Friday, September 29, 2017

Will Love Prevail - Chapter 30

Chapter 30

It was right around eleven when Chiara and Mark were heading out. Mark locked the door to the apartment as Chiara slowly made her way to the car. On her crutches she carefully hobbled over the sidewalk and to the car port where the Challenger was parked underneath.

Mark came wheeling over to her by the passenger side, making sure she was able to get in. She moved slow but eventually sat in the passenger seat with the crutches next to her. Mark pushed his rims and rolled around to the driver’s side.

He opened the door and threw the key into the seat. Chiara picked up the key and held it for him. He angled his TiLite next to the seat, and in his mind, he was already running the repetitive script for transferring into his car. He quickly remembered and as he had his wheelchair aligned next to the car seat, he pushed his butt forward some on the seat.

Chiara watched from the passenger’s side. Mark’s eyes were down on his feet and he focused on the transfer. His left foot hopped off the foot rest with a spasm and his right leg started trembling slightly. He sat right at the edge of the wheelchair seat and put his fist on the car seat, then pushed forward a bit more and with his other fist on the wheelchair seat he propelled his body over, at the same time grabbing the steering wheel to pull himself over some more. Chiara watched this closely and felt her heart beat as she watched her boyfriend get into the car.

Mark positioned himself on the driver’s seat and then pulled the TiLite closer, taking the wheels off the axles, and carefully placing them in the back seat, then the cushion, and finally he folded the back rest down and very slowly pulled the frame into the car and stashed it into the back seat.

The Challenger basically had only a very small back seat, not really made for passengers, and now that Chiara was with him, he would always have to store his wheelchair into the backseat. Chiara watched the whole process and finally Mark pulled the door shut.

She held out the key to him and he took it from her and their eyes met. He was aware that she had paid full attention to his transfer and he remembered how they had been in the car before and what she had said back then.

Mark asked softly, “Do you remember the last time we were in this car together?”
She nodded without looking at him, “When we went shopping.”
Mark nodded and added, “Do you remember the things you had said to me back hen?”
Chiara slowly moved her eyes up, “I do remember and I still feel the same way. I love seeing you get into your car.”
Mark smiled and softly touched her hand, “Good.”
He then stuck the key into the ignition, “Let’s see if I still got this.”

In the hospital he had had to take some cognitive ability tests making sure he would still be able to drive and in Occupational Therapy he had been practicing in a car prop with hand controls to make sure he still had the abilities to operate the vehicle. He had passed all the tests and had been cleared to drive again.

Now he turned the key in the ignition and the car came on. Mark felt the power of the V8 engine under the hood and it made his hands tremble as he held the steering wheel.

He looked over at Chiara and she met his eyes and asked softly, “You think you got it?”
Mark held the steering wheel and looked around in the car, “Yeah, I think I got it.”

She watched him quietly as he put his hand to the gear shift, put the car in reverse, and then with his right hand he pushed the hand control down and gently gave the car some gas. Even though he only slightly pushed on the gas the engine sounded strong and ready and looking in the rearview mirror, Mark pulled out of the parking spot.

He was slightly nervous but he would just take it slow and get familiar with the hand controls again and get used to the power of his car. He put the car in gear and slowly pulled over the parking lot but instead of going out onto the main road, he drove around the parking lot of the apartment complex. 

Chiara watched him drive and she could see how focused he was and she could also see how happy he was.

When Mark realized she was watching him he explained nervously, “I’m just driving around here a little to get used to it again.”
Chiara tried to make him feel at ease, “Yeah, no problem. It’s a good idea.”

Mark focused back on driving again and slowly moved over the parking lots and around the apartment buildings.

He became familiar with the hand controls again and he just happened to come around to the building he used to live in. Both realized it at the same time as they were right by the apartment door. Mark quickly glanced from the door to Chiara and he actually slowed down and then put on the break and just parked there.

The apartment had a heavy-duty lock on the door and a yellow warning tape was over the door and it read “Under Construction”. Mark stared at the door for a moment and Chiara then wrapped her hand around his hand on the hand controls. Mark swallowed the knot in his throat and looked back at her.

She could feel the trembling of his hand under hers, “Looks like they’re still working on it I guess.”
Mark looked back at the door, “I guess so.”

He then pulled his hand out from under Chiara’s hand and put the car in gear again and kept driving.

They slowly edged their way over the parking lot and finally Mark was ready to get out on to the regular road.

He stood at the Stop sign by the apartment complex entrance and Chiara asked him, “So you’re ready to drive out there?”
He nodded and swallowed, “I think so. The vet is not that far, right?”

Chiara had Mark’s cell phone programmed to get directions to the veterinary office and Mark pushed the screen on his dashboard and soon the automated voice for the directions started.

They made their way through town. Chiara sensed that Mark was still nervous to drive but he was fully focused and he seemed to be doing okay. She trusted that he would make it and since the vet office was not that far she wasn’t too worried.

The veterinary clinic proved to be an older building and what seemed like it used to be a single-family home but had been transformed into a clinic and looked friendly and inviting with apparently hand painted large colorful animals on the windows. Mark pulled into a parking spot and while Chiara got her crutches positioned next to her, Mark was in the process of setting up his TiLite outside his seat.

There was a ramp on the side and both Chiara and Mark took the ramp up. Mark was at the door before her and was waiting for Chiara. She slowly came up and as Mark was watching her, she shyly glanced up at him. She couldn’t wait to get rid of the cast and finally be able to walk again.

Having had suffered the injuries had given her a new appreciation for being able to walk without any assistance or assistive devices and she couldn’t wait until she would not be depending on the crutches anymore. It all seemed so ironic how she longed so much for her own health and being able to walk whereas Mark was exactly the type of man she wanted; a man not able to walk.

She reached the top of the ramp and Mark inquired, “Are you all right?”

Inside they were greeted by the receptionist who looked at them somewhat curiously, but asked them to take a seat and explained that Dr. Atkins would see them shortly.

Chiara lowered herself onto a chair in the waiting area and Mark parked next to her. He felt somewhat nervous now. Chiara moved her hand over to his hand in his lap and he took it and glanced at her. She squeezed his hand and smiled at him.

It took only a few minutes and a door was opened and a middle-aged man with longer curly grey streaked hair stood there in scrubs smiling at them, “Mark?”
Mark sat up some, “Yeah.”
The man came over, reaching out his hand, “Hi, I’m Dr. Atkins.”
Mark took his hand and greeted him, “Hi, how are you?”
Dr. Atkins smiled, “I’m good thanks. Nice to meet you.”
Dr. Atkins turned to Chiara and as he reached his hand out to her, she said, “Hi, I’m Chiara, Mark’s girlfriend.”
“Nice to meet you Chiara. Welcome to my clinic.”
He now gestured toward the door he had come out of, “Why don’t you guys come in?”

Chiara got up slowly and Dr. Atkins watched her for a moment. Mark waited for Chiara to have a good stance and she slowly made her way behind Dr. Atkins, followed by Mark.

Dr. Atkins’ office was bright and friendly with lots of plants and photos of animals on the walls, some with him in the photos and behind his desk he had his University Degree and certificates in frames mounted on the wall.

He pointed to a chair for Chiara, “Have a seat Chiara.”

Chiara slowly sat down, again under Mark’s watchful eyes.
Mark parked right next to her.

Dr. Atkins sat down on the chair behind his desk and he now looked from Mark to Chiara again, “Well, it’s very nice to meet you guys.”
Mark nodded, “It’s nice to meet you.”
Dr. Atkins said, “I’m glad you got my note. I had given it to Officer Collins and he said he would make sure you would get the note when everything…” He now stopped and his expression was serious.

Mark lowered his eyes and then glanced back at the doctor.

Dr. Atkins continued, “When everything would be okay for you.”
Mark nodded, “Thank you for doing this.”
The doctor now interlocked his hands, “Well, I was called the night you…the night you got attacked. I was on Emergency duty, the vets in the area kind of take turns in the evenings for emergency situations and I just happened to be on duty for that night. I quickly drove to the address and Officer Collins intercepted me there and he led me to where Ranger was.”

Mark swallowed and Chiara reached over and took his hand, Dr. Atkins didn’t miss the gesture.

He now said, “I’m very sorry about Ranger, Mark. I’m very sorry about everything that happened that night. But I wanted to make sure Ranger’s body was taken care of. I picked him up and took him with me and brought him here. The next day after my staff and I had spoken a few words for him I took him to Tacoma myself. That’s where the crematorium is. Officer Collins had filled me in somewhat on your situation and I told him I would hold on to Ranger’s remains until you were well again.”

Mark now felt his body tremble at hearing Dr. Atkins tell him the way things happened.

He nodded and said softly, “Thank you for that. I…I…had him for about a year. He was already six years old.”
Dr. Atkins nodded and Mark continued, “I had found him at an adoption event at the Target store. He was a good cat…a smart cat, and he helped me through some…some tough times.”
Dr. Atkins nodded again, “I heard you were in the service.”

Now Mark nodded but he didn’t say anything else.

Dr. Atkins now shifted and said, “Well, if you’re ready I’ll get the urn with Rangers remains.”
Mark nodded, “I’m ready.”
Dr. Atkins got up, “I’ll have to get it from next door.”

He walked out of the room and Mark looked at Chiara. Her eyes were shiny with tears.

They didn’t say anything and just held each other’s hands. Dr. Atkins came back in and in his hands, he carried the urn. He carefully set the rectangle box on the table in front of Mark. It was a beautiful urn, depicting cats of different colors and types. On top of it, it had a silver engraving with Ranger’s name and underneath it read “Loyal and true friend to my loving human Mark”.

Mark stared at the engraving and Dr. Atkins then explained, “My staff picked out the urn and decided on the wording. I hope you like it. Ranger was a beautiful cat.”

Mark couldn’t say anything and only nodded. Chiara felt a few tears escape from her eyes.
Mark now touched his hand to the urn and let his fingers run over the engraving. Chiara didn’t say anything and only watched Mark.

He then looked up at the doctor, “It’s a beautiful…urn. Thanks for doing all this.”
Dr. Atkins nodded, “It was my duty to bring Ranger back to his righteous owner where his memory will live on.”
Mark now asked with a trembling voice, “How much do I owe you?”
Dr. Atkins seemed surprised at the question and quickly answered, “Nothing Mark. It was my privilege to serve you. I’m just glad you’re okay and that I could do this for you.”

He now looked at Chiara, “I understand you have been through quite an ordeal as well Chiara.”
Chiara nodded and answered softly, “It’s been a lot, yes. Thank you so much for doing this for Mark.”

She sniffed her nose and wiped a few more tears away.

Mark looked at Dr. Atkins again, “Well, I really appreciate it. It means a lot to me. “
When Dr. Atkins saw Mark put his hands to his rims he offered, “I can bring the urn out to your car.”
Mark glanced at the urn and then Dr. Atkins, “That would be helpful.”

Dr. Atkins took the urn and all three made their way out to Mark’s car, almost as in a short procession, Mark in the front rolling down the ramp, Dr. Atkins behind him, and then Chiara.

At the car Chiara said, “I can take the urn on my lap once I’m in the car.”

She already made her way to the passenger side and with the car unlocked she scrambled into the seat with Mark and Dr. Atkins .
Once she was in, Dr. Atkins handed her the urn and she held it on her lap. She thanked him once more and he reached his hand out to her.

“I wish you well and speedy recovery Chiara.”
She thanked him again and then the Dr. came around the driver’s side and Mark reached his hand out, “Thanks again Dr. Atkins. I won’t forget that you did this for me.”
Dr. Atkins smiled, “Maybe I’ll see you again if you should ever have the need for a vet again.”
Mark nodded and Dr. Atkins added softly, “There are lots of cats out there looking for homes Mark.”
“I know and yes, I’m sure you’ll see me again.”
The two men shook hands and Dr. Atkins then said, “Also, thank you for your service Mark.”
Mark nodded; he never knew what to reply to this statement.

Dr. Atkins then turned to go, “I wish you all the best Mark.”
“Thank you Doc.”

Now the doctor walked up the steps to the entrance door and there he turned around and before he went inside, he once more waved at Mark and Chiara in the car.

Mark got into the car under Chiara’s watchful eyes. Once he had his wheelchair in and the door was shut, he just sat there for a moment, took a deep breath, and then looked over at the urn on her lap.

Chiara asked softly, “You okay?”
Mark nodded and his eyes scanned her face, “You?”

She nodded but sniffled her nose.

Mark put his hand on the urn again, “I’m glad he’s back with us.”
“Me too.”

Mark looked up at Chiara and moved his hand to the side of her face softly stroking his finger over her cheek.
He then started the car and they left the clinic parking lot.

Mark drove out of the neighborhood and asked, “Anything else we need to do?”
“I don’t think so. We have food and everything at the apartment.”
“Then let’s go back home, my head is hurting.”

Chiara had been wondering about how Mark was feeling that day and she wasn’t all the way surprised to hear him say this.

He drove through town and even though Chiara thought he knew where he was going, she soon felt that they should have already arrived at home but Mark was still driving around. She thought he was possibly still debating about going somewhere else or getting something else done.

He was staring out onto the road in front of him and was just driving and they soon passed the city limits and she asked carefully, “Do you still need to go somewhere else?”

Mark now swallowed and she saw he was sweating when she looked at him.

“Mark, are you okay?”
He swallowed again and Chiara then realized that something was going on with him, “Mark, talk to me.”

He flipped his blinker and pulled into a parking lot of a store. He parked the car and with both hands on the steering wheel she saw he was taking quick breaths.

“Mark, what’s going on?”

Mark held the steering wheel and his fingers gripped it so tight, his knuckles were turning white.

Chiara shifted and she was worried now, “Mark, please tell me what’s wrong.”
He didn’t look at her but she saw him take quick breaths and he then said softly, “I don’t remember the way.”
Chiara quickly thought about his words, “The way home?”

Mark now nodded but still didn’t look at her.

She touched his arm, “We can type it into your phone, it’s no problem baby.”
She reached down to where Mark’s phone was, “Here, I’ll get it into the GPS. You can use the GPS for everything Mark.”

She tried to sound reassuring but she realized Mark had a difficult time with this.

She typed into the phone Mark’s apartment complex name and quickly saw the address and she then clicked on the directions, “Here you go baby. We have it right here.”

She showed him the phone and Mark slowly moved his eyes to the phone and took it from her.

She still tried to comfort him, “It’s no problem Mark. Just follow the directions on the phone like you did when we drove to the vet clinic.”

She also thought about how she probably needed to get a phone sometime so they would be able to communicate at all times.

Mark now looked from the screen on the phone to Chiara, “Why don’t I know my way home?”
“I don’t know baby. But don’t worry. We’ll just follow the directions on the phone.”

Mark turned the car on again and Chiara made sure the phone was starting with the direction.
She held the phone in her hands and kept telling Mark where to go and he followed what the voice on the phone and Chiara were saying. She saw him take quick breaths and she now only wanted to get home.

They stopped at a red light at a large intersection but when it turned green Mark didn’t go.

Chiara looked over at him, “Mark, go!”
A car behind them sounded their horn but Mark didn’t move. He didn’t even seem to hear anything.
Chiara tried again, “Mark, go, it’s green!”

He seemed to be holding the steering wheel very tight and was taking quick breaths with his eyes down.

Chiara now shifted and touched his arm, “Mark, please go. What is it?”
Mark said softly, “My head is…”

He didn’t finish the sentence but then the light turned red and the cars behind him were blowing their horns again.
Chiara gently uncoiled his fingers from the steering wheel and put his hand on the hand controls.

She now leaned over some, “Mark, look at me!”
He looked over at her from under his bangs and she said stern, “Mark, you have to take us home now. You have to get it together baby. I know your head hurts but we have to move out of this intersection and go home.”
Mark didn’t look at her, “Everything is spinning.”
“Mark, sit up and look out front. You got this.”

She felt her body tremble now and she was scared but she tried to sound confident.

The light turned green again and she said, “Go Mark, you have to go.”

Mark now put the car in gear and he took off and even though he didn’t go very fast and cars passed by him, he was at least driving.

Chiara assured him, “There you go, you got this. Here, turn right now.”

The phone was giving directions and Chiara watched Mark closely and was hoping that they would make it home. The drive home was nerve wrecking, Mark was driving slowly and he was taking quick breaths, Chiara saw sweat beads on his face.

She was relieved when they finally turned into their apartment complex and pulled under the car port by their apartment.
Mark didn’t move though, but taking quick breaths still he leaned his head back on the head rest and closed his eyes.

Chiara got out of the car and made it to the apartment where she unlocked the door and then went back to the car to Mark’s side, “Mark, you have to get out. Give me the urn.”

She only had one crutch and with the urn in one hand she carefully made her way back to the apartment and now set the urn on the table inside.
Mark was moving slowly, setting his TiLite up, but he stopped in between and was still breathing quickly.

“Mark, what’s going on with you?”
He barely managed, “Just my head...”

Chiara realized that he was having an episode and she stood by and watched making sure he was able to set up his wheelchair. He barely made the transfer and moaned from pain as he positioned himself.
He didn’t shut the door but pushed his rims and made it into the apartment. Chiara shut the door for him and locked the car with the key.  
She was relieved to be at home now and followed Mark in.

He was sitting in his wheelchair in the middle of the living room and he held his head with his hands, his elbows on his thighs. He was taking quick breaths and Chiara told him to go to the bedroom or lay on the couch. He pushed his rims and made it to the bedroom. Chiara found his medication and as she approached the bedroom, she already heard Mark in the bathroom with the door closed. He was vomiting.

Chiara stood outside the bathroom, “Mark, are you all right in there?”
She heard him gag and he gasped, “Yeah.”
“Do you want me to come in?”
Seemingly out of breath he mumbled, “No.”

Chiara knew that some of the migraine episodes that Mark dealt with were strong enough to make him sick to his stomach. And they usually came on sudden and unexpected, affecting his ability to think and function.

She wished she could help him but there was not much she could do. She glanced over to the bed; it was still unmade from the morning. Mark vomited some more in the bathroom and Chiara heard him flush the toilet again.

She felt helpless and called, “Mark, is there anything I can do?”

He coughed and gagged again, but it seemed like he couldn’t even vomit anymore because there was most likely nothing left in his stomach.

He gasped, “I’m okay.”

Chiara went back to kitchen where she took a bottle of water from the refrigerator and with one crutch and in the other hand the water bottle, she made it back to the bedroom. She heard the faucet on in the bathroom and she heard Mark brush his teeth.

He finally came out and his hair was moist and stringy. His face looked pale and his eyes were shiny and had dark shadows under them. He wheeled over to the bed and she heard him breathe quickly as he angled his wheelchair and then pulled first his right leg up and with his foot on his knee, he took his sneaker off and then did the same with the other leg. Both of his legs were shaking now and he kept his eyes down, taking quick breaths and obviously still in pain. He barely made the transfer onto the bed and Chiara limped over to him and once he was on the bed adjusting his legs, she sat on the edge of it, watching him.

Sitting hunched over far Mark pulled his T-Shirt over his head. He still had his jeans on and then laid his head back on the pillow.

Finally, he met Chiara’s eyes and she looked at him wearily, “Are you okay?”
He slowly moved his head from side to side, “Not really.”

His legs were jumping on the bed, he was still breathing heavily, and his face was moist from sweat. 

Chiara looked down to his legs, “Do you want to take anything?”
She nodded over to the Migraine medication on the bedside table, “I brought your medication for your headaches.”

Mark twisted his body and reached for the water and the medication. He then pulled himself up on the headboard of the bed and sat there and he took the medication and drank from the water.
She watched him quietly.

With the bottle still in his hand he leaned his head back and just looked at her and said lowly, “I forgot how to get home a while ago and I freaked out at the traffic light.”

His chest was moving up and down and he was taking gasping breaths.

Chiara lowered her eyes, “It was just a temporary thing and probably because you were getting a headache.”

His face was moist and his bangs were hanging into his forehead. Even his chest was slightly damp from sweating. Chiara moved up some more and she touched his arm and they only looked at each other.

Now Mark asked with his eyes on her, “Do you know how to drive?”
Chiara thought for a moment, “It’s been a long time since I have driven, but I do have a license.”
Mark’s legs were twitching on the bed and they both looked at them momentarily, then Mark said, “You may have to start driving her?”
Chiara looked up at him surprised, “Your car?”

Mark nodded and at the same time he squeezed his eyes together for a moment because a stinging pain shot through his brain.

Chiara lowered her eyes, “I don’t know how to use the hand controls.”
Mark opened his eyes again, “I can take them out and that way you can drive her.”
Chiara swallowed, “But if you take them out…”
Mark finished the sentence for her, “I won’t be able to drive her anymore.”
Chiara could hear the pain in Mark’s words and she now said, “Mark, it was your first time driving since…since the injuries. It was maybe just one episode and I was there with you. You made it home.”

He tensed up for a moment and Chiara knew he was hurting and he closed his eyes again.
His legs were jumping on the bed and even though now she glanced at them, she didn’t feel excited at seeing the spasms race through his paralyzed legs, but instead she felt her heart ache for Mark as he considered not driving anymore.

He then said without opening his eyes, “I made it home because you were there and because my phone told me how to go. Without you there I probably would still be sitting at the intersection or would be on my way to the hospital. I don’t know if it’s safe anymore.”
Chiara still tried to reassure him, “You won’t be driving alone then. I’ll always be with you.”

Mark bit his lips as the excruciating pain held his head hostage and he was waiting for the medication to kick in.

Chiara then remarked softly, letting her fingers run over his forearm, “You love driving your car.”
He took a deep breath and then slowly opened his eyes, looking at Chiara, “I did love driving my car always. It made me feel less…”
He swallowed, “It made me feel less paralyzed. Made me think I was still good.”

Chiara felt tears come up in her eyes and Mark now added softly, “But it doesn’t matter anymore…you’re with me and I don’t have to pretend to not…to not be paralyzed, hiding in my car. I don’t want to put you at risk if I’m driving and freaking out or something happening while I drive.”
Chiara felt a tear run down her cheek and Mark now moved his hand and took hers in his, “If anyone will drive her, I want it to be you.”

Chiara now lost another tear and she looked up at Mark.

He smiled, “I can’t hide nothing anymore, because now it’s not only my body or my legs but also my brain that is broken. It’s too unpredictable now.”

He swallowed and leaned his head back on the headboard.

Chiara shook her head, “I think you can still drive Mark. You just got out of the hospital and this was your first time driving. Maybe the more you do it, the better. I’ll sit by your side and make sure you’re okay…”
Her words faded and Mark shook his head, “Once you have your cast off, I’ll have the hand controls uninstalled and then you practice driving.”
She attempted once more, “Mark, you shouldn’t give up just yet…”
He squeezed her hand, “It’s okay, I don’t want to put you in danger.”

Now Chiara cried a few more tears and she scooted herself up on the bed. Mark put his arm around her and pulled her to him. She cried silent tears.

With his head resting on the headboard and his eyes closed, he said, “I have full confidence in you driving again. It’s like riding a bike, you’ll never forget it.”
Now he laughed softly, “Unless you got hit and kicked in the head one too many times.”

Chiara smiled at his sarcasm with tears running down her face and she pushed herself even closer to Mark watching his legs jump and twitch on the bed and seeing his hollow belly moving up and down as he was breathing through the pain until the medication finally let him get some rest.

His legs stayed spastic and kept twitching on and off, sometimes more, sometimes less. Mark didn’t want to take any medication for the spasms because he felt he was already on too many medications. He was on anti-depressives and anti-seizure meds. He took his Migraine medication as he needed it and the same with his anti-spasm medication, which he usually tried to avoid taking. Aside from all of it he had pain medication as he needed it for general pain in his shoulders and back.

They lay there together and as Chiara was nestled in Mark’s arms, she also fell asleep and only when she snored loudly for a moment, she startled herself. Mark was propped up on a pillow and his eyes were closed when she looked at him and he was taking even breaths. The spasticity in his legs had faded and only slight twitches still ran through his legs.

Chiara watched him sleep and let her eyes scan over the tattoos on his shoulders and chest and she then looked down to his legs and her eyes then ended on his wheelchair parked next to the bed. She felt so much love for him and it made her sad that the experience with the car that day had Mark reconsider driving his beloved car anymore.

She peeled herself from his embrace and got up and quietly made her way out to the living room. The urn was still sitting on the table where she had put it when she had brought it in. She now looked around and saw there was a space in the entertainment center which was up against the wall with the new TV in it. She carefully grabbed the urn and brought it over and set it in the open spot in the shelf.

Mark didn’t get up anymore that day and he slept the rest of the day and night. He didn’t want to eat anything when Chiara asked him around dinner time. He only got up to get in the bathroom again and then went back to bed.

Apparently, the morning with the driving and getting Ranger’s remains had exhausted him. She was surprised at how much it had affected him and he apologized when he didn’t get up. She didn’t want to make him feel bad and she remembered how the Neurologist had talked to them and explained that anything out of the ordinary could be strenuous for Mark and could potentially make him tired or exhausted. She thought about the evening before after everyone had left and how they had made love and now she wondered if all of it had been a bit too much.

She let him sleep and for dinner she made herself a sandwich and she watched TV until she also went to bed at almost eleven. Even at the hospital Mark had always been asleep before her and she had stayed awake and still watched TV.

She crawled into bed next to him. He didn’t move but stayed in the position he was in and she kissed him gently on his cheek and then turned the light off.


  1. My heart is braking for Mark...

  2. What an emotional chapter..well written.

  3. Poor Mark! I feel sad for him, but happy that he has Chiara. Her love for him shines through in your writing. Thank you Dani!

  4. Thank's Dani, i loved.

  5. Very lovingly depicted.