“Seeing Beauty”, Ch. 7-9: Payback, 8/27/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #258)
An Original Story Copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace (All rights reserved)
[(1ab) “Seeing Beauty” story logo]
Author’s Recap from the previous installment: Keith is beginning to come to grips with his injured state–with the help of his hospital volunteer Lily and the hospital rehab staff. Keith’s friends visited him last Sunday. But, they left him something that he is not aware of as a prank.
Author’s Mature Content Note: “Seeing Beauty” is a nontraditional romantic love story set amidst contemporary times. As such there will be some passages in this story involving heartfelt love scenes or other sauciness (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.
Chapter 7: On Wednesday, Lily Visits Keith in Rehab (PG-13)
Lily was glad to learn from the rehab staff that her call to Keith’s friends paid off and they did visit him last Sunday afternoon. The staff told her that Keith’s spirits are running high. But, they also wonder about the choice of gift that his friends brought him—though they haven’t had the courage to mention it to Keith themselves. So, after grabbing a bite of dinner after class, Lily stops by the hospital on her way home to briefly visit Keith and her other patient, Hazel. Lily realizes that she looks forward to her mid week volunteer stint these days–more so than that it breaks up her week. Lily hopes that Keith is continuing to make progress with his recuperation. And, she finds that it is nice to have a male friend who isn’t a coworker–because they have to be nice to you.
Lily: Lily knocks on Keith’s hospital rehab room door. “Hello. Is anyone home?” She asks as her standard greeting for him.
Lily: “Well, it’s nice to visit with you again, too, Keith. You’re looking like you have more color in your cheeks—and less bruising.”
Keith: “So they tell me. But nobody will give me a mirror. Well, not that I could see anything anyway, I guess.” He shrugs his shoulders with a small smile.
Lily: “How has the physical therapy rehab been going?” She asks with concern noticing the tired look on Keith’s face.
Keith: “Grueling! The physical therapists are a cross between drill sergeants and the Marquis de Sade.”
Lily: “Now, now, they only want to help you get well, Keith. And your recovery isn’t going to be easy.” She pats his shoulder comfortingly. For some reason, Lily feels that Keith needs a soothing touch to aid in his healing. Or is it that she welcomes this closeness with him?
Keith: “Well, I am getting back and forth to the bathroom easier on my crutches.” Lily raises her eyebrows—though he can’t see it, he hears her silence. “I know, I know, Lily–with an aide.” He nods his head sheepishly.
Lily: “Good for you, Keith!”
Keith: “Who’d have thought a few weeks ago before my accident, that I would be grateful to be able to go to the bathroom—even with assistance?” He laughs.
Lily: “Baby steps, remember?” Keith nods his head. “And Keith, I hear that your other senses are already compensating for the blindness.” She says mischievously.
Keith: “Oh? What do you mean?”
Lily: “Well, the rehab staff mentioned the book that your friends brought you.” She says nonchalantly as she disdainfully turns her head to look down at the book in the nightstand cubby. “Not the usual hospital reading material.” She says a bit primly.
Keith: The color drains from Keith’s face in utter mortification. “Lily, how did you know about that?” He asks embarrassedly. Then he asks the dreaded question. “Honestly Lily, I asked them to take the book back with them, didn’t they?”
Lily: “Oh no.” She laughs. “Your friends played a little prank on you and left the book in full view of everyone on the bottom shelf of your nightstand cubby.”
Keith: “Oh crap!” He hits the palm of his left hand on his forehead—now completely embarrassed, with his cheeks turning a rather crimson hue. What must Lily think of me? He asks himself. But he regroups and says. “Pardon my language. But that explains some of the strange comments and pauses I’ve been getting from the staff. Lily, can you please throw that book in the trash for me?” He asks pleadingly.
Lily: Lily looks disdainfully at the naughty book with its fake rubber breast and furry womb on the cover. “Frankly, Keith, the book looks so vile I don’t even want to touch it.” Lily [(3) right] shivers, makes a disgusted look on her face and turns away from Keith.
Keith: “I am so sorry, Lily. Please believe that that book is not my style.” He says abjectly apologetically. “Hhhhh! My buddies are great guys. But they like to pull pranks—we all do. I’m just not in a position to get myself out of this one.”
Lily: “Hmmm. Okay, here’s what I’ll do for you, Keith. I’ll find a plastic hospital clothing bag and put the book inside without touching it. Then I’ll throw the book away in one of the larger hall trash bins.”
Keith: “Thanks Lily, you’re a peach.”
After Lily throws away the offending book, she and Keith go on to have a pleasant conversation for about a half hour. Then she visits with Hazel for a half hour before she heads home to rest before tomorrow’s work day.
To be continued with Chapter 8
Chapter 8: The following Saturday, March 21st, Lily Visits with Hazel first and then with Keith
Walking into the flower festooned rehab hospital room that belongs to Hazel Wilkerson [(4) right], Lily finds Hazel sitting up cheerfully in her wheelchair—wearing one of her signature flower print dresses—waiting to be taken down the hall to the lounge. One reason Lily likes Hazel so much is that Lily is quite enamored of flowers and feminine clothing herself. Today, Lily is wearing a pretty flower print blouse over a jeans skirt, with her hair falling softly on her shoulders. What some might term Lily’s conservative and old fashioned look, on her looks sweet and endearing.
Lily: “Well, Hazel! You’re a picture of posies today.” Lily leans down and kisses Hazel’s rosy rouge colored cheeks.
Hazel: “I … know … Lily … Dear.” After her stroke last month, Hazel’s speech is still halting, but it is getting better.
Lily: Sniffing one pretty bouquet in the room that looks new, Lily asks. “And who sent you these flowers?”
Hazel: “My … grand … son … Jimmy.”
Lily: “Oh, that’s right. The one who is my age.” She picks up a picture frame of a group of kids. Pointing to the tall guy in the back she asks. “Is this one Jimmy?”
Hazel: “Yes. You … should … meet … him.”
Lily: “Now Hazel, you’re not trying to play matchmaker, are you?” She asks impishly.
Hazel: Hazel’s eyes gleam. “Yes!”
Lily: “Ha ha ha! That’s so sweet of you.” She titters nervously at the thought of being set up on a date. “Well, Jimmy does look cute. Hmmm. I guess it wouldn’t be a conflict of interest since I’m not volunteering with him directly.” Hazel beams a smile at Lily.
Then Lily wheels Hazel down to the lounge where they play gin rummy—both to help Hazel with her concentration as well as to get her to move her arms around, but in a fun way.
About an hour later as Hazel and Lily are finishing their gin rummy game in the lounge, Hazel is getting tired. Happily, by prearrangement, Keith is wheeled into the lounge and the orderly will take Hazel back to her room for her nap.
Lily: “Hi Keith! How are you doing today?” Lily in her primly sweet flower print dress [(5) right] waves at Keith. Though she knows that he can’t see her, old habits die hard. Ha!
Keith: “Hi! Oh, I could use my pain pump back. But, other than that, I’m good.” He smiles, glad to see Lily again.
Lily: “So, I’ve heard. You’re a new man compared to last Saturday. Oh, Keith let me introduce Hazel to you. Hazel, this is Keith.”
Keith: “Hello! I would stand, Maam, but I didn’t bring my crutches with me.” He says not being able to see Hazel, but guessing she’s older by virtue of her name.
Hazel: “That’s … al … right.” She smiles at Keith and then at Lily.
Lily: “Yes Keith, Hazel just beat me at gin rummy! She’s a demon at cards. The three of us will have to play together sometime.”
Keith: “Yes.” He says somberly as his face clouds over–that Lily picks up on.
Hazel: “Bye kids.”
Keith: “Good bye, Hazel. Lovely to meet you.” He says warmly, but a little sadly.
Hazel: “Lily, don’t … forget … Jimmy.”
Lily: “I won’t. Thanks for thinking of me. Hazel, you have a nice nap and I’ll see you next week.”
Hazel is wheeled back to her room for a nap.
Keith: “Who’s Jimmy? Another patient?”
Lily: “No. Jimmy is her grandson. Hazel says that she’s going to fix me up with him.” Lily smiles broadly. “Just one of the perks of my volunteering, I guess.” She laughs impishly.
Keith: Then Keith asks hesitantly and interestedly. “Oh.” Escapes in disappointment at Lily dating someone else before he can stop himself. “Um. Do you date much, Lily?” He asks hesitantly.
Lily: “That’s a rather personal question, Keith.” She looks at him askance. “But since you’ve indicated that you do date, any dating tips for me if I do go out on a date with Jimmy? I mean since I haven’t been on a real date since college and I’m rusty?”
Keith: “Really, Lily? Why haven’t you had a date since college?” He asks. But Keith thinks that Lily is caring, nice, and pleasant. Who wouldn’t want to date her? This is quite a turn around in his thinking for the man who initially dismissed Lily as the chubby gal.
Lily: And Lily thinks that Keith poses his question to her–rather obtusely–to the woman he has labeled the chubby gal. “Haven’t you heard Keith? We chubby gals don’t date much.” Lily is both poking fun at Keith’s characterization of her, while also tartly stating her reality up until now.
Keith: “But, there are several ladies where I work who are …”
Lily: “You’re not going to say it again are you?” She laughs while shaking her head.
Keith: “No.” He says rolling his blind eyes. “What I was going to say is that there are several attractive ladies, like yourself, where I work who are all taken and married—quite happily.”
Lily: “Keith, you almost sound jealous of them.” She studies him closely, wondering if he merely being polite, or if he really means it.
Keith: “I guess, I am a bit. None of them will win a beauty contest.”
Lily: Ouch! Lily looks perturbed at Keith. But he can’t tell. “Hhhhh!” Lily sighs, thinking as she winces at Keith’s return to arrogance.
Keith: “But, they’re all great gals and in happy marriages. Whereas I’m perennially single.”
Lily: Trying to ignore Keith’s dig at his coworkers–and by extension her, since he said she was attractive like they are–Lily asks him again in a clipped voice. “So Keith, I ask again, any dating tips for me?”
Keith: “Just be yourself, Lily. The right guy will come along and love you for you.” He says wistfully, because having someone love him for himself–and not his handsome image, his money, or his status, and now despite his injuries and blindness–is what Keith longs for, too, as he is beginning to realize.
Lily: “Well thanks, Keith. I needed that encouragement—especially if Hazel does set me up with her grandson.”
Keith: “You’re welcome. So Lily, are there any mind games we can play? I’m super bored.”
Lily: “Ha! Oh Keith, I’m sure that you are good at mind games.” Lily says teasingly as she squints her eyes at Keith quizzically. “But, no! We’re going to play gin rummy.”
Keith: “But I can’t!” He moves his hand in front of his eyes and says. “Bum eyes.” He raises his eye brows.
Lily: “Eh!” She exclaims. “You don’t need your eyes for these cards.” Lily pulls out a special deck of cards. “Keith, these cards have raised suit shapes and numbers.” She hands him two cards. “It might take you a bit of time to attune your fingers to discern the shapes. But, it’s easier than trying to learn how to use a Braille deck of cards.”
Keith: “Ha! Okay, let’s give this a try.” He says gamely. Because if his blindness remains at the level it is now–with him only discerning colored blob shapes–then he will have to adjust. And playing poker with his buddies is not something he wants to give up.
Keith and Lily go on to play a few hands of gin rummy before Keith has another rehab exercises session on his leg. Keith even wins a hand at cards. And Lily also helps Keith arrange something for Sunday.
To be continued with chapter 9
Scene 9: Sunday, March 22nd Keith’s friends visit again
Keith hopes that his three friends will visit him again this Sunday afternoon. Because after their prank of leaving out the naughty touchy feely book they brought him for the hospital rehab staff to find, Keith is ready for payback. Lily and Myron the physical therapist and Nurse Theresa helped Keith with prepping his prank a bit yesterday by leaving some of the more unusual rehab and hospital props or tools hanging or laying around in his room today. Unless you know what some of these things are or do, they almost look like torture devices. And, Lily, Myron, and Theresa are also in on the prank as it will play out today—if they get a chance. Keith is primed for his friends to arrive– by sitting up in his bed with a triangle handhold hanging from the ceiling over his thighs. He is also wearing a cervical collar around his neck and a sling on his arm–that he has not needed for weeks. And as if on cue, Keith’s friends [(6) right] arrive for their Sunday afternoon visit.
Brock: Knocking on Keith’s door, he asks cheerfully in a booming voice. “Keith, are you decent?”
Keith: Keith lays down and affects a weak voice, saying. “I suppose. Come on in, guys.” Keith is laying on his back, trying to look forlornly in the direction of his friends’ voices.
Sam: “Buddy! What happened to you?”
Keith: “Oh, nothing. I just … fell … during one of my exercise therapy sessions.” Keith says this as if he’s covering up something.
Keith: “Well, if you hadn’t left the book out …” Keith [(7) right] sighs mournfully to keep up the ruse.
Myron: Rushing into Keith’s room, Myron asks commandingly and a tad condescendingly. “Mr. Erickson. Are you being a good boy today?”
Keith: “Of course.” Keith says meekly. Keith’s friends have never seen him meek. And they look back and forth between Keith and the beefy physical therapist.
Myron: “Well, you can visit with your friends for 30 minutes, then I’ll be back to take you for your exercises.” He tries to say menacingly as he taps a canvas walking belt in his hand impatiently.
Keith: Keith attempts to cringe and says as if he’s trying to be a good boy. “Thanks Myron. I appreciate everything you’re doing to help me get well.” Myron leaves looking imperious.
Brock: “Keith! Who is that guy? The Marquis de Sade?”
Keith: Keith tries not to smile because that is how he described Myron to Lily his first week of rehab. “No, Myron is my physical therapist.” Keith says benignly, but trying to inject some fear in his voice.
Sam: “Well, he doesn’t seem very friendly.”
Keith: “Oh, he’s just trying to be helpful.” Keith rubs his chin and covers his mouth–to imitate the gestures of people who are lying.
Nurse Theresa: Walking into Keith’s rehab hospital room with a large enema bag contraption, she asks Keith. “Mr. Erickson, have your bowels moved today? We don’t want you to get constipated again. I can always give you another enema?” His friends’ eyes widen.
Keith: “No, really. I don’t need one, thank you.” He says quickly while looking fearfully in her direction and shaking his head as vigorously as he can while wearing a cervical collar.
Nurse Theresa: “Alright, just remember that it’s an option.” She says menacingly and then she leaves.
Jack: “Dude, this place gets creepier and creepier.”
Just then, Keith’s room phone rings—obviously prearranged.
Keith: “Brock, can you just hit the speaker button. I can’t really hold the receiver.” Brock hits speaker.
Lily on phone: “Keith, it’s Lily. Are you there?” She asks worriedly and in almost a whisper.
Keith on phone: “I’m here Lily. Thanks for calling. None of the rehab staff are here, so we can talk freely.” Keith’s friends shoot him a worried look that he can’t see, but their silence is a palpable nonverbal clue.
Lily on phone: “Now be sure to tell your friends when they arrive not to leave anything else with you that the staff will take offense with. I know you’ve had a tough week, Keith. But, if your friends hadn’t left that book, none of it would have happened. You just have to be careful what you do. You’re so vulnerable right now.” She says her voice tinged with fear convincingly.
Keith’s friends feel dreadful, worried that they’ve put their friend at risk for retaliation due to their prank.
Brock: “Oh Keith. We’re so sorry.” He says in a whisper.
Keith: “Lily, I know. I’m being careful. And actually, the guys are here now. So, you just told them yourself.”
Brock, Sam, Jack: “Yes Lily?”
Lily: “You can’t do rude and insulting pranks like that book again. The rehab staff really took offense. You have to think of Keith and his welfare.”
Brock, Sam, Jack: Chastened, they say. “Alright. Sure. Not a problem.”
Keith: “Thanks Lily, you’re a peach. You’re the only bright spot of my time here.” Keith says as scripted, but he really means it.
Lily: “That’s nice of you to say, Keith. But don’t let the rehab staff hear you say that.” She says, also as scripted.
Just then, Myron walks in wheeling a contraption that helps you lift a patient out of bed on a pulley. And Theresa walks back in with her enema bag and tube.
Myron: “Mr. Erickson, Nurse Theresa and I are back for your treatments.”
Keith: “I better hang up Lily, Myron and Theresa just walked back in.” Keith says convincingly anxiously.
Keith’s friends look worriedly back and forth at Keith and Myron and Theresa—afraid that their friend will be subjected to further ill treatment. There is a tension filled pause. Then, the tension is broken.
Lily, Myron, Theresa, and Keith: “Got cha!” All of them yell in unison, obviously by prearrangement—while Keith [(8) right] rips the cervical collar off of his neck and smiles broadly in his friends’ direction.
Then Lily on the phone, Myron and Theresa, and now Keith double over with laughter at pranking Keith’s friends into thinking that Keith was being subjected to torture at the hands of his therapists and nurses. As their laughter subsides, Keith’s friends realize they have been pranked.
Sa: “Keith, you turd!”
Jack: “My thoughts exactly!”
Nurse Theresa: “Now boys, if you have a problem in that regard, would you like me to help you work it out?” Theresa says waving the enema bag and tube at them while she and Myron laugh mischievously.
Brock: “Not a chance!” He protests by holding up his hands as if in defense and backing away from her.
Keith: “Thanks Myron and Theresa—and you, too, Lily. We got them good!”
Lily: “My pleasure Keith.” She says warmly. “Have a nice visit with your friends. I’ll see you Wednesday. Bye!”
Keith: “Bye!” Myron, hangs up the phone.
Myron: Still laughing, Myron says now in a warm and friendly voice. “Keith, I’ll check with you in an hour and then we’ll do some light stretching.” Then to Keith’s friends he says jovially. “Nice to meet you fellas.” He walks out of the room.
Keith: “Bye Myron. Thanks for your help. You, too, Theresa.”
Nurse Theresa: “Glad to help, Keith. It was fun. Bye.” She waves and then walks out of the room.
Keith: “Fellas, all I can say is … I may be blind, but I’m back!” Keith says about him pranking his three friends—while raising his arms high in the air triumphantly. Acceptance [(9)].
The four guy friends go on to have a raucous hour of conversation and buddy camaraderie. After which, Keith does have some light stretching exercises with Myron. It has been a very good day for Keith.
To be continued with Chapter 10
(1) The “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 RichardArmitage as John Porter in SB1Episode 1 pix 96 found at
(3) Image representing Lily Sherman is that of American actress Mandy Moore and was found at http://images3.mtv.com/uri/mgid:uma:video:mtv.com:734970?width=324&height=324&mindimension=324&crop=true&quality=0.85
(4) Image representing Hazel Wilkerson is that of American actress Jessica Tandy in her role as Ruth in “Fried Green Tomatoes” was found at http://www.zuguide.com/image/Jessica-Tandy-Fried-Green-Tomatoes.1.jpg
(5) Image representing Lily Sherman is that of American Actress Mandy Moore and was found at http://hair-hairstyles-haircuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/CSH-057658.jpg
(6) Images of Matt LeBlanc (as Sam), Matthew Perry (as Brock), and David Schwimmer (as Jack) is from a “Friends” publicity still found at
(7) Keith Image is that of Richard Armitage as John Porter in SB1Episode 1 pix 94 found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/StrikeBack/album/series1/Episode1/slides/ep1_094.html
(8) Keith Image is that of RichardArmitageasJohnPorterinSB1Episode 1 pix 97 found at
(9) “The Five Stages of Grief”, Developed by Elisabeth-Kubler Ross is found at. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCbler-Ross_model
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