“Hey, you!” It was Billy. “Would you mind coming by the hospital? I wanted your opinion on something that I’m thinking of buying my mom for her birthday…you know, since you have impeccable taste and all.”
“Sure, my shift begins in a couple of hours anyway. I can come by a little earlier to help you in any way that I can. Don't say you weren't warned though!” she laughed.
“Ok, great. I’ll see you when I see you!”
On the drive to the hospital, September was contemplating how everything had come full circle. She decided that now was as good a time as any for her to allow her heart to speak for her today. Soon, she would look directly into that man’s eyes and tell him the words that were formed in her soul a decade ago.
She wouldn’t hold back, she would let him know that her feelings were undeniable and that he made her life make sense. He would know, without a doubt, that she loved him as much as she needed blood to course through her veins. She was tired of being afraid; she had decided that she would not let another day go by without his knowing exactly where she stood.
She hopped out of the car, not caring one bit that she was occupying two spots, and ran to Billy’s room. He wasn’t there. She quickly turned toward the nurse’s station and realized that no one was there. Panic began to set in like a river rising into raging flood waters.
“Where is everybody?” she called out. Silence. At that moment, she saw Dr. Jones exiting the Doctor’s lounge. “Dr. Jones, there’s no one staffing the nurse’s station. I was just going by to check on Billy and he’s not there…..”
“Oh, I see. Well, we are in the middle of a staff meeting and you are late.”
“What? I’m sorry Dr. Jones. I had no idea, I wasn’t informed about it.”
“Well, now you know….after you.”
September opened the door to a pitch black room. She turned on her heels to ask her attending what was going on and then a song started to play on the intercom:
Slowly, the lights began to illuminate the lounge which had been converted into a Summerville High 10th anniversary Reunion party complete with streamers, balloons and colorful Lisa Frank inspired posters. A disco ball hung low from the ceiling and a table was set up with a punchbowl and chips and dip. Billy who was dressed to thrill in a handsome tuxedo was smiling from ear to ear as he reached out to hand her a corsage.
“I know that we couldn’t make it to the real party, and it’s probably not as fancy, but I don’t mind because I get to have you all to myself.
Immediately, it hit her. Tonight is/was the night of their class reunion! With the events of the past few weeks, she had forgotten all about it.
“I…..I can’t believe that you went through all of this trouble….”
“Well, I can’t take all of the credit! I had lots of help you know. You work with really wonderful people, you know that? Do me a favor. Open that closet.”
She glanced over her right shoulder and then walked toward the closet. She gasped as she saw the most beautiful formal dress and sequined shoes she’d ever laid her eyes on. They looked familiar though. “Hey….”
“Terry picked it out for you. She said that you really liked it and I wanted you to have what you truly wanted.”
“Thank you, so much….you guys really shouldn’t have!” she squealed as she ran to the restroom to change.
When she stepped out, Billy let out an audible gasp. “You look amazing, sweetheart!”
“Why, thank you, sir! It is beautiful. I really don’t know what to say.” she sputtered looking down at her dress and back at Billy who looked good enough to eat in his dapper tux. She felt like Cinderella..........
She began to sway to the song and Billy must have caught the hint.
“May I have this dance, Mademoiselle?”
At that moment, she realized how awkward this was. He was in a wheelchair….how would this work? He placed his hand on his lap.
“Sit here, I promise that I won’t bite.”
September grabbed a pillow from a nearby cot that the doctors used in between shifts and sat down tentatively. “Are you ok? I don’t want to hurt you.”
“You could never hurt me, darling.” he whispered as he pulled her tightly to his chest .
You know what?” he whispered as he began to spin the wheelchair in perfect time to the song.
“What? That you want to make me dizzy?” she giggled as she held on even tighter.
“I’ve loved you for so long, darling.” his voice getting huskier as he tried to hold back the tears.
She nestled her head on his shoulder and began to smile as she remembered something that occurred years ago. September had always suffered from motion sickness which could be traced back during to a visit to the county fair in high school when Terry dared her to stay on the Ferris wheel for as long as she could.
She began to hurl on the 10th revolution and she pledged to never ride on anything that she didn’t have total and absolute command of. Yet, here she sat in Billy’s arms relishing every moment of it. It was that day that September learned to love spinning wheels, she got over her fear of things she couldn’t control. She was in a perfect cocoon of love and safety, she didn’t mind watching the ceiling swirl like ice cream pouring out of a soft serve machine. She was happy. She was content.
"I love you too, Billy......with all of my heart!" she said as she gave him a soulful, passionate kiss. She was no longer broken. They were both healing in their own way and she knew at that moment that he was the missing piece to her puzzled life. Fate had brought them back together for a reason and that was to make her finally realize that she was a fully grown adult woman. She was......what she was always meant to be...... his woman.