“Seeing Beauty”, Ch. 5-6: Sunday Surprises, 8/24/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post#256)
[(1ab) “Seeing Beauty” story logo]
[I will illustrate my story with my dream cast: Richard Armitage as Keith Erickson, Mandy Moore as Lily Sherman, Matthew Perry as Brock, David Schwimmer as Jack, and Matt LeBlanc as Sam, etc.]
Author’s Recap from the previous installment: After slightly meeting at a hospital blood drive the month before, the handsome but aloof Keith Erickson and the sweet but chubby Lily Sherman meet again under tragic circumstances. Keith was runover by a car while jogging that has left him recovering from reconstructive surgery on his leg and an indeterminate diagnosis of blindness as he begins his rehab at the hospital. Lily is a social volunteer, employing her innate compassion and sensitivity to helping patients adjust to their new life circumstances and supporting them in that journey. Keith will need all of Lily’s support and encouragement for the challenges he faces. And Lily will begin to discover that her caring for others selflessly is a gift that might unintentionally allow her to be cared for–and loved.
Author’s Mature Content Note: “Seeing Beauty” is an unconventional romantic love story set amidst contemporary times. As such there will be some passages in this story involving heartfelt love scenes (R rated) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments. I will label the maturity rating of those chapters accordingly. Otherwise, the general rating for this story is PG or PG-13 due to mature situations and topics. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read those chapters. This is my disclaimer.
“Seeing Beauty”, Ch. 5: Sunday after Church, Lily Returns to Rehab to Visit Keith and stops by the Nurses Station First
As Lily walks into the Rehab Unit of the hospital Sunday morning after church around 11:00am, she sees Nurse Theresa at the Nurses Station again—Sally is not in today.
Lily: “Hi Theresa.”
Nurse Theresa: “Hi Lily.” She says with surprise. “We don’t usually see you on Sunday’s.”
Lily: “I know.” Lily rolls her eyes sheepishly. “It’s just that the new patient yesterday, Keith, needs a bit more encouragement.”
Nurse Theresa: “Yes, Keith was asking us about you last night?”
Lily: “Really? What did you say?”
Nurse Theresa: “Oh, we told him that he lucked out and got Saint Lily as his intake volunteer.”
Lily: “You gals.” Lily rolls her eyes sheepishly. “You and the other nurses and therapists are the real saints Theresa, not me. I just come and go for small periods of time.
Nurse Theresa: “Yes, but you help us, Lily. So many volunteers have good intentions, but they just don’t follow through. You follow through.”
Lily: “Thanks for that. I hope I’m helping and not getting in your way.”
Nurse Theresa: “Hey, you charmed the beast yesterday.”
Lily: “Now Theresa, Keith is not a beast.” Then she says getting quiet. “He’s just a lost soul right now—trying to figure out how to create a new life for himself, … since his old life is … gone.” Now Lily is almost tearing up.
Nurse Theresa: “A word of advice, if you’re willing to hear it Lily?”
Nurse Theresa: “Keith’s story pulls at all of our heartstrings–a young handsome guy, cut down in his prime. His life will never be what it was. … But, don’t get sucked into his life, Lily. You know about the problem of transference—where patients become attached to their caregivers. And Keith has latched onto your kindness and caring in a heartbeat. Just be careful.”
Lily: “I will, Theresa. I won’t cross any lines.”
Nurse Theresa: “No, of course you won’t, Lily.”
Lily: “Besides, I’m not his type. Keith and I had met briefly at the hospital blood drive last month and I reminded him of that. He remembered and he referred to me yesterday as the chubby gal.” She says shaking her head.
Nurse Theresa: “Well, all I know is that he spoke glowingly of you last night and this morning.”
Lily: “Thanks Theresa, I’ll be careful. Besides, I won’t be back until next weekend—except for briefly popping in on Wednesday as usual to see Hazel and now Keith.”
Nurse Theresa: “Oh? And are you supposed to be here today?”
Lily: “I know, I know. But Keith is at the beginning of his recovery. He just needs a little more support–a boost to get him going.”
Nurse Theresa: “Uh huh.” She mutters suspiciously. “And Keith’s not bad to look at either—despite his bruises and swelling. And, I know you saw his muscles.”
Lily: Like I said Theresa, though Keith can’t see me, he remembers me as the chubby gal–I’m not his type.” Lily says realistically. Lily nods at her friend and walks toward Keith’s room.
It is now about 11:15am on Sunday morning—fifteen minutes past when Lily told Keith she would see him, because she was chatting with Nurse Theresa about Keith. Lily knocks at Keith’s door before she enters.
Lily: Knocking politely. “Hello. Is anyone home?” She asks not knowing if he’s doing some exercises or in the bathroom.
Keith: “Just a minute.” He says covering his bare legs back up after feeling hot while sitting up in bed after his morning physical therapy stretching exercises with Myron. “Come in.”
Lily: Walking into Keith’s room she says warmly. “Hi Keith. Sorry I’m late. I was talking to Nurse Theresa.”
Lily: “So, you sound chipper today. Are the pain meds working?”
Keith: “Like a charm!” He smiles. “Though, they said they’re going to start weaning me off them later in the week.” He says rolling his unseeing eyes.
Lily: “And you look more rested, Keith. So you must have slept well. Your bruising and swelling is also going down more.”
Keith: “Yeah, the guys used to joke that I could sleep anywhere.” He says in a reference to his formerly quite active dating life. But Keith’s face clouds over as he wonders what woman will want a blind guy with a bum leg.
Lily: “Whoops. Where’d you go there, Keith? You started out talking about what I can only presume are fond memories for you, …” Lily says while raising her eyebrows and pursing her lips primly. “… then you segued into looking somber.”
Keith: Ignoring her question, but not really, he asks her. “You know what the most annoying thing is about being blind, Lily? Well, legally blind.”
Keith: “Not being able to see people’s facial expressions when they’re talking to you. I feel like I’m missing out on half of the conversation. “
Lily: “I know, Keith. But, you’ll get used to that as you listen more closely and start hearing subtle vocal cues.”
Keith: “Ha! I thought you said you weren’t a therapist?” He asks impishly.
Lily: “Hah! I’m not. I just teach communication at the local university. And, you’re talking about nonverbal cues. But, the experts all say that people’s other senses compensate—hearing, touch, taste, and smell in your case.”
Keith: “Well Lily, as long as they all smell as good as you do, then I’ll be fine.”
Lily: “Ooh. A compliment?” Lily asks him bemusedly while blushing. “Keith, you have grown from throwing food at the staff to complimenting us. Keith, that’s real progress! Ha!”
Keith: “Ha! Well, … you’re not really staff, Lily.” Keith says tentatively.
Lily: “True, but I volunteer regularly. So, I’m bound by the same rules and procedures they are.” Lily is not really sure why she said this, since—as she pointed out to Nurse Theresa—Keith remembers her as the chubby gal.
Keith: “Like what?”
Lily: “Well, like sticking to my volunteer schedule. So, you won’t see me again until Wednesday after dinner time.” Lily sees Keith frown. “But, that will give you time to work on your exercises and get to know the other staff. You’ll probably not even care about having me visit you’ll be so busy.”
Keith: “I doubt it.” He looks in her direction gratefully.
Lily: “Keith, would you like me to contact any of your friends for you and let them know that you can receive visitors? Sometimes, people are just waiting to visit because they don’t know if you’re feeling well enough.”
Keith: “I don’t know. What if you ask them and they don’t visit me?” He asks forlornly.
Lily: “Hey, these are your friends right? Didn’t you have lunch with them on Valentine’s Day because none of you had dates at the time?”
Keith: “Boy, you have a good memory!” He says with astonishment.
Lily: “Trick of the trade.” She says smiling impishly. “I’ve learned to listen.”
Keith: “I guess so.” Keith smiles at her. “And, thanks for helping me over my rough patch yesterday. The nurses said they call you Saint Lily.”
Lily: “Now, they’re being way too kind. They’re the ones who are saints. … Keith, I hope that you’re continuing to be nice and polite to them?” She asks in a motherly tone—even though she’s obviously younger than he is.
Keith: “Yes.” He smiles sheepishly. “You almost sounded like my mommy there.” He smiles warmly at her. “Say, I don’t know anything about you. Do you have kids?”
Lily: “No, you have to be married first.” She frowns a bit.
Lily: Laughing, she says. “True. Well, let’s just say that I’m old fashioned in that regard.” Lily [(3) right] doesn’t want to go into the whole I’m a virgin routine with Keith because he’s not interested in her anyway, right? “So, your friends. Give me a few names and phone numbers and I’ll call them for you.’
Keith: “I really don’t think that they’ll visit.” He says despondently. Lily doesn’t say anything, she just looks at him pointedly—which he can’t see. “Okay, I’ll take your silence to mean that you’re not budging on this issue.”
Lily: “That’s right.” So, Keith gives Lily the names and phone numbers of some of his friends, then Lily leaves him for the afternoon.
To be continued with Chapter 6
Scene 6: Lily Phones Keith’s Friends on Sunday and Invites Them to Visit Him
As soon as Lily leaves the hospital after visiting with Keith in rehab on Sunday morning, she phones one of the three friends that he had given her phone numbers for.
Lily: “Hello, this is Lily Sherman from the hospital and I’m calling on behalf of Keith Erickson. Is Brock Dougan there?”
Brock: “Speaking. How is Keith?” He asks tentatively–because after the initial accident when he visited Keith while he was unconscious, Brock hasn’t been back to see him yet.
Lily: “Keith is doing as well as can be expected. But since his family has gone home now, he really needs the support of his friends. Is there any way you or Sam or Jack might be able to visit him today? It’s important. He’s in the rehab unit now, room 209.”
Brock: “Sure, I’ll call the guys and we’ll be over this afternoon.”
Lily: “Thanks. That’s great! Keith will appreciate that. Now, realize that he still looks banged up from the accident–on his face and of course his leg is in a large brace after surgery.”
Brock: “Yeah. But he’ll bounce back. Keith has never even been sick that I can recall. The guy is an amazing athlete.”
Lily: “Yes, Keith looks like he’s in good shape–and that will aid him in his recovery.” Then she asks tentatively. “Do you know about his blindness?”
Brock: “His what?” He asks stunned.
Lily: “Keith is blind. Well, legally blind. He can see some light and shapes, but everything’s very fuzzy.”
Brock: He doesn’t say anything for few seconds. “Geez. I didn’t know. The poor guy. Will he get better?”
Lily: “It’s unclear.” She says, no pun intended. “And you can only imagine yourself how losing one of your senses—especially sight–would be devastating. So, he really needs his friends’ support.” She emphasizes again.
Brock: “Understood. “ He says emphatically. “Thanks for calling. I’m sorry, what did you say your name was again?
Lily: “I’m Lily. I volunteer at the hospital.”
Brock: “Thanks Lily. We’ll go see Keith this afternoon.”
Lily: “Good! Brock, I think your visit will help him in his recovery. Bye.”
Brock: “Bye, Lily. Thanks for calling.”
True to his word, Brock, Sam, and Jack visit Keith [(4) right] in his hospital rehab room—bearing gifts. Brock knocks on Keith’s door about 2:00pm.
Brock: “Keith, are you decent?” He calls out in a booming voice.
Keith: Grinning from ear to ear, Keith proclaims loudly. “Never! Come on in, Brock.” Brock walks into the room.
Sam: “Jack and I are here, too.”
Keith: “That’s great, you guys! Thanks for coming. “ Jack and Sam walk in, too.
Jack: “Well, a little lady called and said that you were up for company.”
Keith: “That’s Lily.” Keith smiles broadly. She’s ‘my’ hospital volunteer.
Brock: All three guys can see Keith’s bruised and bandaged state, and Brock just says what all of them are thinking. “Hate to say it buddy, but you look like you’ve been in a meat grinder.” All four men laugh.
Keith: “Actually, I was caught in the grill of a Dodge Caravan.” He says raising his eyebrows and the all laugh.
Sam: “Ooh. Sounds painful.”
Keith: “It is. But, I’m on a pain pump for now. However, it comes off in a few days, then I’ll really be hurting.”
Brock: “Well, you do look a lot better than you did right after your surgery.”
Keith: “You were here? They didn’t tell me.” Keith is glad to know that his friends had visited him before now.
Brock: “Yup. But they had you sedated, so we couldn’t stay for long.” Then he says mischievously. “Though, it was nice to have you quiet for a change. I could actually get a word in edgewise.”
Keith: “Oh come on. You mean to tell me that you’d rather talk to a guy in a coma, than talk with a guy wide awake but blind.”
Brock: Wincing at Keith referring to his blindness he says. “That’s awful, buddy. Do they think you will get your sight back eventually?”
Keith: He shakes his head. “They don’t know. I might be heading for the Braille Institute from here to learn how to read all over again—not mention, how to live being blind.” He tries to say gamely.
Jack: “Well, about that.” He says mischievously. “We brought you something from the naughty store along those lines.”
Keith: “What lines?” He asks quizzically.
Sam: “It’s a naughty book for blind guys to enjoy.” He puts what is essentially a touch feely naughty book in Keith’s lap.
Keith: Keith run’s his hand over the cover and feels something akin to a female breast—not to mention a lower part of the female anatomy. “You guys! This is not hospital regulation. You’ll get me in trouble here. Don’t you know that most of the staff here are women? And this is downright rude.”
Brock: “Keith, I’ve never known you to be such a prude.” He laughs.
Keith: “Yeah, well I am now. So, thanks for thinking of me, but please take this book with you when you leave. He thrusts the book toward Brock.”
Jack: “Sure thing Keith. “ He says setting the book on the bottom shelf of the night stand cubby in plain sight like the prankster he is.
The guys go on to talk about old times, not mentioning what changes will happen to Keith’s life if he doesn’t get his sight back. But, their visit does boost Keith’s spirits and they promise to visit him next Sunday.
To be continued with Chapter 7
(1) “Seeing Beauty” story logo is a composite of:
a) Image representing Keith Erickson is that of British actor Richard Armitage as Lucas North in the BBC’s Spooks (2008 – 2010), series 8 promo, pix 15 was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Spooks/spookspromo/album/slides/series8-15.html
b) Image representing Lily Sherman is that of American actress Mandy Moore and was found at http://images.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/Mandy-Moore-mandy-moore-661788_1024_768.jpg ; NB: I chose Ms. Moore to represent this character not because she is fat or chubby–far from it–but because she has a fresh faced innocence and sincerity that reflects the goodness of this character. Any pre weight loss Lily images could be handled with makeup and costuming.
(2) Keith Image is that of Richard Armitage as John Porter in SB1Episode 1 pix 96 found at
(3) Lily image is that of Mandy Moore and was found at
(4) Image of Matt LeBlanc (as Sam), Matthew Perry (as Brock), and David Schwimmer (as Jack) is from a “Friends” publicity still found at