room trying to seem calm and not show the fear she felt in her belly. Hello there Mr. Man you gave me a big scare. Trying to make me feel bad for spending so much time writing (she smiled lovingly at him)? Tony's eyes slowly looked at her and he tried to reach for her hand but his motor skills were gone and he became frustrated. Easy there the doc says you need to rest and rest you will. I will see you in the morning and we will talk then.
Tony mumbled something, which sounded like wait stay and Lillieth, did all night until the next morning when he woke up as if out of a coma. Tony woke up to see the nurse opening the shades and getting ready to wake up Lillieth. Don't he wanted to say but all that came out was jumbled words like a baby trying to learn to speak. Nurse Sharpe was used to being around patients who had strokes and so she was calm when she turned to Tony. Yes Mr. Woods can I help you with something? She saw that he was struggling and smiled at him. It’s ok take one word at a time. The doctor will be in to see you and talk to you both and then we can see about helping you with a physical therapist so you wont have such a hard time. Your body has been through allot just take it slow and don't push yourself. We will take good care of you. Tony listened to her with sheer frustration how could he be fine he couldn't even speak and his hands were not moving and his head hurt. Lillieth woke up from her uncomfortable position in the chair just in time to see the nurse leave. She looked up and saw that Tony was awake and looking very upset and confused. What could she tell him? Or how could she tell him? Good Morning Mr. Man Lillieth stretched, yawned and walked over to his bedside. I know you are having a hard time speaking and I promise it will get better. You had an allergic reaction to a bee. Imagine that you never told me you were allergic. It cut off some of your air supply to your head and now instead of being smarter then the rest of us you are now just like the rest of use. But don't panic with a little bit of work you will be right back on the Extremely Smart list. Tony smiled Lillieth had a way of insulting and praising him all the while making him laugh at the same time. He smiled but Lillieth could see the fear and confusion still in his eyes. She kissed his cheek and held his hand hoping that maybe some energy would leave her hand and flow through his.
Dr. Roberts looked through the window at the couple thank God this time the patient would live and he had not had to give the worst news possible. He could look at blood no problem but looking into the scared eyes of the patient's family is the worst thing. Even looking into the patient's eyes gave him strength to push on but trying to console a family just was not one of those things he was equipped for. His sister was a psychologist and sometimes he sought counsel from her when it became too much for him. Just as Allen (Dr. Roberts) felt himself breathing a sigh of relief he saw Lillieth panic and Tony was having a hard time breathing. Dr. Roberts went into the room and seeing the trouble Tony was having rushed Lillieth out of the room calling to his nurses to come with an oxygen mask and a crash cart. Tony's heart was weaker then he thought and it he was having a heart attack. The doctor listened to Tony's heart carefully while Tony breathed from the oxygen mask. Tony sounded fine. Dr. Roberts spoke slowly to Tony. Listen to me you had an anxiety attack breath slowly let the oxygen from the mask assist you. We are going to help; you are going to be fine. Tony reached for the doctor's hand as best he could with imploring eyes and started to breathe a little more slowly and carefully with the help of the oxygen mask. After a time the mask was removed and Tony began to breathe on his own and the spasms stopped.
Tony had become frightened not knowing for sure what was happening to him. He was not used to feeling so helpless and out of control, he was the one who took care of people and had the answers.
Dr. Roberts stayed with Tony and made him drink some water and a half tab of Valium to help Tony relax. Tony you have had an allergic reaction to a bee bite which caused your throat to swell and you were not getting enough oxygen to you brain. You had a mini stroke and that is why you cannot move your hands and are feeling a little confused right now. When you are strong, enough we will have the physical therapist work with you to help you regain your strength but for the moment, you have to relax and let your body and mind rest.
Tony could feel the effects of the Valium but he fought it. He desperately wanted to talk and tell the doctor about his heart about how weak hearts are in his family. He wanted Lillieth to go home and rest she looked exhausted and he was just plain scared. Dr. Roberts told him we are going to take some test when you are stronger. We want to do a cat scan on your chest and head we will do some blood test just so we know exactly what If any damage might have happened. All in all your heart sounds fine and your blood pressure is slowly going back down to normal. The nurse will come in and check on you in a while and she will have to bring you a bedpan you are not strong enough to get up on your own. I have to go check on your wife but I will see you later. With that Dr. Roberts left convinced he had calmed Tony down and very glad it was not a heart attack. A bedpan indeed thought Tony but he also realized he had no energy to get up and at that point had to except what was happening for the moment. Tony stopped fighting the Valium and put his head down to rest.
Lillieth was sitting down too emotionally and physically exhausted to pace around like a crazy person. She decided that the best thing to do was take slow deep breath in and out like she heard the doctor tell Tony. He was going to be Ok she had to believe that and her getting sick would not do either of them any good. Tony was the love of her life nothing made sense without him and he was a stubborn man so she knew he would do his best to recover. Nurse Sharpe studied the young women watching over the man she assumed was the young women’s husband. She did not look well and Marilyn (nurse Sharpe) wondered if she had eaten or got any real rest since they bought her husband in. There was an inner strength about her but she looked gaunt and exhausted so much so that Marilyn thought about taken a firm hand to her and sending her home. With that thought she went over to Lillieth praying that she would convince her to get some rest. Mrs. Woods She began approaching the patient's wife with calm and strength. Lillieth jumped startled she had no idea anyone was close by her. Yes? She replied still feeling alarmed. I am sorry I didn't mean to startle you. My name is Marilyn Sharpe I am the head nurse here and I will be working with Doctor Roberts to help your husband. How is he? Lillieth asked. Oh he is fine he had an anxiety attack and we have him resting now. That happens sometimes when a patient becomes confused about why he can't talk or move much. Dr. Roberts had a nice talk with him and in a moment I will go in and see about helping him to wash up and maybe eating some food. How are you doing? Is there anyone you need to call perhaps another family member? No Lillieth smiled Tony's parents are both gone and his relatives are in Cuba. I don't want to call them just yet and worry them if I don't have to. Tony's fathers family was from Ireland and Tony never got to know them his mothers family is in Cuba and Tony has only been there a few times in his life many years ago. No its him and I we have no children. In Truth Lillieth said we have been together 11 years and we are not legally married. For all intents and purposes we are man and wife. Lillieth looked at the nurse's eyes for any sign of shock or disapproval but saw none. Tony has always insisted I don't need to marry an old man and he didn't want anyone to say I married him for his money. Lillieth laughed with a nervous cough at the end. Marilyn smiled ah yes men's pride I understand. Lillieth looked at Marilyn who had soft green eyes and amazing red hair and a young look that belied her maturity. She was exactly Lillieth's height so she didn't feel intimidated by the nurse but more at ease which is why Lillieth supposed she felt relaxed enough to droll on about her and Tony's life together. Mrs. Sharpe may I ask you a question? Marilyn please and yes of course. What is going to happen now what can I do for Tony? Marilyn smiled Go home and rest. You look exhausted and I expect you have not eaten. Mr. Woods is resting now and later on today we will take some test. The best thing for you to do is rest and come back refreshed. Tony cannot recover if he is worried about you, which from what you have said seems to be the job he has chosen.
After a brief visit with Tony she called her neighbor who had insisted to be called as soon as Lillieth was ready to go home. Upon entering the house Lillieth thanked the kindly neighbor and walked into an empty house that seemed unfamiliar to her without Tony's presence there. All she wanted to do was sleep and find it had only been a dream but she decided on a shower instead letting the reality of all that had happened come in.
The shower had felt good although all the things she was used to like Tony coming to wash her back and drying her off was not apart of her shower this time. Tony had made the motion for her to eat so she went to the kitchen and put on a lamb chop for some protein with scrambled eggs. It actually amazed her that she was hungry it would seem her body knew what to do even if her mind was confused. Dr. Roberts had said that for the next few hours Tony needed to sleep so he could be strong enough to take some blood test and cat scan just to see his progress So Lillieth decided to take a nap and get her strength up. Marilyn was right Tony certainly did not need to worry about her as well as him.
Tony woke up from what seemed like a very long sleep and looked around. Lillieth was not there and he remembered he had sent her home to eat and rest. She looked so frail and exhausted he wanted to touch her face and hold her in his arms to tell her everything was fine. Instead, she had been the one comforting him and being strong for him. Their roles had been reversed and he was not sure it was something he could handle or wanted her to handle.
Dr. Roberts came in to the room and seeing that Tony was awake and the nurse was bringing him food decided this would be the best time to talk. Good Morning Tony Dr. Roberts boomed showing confidence in himself and his patient or so he thought anyway.
Tony looked at him from his lunch tray with skepticism. Today we will take a few blood tests and also a cat scan of your brain and your heart so we can see what if any damage is done and know what needs to be done next. I have called your wife and informed her to get plenty of rest and she could come in to see you later this after noon. Humph Tony thought he had already done that no one knew better how to take care of Lillieth but him. Dr. Roberts saw the annoyance in his patient's eyes and sat down next to him. Ok Tony let’s try some exercises squeeze my hand. Tony slowly yet gingerly reached for the doctor's hand and was able to connect with it but squeezing it was not an option at that moment. Fine the doctor said now follow my flash light with your eyes which Tony did until a flash of pain went through his head. Ok that's enough Tony. Just relax close your eyes for a moment. After a bit Dr. Roberts asked if Tony could speak to him just a little bit. One word came out of Tony's mouth scared he barely got the word out but it was clear what he was saying. Ok that was good Tony and yes I understand that you are scared but you cannot allow your fear to bring stress to your body. After the test we will know more and in the mean time you can listen to some relaxing music and try to rest some more after the nurse gives you a sponge bath. I hear we have the best sponge baths in this county.
The phone rang which Lillieth had put right next to her so as not to miss any call from the hospital. It shook her awake she was actually surprised that she slept and she reached for the phone to hear Nurse Sharpe's voice speaking to her. Hello Lillieth? This is Marilyn I just wanted to call you and let you know that Tony has taken all the test. Dr. Roberts is looking over the results. Tony is sleeping as the test made him a bit tired. If you like you could come see him and Dr. Roberts in about 2 hours. Lillieth thanked her for the call and told her yes she would be there.
Dr. Roberts looked at Tony with a very concerned look. Do you want me to tell her about your heart or will you? Tony frowned no he wheezed out. I don't want her to know. Tony you have to tell her that way she will know how to help you.
Let me tell you something Doctor. Lillieth is a writer she writes very well and should have published a book years ago. If she spends all her time being a nursemaid, she will not write and that would be a tragedy. What will you do Tony Dr. Roberts asked. I have a doctor friend who moved to Cuba and I also have family there who I have not seen since I was a teenager I think its time I go there and make some peace with my family and things that has happened in my life. So you are just going to leave her? Just like that? Flying may not be such a good idea just yet Tony. If you won’t tell her at least keep in touch with me and promise you won’t fly any where until you are better. Tony laughed oh I wont leave right away I have to settle things here and with Lillieth to make sure she is not in funk over me leaving and is able to focus on her writing. You must really love her Dr. Roberts added although it was an obvious statement he felt it worth saying. She really seems to love you and would do anything for you. Yes Tony said that is why I have to go. She will let everything go just to make sure I am ok. She will walk away from anything that is important to her just to make sure I am all right. That is not ok with me. Besides I have been feeling like a big distraction to her and it's been weighing hard on my heart.
Hmmm Well that is stressful for you Tony and truly the last thing you need is stress on your heart. How long do I have Doctor? Well Tony if you take it easy and watch your diet take your heart pills at least 2 years. If you push yourself ignoring the pain 6 months tops. Your blood flow is not going to your heart well enough and there is a danger of blood clots constantly. Doc you are my doctor and since we are not technically married you cannot be forced to give her any information am I correct in that? Yes Tony you are correct but this seems cruel to leave her in the dark and for all you know maybe she can help you in more ways and herself at the same time. Lillieth is 43 years old she still has her whole life to live. She never even had any children. I think sometimes she misses that in her life. No this is the best thing ever. She will write and I will do some soul searching and see family again. Dr Roberts interrupted all of that seems very dramatic and sad and lonely all at the same time Tony. But it seems your mind is made up and I will honor your request.
Lillieth parked the car in the hospital parking lot and headed to the elevator where she saw Doctor Roberts coming out and heading to his car. Dr. Roberts she called hurriedly. He looked up and waved but kept heading towards his car as if to avoid her. Lillieth caught up with him and surprised that he was leaving already. Dr. Roberts I thought we had an appointment to go over Tony's test. He stood very tall and gave her one of those impatient looks that doctors give when they don't want to be bothered at the time being. I am sorry but I cannot discuss Mr. Moors medical situation with you he has instructed me to keep all information confidential. It is best you speak to him. He is still awake and very alert you can go see him. With that he got in his car closed the door a little too fast and started it up to drive away. The guilt was killing him as he saw the complete surprise and confusion in her eyes. This was very cruel and he hated to have any part in it at all. Lillieth knocked on his window and he rolled it down. I am sorry I have to go to the clinic now I have other patients waiting please go talk to Mr. Moore. With that Dr. Roberts drove off.
Lillieth got to Tony's room in time to see him getting dressed slowly and grumbling to himself. Hello Tony can I help you to get dressed. Lillieth felt awkward, confused and upset she had no idea what had happened in the last 3 hours since she saw Tony last and was not sure at all she was going to like any of the new turn of events.
Hello my dear. Dr. Roberts informed me that I can go home today as long as I make an appointment with the physical therapist and also a follow up appointment with him soon. Lillieth still felt an impending doom hanging over her head. What happened with the test? Dr. Roberts would not discuss anything with me Lillieth added worriedly. Calm down my dear we will talk about it when we get home. I am so tired of being in this hospital and I just want to get home and relax with you my love.
The 10 mile drive home felt more like 100 to Lill [which Tony sometimes called her].
Tony seemed lost in thought so Lill hadn't asked any more questions. By the time they got home her nerves were shattered and she decided to let all talk go for the evening.
When they went to bed Tony barely spoke to Lilly. He kissed her briefly rolled over and went to sleep.
In the morning Tony awoke early and quietly got up as to not wake up Lill. He started some coffee, put some bread in the toaster and headed to the shower. It was only 6:30 am and Tony knew it would be a while before his love would wake up. It was time to tell her the truth about his plan to go away and take some time for himself. He knew it was going to be the hardest thing he ever did. His love for her was never ending and he wished there was another way then this.
Dr. Roberts had told him that the heart attack had damaged his heart severely and he had a year or two to live but that to was not for sure. Tony had family in Cuba that he lost touch with. In his mind he felt a need to see them and connect again.
He also had a son in Cuba that he wanted to find. When he was a young man he had been visiting his family in Cuba and met a beautiful young women whom he fell in love with. She was from a “good Spanish family” and they had not approved of their daughter seeing Tony since he was half Spanish and half black. They would sneak to see each other and vowed to love each other for ever. Tony had wanted to marry her and bring her back to the states with him.
The day he was going to leave he went to their secret place to get her. They
were going to run away together but she did not show up and when he went to her house to see what happened her family said she had been sent away to her Aunts and he was not to ever see her again. She had been however able to send his family a note to give to Tony that explained what happened.
She had broke down and told her family that she was leaving with him because they loved each other and that she was pregnant with his baby. Her family forced her to go away to have the baby and they threatened her if she contacted Tony ever they would take her child away and give the child up for adoption.
All that was along time ago and his family there told Tony to let it go and they refused to help him find her or as it turned out their son. That was when Tony lost touch with them and never went back. As the shower enveloped him Tony realized he needed to find this son and at least let his family there know that he had forgiven them. This was about his life his past and something he could only do by himself. He wanted Lill to finish writing her book, to explore her life and possibly to find a man her age that she could still have the chance for a family a child of her own to raise and give all the love that he knew she was capable of.
Tony sat in the Kennedy International Airport patiently waiting for his connecting plane to Cuba. It had been a long trip from Oregon as a matter of fact it had been three planes so far this would be the 4th one. He doubted Dr. Roberts would have approved of this Tony smile to himself ruefully. The 3 months had not been easy but Tony kept his promise to work with a physical therapist and he took it as easy as possible. There had been quiet walks with Lillieth enjoying the peacefulness during the day and feeling pangs of guilt at night when he would hear Lill cry in the other room. She had tried to put a brave and understanding mask on her face whenever he was around. He had sat down with her and told her everything even about his family and missing son in Cuba. Lill had offered to come with him she could bring her laptop and write there as well as anywhere else. It was the one area she had fought him on for a moment but then backed off when she realized her own desire was only going to cause him stress. Tony felt bad about that too. He knew it was her love for him that made her press him and maybe it would have been sweet to have her by his side. He missed her terribly but he knew he had made the right decision. He would be moving around a lot and he alone would be treated like a stranger among his own family he did not want Lill to have to experience it as well. Lill took him to the airport and fussed over him making sure he had everything including his allergy bracelet incase of emergency. Tony felt like a child having to wear the bracelet IN case this child is lost…. that is not what it said but it was just the idea he wore it anyway as was promised to both the doc and Lill.
The announcement came over the loud speaker interrupting his thoughts.
“Flight 239 now boarding at gate number 5 please have your ticket ready. Ok Tony thought here I go.
Pablo was sitting by the waterside fishing watching the fishing boats out in the ocean. He had lived in Cuba his whole life with his family always near by. His Mother and grandparent raised him. He was told the truth only recently that his father was not dead as he thought but an American who had left before he was born. His mother out of guilt and shame told him the truth at last that his father had been made to leave her behind. She had long ago gave up hope that Tony would ever come back to see her or the child. She had gotten married to a well to do farmer who could not have children and agreed to raise Pablo as his own. Tomas was a loving husband and father until the day he died at 80 of cancer.
Tony’s Cousins hade contacted Savannah to tell her he was returning to Cuba to see his son. The shock was instant and it had taken her a few days to recover and make a decision. She knew Pablo needed to see his father and ask all those important questions. For her it was too late for those unanswered questions that were as much hers to answer, as it was his. They were put away and left behind when she became Tomas wife. Pablo had been hurt in finding out the truth after all this time but he was grateful to Tomas who had raised him as his own and made sure he had the guidance that only a father could give. When Savannah and Pablo sat down to discuss it again it was decided that they would let Tony have a few days to rest and then they would make the trip to the town his family lived and where he would be staying. Tony’s town was about 40 miles from where they lived and it was a long bumpy road. No reason for him to make the added trip. So know Pablo was sitting on the pier trying to prepare himself for this event in his life. What would his father be like? He supposed Tony had thought about him since he was making this trip but why now and what took him so long? Tony had decided to not wait for his son to come to him. Why should Pablo have to make that effort? He went to their town and asked around where he might find Pablo. Now he stood at the pier staring at the back of his son he had never known. Where would he begin? He smiled to himself when he noticed an extra rod sitting there by Pablo. He walked to his son sat down beside him. How’s fishing son?
Lilly sat at her computer wondering where to begin. She had put off writing again; there had been so many distractions and sadness. No more excuses enough of that. She had thoughts twirling around her head that needed to be placed on paper so to speak. She wanted to get back to Hiram and Gloria as a matter of fact she really missed them and did not like leaving them hanging. They needed to move forward. Nevertheless, how and why? When two people meet and feel that flush of attraction, they never know where it will go not really. So how do you write this in? How do I know where they should go and why they should? Ok so here goes because they need a life and its there out there floating around waiting to land.
Dr. Roberts looked out the window lost in a day dream when there was a knock on the door. His nurse bought a letter to him from Lilly woods. He smiled how funny he was just thinking of her and wondered how her husband was and had she heard from him. He had remembered her sad eyes and had wondered how they would look if she had allowed herself to smile. He opened the letter. Dear Doctor Roberts.
How are you? Fine I hope. I am writing this letter to you to let you know that Tony died last month. He suffered a heart attack while visiting his family in Cuba. Thanks to you he was given the time to see his son for the first time and make peace with his family there. I was able to go see him before he died and he asked me to write and thank you for that gift. I understand now why you had to honor his request and why you had to let him go. You are a good man doctor and I will be forever grateful for the gift you gave Tony. In closed in this package is my book I finished while Tony was away I dedicated it to him. I wanted you to have the first copy as a thank you. Enjoy and be well.
Doctor Roberts looked at the inside cover. There was the smile he had wondered about and it was beautiful.