Monday, December 5, 2011

First Kiss

"Hahaha, silly goose!"
I haven't laughed for days. And this feels so good. I feel like I've been sitting in the ICU forever. But it has only been seventeen minutes. And traces of those unsettling emotions snuck away. I quickly rewound our conversation in my head. Charles and I simply love talking to each other. About everything. And anything. But all my mind can think of is the tumor. What if the doctors can't remove the tumor? What if the tumor is cancerous? Why Charles? Why him, God? What if his brother didn't call me? What if I never came down to the hospital? Everything was fine until this happened.
"Well, I guess, it's time for us to head back to my car. Visiting hours end in like three minutes." I try to say as breezily as I could to get my mind off the tumor.
"I wish you could stay with me."
I look at Charles. He looks so mellow and quiet. No anxiety. Our conversation rattles me, leaving curiosity of my nightmares coming true. Will Charles die? I tally up all the reasons why I should stay a few more minutes. But I need to go get my car. Thank goodness D came with me, so I don't have to be alone heading home in the rain. I command myself that I need to let this sick man get his rest, even though my first instinct is to stay with him for the rest of the night. So he knows that someone is here for him. In case, he gets scared. I just don't want to leave him alone.
My heart is thudding again. I wonder what Charles is thinking. Or is he thinking at all?
"I wish I could, but be strong. I will be here after your surgery. I promise."
"Yes, good."
"Look, it's snowing."
I turn in my seat and look out the window and watch gentle snowflakes fall from the weary skies gracefully. I pray to God that His angels are coming to watch Charles, enfolding their silent wings around him through this dark night.
Standing up from chair, I stretch and put my coat back on, ignoring the knots of fear twisting in my heart. I slowly walk up to his bed and pull the white covers over him like a child. As I button up my pea coat, I lean down, so closely that I could smell his dewy skin. I softly plant a kiss on his forehead where the tumor hides. Lifting my head up, I gaze into the warmest brown eyes I have ever seen in my entire life. I miss looking into those eyes. His eyes feast upon mine. Words scramble through the maze inside my brain. I just don't know what more to say before I leave him. No words could come out. Feelings of pain, fear, melancholy, and anticipation are disappearing. I feel nothing, but peace. I can't pull away. The frustrating noises of the hospital then vanishes and leaves us behind. Our faces tilt towards each other very slowly. Nose to nose. His top lip grazes my bottom lip. Our lips parting, touching. We both hold perfectly still, listening to ourselves breathing together.
This is it.
Seconds that blissfully lead to the inevitable, the unthinkable, the first magical kiss of many.
Mesmerized, I roll away from the side of Charles' bed with a smile.
Everything will be alright.
Time to go.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Charles Sneak Peek

Loss of appetite.
Godawful headaches.
Memory loss.
No desire to live.
What is wrong with me?
I don't feel right.
The doctors here at Henry Ford Hospital are trying to figure out what is wrong with me. They keep walking in and out of the room. They can't seem to pinpoint why I am so nauseated nor can they break down why I am having these terrible headaches regularly. They keep looking at me, nodding their heads. Holding closely to plastic folders, they are constantly whispering to each other then looking at me. What are they talking about? Man, I am nervous. But I don't want to be. I just can't be. I came in for them to check out my heart. But I am sure my heart is fine. I just have the Flu.
"Mr. Jackson."
"You and your mother should have a seat. We ran some tests and the results are in."
"Uh, alright."
Mama and I look at each other as we slowly sit down in front of the doctors.
"Your blood tests came back negative. But we found the problem."
"Oh ok, good."
I look at my mother and she is biting her top lip, staring at the doctor's mouth. Maybe she is praying that he says I have the Flu too.
"Charles, we found a tumor."
"A tumor, huh? Are you sure?"
"Yes, a tumor is growing in the left side of your brain."
"Uhhhh.... that is very weird. How did I get a tumor?"
"We are not sure. But, the tumor links with the bad headaches, vomiting and caused memory loss. The excoriating pain comes from the pressure. And it's constantly pressing against your brain tissue."
"Ok, well, ok, what medicine do I need to take?"
"Charles, medicine will not suffice. Medicine will not kill this tumor. Surgery is needed. We have to take it out. Immediately. Because of its size and location in the brain tissue, surgery is critical. If you came in three days later, you would have probably slipped into a coma."
"The tumor is the size of a balled up fist. We will try to get in a surgery as soon as possible. We are actually trying for tomorrow afternoon."
"Uh...ok. Let's get it done."
I'm starting to feel dizzy and my ears are burning. I can't believe what the doctor is saying. A brain tumor? I don't smoke. I eat pretty healthy. I exercise. I don't do drugs. I barely drink. I sleep pretty good. No, this can't be.
"Where did this tumor come from? I don't smoke."
A tumor. I start laughing. This is a joke. I can't have cancer.
"Here, Mr. Jackson, take a look."

Aubry Sneak Peek

What a long day!
Those customers are crazy! And they make me so mad! Rushing to return their stale Christmas presents with pounds of receipts stacked in their pursues and wallets. What a waste of money and my time. I am so exhausted. So ready to crawl in my warm bed. It's freezing out here and I cannot wait to get inside that house and tear these stockings off. Winter is definitely here. And pulling up in the snowy driveway, I can see its clearly not leaving Detroit anytime soon. Huh? My phone is vibrating again. Ugh. A text message from that anonymous number.
"Is this Aubry?"
I almost crashed into the house. Oh my goodness! Now Charlie's brother is stalking me? Great. This is all I need right now. Some guy hunting me down about his weirdo brother. Why is he doing this to me? Why does he want to talk to me so bad? I am so glad that I made it home now.  Let me run in this house so I can curse him out. No. Ill just text so I don't have to worry about calling him back. I don't want to talk. There is absolutely nothing to talk about. I don't know where Charlie is and I could care less. And to think I started liking this dude. He disrespects me by pretending to be my friend, leading me on with hints of romance and bogus love notes. Just trash. Now Vomit Boy is hiding and ignoring me. Please. I am so done dealing with trifling guys. My heart is already crushed. I don't need any more pain. He is dismissed. Ill just text back and get this over with. It's time for me to get in the bed and clear my mind anyway.
He immediately texts back.
"Ok, can you please call me when you get a chance?"
I guess that plan didn't work.
"Ok. Five minutes."
Seventeen minutes just passed. Maybe Ill call him now. Dialing Brandon's number, I walk into the kitchen with my heart hammering against my rib cage. I really don't want to talk to this man. I just want to go to sleep! I am so irritated right now! Just leave me alone! I want everyone to leave me alone! What does Charlie's brother want from me? I haven't heard from Charlie for over 2 weeks. I don't know anything. And I will make sure that this brother of his knows this. 
An unsteady voice answers.
"Um hello, this is Aubry. You called me earlier?"
"Ah yes, thank you so much for calling me back Aubry, this is Brandon."
"Mmmhmm... ok. What's going on? I just got off from work, sir." Attitude soils my voice tone.
"Uh, ok? Well, I wanted to call and tell you that CJ is in the hospital. He has been really sick these past few weeks and, uh, doctors found a, uh, tumor in his brain, not sure if its cancerous or not.."
"...and, uh, he is going in for surgery in the morning. He keeps asking for an Aubry..."
" I thought maybe I could get your number from his phone. It's been dead. Do you think you could, uh, possibly come down to the hospital tonight and, uh, see him?"
"Wait, what?"
My chest rips open. With tears welling up in my eyes, I fall against the kitchen wall, gasping for air.  I feel so weak. And numb. And cold. Words can not even slip out of my mouth. I'm so confused. And I feel like death.
"Um... can...can you back?"