What Others Say Can Harm You
Bay to Breakers “AmBEERlance”. A kegger a day keeps the pain away. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What Others Say Can Harm You
Bay to Breakers “AmBEERlance”. A kegger a day keeps the pain away. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Today I went to see Al. He was listening to his coca cola bottle radio with his headphones. He was in a pretty good mood. When it came time to take him potty before lunch he all of a sudden got bad leg pains. He started to whimper and I observed the one absolutely fabulous aide took her time with him. They accomplished the deed and he was to push himself out of his room and head down to lunch.
He was still whimpering from the pain so he stopped at the Nurse Station and asked for a pain pill. A nurse, over the weekend informed me that Al had not been requesting PRN pain medications for some time. I was happy to hear that the new increase of his pain patch was still working.
While waiting for the nurse to give him his medication I made a comment that I was so pleased that Al had not been asking for more pills. She got in his file and said,”Who told you that?”
“Well it says right here he asked for PRN medications on the average of one to two times each day.”
She began telling me the times and days. Once again I had been duped by that stupid Nurse. I am sorry, I shouldn’t call her that, but I can’t help it.
Al was fine while we were at lunch. He was cutting up and smiling. He is usually in a good mood on Tuesdays as he gets to get out of there for the afternoon. His driver takes him to an outing or to the Day Program.
The driver arrived and when Al was trying to release the manual brakes of his wheelchair, he wasn’t strong enough. He started to whimper and feel embarrassed. I hated myself at that moment, because I started to freak.
We were in front of everyone. Here he was jabbering on and on how he was stupid and couldn’t make the wheelchair go. I tried to reason with him and explain about taking the chance of getting too upset and being placed back in isolation.
He wasn’t listening to me. He was too into what he could not do. I took him down to his room and washed his hands and face from lunch. I was still using different tactics to calm him down. His tremors were as busy as a bee. He was teary eyed all the way to the front door.
The problem here is what the facility has done to my emotions over this past weekend. I don’t like freaking out because Al doesn’t like it that he can’t do things he used to. The plain old truth is that because he is out of the lock down room, his PD is still very active.
He isn’t going to feel any better physically. I am just trying to gear his mind to other places, but in the end, the facility has made me feel very vulnerable. Are they going to put him back in isolation? Is he going to say he wants to die again? I am worried. I don’t want him to have to go back there or be kicked out.
I kicked myself all the way out the front door. I watched him being loaded and as I left in my car I prayed he settled down. I have to stop being afraid, but I don’t know how. I am not afraid for me or to speak up to this rotten place, I am afraid for Al.
Drake’s name was called by the nurse, and David walked with him back to the little room where the nurse took his vitals. His blood pressure was up a little but not to the point of alarm. After several questions, the only thing Drake complained of was a slight headache and a sore neck.
The nurse took him back to the room where the doctor could take a closer look at him, and then David was checked out next and waited in the room next to Drake. When the doctor opened the door and came in to see Drake, he asked him about the accident and how Drake had felt at the time of impact. Did he suffer any dizziness or blurriness, how much pain did he feel. Drake said that he had a slight head ache and that his neck hurt. The doctor ordered a cat scan on his head and neck, and then told him he would be back with the results.
After leaving Drake the doctor went in to see David, and after talking to him, found out that he was alright. No need to do any testings. He had been a lucky man the doctor had said. He dismissed David and went to see other patients waiting for him, and when the tests came back he went back to Drake’s room. He stated that the test had come back alright, with no problems. He may suffer from a little neck stiffness, and he had brought with him a neck brace, and wanted him to wear it if he felt a greater pain. Whip lash was something that Drake could experience as the days went by. Other than that, he was going to dismiss him also, unless he had more questions. Drake asked if the doctor knew anything about Dahlia, and the doctor said, to go wait in the main lobby and he would have him called back when they knew more information.
David and Drake found themselves both waiting out in the main lobby. Time ticked by so slowly as they waited for someone to call his name, but no one came nor called out to them. It was getting late in the afternoon and David asked Drew if he was getting hungry.
Drake had not really thought too much about food until the word was mentioned, and then he decided he was rather hungry and could use something to eat. Both guys went to the receptionist and told her they were going to go to the cafeteria. If the nurse was trying to locate them, please have them paged at once, and they would return right away.
David and Drake found the cafeteria and ordered some lunch, and after paying for it they found an isolated booth and sat down to eat. The talk was light, finding out about each other, what did they do for a living, finding out that they lived in the same vicinities. Other than that, it was pretty quiet between the two, Drake anxious for news and David wishing someone would call over the PA system.
They finished their lunch and not being able to sit still any longer they got up and wandered through the gift shop and Drake found a soft, cuddly stuffed kitten and he wanted to get this for Dahlia. Together they left and went back to the waiting area. Drake went to the front desk once again, asking if anyone had asked for him while he had been gone, and the answer back was no, I am sorry, no one has been looking for you.
They both were sitting and watching the television and then Rachel and Ralph and some of the ladies from the house showed up and were asking a lot of questions. Rachel stated that she had just been informed by a neighbor, and she was upset that no one had come to them letting them know that there had been an accident sooner.
Just then, the nurse came and called Drake’s name. She asked him to follow her back to a little office where the doctor would come talk to him now. Rachel grabbed his arm and asked if he wanted her to go with him, and he nodded yes, as he had just became aware of a knot rising in his stomach. Like being called to the principal’s office in school for being naughty.
The two walked back and sat down in a small office, that only had enough space to hold a desk and two table stands with light, and two chairs, and of course, the doctors chair. They only sat there for a moment, when the doctor walked in and they both stood up and shook his hand. Drake introduced his mother and then asked how Dahlia was.
The doctor opened his file he had brought with him, and acted like he was seeing it for the very first time. He began by saying that the accident had flipped her head back and forth a couple of times too many, and had caused nerves to swell in the neck and head. There was some slight swelling in the brain, and this had caused her to go into a coma. She was still asleep and had not woken up as of the last time he went in to check on her.
Drake rubbed his neck and then his forehead, waiting for more information. The doctor said that the swelling was not too bad, but yet it was more swelling then he wanted to see, so he wanted to take her into surgery and drill a tiny hole in the top of her head to relieve the swelling.
Drake started crying like he had just heard the words dying, and Rachel let out a gasp, as she had never heard of such a thing. The doctor went on in his calm voice, asking if one of them could sign papers allowing this procedure to be done. Drake said that neither of them were related to her, and that her father was the only one that they knew of that was a relative, but he was home bound and what were they going to do now.
Drake explained that they were going to be married in a month and a half. The doctor sat for a while and did some thinking. There was nothing he could do, there was no one to sign papers, and yet he could not let Dahlia lie there at risk. He once again spoke, and said that he was going to go ahead and do the surgery if it was alright with Drake, and Drake replied if it will help her to live, please, please do it. Go do it now.
With that the doctor left to go let the nurses in OP to get ready for a patient coming in and he left two people, a mother and son holding each other trying to comfort away the dreaded word of surgery.
When Dahlia heard the knock on the door, she asked who it was, and the deep voice answered. She went to the door and opened it and let Drake in. He shut the door behind him and turning towards her, he took her in his arms and kissed her passionately and firmly on the lips. She responded back, not even thinking twice, letting his hands run through her hair, down her back and around her waist.
She could feel herself shiver inside, muscles twitching, as his love poured through his fingers. Before anything could be taken further with the mind, he let go of her and walked her towards her bed. He sat her down, and took her hand and wrapped it around the flower. She instantly inhaled its perfume, and then he took that away from her and replaced it with the small box.
Dahlia asked him what this was, and he said to open it. She did as she was told, and her fingers grasped the bracelet. Fingers encircling the delicate band, he asked her if she liked it, and she exclaimed that she loved it, that he had given it to her and she would always cherish it. With these words, he asked her if he could have the honor of placing it on her wrist, and she held her arm up for him to put in on.
Taking the rose back she leaned in close to him, thanking him and telling him that she was so in love with him. He laid her on the bed, and laying beside her he kissed her once again, with tenderness and passion. Her body rose to him, but he would not let himself do anything that would bring disrespect to her. He treasured her and he would not shame her. The right time would come and then he would show her how he felt about her, and profess his love to every part of her being.
He had a hard time controlling himself, and so he sat her back up, and taking both of her hands in his, he asked her if she was certain that she loved him, and she said oh yes, Drake, I love you more than life itself.
He then stood up from the bed and kneeling in between her legs, he pulled her head close to his and whispering in her ear, he asked her if she would consider being his wife. A gasp came from deep in her throat, as she threw her arms around his neck, and said yes. Drake could see the tears forming in her eyes, and this in turn, caused him to want to burst with love. He stood back up and once again laid her down, and found himself lying next to her body.
He touched her hair, then moved gently down her cheeks touching her nose, and running his fingers over her closed lids. Excitement was building from within him and he could see her rib cage expanding faster with her own hidden desires. His hand found its way down to the curves of her breast, and he cupped his hand around one, holding it like it was gold. Her own hands reached around his neck and drew him closer. Their breathing became one, as he found his hand raising her dress and sliding into areas of deep pools of love.
She guided his hand to places that had never been discovered before, and he touched the virgin spot. Her body rose and lowered to his touch, and she could feel warmth flowing from her veins. His hands began to tremble as his heart was beginning to take over. He looked into her face and saw that she was in sync with him, but he knew this was wrong.
He slowly took his hand away from her pool, and lowered her dress, and sat up. He pulled her gently up and told her he wanted her so badly, but he could not spoil her innocence with his desires. He made her promise that when school was out, that she would marry him the day after graduation, and she agreed. Both sitting on the bed, they held each other and whispered love into each others ears, and then he sat up, and looked into her eyes, and said he must go now before he could never turn back, and he walked out of her bedroom door, leaving her sitting on the bed, touching the bracelet, and her heart trying to slow down. She was in love and she wanted to scream it to the world. All she could do was smile and dream of her wedding day.
Sunday she floated through the activities of church and meals and chores. She tried to study but found it hard, as her mind drifted back to Drake. Six month to go, six months until she became Drake’s wife. Soon the day was over, and school began again the next morning, and she drifted off to sleep with visions of Drake.
In the kitchen while everyone else was asleep or in their rooms, Rachel and Ralph were sitting at the kitchen table with Drew. The discussion was about his illness and what had happened. Was he willing to go back to the doctor to see if something had happened to make this bad part of him come to life once again.
Although, Drew seemed cocky earlier in the day, the truth was, that he had plenty of time to think about what he had done to Dahlia, and he was ashamed. He loved his brother and he would never want to hurt him, and he himself didn’t know why he had even went to her. What had caused this? He hung his head down to the table and asked his parents for help. Please help me, I don’t want to be like this, I feel so sick inside. Ralph and Rachel took their sons hands and promised to call the doctor in the morning, and they said that together they would find the answers, but he, Drew, must stay away from Dahlia or any other lady, and if he felt something coming over him, he should come immediately to them.
The next day came, and as soon as everyone was at school, Rachel made the call to the doctor’s office. The doctor seemed a little surprised, since so many years had gone by, and had the receptionist set them an appointment right away. With this confirmation, Rachel felt that at least now they were going to get help. They would get this fixed with the doctor’s help.
Meanwhile, at school, Dahlia was working very hard on the dance floor. She was making great progress, and the teacher expressed this to her, telling her that she believed Dahlia was the top student in her class. The teacher went on to say that hard work makes perfect, and she could see that Dahlia had indeed been working hard. The teacher asked her if she thought she may be able to help her tutor another student. That she had received a call of a special needs student, that needed extra help. The teacher said for her to give it plenty of thought, that it would almost seem like a real job with the work that was put into it. Dahlia asked the teacher if she thought she was really good enough to help someone else,and the reply was yes. Dahlia promised to give it some thought.
Rachel jumped up from her seat and ran over and wrapped her arms around Dahlia saying how glad she was that she was safe and sound. She placed her arms around her and guided her to sit next to her. Ralph reached over and patted her hand, telling her that he had been worried and now he could sleep better tonight.
Ruth looked at the three of them and was thanking God for making the right decision by calling these people. She could tell that there was a lot of love in this family. Rachel turned Dahlia’s face towards her and asked why. Why did you leave, I thought you were happy here with us. What possibly could have happened to make you want to run away?
Dahlia placed her head in the position of looking down at her lap. She realized that she loved these two people. With not being able to see, she could feel the love from them, and she was sorry that she had worried them so much. She could always sense when they were in the room no matter where they were. The scents, the warmth, and the glow, was important factors to a blind person, The touch of Rachel’s soft hands, the smoothness in her voice, showing patience and love. Why had she not confided in these two, and had decided to just run.
Tears started to run down her face and she buried her face in her hands. She was aware that everyone’s eyes were on her, but nothing came out of her mouth. Ralph handed her his hankie and told her to wipe her eyes and blow her nose. He went on to say with confidence that nothing could be so bad, that she could not confide in either one of them.
Dahlia could not take the words,she stood up and felt her way over to where Ruth was sitting, and Ruth tried to comfort her while saying, please tell them, child , what happened. What made you run like this, please explain to them. Can’t you feel the love they have for you? You can trust them.
Dahlia sat in silence, trying, wanting to get the words out, but how could she tell them that their own son, had taken advantage of her. How could she hurt them like this. The clock could be heard ticking in the background, the silence was so loud in the room. No one was saying anything, and all ears were tuned into her mouth.
Ralph broke the silence by asking her if something had happened at the picnic yesterday. Did someone say something to hurt you? Were you offended in some way? While he was speaking he and Rachel, went over to where Ruth and Dahlia were sitting, and knelt down in front of them, placing their hands on top of Dahlias. Please tell us, we can help with what ever it was.
Dahlia gasped and choked on her breath, spitting out, it was him. Him? Who him? Drew. Ralph asked immediately, what did Drew do? He looked at Rachel and Rachel looked at him. All fell silent again, as the same thoughts were racing through each of the minds of the husband and wife.
Ralph coughed, and tears began to well up in his own eyes, and he said to Dahlia in a monotone voice, I think we know what you are talking about, we both think we know what has happened. Did he touch you? Did he place his hands on you? Please tell us.
Dahlia explained with much encouragement, how she had went outside with one of the ladies at the boarding house, and they had taken a walk and had found a bench and sat and chatted for a while. She explained how her friend got up and went back inside, with she, herself, saying she would follow in a few minutes. She explained how a mouth had covered hers and how she had been dragged to a spot farther away and he had taken advantage of her virginity.
Ralph got up and went back to his seat, while Rachel kept holding Dahlia’s hands. We thought this was over, we thought we had solved all of this a long time ago. The whispers of her words could be barely heard, and Dahlia asked her what had she just said. Rachel got up also and went back to her own seat, leaving Ruth to hold Dahlia close to her while the two others explained what had happened so long ago.
They explained that Drew had become ill several years ago. He had run a very high fever, and nothing the doctors could do would bring that temperature down. They kept him in ice packs and they bathed him and with its own will, the fever did finally break, but the damage left behind, did something to his head, and sometimes he took to crazy spells, acting differently than who he was.
Rachel continued to explain how Drew would look at her in embarrassing ways and on different occasions, he would barge into their bedroom, coming over and sitting on the bed for no reason. One time, Ralph and Rachel were in the middle of a passionate moment, and he barged in.
They had called a special doctor the next day and set an appointment to get their son some help. He had gone to this doctor for over a year, but then the doctor had explained, that with much help and testings, they thought they had this all sorted out, and the world could be at rest now, knowing he was back to the man he once was, but something has happened, and he has lost his mind once again.
Dahlia sat there dumbfounded. Her first thoughts were how could you leave so many innocent ladies live in your house, and we are all blind too? How could we defend ourselves against such a monster, but then she had gotten to know Drew also, and he never gave her a feeling that she should live in fear. He had never treated her with any less respect than she expected.
Her heart began to soften a little, but the memories of the pain were still too close to the heart. Ralph looked at Ruth and saw that even she had a glistening from her eyes. The story was so sad. A man who was a good man, became ill, and a monster was born, showing itself when ever it felt like.
Please come home with us dear Dahlia. We will take him back to the doctor. We will also take you to a doctor to make sure you are physically alright. If you need special help to get through this terrible ordeal, we can find someone for you. We care so much about you, dear girl. You have a wonderful future ahead of you, you love your school. How can we beg you for forgiveness over something we thought was buried years ago, please come home with us.
Morning came, with dew remaining on the ground. Dahlia was woken by the tapping on her shoulder. She blinked her eyes open and guarded them with her hands from the sun. Opening them all the way, she stared up into the eyes of an old lady. The lady was tapping her again, asking her if she was alright, why was she out here all by herself. Dahlia jumped back a bit, startled by the stranger. She rubbed her eyes, trying to focus on what was happening.
Suddenly she remembered why she was here, she had been taken advantage of and had left her nice home. She remembered leaning her head on the tree, and now she realized she had fallen asleep and it was now daybreak.
She looked at the lady again, and murmured that she was alright. There was no broken bones or blood, she had just got too tired to continue her journey. The lady asked her what journey she was making and Dahlia said nothing, because it hit her that she had no plan, but to escape.
The old lady, named Ruth, took her hands and helped her to her feet. She told Dahlia that she would take her home with her, that she didn’t look like she had eaten, and she could use some cleaning up. Dahlia didn’t hesitate, and moving like a robot, she followed the directions being given to her. Together, the two of them walked back in the direction of where Ruth lived, neither of them saying too much.
Ruth’s house was not that far from Dahlia’s house. Dahlia judged that it was about two blocks on the other side of her school she had attended. Once the two ladies got inside the house, Dahlia began to take in her surroundings. Noticing that there was not much, but the house was clean, and their was a warmth to the rooms.
Ruth led her to the kitchen table, and began to prepare some eggs along side with some bacon. She poured her a stiff cup of black mud, and told her to sit down and eat, and after she had finished, she would show her to the spare bedroom where she could rest, and would show her the bathroom. Ruth stated that this wasn’t much, here at the home, but it was paid for and it was hers. Dahlia smiled, and picked at her breakfast, her nerves still on edge from the day before.
Ruth sat across from her watching her eat, thinking she sure was a picky eater. If that had been her own breakfast, she would have wasted no time getting the food down. Ruth asked her where she was from and without thinking, Dahlia said that she lived two blocks on the other side of the school. She caught herself, and stopped giving any information. She was supposed to be leaving this area. She didn’t want anyone to know where she lived. She picked up her speed a little, forcing the food to go down, so the questions would stop.
After the last bite was gone, Ruth stood up and took the dirty dishes to the sink, and led Dahlia to the bathroom and spare bedroom. Dahlia said the bedroom looked very cozy and Ruth nodded in agreement. She said this was where her granddaughter used to sleep when she would visit here at granny’s house, but now she was all grown up and had kids of her own.
Dahlia asked if it was alright to take a bath. She was anxious to remove all remnants of last evening, to scrub herself until her skin shined. She wanted to put clean clothes on and just lay down and rest.
When Ruth heard that Dahlia was in the tub, she sneaked over in to the spare bedroom and went through the bag, trying to find any information about this poor girl who seemed lost and so sad. She discovered without much effort, some books, and inside the books were her name and her address,along with a phone number, that said please call to return this book to its owner.
Ruth went to the phone and quietly called the number. Rachel answered the phone, and when Ruth said who she was and why she was calling, she could hear the lady on the other end of the phone praising God for delivering her missing boarder back to her.
Ruth explained how Dahlia seemed upset, and how her clothes looked and that she could tell that something was terribly wrong. She just knew that Rachel would be worried. Without any hesitation, Rachel told Ruth that she and her husband would be over in no time at all, and to not let Dahlia escape from her house.
Ruth quickly laid the phone in its cradle, and walked into the kitchen, looking through her ice- box to see what she would fix the two for lunch. Soon, Dahlia came to stand in the doorway, and announced that the bath felt so good, and that she was very thankful to Ruth for offering her home. She said that she would lie down if it was alright, and then after resting, she would be on her way. Ruth said nothing, but let her go rest.
Ruth then went to her rocker and turning on the television and keeping the voice low, she watched her programs waiting for this Rachel lady and her husband to show. She wondered what kind of people they were that what ever had happened would make this poor girl want to run away from home.
In no time at all Ruth heard a door knock at and getting up from her rocker she went to open the door, and there stood the nicest looking people she could have ever wished for. What ever was going on with the girl, these two lovely people could have had anything to do with it.
Ruth invited them in and offered the two of them one of her nicest smiles. She turned the television off, and offered them the sofa to sit down on. Immediately the questions came. Where did you find her, what time did was it when you discovered her? Ruth slowly told Rachel and Ralph about how she was out taking her morning walk. At her age she had to do what she could to keep the body from stiffening up, and with laughter, she pointed to her creaky knees. Rachel and Ralph smiled at Ruth, seeing what a kind old lady she was, and thanking God that she had the sense to call them. They continued to chat, Rachel explaining that Dahlia was a boarder at her house and that she was attending the school close by, and was being educated for a dance instructor. Seeing something out of the corner of her eye, she looked up to see Dahlia standing in the doorway.
Dahlia continued to work hard with her studies. She exercised regularly, and when she
had the chances, she worked on her dancing in the dance studio. She and her dance teacher, Miss Trump, worked together, perfecting each exercise. Miss Trump, knew that Dahlia wanted to become a dance instructor, so she was often harder on Dahlia, demanding perfection. She had one year to study and then if she did well, she could go to an area and teach dance herself. Dahlia was taught the moves of the Pirouette, and the Arabesque, the Rond de Jambe, and the Eleve. She also learned the Grand Plie, the Demi Plie, and many different steps.
The teacher took notice of the strong form and the slender legs that were shaped with muscles. The standing on the toes was becoming quite nicely done. She was pleased with her student. She knew that there was a class waiting for her at the end of her hard work.
Miss Trump cracked the stick against the bar, and in a firm voice, said no, not that way, the word, what does it mean, what did your book teach you? Remember the book!, now focus the correct way. Slowly Dahlia would place her feet in the correct position and the teacher would announce, very good, keep practicing, you have far ways to go!
At the end of the next two weeks, was a recital, for all parents and friends to come see the progression of the students. While Dahlia went to school, back at home Rachel was working on a costume for Dahlia. Frills and sequins was what this costume was all about. Dahlia was the lead dancer in the ballet coming up for recital.
Three times a week Dahlia met Drake after school, and helped him by grading papers. When this ended, they found themselves staying later to talk, and sometimes they stopped by the soda fountain on the way home for a quick soda.
Love was in the air. The air brought with it the senses of rose buds opening up on the dewy bushes in the early spring. Flowers of lavender could be smelled when you looked and admired the two together. Sometimes at the dinner table, conversation would all stop, when a question was giving to Drake or Dahlia about how they were enjoying this school year. Everyone waited for a hint in the words of the feelings that were growing between the two, but never a word was spoken out loud.
It was Saturday, and Dahlia had some free time, and so she was going out back in the yard to practice on her home-made bar, when Rachel came to the back door and called her to come in. She had something for her, that had come in the mail.
Dahlia, using her cane, made her way up the path to the back door, and entered in and sitting down on the kitchen chair, she opened her hand to receive what Rachel was handing her. It felt like a letter, but it was written in non-braille, so Dahlia handing it back, asked Rachel to read it to her.
Taking the letter out of the envelope, Rachel, paused, as she read ahead what the letter was saying. Rachel looked at Dahlia and said it was from her mother. The room became silent for a moment, as Dahlia had not heard from her parents since she had left home. She didn’t even realize that they knew where she lived. She asked Rachel to go on, and read what it said.
The letter stated that her father was ill, and it was too much for her to handle alone, and she needed Dahlia to come home and to help take care of him. There was nothing in the letter asking how Dahlia was, no signs of missing her or loving her, just wanting her help, needing her, just like before.
Dahlia stood up to walk away, but Rachel noticed tears running down the young girls face. She asked her not to go, to please sit back down, and the two of them would discuss this. Dahlia sat back down as asked, and immediately cried out, do I have to go back? I don’t want to go home. They never wanted me, they want me to do as they always did, be there for them, not caring about me.
Rachel, said, of course you do not have to go home. You live here now, and you are enrolled in school here, your studies are progressing nicely, and we have come to look at you as part of this family.
Dahlia stood up and buried her head into Rachel’s chest, crying softly, more for happiness than sadness that she did not have to return home. She never wanted to return to that place, until she had something to show them. She wanted to prove to them, that she could make something out of her life. Dahlia took the letter and shred it to pieces, and looked in Rachel’s direction and said softly, I know he is my father, but this is all I know. He has never given me a chance to know who he the person is. Mother will just have to do her best, after all, it is her husband, and with this, Dahlia went back to the yard to work on her bar. The subject was closed as far as the two ladies were concerned, at least for now.
Drew, and Drake, and all of the ladies were in the living room, waiting for the kitchen to empty of people, so they could go put together the menu they had made yesterday. Tonight, there was a church picnic, and everyone that went to this church, was invited. There was going to be plenty of food. Each family was to bring several dishes. There would be live music, by some local performers and there was even going to be a dance.
When Rachel came into the living room, she clapped her hands together, and with a big smile, she said, alright everyone, let’s get this menu started. Everyone pitched in with voices of cheers and they all marched to the kitchen to start the project.
Dahlia heard noises in the kitchen and stopped practicing and went to the back door and entered. She had been thinking about so much lately, that she had entirely forgotten about the picnic. She asked what she could do to help, and Drake announced to her that she could help him get the deviled eggs sliced and filled. Dahlia went straight to him and was by his side, and the others giggled. Drake with a big grin on his face, said what is all the giggles about, then all started laughing. Dahlia loved living here, she loved everyone, her school, and she knew she was also beginning to love Drake.
The other students all started talking at once to Dahlia. They asked many questions, where did she come from, how long had she been blind, and what had happened to cause it. Did she have brothers and sisters. All of these questions drew Dahlia in quickly and before long the kitchen was full of chatter and laughter.
They showed Dahlia where the plates and glass and silver ware was, and walked her around the kitchen having her feel each chair, and then said that for tonight, this was her job in helping. When she was done with that, she could fill the bowls with the lettuce and tomatoes that would be their salad.
As Dahlia fumbled doing her job, she was intently listening to the talk about school. One of the girls was talking about the mean old teacher in history, another one was speaking of the nice boy in her math class. Others were speaking of the dance steps they were being taught and how hard it was to balance and step at the same time.
Dahlia asked about the two sons that lived here and what did they teach at school. Susan, one of the students took Dahlia aside and said to her, that each of them taught at the school. One was an English teacher, and that was Drake, and Drew was a Spanish teacher. She told her about how dreamy the voice of Drake was, and that when she listened to him speak, she just wanted to drool. Dahlia laughed at this, never having felt that any man could make a woman drool.
Soon Ralph walked in the door, and he and Rachel both made their appearance in the kitchen by saying hello to everyone, and Rachael asked if there was anything left over that she could help with. The girls piped up that no, all was done and supper was ready.
They all found their places at the table and each holding each others hands, they all said grace together, and then each person said aloud what they had been thankful for that day.
Susan sat next to Dahlia, and Drake sat on the other side of her. The conversation was nice and friendly. The dinner was delicious. When supper was finished, Drake tapped her on her arm and asked if he could carry her dishes over to the sink, as she was new here and probably didn’t know her way around to everything yet. Dahlia found her face warming, as she did notice that his voice did sound dreamy. She nodded yes, and he stood up and pulling her chair out to let her leave the table, he took hers and his own dishes over to the sink.
After everyone had done their part, the kitchen was clean, dishes done, chairs pushed in, and floor swept. They all retired to the porch and sat in the swings or on the steps of the porch.
Ralph had brought out a guitar and started strumming softly some church sounds. Dahlia recognized them from the church she had attended with the teacher. Soon a beautiful voice could be heard singing, and Dahlia recognized it as Rachel’s. Wow, she thought to herself, she has so much talent. Before long, Ralph and some of the other students had started to join in , and in only seconds, they were all singing together hymns. It was beautiful, and Dahlia felt so much a part of this family in only one day. She was glad she had decided to come here to live.
The music went on and could be heard crystal clear flowing to the trees and bouncing off buildings. Even the family dog and two cats came and sat by them, wishing to be petted and Dahlia’s heart swelled at the love this family had here at the boarding house.
A couple of hours of singing went by and then Ralph said it was starting to get dark, so everyone stood up and made it back into the house. They each said their good nights and all went to their bedrooms, to spend time with their thoughts or studies or just to relax and get ready for bed.
Dahlia knocked on the bathroom door, and found no one answering, so she pushed the door open, and felt her way to the shower and felt the raised letters of H and C. She turned the shower on and adjusted it and went back to her room and got the basket that was full of her bathing supplies. She took her house robe with her and once in the shower, she let warm water run over her, relaxing her even more. The teacher had gifted her some boxed soaps that smelled like lilac and Dahlia felt like she was in heaven as she bathed in the scent.
Once she was satisfied she was squeaky clean, she dried off and slipped her house robe on, gathered her basket, and opened the door, only to walk straight into Drake. He had been passing by, going to the kitchen, to do some grading of papers from a quick quiz he had given his students today. This was his way of finding out which areas any students needed extra help and time with.
He said excuse me, I am so sorry, and she knew then who she had bumped into. Her face reddened and he took notice, and asked her if she was alright. She nodded yes, and she hurried to her room sat down on her bed, using her towel to dry her hair better. As she dried her hair her thoughts drifted to the smooth talking voice.
She took her robe off and placed her night-gown over her head, and then placed the clothes she would wear tomorrow to school. She pulled her bed covers back and fluffed her pillow and then sat down and brush stroked her hair until it was completely dry.
Breakfast call was at six a.m. and it was time to get her rest. She laid down on her bed, but her mind would not rest. It was going over the new day of school and the voice of the man, named Drake.