“Now, build a fire and go get a shower. You taste salty.”
He stood beneath the hot shower...it felt wonderful. He thought about the weekend ahead. He never heard a sound, but he began to feel her hands spreading soap over his back. She reached around and soaped his chest. Now, he had to turn around. They hugged beneath the spray of the shower, doing nothing but cherishing each other. She agreed when he said, “Let’s wait for a while, let’s wait and then wait a bit more. Let’s wait and think about it.” They stepped from the shower, still holding each other. Renèe grabbed a towel and built a turban on her head. He watched her as she took another towel and began to blot the water from her body.
“My God, she is so beautiful.” At the very moment he had that thought...she smiled at him. It was as if she read his mind. He had to kiss her again. Again. Again.
as she opened her robe. They walked in each other’s arms and took their place in front of the fireplace. The flames glistened in her eyes as he looked down at her. Then Renèe wondered aloud, “What would Sister Mary Jean say if she saw us now?”
He smiled and said, “I think that the good sister would want to swap her habit for a terry cloth robe.”Renèe began to laugh and giggle… “That’s terrible. You shouldn’t say that about a nun.” Then her laughter continued. Will finished up shaving and walked into the living room. With a towel, and some help from the fireplace, Renèe was drying her hair. Will walked out on the porch and stood in the ocean breeze and trying to fully appreciate how very happy he was to be in love with Renèe. A formation of birds flew above the water’s edge beyond them was the moonlight, beyond the moonlight; a night with Renèe waited for him.
Farewell to a Friend
“Are you Willy?” asked a Candystriper. She was one of the ballet dancers Will had been watching.
“The nurse says you should come upstairs.”
He sprang to his feet and moved quickly to elevator and pushed the button. After half a minute, he ran to the stairwell and up four flights. His heart was pounding through his chest.
“Damn.” He had forgotten the sailor cap in his back pocket.
The nurse was at the doorway of Jimmy’s room. With her eyes, she told Will to go into the room. Jimmy’s bed had been lowered now. It was flat level. He put his friend’s hands around the sailor cap.
“It belonged to Petey Stoval. There’s his name. See?
“On my head…on my head.”
He put the cap on Jimmy’s head, stepped back and saluted.
“Welcome aboard, Sailor.”
Jimmy strained to raise his hand to his forehead. It was difficult… but he touched his eyebrow and managed a little smile. Yeah. Jimmy saluted.
Will sat in the chair and leaned into his friend, who just stared back at him. In a high pitched and breathless voice, he heard,
He looked down, with his face close to Jimmy’s.
“Jimmy. Jimmy. Can you hear me?”
There was a barely audible…”Yes”.
Will recalled a horrible day when he accidentally killed a hummingbird in Georgia. He held the tiny precious bird in his hand and heard an angel dying.
“I love you Jimmy. I love you. I’ve loved you since we were kids.”
“Oh! I know that Willy. Hey Willy.”
“Will you …” His voice faded out
“Hold my hand. Hold it tight? Remember, Willy?”
“Remember what Jimmy?”
He lightly placed his head on Jimmy’s chest and cried openly. They cried together. It was a release they both needed.
“I’m with you Jimmy. I’m here, and I remember it all, Jimmy. I do. I do.”
When Jimmy said “Willy”, he sounded like that dying baby bird.
“I’ve got ya’ Jimmy”
In less than a minute, the chirping ceased. It ceased. Jimmy was gone.
“I should have told him a long time ago.”