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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Chapter 29 - continued--finally!

I crawled out of bed long enough to get this posted. I'm a pathetic baby when I'm sick, but today my cough was under control so I could write. Thanks for your patience. I'm sorry to make you wait for this so long. My next post will be Thursday.

This is the rest of Chapter 29. Chapter 30 will start with a Dive Log from Michael.

Thanks for hanging in there with me!


LEESIE’S MOST PRIVATE CHAPBOOK
POEM # ??,

My kayak paddle digs
deep into the turquoise water.
I pull the blade through,
raise it, dig deep again
in rhythm with Michael
paddling behind me.

He’d burst into Jaz’s shack earlier,
bundled me and Aunty Jaz into his car
and sped to the big hospital near
my clinic. “Hurry, we’re late.”
Is the only clue he divulges.

By the time I manage
to get Jaz on her feet
he’s back with a wheelchair
and a beautiful nurse
with a clipboard and thick,
long, long back hair.
I’m frozen by that hair.
But Aunty Jaz pipes up,
“Dear boy, you’re mistaken
I don’t have an appointment.”

Michael ignores her, eases
her into the wheelchair
and races away.
I lock my hands behind
my back so I don’t touch
the inch and a half long
growth that covers my head
or pull a handful of the nurse’s
beautiful hair off her
innocent, unsuspecting head.

I follow through double doors,
down halls, around a corner,
notice a “Dive Medicine Clinic” sign,
worry that Michael’s bent again,
realize that makes no sense at all.
“Wait here.” He motions me to a
waiting area as he pushes Jaz
through more glass doors and
around a corner.

I sit on a yellow waiting room couch,
wait and wait until—there he is!
I barge through the glass doors.
“They are prepping her for the chamber.”
He’s totally lost me.
“Aunty Jaz isn’t bent.”
He grins big and takes my hands.
“Oxygen therapy. Great for wounds that won’t heal.”
I frown, worried. “She can’t afford this.”
He shrugs. “But I can.”

We’ve got two hours to ourselves.
He’s taken the whole day off.
So here we are paddling
out to his favorite free diving spot.

He stows his paddle to signal
our arrival. I tuck my paddle
alongside his. Instead of bailing
over the side, he opens his arms wide.
“Come here, babe.”
I maneuver into them,
snuggle my face
into his neck,
while his arms wrap me up tight.

He kisses his favorite spot
on my mangy skull and whispers,
“I think something answered.”
I bolt up—almost tip the kayak.
“You prayed!” My lips attack
in jubilation before he can answer.
He holds me off.
“Not fancy words like you—
I just asked.”
I have to kiss him one more time.
“That’s all you have to do.”
I sit back, so he can explain.

“I didn’t hear a voice
or anything or see stuff
in my head like you do,
but I had this feeling—”
He pauses, can’t speak for a moment.
He swallows and grips my hand.
“I, um, I—wasn’t alone.”
I hug him and cry.
His lips rest on my forehead,
and his arms squeeze me.
“Do you know what that means,
Leesie?” He gazes off into the distance.
“We’re not alone.”

Before I can answer, he props me
up, and holds me by the arms,
gives me a shake. “I woke up this
morning with this idea for
Aunty Jaz burgeoning in my brain.”
I smile, and try to say something,
but he gets there first.
“It grew and grew until
I picked up the phone and called
the chamber.”

My eyes fill up with joyful tears
to consecrate the moment.
He wipes them away.
“I love the way this feels.”
I touch his cheek. “Me, too.”

He takes my hand and
kisses my palm.
“Do you think this can happen
again or is it a one shot deal?”
I gather both of his hands in mine,
kneel on the kayak floor in front of him,
gaze forever into his eyes.
“Whenever you’re willing
to pay the price—it’s there.
You’ve felt it before.”

He nods. “What do you we now?”
I swallow and wipe my nose
with the back of my hand.
“We can call the missionaries.”
His forehead creases concern.
“I love reading with you.
Can we keep doing that?”
That makes me start crying again.
He holds me close—our lips meet,
but it’s more like our hearts
mesh than our mouths.

I rest my ear against his chest
try to hear if he beats a fresh rhythm
to match mine. My soul soars
with hope—the fuzzy outlines of
forever with Michael become
a detailed sketch, glowing and radiant.
“Did I tell you I love you today?”
He rolls over the kayak’s side
into the water, deftly bringing
me with him. “Not enough.”




7 comments:

  1. Love it.
    It is awesome that he immediately is helping others

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  2. Was waiting for this chapter. Love it.

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  3. Beautiful. Can't wait for more. :D Feel better.

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  4. Aw! I feel so much better. Can't wait for more.

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  5. Angela, I loved it! But it was a little confusing at first and it all seemed like a big rush! And it seemed that he was in a hurry (michael) was in a hurry to get aunt jazzy out, this is such and important time in the book, you should take some time to tweak it a little bit.

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  6. "I love the way this feels."
    Definitely worth waiting for! Hope you're feeling better. The only thing I questioned was Michael's using "something" instead of "someone" when he said "I think something answered," but maybe he would still perceive it more that way.

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  7. MICHAEL !!!!!!!
    I AM SO PROUD OF YOU !!
    MUAHH !

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