Henry stopped speaking, stood up and said, “You drive.”
“But, don’t you think we should get you to a hospital?”
“I’ll explain in the car – the last think I need right now is a visit to the hospital.” In the distance he heard a siren and it was getting closer. “Come on let’s go.”
She pulled out just as the ambulance was turning the corner – he let out a sigh of relief.
“Can you explain to me what happened? Are you diabetic?” Wendy, still shaking, blurted out.
“I am sorry – let’s, turn here.” She made a sharp left and they were across from the yacht club. “Park around back.” Wendy steered the car and parked by a “No Parking” sign and was facing the bay. She cut the engine, surveyed the scene. She used to walk here sometimes and wonder how it would feel to be a member of this club, to have her own yacht.
There was the “Esmerelda” with its hull jetting out like the chins of their owners, the Williams family. To the left of the Esmerelda was the “Mantle” with a Yankee insignia on it. That belonged to the Riccio family who must have used it once or twice in the past 20 years.
She focussed back and stared at Henry who was now sitting, head back, right hand rubbing his eyes.
“So talk to me.” She said taking his hand.
Henry spoke and explained to her what had occurred the day before. The prognosis, his family reaction and then apologized to her for dragging her into this mess.
“Its not that bad Wendy. Well, technically it is bad – but its sort of like a wake up call. I may be late for the dance but as long as I am here I have this sense of freedom, this absence of fear-”
“But what about your kids? Doesnt it hurt you that they are kind of lax about you dying?”
“Of course it does…and I will address it to them tomorrow – but in the meantime I need to hold steady and move forward. I wont call on you again – I dont know what I was thinking, if I was thinking at all. But there was something about the way you moved and looked while you were waiting tables…”
“Thats not fair to say, Henry. You cant romance me…when you know you are going to die any second.”
Her eyes welled up again – this time for herself and then she caught her emotions. She thought, “How can I have this self-pity when the man in front of me can die at any moment?”
She sat back and closed her eyes – he looked out the window and watched as the lights flickered in the distance. It wasn’t fair – he did have feelings for her – he wasn’t sure if it was lust or love but it didnt matter.
“Hey, take my car home tonight. I need to walk, get fresh air, do something, call some people – I dont know but I can’t – please do me this favor?” He asked her and she nodded.
‘OK but you need to call me and let me know you are ok.”
“Wendy…I dont want to lead you down this dead end I am on – don’t waste your time with me – pretend we never met.”
“Oh Henry – you cant just delete memories like things on a computer. We have met and I do have feelings for you – the bell rang, the hammer hit the nail – come on Professor what other phrases can I use to explain to you that my heart is beating faster and its because of you.” She began to tear up again. He looked at her and then pulled the handle on the car door, stood up and closed the door behind him.