Friday, May 21, 2010

Chapter Three

Echo’s of the Past

Zeus strode around the room, his frustration brimming over. Hera watched him through narrowed eyes, a slight smile turning up the corners of her mouth. She turned her focus back to the task at hand, toying with the mortals below.

She stood over a diorama that depicted the blue-green Aegean Sea. On the tableau small craft bobbed in the mostly placid waters, scurrying to and fro on one business task or another. Hera leaned down and gently blew on the waters, making the deceptively smooth surface ripple slightly. The small craft bobbed a bit harder as deck hands grasped for something to hold onto. She smiled a wide, generous grin that transformed her normally placid face. A faint tinkle of laughter escaped her lips and she sighed at how easily she could amuse herself.

“By the Ancient One’s Hera, pay attention! Pandora has not yet opened the jar!” Zeus bellowed.

“But dearest, you instructed her NOT to! She is only doing as she was told!” Hera watched as the boats on the surface settled back down before she leaned down and blew on the surface again, much harder this time. The boats dipped and swayed wildly in the water and Hera listened to the frightened cries of the humans below as they clung to the ropes and rails to keep from being tossed overboard.

“Hera, you know as well as I do that she is a human female; she cannot resist the temptation to open the jar. Her curiosity cannot be denied!”

“And yet she stubbornly refuses to do what she has been told NOT to do. Imagine that!” Hera teased. “So what do you plan next my love? She appears to be a woman of integrity and not easily swayed by earthly desires like curiosity.”

“INTEGRITY?” Zeus roared! “Who ever heard of such a thing where humans are concerned? They are all mindless rats, hurrying about and seeking only their own pleasures or to fill their bellies. They haven’t the brains to guide themselves in their pathetic lives, more or less make decisions. It is ridiculous! I command her to open the jar!” With that Zeus pounded his fist down hard on the diorama, his anger causing thunder to roll over it as the impact sent tidal waves surging over large and small craft alike, capsizing most and tossing the humans into the sea willy-nilly. A satisfied grimace covered his face and he nodded.

“A little behind the scenes finagling, that’s what this situation calls for!” He winked at Hera and strode from the room, leaving her alone to laugh mercilessly at the desperate plight of the humans in the water below.


After Cassie was settled into her room and the strange bed she looked around, as much as she could. This room was going to be her home for awhile and so she had better get used to it. She also promised herself that she would follow Dr. Gorman’s orders to the letter so that she could get the hell out of Dodge as soon as possible.

A thought occurred to her while she was waiting on her parents to come in: Sarah had told her that she was supposed to call Adam when she got home. That obviously wasn’t going to happen now and Cass wondered how Adam would handle that? He might actually see it as a stroke of luck; you never know but from what Sarah had told her Cassie doubted that.

Maybe I should have a talk with Lissa, just in case!

Just then her parents came into the room followed quickly by Dr. Gorman. Cassie smiled inwardly as she saw him and privately dubbed him ‘Dr. Gorgeous’! He really was a handsome man, it wouldn’t hurt her a bit to have to see him every day, no indeed!

“Well Ms. Banks, how are you feeling now?” he asked her as he looked at the machines that were monitoring her.

“I think that me and this catheter are getting a bit too friendly!” she laughed and then continued. “This is quite a unique set up here; feels weird, my knees being slung up over this thing.” She was talking about the A-shaped form where her knees fit. It lifted her back slightly to keep pressure off of it.

“I’m positive you’ll get used to it, in time anyway. It is a bit strange I know but it will help your back tremendously I promise. Otherwise, things are okay?” He totally ignored the remark about the catheter, which was an all too common complaint.

“Sure, I love having such a great view of the ceiling and aren’t I the lucky girl? I seem to have ample time to count all the little holes in the tiles!” As soon as she said the words she realized how childish they sounded and she blushed brightly with her embarrassment.

Georgio noticed and secretly thought it made her look really cute. He wanted to laugh, not at her, but at the exasperated tone in her voice. He knew how he would feel if it was him in that position. Actually she was taking it all really well – most patients were yelling or crying at this point.

“I guess we have a goal then Ms. Banks, to get you off of your back as soon as possible! I’ll do my part; will you do yours?” His smile lit up his face again, which strangely brought another blush to her face.

Cassie knew that she would do anything to keep him happy!


Cassie could hardly keep her eyes open after the doctor left and her mother and father both noticed and soon decided to go themselves so Cassie could rest. They both kissed her goodbye and waved as they pulled the door closed behind them. Cass let out a satisfied sigh and closed her eyes in anticipation of some well-deserved sleep.

A couple of hours later her slumber was disturbed by a nurse coming in to check on her and take her vitals. She begrudgingly opened first one eye and then the other as she watched the nurse look at the machines and jot down information. She turned to Cass and smiled, fussing with the bed covers.

“How are you? Oh, by the way, my name is Deidra; you were sleeping when I came on shift. I’ll be taking care of you tonight.” She looked closely at Cassie’s face and said, “Your lips look dry. Have you had anything to drink? We don’t have an IV line in you for fluids.”

“Yeah, actually I am thirsty, hungry too. Nobody fed me tonight,” Cass said, licking her lips in anticipation of food and water. “How on earth am I supposed to eat or drink though, being flat on my back like this?”

“Oh, it’s all pretty high-tech you know – space wafers. They don’t taste like much but nutritionally they’re tops!” She laughed and then frowned as she saw Cassie’s face turn to a look of despair. “Oh God, I’m sorry, I’m just teasing. That’s why they have me on the night shift – I never know when to shut my mouth!”

Cassie giggled as she got it then and commented, “You and I are going to get along just fine Deidra; keep it up!”

The nurse nodded, still feeling a bit embarrassed over the thoughtless comment and then said, “Well, I’ll go and raid the fridge and see what I can find for you to eat. How about a sandwich and some pudding?”

“Oh, that sounds wonderful,” and they both laughed when Cassie’s stomach growled in agreement. “Hey, what time is it anyway?”

Deidra looked at her watch and responded, “It’s about half past 2. Now, hold on while I go and get you some food!”

She had only been gone for a moment when the door opened again. Cassie couldn’t see who was there and it was really frustrating for her. Soon though two familiar faces were looking at her and tears sprang to her eyes; Lissa was back and so was Derek, her brother.

They took turns bending down and giving her a kiss on the cheek and then Derek grabbed her hand and lightly squeezed it.

“Oh, I’m sorry Cassie, did I hurt you? They told us you were paralyzed – uh, temporarily anyway. I don’t want to hurt you,” he said as he watched her face for reaction. He felt sort of uncomfortable, he wasn’t sure what to say or do. All he knew was that Cassie was just like a second mother and he was worried about her.

Cassie laughed and said, “No Derek, I’m fine. How is your mom doing? Is she awake yet?”

Lissa shook her head and told Cassie, “No, not yet. The swelling is pretty bad Cassie; it could be a day or two.”

Cassie frowned as she digested that news, could it be that Sarah’s injury was worse than they were telling her?

As if reading her mind, Lissa told her that it was pretty normal for head injuries like that and not to worry; Sarah would wake up when the swelling was down.

The nurse came back in then with a tray for Cassie and said, “Oh, you have company! Are you her kids?”

Both Lissa and Derek looked at her and hesitated to answer. They were afraid that if they said no they would be asked to leave. Finally Lissa said, “No, but we are family. I’m also a doctor. Is it okay that we are here?”

“Sure! If it doesn’t bother her it’s fine with me; visits are great for patients. Maybe you would like to help her have a bit of dinner?”

Derek reached for the tray and set it on the tray table at the foot of the bed. “Sure,” he said, “we’ll take care of her.”

Deidra nodded and then smiled as she left the room. When the door closed Cassie asked what was on the tray.

“Hmm, looks like a ham and cheese sandwich, some chocolate pudding and a banana. Oh, and a carafe of water,” Derek answered. “Hey Tigger, how’s she supposed to eat like that?”

Lissa laughed as he called her by the old childhood nickname and said, “She gets to be fed! We’ll hold it and she’ll bite it, hopefully the food and not us!”

Cassie said, “Yeah, well I’d watch your finger’s if I were you, I’m starving!” From the first bite to the last, it was delicious and she enjoyed every bit of it. When she was finally done she let out a satisfied sigh and a burp! “Oops, your mom would be yelling at me right about now!”

“Well, she’d get over it! Remember when we learned to burp the alphabet? She nearly killed us – ALL of us!” Derek laughed.

They chatted for a few more moments and Cassie thought about Adam and their mother. She needed to tell them what went on, just in case he called.

“Hey, did you guys get your mom’s purse? Her cell phone actually?”

“No, they couldn’t find it at the accident site. I’m going to cancel her credit cards and stuff tomorrow, just in case,” Lissa informed her.

“Well, there’s one more thing you might need to take care of. Your uh, um, your mom met someone over there in Italy. They became pretty close and uh, they were going to spend some time together back here.”

“Someone? A man?” Derek asked, a frown creasing his brow.

“Yes, a man. His name is Adam Richland.”

“Adam – Adam Richland? Like the movie star?” Lissa asked.

“Yes. But not like the movie star, he is, I mean it IS the movie star!”

“You’re kidding us, right?”

“Uh, no. Not unless your mom was kidding me and I’m positive she wasn’t. She told me about him on the ride from the airport, before the crash.”

“Holy cow! My mom and a movie star?” Lissa’s face showed her disbelief.

Derek groaned and rolled his eyes. “I don’t believe it!”

“Well, you had better believe it. He’s probably tried to call her, so you better be prepared for a message on the machine at her house since you don’t have the cell. Have you been there yet?”

“No, haven’t had time. Well, this is certainly something to think about. Something indeed…”


Cassie fell back asleep and rested fitfully for the rest of the night. She was scared, she finally admitted that to herself in the wee hours of the morning and she hated being scared. So many times in her life she had just simply banned the word ‘scared’ from her vocabulary. Like when Walt defected in their marriage.

Actually, he had defected and checked out almost as soon as they had gotten married; it just took her 16 years to realize it. Then one day he just walked in and came clean about his life, his hidden life that is, the one that he lived outside of Cassie’s world. The worst part of it all was that she had no clue about him, about the person he really was.

How could she have lived with a man, shared her life, her hopes and her dreams with someone whom she knew so little about. It was like they actually lived in two separate worlds; in truth they actually did. He had told her of his constant stream of affairs; women that came and went in his world and it was as if he was talking about a movie he had seen, he was totally detached from it all. But the worst thing of all was that he told her he had gotten a vasectomy right after they were married. Cassie has wished and prayed constantly for a child all through her marriage; she couldn’t count the times her heart had swelled with excitement when she thought she might be pregnant, only to be dashed when she realized she wasn’t.

Then there were the visits to the fertility specialist; yes, she was perfectly able to conceive a child, the issue was with her husband. How cool he had been about it all! How sorry he was to break her heart like that; he just wasn’t sure whether he could accept adopting a child. He was sorry, yes he was sorry.

A sorry bastard she later realized but at the time all she knew was that her heart was broken, but she loved him and accepted his feelings. That was what you did, you stood by your spouse; the vows said for better or for worse didn’t they? So she stayed in the marriage and a few years later the final scene in it played out in Technicolor, blazing right before her eyes as he told of his infidelities with a careless shrug. Yes, he was addicted to other women he told her, but it was just who he was and no, he didn’t want counseling, he only wanted out of the marriage so he wouldn’t be inconvenienced any longer with having to make up stories and business trips to cover his tracks.

Cassie felt a waterfall’s worth of emotions hit her that day; pain, betrayal, anger, rage even, but she refused to be scared. Truthfully no one would have blamed her for that one the way no one blamed her for the others. It was her due they said; every single emotion that flowed through her she had earned. How do you go on when you have been living in a cocoon for 16 years she had wondered?

She hadn’t worked since their marriage. Walt was CEO of a very large financial institution; the largest in the mid-west in fact. He needed her to be his hostess for entertaining and to take care of the carefully contrived fairy tale life he had created for them. And it was truly a fairy tale she realized. But still, she didn’t know how to make a living on her own; she had studied business in college which is where she had met Walt, but that was years ago and she had no practical experience at it.

Walt settled $1.2 million dollars on her in the divorce. It was a shock and an outrage at the same time. She had no idea that they had that much money put away. He willingly gave it to her, she never asked for a dime from him. She even tried to turn it down because the less she had from him the better she would feel. The worst part was that it wasn’t even given out of guilt because he felt none; it was just a business transaction to him; she had been his partner for all those years and he looked at it as a buyout of property.

Sarah and her parents eventually talked her into keeping the money, so that she could build something for herself. She sold their home, which he had turned over to her as well and she sold it for another million and put the money in the bank – a different bank than the one he headed. She found a small house to buy and started building her new life; alone but not scared, determined but not bitter.

It took time to heal, but she fought like a tigress to do it, to make something of her new life. She regarded it like a second chance, an opportunity to create a world where she was one in charge. Even though the money seemed like a lot sitting in the bank she knew that it wasn’t really and that she needed to find a way to support herself and ensure a happy future. One night, over dinner with Sarah it occurred to them; that stroke of genius that would provide Cassie with her independence. That night they had set on the couch, listening to music as they talked; she still remembered the song that had made her see that she could do anything.

For too long I was weak
too weak to find my feet.
I tried to hold it all inside
so you’d never realize
for too long I believed
that you were good for me,
I closed my mind to other possibilities.
You tried to out my fire
maybe I was just too scared
and maybe what you’re looking for is gone
‘cause baby I, well people say I’ve changed
yes I don’t feel the same,
they say I have a glow
it’s all because you’re gone.
It’s Independence Day…

They had shared a bottle of wine that evening and while they both were maybe a tiny bit tipsy, they both new that the idea was perfect for her and certainly something she had been training for during her marriage to Walt. What Cassie had been doing for years was being the ultimate, tasteful hostess; she could design beautiful tablescapes and menus to match, regardless of what type of gathering was needed.

That was how An Affair to Remember was created, combining her deftness at designing the perfect party and social venues to fit a business or individuals needs. Her business caught on quickly and within a year she was the leading event planner and organizer in the Wichita area. An Affair to Remember grew and soon Cassie had a full staff of designers and expanded the business to include a catering facility as well so that she could ensure the quality and details of her menus.

As she laid there in the bed in the hospital room that night she knew that she wouldn’t have to worry about her business; Janine was more that capable of running it while she was gone, however long that might be. She had the best staff anyone could ever desire and that was a huge relief for Cassie. She knew that her mom would take care of Max, her Shih Tzu, whom Cassie regarded as her baby so that wasn’t something she needed to worry about either.

No, what she had to worry about was herself, but she was very much afraid of the complication that had arisen, namely Dr. Gorgeous. How could she concentrate on working to get better when all she could think of were his beautiful hazel eyes with the long sooty lashes that no man should be lucky enough to be blessed with?

His face was the last thing on her mind as she fell back asleep.

Words and Music to Gabrielle's Independence Day by Bobb, Louisa, Sharp and J. No copyright infringement intended.

Copyright 2010 by Cynthia Hope Hodge

All rights reserved. You may not reproduce, or retransmit by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording or by any other means without permission by the author.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Chapter Two

The Long and Winding Road Ahead

All in all, the time in the scan did go pretty quickly Cassie thought with a sigh. Still, she was glad it was over with; she was actually tired and wanted a nap.

You never take naps, what’s up with this?

She hadn’t tried to move around and it suddenly occurred to her that it was unusual for her to be so still. Her body didn’t feel restless as at all. It was a chilling thought; she wondered what was going on and what they weren’t telling her. As soon as she saw the doctor she was going to demand answers, she decided.

They had placed the surgical collar back around her neck so there was nothing to see on the trip back to the ER except for the lights passing quickly above her head as Griffin pushed the gurney back to the emergency room. She didn’t really talk along the way; she felt talked out and again she realized how tired she actually was. Probably a result of the accident, she knew, but now wasn’t the time to be sleepy, she needed answers, about her and Sarah both.

Back in the room the efficient staff helped Griffin move her back to the bed; it felt weird being lifted up and moved around she decided. With a final wave and a nod, Griffin headed out the door and Cass was left with only a nurse who was taking her vitals.

For some reason Cassie was becoming more and more scared. No one was saying anything to her about what was going on and that couldn’t be a good sign. She felt tears gathering in the corners of her eyes again when she heard a familiar voice and then felt warm, loving hands pick up one of hers. She blinked and saw her Mom and Dad standing in the room with her; her Mom holding her hand and stroking it softly.

“Oh Shortcake, you practically scared us to death!” her Mom said.

Her dad leaned over and kissed her forehead and she felt a tissue wiping her tears away and smiled gratefully at her Mom as she dabbed.

“I did a pretty good number on myself too, let me tell you!” Cassie told them. “Have you heard anything about Sarah?” Cassie held her breath as she waited for an answer.

“We saw Dan and Maggie out in the hall; they are waiting for Sarah to come back from some tests. All they know right now is that she has some broken ribs, well, the doctors are pretty sure anyway and that she has a concussion. She is still unconscious and that concerns them.

Even though Sarah was hurt badly, she was alive and the news made Cassie feel a bit better. She tried nodding her head and discovered she couldn’t thanks to the cervical collar. Frustrated, she silently cursed the darn thing.

“I wish they would get this thing off of my neck! I can’t move,” she told her parents, grimacing.

“Honey, they don’t want you to move right now,” her Mom told her, frowning at her Dad.

Cassie saw that and became alarmed; truly alarmed for the first time since all this happened. She started to open her mouth to ask questions when Dr. Gorman came back into the room.

He nodded and smiled at her parents before introducing himself. He had made his decision; now he could only hope that it was the right one.


While Georgio sat in the doctors lounge memories whipped through his mind; memories of a different time and a different man. A man that still knew how to love, how to feel, and who didn’t hide away from the world. That man, well, he was only a memory and so much the better for his patients he thought. The man he was now, this man could keep a protective buffer around himself; a buffer that allowed him to see his patients objectively which was good as often their lives and recoveries depended on his ability to do just that.

He sat his half-finished coffee down on the desktop; it was cold anyway he thought with a shrug. All during medical school, his internship and residency he had been the golden boy; the guy who could wield a scalpel and make miracles happen, whose diagnostic instincts helped people to once again lead normal lives. He’d often been referred to as ‘Dr. Ice’, because of his nerves of steel and his ability to keep his emotions out of his cases. He didn’t mind it; in fact he secretly appreciated it, even through many lectures by the teaching doctors about bedside manners and all. Well, he might not have had the warmest of those, but he could certainly heal and wasn’t that what mattered?

When Belinda Maddock entered his world and knocked it upside down and inside out, she enchanted him with her sweet, shy smile and her tender nurturing of patients. She brought a part of him to life that he hadn’t felt outside his own over-whelmingly large Greek family. They were boisterous and happy and never missed an opportunity to grab you and give you a hug and a kiss. Only with his family did the real Georgio emerge – until Belinda entered his life that is.

Georgio had a few girlfriends in high school; young, innocent relationships that fit in with his ambitious plans for his future. Not serious relationships at all but still he had enjoyed them. When he went to college he remained focused on his goals and very seldom dated anyone. His goal was to get into Johns Hopkins for medical school, as had his father before him and if he was going to accomplish that it would take top grades and focus. So, on Friday nights when his fraternity brothers were out drinking and chasing girls, he was hitting the books and in the end it paid off, his GPA was 3.99 and it got him his ride to Johns Hopkins.

Early on in med school he knew that his specialty would be orthopedics, with a focus on spinal cord functions. His steady hand and ability to remain calm during tense procedures made him an ace in the surgical world. During his internship and residency he became very adept and took on many cases that were deemed hopeless by other surgeons, and yet somehow he managed to pull most of them off.

He led a solitary life through all of that though, much to his family’s despair. In a large Greek family it wasn’t if you would marry and have kids, it was when. Being the youngest of 10 children his parents were a bit more indulgent with him, but his mother was a veritable vessel of depression, fretting over his lack of a partner. Older brothers and sisters had done the proper thing, married young and had kids, many kids Georgio thought with a smile. He doted on all of them and was active in all of their lives, as much as time would allow.

When Belinda came along he had been in private practice for 5 years. He volunteered at the clinic twice a month and generally enjoyed it. His father did the same thing and his mother and father had instilled a strong sense of caring and community spirit in each of their children. His sisters Reni and Athena lived in Greece as well as his brother Kostas and they continued that same sense of community responsibility there.

Georgio’s father was not Greek, but you would never know it if you watched how he related to his wife’s family. He seemed as Greek as any of them and spoke the language fluently as well. Georgio knew a small amount of Greek and could function only on a basic level in the language and that caused his mother a good deal of angst. She felt that she had somehow failed him as a mother because he wasn’t fluent, but really it was a matter of priorities; he knew from the time he was a small child and listened to his own heart with his father’s stethoscope that he would become a doctor so that was what he concerned himself with.

A wistful smile swept across his features as he remembered Belinda. She was shy and so caring of the patients that they saw at the clinic; mostly indigent and homeless folks down on their luck. He was awed by her patience and ability to make them relax in a setting that they weren’t comfortable in and more than once he saw her slip a few of them a couple of bucks to help them out. Never mind that often times that money went straight to the nearest liquor store, around the corner. She always believed that it was going to be spent to buy a meal or something else useful and his heart had immediately fallen head over heels in love with her.

Shortly after they were married Belinda was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It was almost unbelievable to Georgio; she was young and otherwise healthy. And it progressed at a remarkable rate; two years later she was dead and Georgio was alone. At first his heart broke and then gradually a numbness took over. He was content with that since it allowed him to concentrate on his practice again.

In weaker moments, his heart and head acknowledged that he missed her terribly and that he knew that he only existed for his patients and not himself. It was safe that way; comfortable. But that had ended today when he had been called in to see a patient with a possible traumatic spinal cord injury. He was no longer safe and neither was his heart.

What was it about her he wondered? She was a tiny thing, maybe 5’0 tall and 90 pounds soaking wet; soft red hair around a pixie face with huge green eyes. Eyes that took in everything he noticed, and sparkled with curiosity in a face that exhibited a slightly impertinent attitude even while she laid there scared to death. She had determination and wouldn’t give up, he could tell. She would be a fighter all the way through recovery and from the looks of the tests she would recover.

It was decision time, cut and run or stay and watch this amazing woman recover her life? He knew what his choice was going to be and a small part of him regretted it; life was going to change.


Georgio walked into the trauma room where Ms. Banks was waiting with her parents. After introductions were made he got down to business.

“Ms. Banks, you have sustained a traumatic spinal cord injury. It’s called Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury. That means your spinal cord is only traumatized, not broken or permanently damaged.” He looked at Cassie’s parents before adding, “She is incredibly lucky. Right now she is experiencing some minor paralysis but it should heal well on it’s on in time.”

Cassie bit her lower lip for a moment, relishing the pain it brought. She refused to cry about this, she wouldn’t! A million questions were leaping through her brain right now though and she tried to organize her thoughts so that she could ask those questions.

Georgio watched her struggle to keep her emotions under control; he admired her efforts because he knew how hard it was to do that. He saw the questions in her eyes and waited patiently because he knew she was going to have many.

“I – I, uh, don’t feel paralyzed. I can move my hands and I could feel it earlier when you poked my foot,” she said.

“The paralysis is basically in this area of your body,” he told her, indicating her stomach to her knees. “These are the area’s most effected; I know you could feel the test earlier and that you can move your hands but if you were to try to move your legs you would find that you couldn’t.” He watched her frown and realized that she was going to try to do that, move her legs and he reached out a warning hand and laid it on her leg to stop her. “Don’t try Ms. Banks, you’ll only do more damage.”

It scared Cassie when she realized that while she could see his hand on her leg, she couldn’t actually feel it. That sunk in like an anchor hitting the ocean floor. She really was paralyzed. No wonder it didn’t hurt!

“So, how long? Until it heals I mean. You said it will heal on its own.”

Georgio smiled at the determination in her voice. He didn’t realize how it lit up his face; he had been right – she was a fighter and that was most of the battle in cases like this. “Well Ms. Banks, that is largely going to be determined by YOU!” he told her as he pointed his pen at her. “Seriously, if you listen to what I tell you and follow directions you will hopefully be moving again in a few months.”

“MONTHS?” Cassie’s face blanched at the news. “Months? Like 2 months or 10 months?”

“Maybe 2 if you behave, maybe a bit more. Now, do you want to hear about what is going to be happening?”

She nodded and grabbed for her mother’s hand and squeezed it tightly. Georgio saw a brief look of discomfort flash across Mrs. Banks face, quickly hidden as concern for her daughter was the most prominent emotion.

“Okay, here goes. We are going to move you to a private room where you will be placed in a special bed for these types of injuries. It is designed to keep pressure off of your spinal cord so that it can heal more quickly. For a bit that will be your only concern, but as tests show healing progress to your spinal cord we will start you will some gradual movement. Eventually you will be out of that bed and will go to a rehabilitation hospital so that you can learn to walk again.”

“Learn to walk again? Why, will I have forgotten how to walk?”

“Not exactly, but you will lose muscle tone and mobility and these will have to gradually be built up again. But I feel confident that you will make a complete recovery Ms. Banks; you are very fortunate.”

“So, I won’t need surgery?”

“No, you won’t. It’s more a matter of letting your spinal cord rest and heal so that the swelling can subside and of course that is the ‘taking time’ part. It might seem like forever, but it won’t be. Now, they will be moving you soon and I’ll see you later after you have been settled into your room.”

Cassie nodded and watched as he left the room. She sighed, but it was a determined sigh and she did feel better know that she knew what was before her. She looked at her parents and asked, “Can you go and check on Sarah for me please? I want to know how she is doing.”

“Sure honey, I’ll go,” he dad told her.

“What time is it Mom?

“It’s around 9:15, shortcake. Why?”

“I was just wondering – it feels as if I’ve been here for hours and I guess that is because I have!”

Alice Banks nodded and patted her daughter’s hand. This was terrible for her, one of those times when a parent would give anything if it could only be them instead of their child. Alice couldn’t take the hurt away from her, but she would be there for her and help Cass get through it all. As Alice was thinking about all of this Ed walked in with Maggie Marcus, Sarah’s mom. A smile lit up Cassie’s face as Maggie came over and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

“How’s Sarah?” Cassie asked eager to know what was going on with her best friend.

Maggie brushed a whisp of soft red hair away from Cassie’s cheek and smiled at her. “Well, she’s still unconscious, but not too bad otherwise. Her ribs are severely bruised and that is going to cause some discomfort for awhile. She has a fractured skull, which is what is causing the problems mostly. But they think it’s only a matter of time before the swelling goes down enough and she regains consciousness. We’re just thankful you are both okay for the most part!”

Cass sighed and slightly nodded her head, as much as the collar would allow and then panic hit her for a moment as she realized she had tried to move. This was going to be so hard she decided, keeping those small movements under restraint. You do it without even thinking and that could cause her lots of problems.

Just then another head poked into the room and Cassie recognized Lissa, Sarah’s daughter. Cassie’s grin spread across her face like wildfire; she loved Lissa like her own daughter and was so happy to see her.

“Hey kiddo, when did you get here?”

“A little while ago; I was checking in on Mom. How are you? They told me you have a spinal cord injury,” Lissa said as she touched Cassie’s hand.

Cassie noticed that Lissa was doing the ‘doctor’ thing, checking her over while trying to look like she wasn’t. “I’m okay,” she said with a laugh and a wink. “Could have been much worse; the hardest part is going to be keeping me still!”

“If they only knew,” Lissa laughed. “If they only knew…”

Just then two nurses came into the room and another attendant as well. The first nurse said, “Ms. Banks, we’re ready to move you to your room now.” To Cassie’s parents she stated, “She will be in room 4011 in 4 West. If you’ll give us a little while to get her settled you can then see her. You could wait in the waiting room on 4 or in the cafeteria.”

“Mom, Dad, it’s late, why don’t you go home and get some rest? I’m tired myself and I’ll be fine tonight, honestly.”

Alice looked horrified at the thought of leaving. “We most certainly WILL NOT, young lady! We want to see you settled first.”

Lissa and Maggie both said their goodbyes and promised to see her in the morning and went back to Sarah, who was also going to be moved to a room. As they started to wheel Cassie out of her room she caught sight of Dr. Gorman again. He was standing at the nurses’ station going over a chart, probably hers.

“Ah, Ms. Banks, they are moving you to a room I see. I’ll be up in a bit to make sure you are settled properly.” He closed the chart and smiled at her again and that was the moment that Cassie knew she was not only going to be alright, but that her life was going to change forever.

At that moment, love filled her heart.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Message about new post

I am not going to be available tomorrow to put that post up.  I'm being sent out of town for some training and don't have the flash drive with me to post today.  Sorry for the delay.  I'll let you know as soon as I have an idea what is going on.