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Chris Roscoe, son of a policeman, was a corpsman in the Army. After his tour of duty in Vietnam, he went to college to get a nursing degree so he could continue to help the sick and injured. Along the way he met Alexandra Walton, a beautiful rich girl. They were classmates and friendly acquaintances, but after class was over, they went their separate ways…until years later when Alex was injured in an accident and admitted to the hospital where Chris worked.
They rekindled the friendship; only this time they fell in love.
After marriage and a daughter, Chris discovered things that he never knew about his wife. Although he loved and cherished her, gave her a great life and everything she wanted, he found out that it wasn’t enough. She wanted something more that he could never give her.
Here’s a little bit of what to expect—–
I got there around five and commandeered a rarely used conference room across from the elevator, never used on a Saturday. There was a large window overlooking the courtyard in the center of the hospital buildings, which looked Christmassy with the lights and a light dusting of snow that had fallen overnight. I arranged my Mexican smorgasbord on a couple spare over-bed tables and went to get Alex.
She was wearing lavender short-legged pajamas. She had tied a navy blue ribbon around her blonde ponytail and had put on lipstick. She saw me checking her out and grinned.
“Not the greatest outfit for our first date, is it?”
“I was thinking how pretty you look, and how much better your hair looks since that first day I saw you.”
“What a mess I was,” she admitted as I helped her into a wheelchair.
“You really were. But you’ve cleaned up rather well.”
She was in awe of my smorgasbord. I even had no-booze margaritas, since I was fairly sure she was still taking narcotic pain pills. She helped herself to the food, piling it on her plate.
“Ohhh, refried beans. Good thing I don’t have a room-mate. And salsa verde! Enchiladas and Spanish rice! You brought all of my favorites.”
“I’m glad you like everything. Mexican is my favorite. About as far as you can get from hospital food. One of the guys I was friends with in Corpsman training was from Albuquerque and got me into eating real Mexican food. I like Oriental food from spending time in ‘Nam. Had a couple layovers in Tokyo, going to and from there. God, I’m hungry! Let’s eat.”
So we did. And we talked and laughed, and I told her some corny jokes. We talked more about her family, how her dad was considering running for governor in the next election. He was currently serving as state senator, one of many offices he’d held in his career.
Money was never an object when she was growing up. She’d traveled in Europe, spent a summer in Australia, and loved cruises in the Caribbean. They were on a Thanksgiving skiing vacation in a near-by resort when she wrecked and ended up in the hospital.
“I’m usually a good skier. We’ve been to Vail and Aspen, and for a while Daddy had a time-share at a resort in West Virginia, but we didn’t use it much after me and my brother got older so he sold it. Do you like to ski?”
“I don’t know. Never have.” I wanted to say, Poor kids don’t ski. My parents were lucky to keep us fed and clothed. Not much money left after that. But I didn’t.
“I’ll have to take you. I bet you’ll like it, and you look like an athlete, so you’ll most likely do it well. Do you play any sports?”
“I played high school football, a long time ago. I like to run, play softball with my buddies occasionally. I’ve been too busy working and going to school to play on a team. In the winter, sometimes we bowl. That’s about it.”
“I was a runner. Wonder if I’ll be able to do it now.” She knocked on the plaster cast on her leg.