An Original Story Copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace (All rights reserved)
[(1ab) “Seeing Beauty” story logo, left]
Matthew Perry as Brock, David Schwimmer as Jack, and Matt LeBlanc as Sam, and the late Jessica Tandy as Hazel, etc.]
Author’s Recap from the previous installment: Keith pranked his best friends back last Sunday–with the help of his hospital volunteer Lily and the hospital rehab staff, Myron and Nurse Teresa. Their fun boosted Keith’s spirits enormously as he redoubles his efforts to recuperate and learn how to live in the world as a legally blind man.
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.
“Seeing Beauty”, Chapter 10: Wednesday, March 25 Lily Visits Keith
Lily walks into the rehab unit the Wednesday after their prank, smiling broadly and looking for Keith. She hasn’t broadcast the fact that her doctor’s treatments of her metabolism have helped her continue to lose weight and she now weighs only about 200 pounds—within 30 pounds of her goal weight, and under her fudged drivers’ license weight. So, though Lily knows that she’s still chubby, she is floating on air. She even bought a new dress to fit her smaller frame and she is wearing it today—it is a casual light blue soft weave jeans dress with a scooped neck. Lily is still a bit hippy, but she now has a defined waist! That is, with the help of the all body girdle she wears to keep her sagging skin in place. Lily is definitely in renaissance zaftig model territory now–beautiful, glowing, healthy curves. Okay, Lily is probably more excited than she should be. But, her finally losing weight with medical treatments—though she has tried unsuccessfully for years to lose weight on her own with diet and exercise—is vindication that her weight problems were not all her fault.
Sally: “Lily! You look great! You’re glowing. I see the weight loss is still going strong!”
Lily: “Yup! I now weigh under my fudged drivers’ license weight.” Lily says gleefully as she twirls around. “Is Keith around? We have to debrief about last Sunday’s prank.”
Sally: “I heard about that. Good job!” She says giving Lily a thumbs up. “Keith is in the lounge.”
Lily: “Thanks Sally.” She waves as she walks across the hall and into the lounge. Keith is sitting on the couch and facing the window with his injured leg propped up on the coffee table. “Keith! Prankster extraordinaire!” Lily says gingerly plopping down next to Keith on the couch–so she doesn’t jostle his healing leg–and she spontaneously giving him a hug.
Keith: “That’s me.” He says smiling turning toward the sound of Lily’s voice. “You look nice today.” He says cheerfully, even though he still can’t see her more than her being a blue blob.
Lily: “Nice try for a blind guy.” She says sarcastically while poking his arm gently–knowing that he can’t really see her. They both laugh.
Keith: “Hey, I had to give it a shot. Besides, I’ve been pumped since Sunday’s prank on the guys. Thanks again for all of your help with that.” Keith says sincerely.
Lily: “My pleasure! I don’t know when I’ve had so much fun.”
Keith: “And, you’re a great little actress. Though I couldn’t see their faces—obviously, because I’m blind—the silence on their parts conveyed the fear and worry for me they were feeling. And Myron and Theresa played their parts to perfection.”
Lily: “Well, don’t count yourself out. I heard from Myron and Theresa that your pathetic patient routine was Oscar worthy.”
Keith: “What can I say? I work in advertising and I know how to sell it.
Lily: Laughing, she says. “I guess so. Now the guys weren’t too upset were they?”
Keith: “Nah! They took it in stride.” Keith says gesturing with his hand. “But, the guys were still leery of the beefy Myron and the menacing enema nurse Theresa.” They both laugh. “So, what’s new with you, Lily?”
Lily: “Oh. Same old, same old. “ Though she was shouting her weight loss to the rooftops to Nurse Sally, Lily doesn’t talk about her weight with Keith—especially since he had initially labeled her a chubby gal. “But, you know, I still have hope that Hazel will hook me up with her grandson, Jimmy.”
Keith: “Oh?” He asks a bit disconcertedly–though he doesn’t know why.
Lily: “Well Keith, I’ve been on the shelf for twenty eight years.” She says speaking euphemistically and metaphorically about her virginity. “And I’ve decided that with the new me, maybe I can get a new boyfriend.” Lily slips a bit in referring to her new me.
Keith: “What new me are you talking about? Lily, I think you’re fine just the way you are.” And he means it. “You’ve been a great help and support to me. And you’re fantastic at pranks! What more could a guy ask for?” Keith is thinking of himself, of course.
Lily: “Well, I don’t know Keith.” Lily says patting his muscular arm. “But, pranks don’t keep me warm at night. And, I’m tired of being alone.” She says this without sounding sorry for herself—but rather sounding focused on changing her life. “So, I’ve decided that this is my year to find love.” Keith smiles to himself. “And you know Keith, I have you to thank for that.”
Keith: “Me?” Keith asks quizzically. He’s starting to like Lily a lot—who cares if she’s chubby—she’s his friend and partner in crime, or at least his partner in pranks.
Lily: “Yes, I’ve interacted with a lot of rehab patients over the years, but Keith your drive and determination to heal and get back to a life outside of rehab, have really inspired me to take on some of those qualities in my own life.”
Keith: “Oh, well, thanks for the compliment Lily.” He thinks a bit dejectedly—though he doesn’t know why.
Lily and Keith go on to chat amiably while they play gin rummy—which Keith is getting quite good at with the raised suit and number symbol cards.
To be continued with Chapter 11
“Seeing Beauty”, Chapter 11: Saturday, March 28th Hazel’s Grandson Jimmy visits
Today is a big day. Hazel had told Lily last weekend that her grandson Jimmy would be visiting her. And Hazel is trying to play matchmaker. So, Lily, Hazel and Keith are all playing gin rummy in the rehab lounge room when Jimmy walks in.
Jimmy: “Nana! You look wonderful today!” He says striding over to her and kissing his Nana Hazel on her cheek.
Hazel: “Thank you Jimmy.” She says slowly, but smoothly. In the three weeks that Hazel has been in rehab, her word phrasing has smoothed out as she recovers from her stroke by working diligently with the speech therapists.
Keith blanches [(3) right]. He had forgotten that today is the day–as Lily has been referring to it. Her possible meet and greet with the potential love of her life, Jimmy. Keith can’t really see the guy, except to notice that Jimmy’s visual blob is tall—like Keith used to be before he injured his leg and got around mostly in a wheel chair and on crutches.
Jimmy: “And who are your friends, Nana?”
Hazel: “ Oh Jimmy, this is Lily whom I have told you so much about.” Hazel says gesturing to Lily.
Lily: “Hello Jimmy.” Lily says standing up to greet him—because she knows she looks slimmer standing. “It’s nice to finally meet you. Your grandmother speaks so glowingly about you.” Lily smiles warmly at him. Jimmy is tall, which she likes, and his bushy brown hair and glasses suit him.
Jimmy: Smiling warmly back at Lily, he says “It’s nice to meet you, too, Lily. Nana talks about nothing but her Lily. And, if she hasn’t told you, she’s trying to fix us up.”
Lily: Laughing, she says. “Well Jimmy, you don’t play it coy, do you?”
Jimmy: “Not when I like what I see.” Jimmy says gazing appreciatively at Lily’s sweet face and curvy body while she blushes.
Keith: “Kkkhhh!” Keith coughs, wanting to interrupt the exchange–and also to join it.
Lily: “Oh Jimmy, I’m sorry, we’re forgetting our manners. This is Keith, one of the other patients in the rehab unit.” Lily says resting her hand on Keith’s shoulders in a friendly way.
Jimmy: “Hello.” Jimmy says extending his hand to Keith. “It looks like you banged up your leg there. What happened?”
Keith: Extending his hand, but not knowing where Jimmy’s hand is, Keith just holds his hand out there. “Hello. I tried to run over a car when I was out running one day, but the car won.” He says with a deadpan expression—vocally and facially. Then Keith grins.
Jimmy: “Good one!” He laughs, now moving his handing to Keith’s outstretched hand. He frowns a bit and asks. “Do you have some residual spatial disorientation?”
Keith: “No, I just can’t see—a side effect of the accident.”
Jimmy: “Oh gosh! I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to put my foot into it, buddy.”
Keith: “Don’t worry about it. I’m getting rather used to living life as if I were in a blurry impressionist painting.” Keith says sanguinely.
Lily: “Keith, that’s a really artistic way of looking at it—literally.”
Lily and Keith: “Ha ha ha ha ha!” Lily and Keith both laugh, and Jimmy can see the camaraderie between them is warm and friendly. And he wonders, how friendly?
Hazel: “Now Jimmy, don’t you have something to ask Lily?”
Jimmy: “Nana.” He whines. “You’re not going to make me ask her in front of all of you?”
Lily: “Ask me what? “ Lily smiles sweetly—and encouragingly–at Jimmy
Jimmy: “Well Lily, I just wondered if you wanted to grab some dinner this evening? Pizza?” He asks hopefully.
Lily: “That will be nice, Jimmy. Lets.” And that is all it takes for Lily to have a date lined up—after a ten year dry spell. “Jimmy, I’m done with my volunteer shift at 4:00pm. So, let me go home and change and we could meet for dinner around 6:00pm?”
Jimmy: Jimmy nods. “Great! How about the Pizza Palace on Main Street?”
Lily: “I’ll see you there.” She smiles cheerfully.
Jimmy: “Well, I better get going. I have some errands to run.” Not the least of which he thinks is getting a haircut like Nana told him to do. “Bye, Nana. He kisses her cheek again. Lily, I’ll see you at 6:00pm.”
Lily: “Bye Jimmy, I’ll see you then.” She sits back down.
Hazel: “Bye Jimmy, Dear.”
Keith: “Right, bye.” He says a bit put out. Keith thinks, that he should be happy for Lily. But, he is not. Though, Keith doesn’t know why.
Jimmy: “Bye.” He waves to all of them.
Not to put too fine a point on it, Jimmy and Keith were behaving a bit territorially about Lily. Lily notices this and she rather likes it. It’s a new experience for her—men, plural, being interested in her. Or, at least one man is interested in her as a date, Jimmy–and the other as a friend, Keith.
To be continued with Chapter 12
“Seeing Beauty”, Chapter 12: Saturday, April 4th Keith wants to see Lily
Traditionally, April Fools’ Day is the day for making pranks. However, since Keith, Lily, Theresa, and Myron helped Keith prank his friends, two weeks ago—but good—they were covered. So, in Lily’s visit to Keith this Saturday April 4th, she hopes to talk about her date with Jimmy last weekend. Keith has some news, too. But whether or not he’ll get a chance to share it with Lily, remains to be seen. Well, that is it actually. Keith’s eyesight is improving ever so slightly. And the shapeless visual blobs that he sees are beginning to become more well defined. Sitting up in a chair in his room, wearing an athletic style sleeveless t-shirt over exercise pants, Keith[(4) right] is pumping iron—arm crunches with twenty five pound weights. Keith has been exercising his arms all along. So, he has maintained his muscular physique in rehab.
Lily: Knocking on his door, she asks. “Anyone home?”
Keith: “Lily! Hi! Come on in!” Keith says warmly while grinning broadly in the direction of her voice. “You’ve caught me doing my he man workout. “ Keith says still crunching the weights on each arm in turn to show off to Lily.
Lily: “I can see that, Keith.” She says looking appreciatively at his muscular torso and arms. “Well, your arms need their strength because you’ll be on crutches for a long time.”
Keith: “Yes, but I’m glad to be mostly rid of the wheel chair. You don’t know how hard it is to navigate some spaces until your mobility is limited.” He says standing up on his crutches now after setting the weights on the floor and then hand sanitizing.
Lily: “Gosh Keith. I had forgotten that you’re so tall.” She says looking up at him and smiling warmly—even though she knows he can’t see her smile.
Keith: “Yup.” Keith smiles, then he asks her shyly. “Lily? … I’d give anything to know what you look like.”
Lily: Startled a bit, she demures. “Oh Keith, you know what I look like.” Then, she says a bit more quietly. “Remember, we met at the blood drive nearly two months ago.” But she doesn’t remind him that he referred to her as the chubby gal.
Keith: “I know, it’s just that I’ve forgotten and I … Lily, may I see your face?” He puts his hand out, palm up, and beckons her to him by ever so slightly curling his fingers inward.
Lily: Now feeling quite shy around Keith, Lily says. “Oh, I don’t know Keith. What if someone were to walk in on us and misconstrue it. Both of us could get into trouble. Besides you might fall standing on one leg without support from your crutches.” All logical arguments, but not her real one. Lily has a little crush on Keith that she knows can’t go anywhere. So, Lily doesn’t know if she can maintain her composure if Keith touches her—even if it’s only her face.
Keith: “Well then, I’ll sit down and you shut my door.” He says sitting down on the edge of his bed. Now Keith stares Lily down—or as much as a blind man can stare.
Lily: “Alright Keith.” Lily says hesitantly. “… Just this once. … But, you’ll find I’m like most women.” Lily walks back to Keith after shutting his hospital room’s door. “I have two eyes, a nose, a chin, the usual.” She tries to sound benignly playful, but her pulse is actually racing at the thought of Keith’s hands on her face.
Keith: “Come a little closer, Lily.” Keith says warmly as he seductively beckons to Lily. Then he says a bit cheekily while holding up his hands for her to see. “Now, I’ve hand sanitized after pumping iron–so they’re clean.”
Lily nods. As she stands closer to Keith—with her face about a foot away from his face–Keith realizes that he can visually make out some of the features on her face. But he still puts his hands on either side of her face anyway.
Keith: “Hmmm. Lily, you have a sweetheart face.”
Lily: “What’s that?” Lily asks trying not to tremble with Keith’s hands on her face as she stands inside his open legs.
Keith: “That’s where your cheeks …” His thumbs stroke her cheeks. “… form the apples of the heart, and your chin is the heart’s point.” He brings one thumb down to her chin. Then, Keith’s hands move to her temples as he brushes her hair. “Ah! And you have bangs. I didn’t remember that.”
Lily: “Oh, they’re a fairly recent addition.” She blushes with a small smile.
Keith: “Nice silky hair in general.” He says stroking it gently. “Lily, what color is your hair?” Of course he can tell that it’s dark.
Lily: “I’m a reddish brunette.” Lily tries to stifle herself from trembling as his hand slides down her hair to her neck. “That pretty much covers it, Keith.” She says starting to pull away from him.
Keith: Moving his hands to Lily’s shoulders and gently holding her in place, Keith says. “Not quite, Lily. I still have your nose and mouth to see.” Keith moves his right hand up to caress Lily’s cheek and neck. With his left hand, he takes his index finger and puts it on her forehead. Then he slides his finger down her face between her eyebrows—which gives him the bearings on her nose. Then Keith slides his finger down the bridge of Lily’s nose, down to below her nose and then his finger runs along the outlines of her full mouth. “Your skin is very soft Lily. That’s nice.” They are both breathing deeply.
Lily: Trying to inject some lightness into this electrically charged moment, she says humorously. “Yes, I moisturize daily.”
As Lily smiles, Keith’s finger lingers on the contours of her full lips. Then Keith’s right hand holding Lily’s neck, gently pulls her face toward his face until their lips are almost touching.
Lily: “Hhhh!” Lily gasps at this closeness to Keith.
Keith: “I want so much to see you, Lily.” Keith says sincerely—his breath is on Lily’s face. And he can see Lily a little better, though she is still quite fuzzy.
Lily: To Lily, it seems like she and Keith might kiss. But they can’t. Lily is a care giver and Keith is a care receiver. So Lily [(5) right] softly places her hands on Keith’s muscular shoulders and she gently pushes herself away from him. “There, that should give you an idea of what I look like, Keith.”
Keith: “Yes.” He smiles mischievously.
Lily: “Now, let me tell you about my date last week with Jimmy. “ She says trying to change the subject. And they do discuss it. It was a nice friendly date. She and Jimmy talked about the movies they like and such. But, she hasn’t heard back from him, yet—which Keith is privately upbeat about. And oddly, Lily thinks to herself, she hasn’t minded Jimmy not calling her back yet.)
To be continued with Chapter 13
(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) Image representing Lily Sherman is that of American actress Mandy Moore and was found at
(3) Image representing Lily Sherman is that of American actress Mandy Moore and was found at
(4) Keith image is that of Lucas North in Spooks, series 8, episode 2, pix 18
(5) Keith image is that of Richard Armitage portraying Lucas North in Spooks, series 8, episode 5, pix 48
(6) 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