Wednesday, February 21, 2018

not a bedtime story

not a bedtime story




Ed felt certain Ollie was lying to him about Valentina, but then again, Ed might have been coming down with something far worse than a cold. His throat was so raw and Betty wasn't listening to a word he said.

She laid in bed with her eyes shut.

It frightened him. He took her hand as he sat by her bed. Granted, he'd never been in her bedroom before, but he needed someone to talk too.

"Are you sick?" He wanted to know as he put the back of his hand across her forehead.

She shook her head no, but he noticed a shiver. Ed sighed. This wasn't good.

He thought about calling an ambulance, but she talked him out of it. She was sure she would be fine.

If she was going to be that way, then he'd just get in bed with her. He was in his sweat pants and tee. Maybe if he slept, he would feel better.

After awhile, the bed shook slightly.

"What are you doing?" She rose up on her elbows in her lounge ware which was her style when she wasn't at work.

"What?" He kept one eye shut when he looked at her.

"I don't understand you, sometimes." She cleared her throat and crossed her arms as if that was her true defense from him.

"So." He told her he didn't feel so good, himself.

"Well...you should keep away from me." Betty was awake now as she set up, wedged against her three pillows while Ed only had one.

"Why? We're both sick." He didn't budge. "You, don't want to go to the hospital."

"You're making me hot." She insisted.

"You've got a fever." He sighed as he rolled over, not to look her direction.

He felt her hands on his back. It felt good to know she knew he needed his back rubbed. He smiled thinking she knew him so well. He'd given her something to relieve the fever. Maybe it wasn't the flu, after all.

He slept until she went back to her pillow and slept too. It felt as if winter was at rest. Perhaps, spring would come after all.

A tap came to the bedroom door. Ed's dark eyes shot open.

"Mom." It was her son Dewey.

Ed got up and said, next to the unopened door. "She's asleep."

"What are you doing with my mom?" It sounded like a demand, yet Dewey's voice was quiet too, as if he knew not to wake a sleeping bear.

"We're both sick." Ed told him. "What's wrong?"

"I wanted to tell her, Angie broke up with me." He sounded so sad.

"That's awful," Ed said. "On Valentines day?" He winced, shaking his head. What's wrong with girls, these days, he thought.

"Uh-huh." Dewey sounded as if he was already crying.

"Maybe, she'll change her mind." Ed told him. "You know, what they say..Love isn't love until you give it away."

It was quiet. Dewey was crying softly.

"Ice cream, is always good at a time like this." He thought of his own raw throat. "There's a red bucket of it in the freezer. You, might need some chocolate syrup too." He told him he saw some on the bottom shelf of the fridge door.

"Look, if you're mom doesn't get any better, we'll go to the hospital." Ed sighed. "Just..I just don't want to get anybody else sick." He wanted to believe that was the reasoning behind his stay in Betty's room. But he liked it here, and he felt like staying.

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