“Seeing Beauty”, Ch. 13-14: Keith and Lily Share their Hearts, 9/03/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #262)
[(1ab) “Seeing Beauty” story logo, left]
[I will illustrate my stories 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, and the late Jessica Tandy as Hazel, etc.]
Author’s Recap from the previous installment: Keith’s growing tender feelings for Lily surfaced briefly last Saturday with him seeing what Lily looked like by gently gliding his hands over her face. Lily was quite affected by this heightened level of intimacy. It was a very sensuous moment for both of them. But it went no farther.
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 13: Saturday, April 11th Keith gets ready to move to a private rehab facility five weeks after his accident, and Lily visits him to say goodbye (PG-13)
It is now mid April, five weeks after Keith’s accident—and one month after he’s been in the hospital’s rehab. Keith is improving, but he will still need months of physical therapy on his leg and he will still need nursing care for his healing surgical wound. His eyesight hasn’t come back that much—though he is seeing more light and shapes close up are a bit sharper, he is still legally blind. So Keith has to learn to navigate the world as a blind man. Therefore, Keith plans to move to a private rehab care facility for another month for his leg rehab and to learn how to live as a blind man.
Lily has had twice a week contact with Keith as for the last four weeks his rehab volunteer—visiting with him for a few hours on Saturdays and then an hour after work on Wednesdays. Actually, Keith and Lily have formed a very ‘friendly’ relationship—as evidenced by Keith’s tenderly seeing her face last week, which left them both a little breathless. And, Keith’s buddies have kept up their Sunday afternoon visits. So, Keith’s spirits are as good as can be expected. This Saturday April 11th, Lily visits Keith one last time in his rehab room early in the afternoon—before his planned transfer to the private rehab care facility at 3:00pm.
Lily: Knocking on Keith’s Hospital rehab room door, Lily says her usual greeting. “Hello, anyone home?”
Keith: “Hi Lily. Come on in. I’m decent.”
Lily: Walking into his room, Lily sees Keith dressed in street clothes—well, exercise pants that snap down the sides for easy getting on and off since he’ll be wearing his large leg brace for some time—and a collared polo shirt. “Keith, you look great! I don’t think I’ve see you this dressed up in all the time that I’ve known you here in rehab.”
Keith: “Yes, you’ve had me at a disadvantage, Lily.” He smiles warmly at her. “Care to take a stroll down to the soda machine in the lounge? I’m buying.” He says jauntily as he stands up on his crutches and they start hobbling and walking down the hall to the soda machine in the lounge.
Lily: “Keith, this is a whole new you.” She says a bit nonplussed, but glad for him. “You’re going to bowl the private rehab facility people over when you get there later today. We’ll be sorry to see you go.” She says sincerely. But, what Lily really means is that she’ll be sorry not to see him again.
Keith: “More like you you’ll be glad to see the back of me.” He says cheekily. “Hi Theresa!” He waves at the nurses’ station and she waves back at him. Not that Keith can see Theresa, but he knows she’s on duty today, so he’s making an educated guess. Then Keith asks under his breath to Lily. “That was Theresa, wasn’t it?”
Lily: Laughing, Lily says while patting his muscular arm. “Yes Keith, you guessed correctly.”
Keith and Lily stop at the vending machine and select their soda pops. Lily carries both sodas since Keith is using crutches. Then they sit on the couch in the adjacent patient-family room lounge area that has a big screen tv playing sports muted in the background. Usually, there are a few other patients and family members visiting in here today. But today, they have the room to themselves.
Keith: Keith sits down on the couch next to Lily. “I almost hate to leave this place, Lily. But, I guess going to the private rehab facility for one more month isn’t too bad–almost like a spa. And they will help me become more independent with living with my blindness.”
Lily: “Keith, I’m sure that they’ll be able to help you adjust and adapt your home to fit your needs.” Then Lily says sincerely and a little sadly. “… Keith, I want to wish you all the luck in the world. You deserve it!” Lily tries to say this cheerfully as she takes Keith’s hand in her hands, but she’ll be sad to not see him again.
Keith: “Lily, …” Keith says hesitantly. “… the way you said that, … it almost sounds like we won’t see each other again.” He says worriedly. “I guess I assumed that you would still visit me at my new rehab facility.”
Lily: “I’m afraid I can’t do that, Keith.” She says sadly as she lowers her eyes. “Your new facility will have their own staff and volunteers and they probably won’t want me intruding.”
Keith: “But Lily, I’ll miss you.” He squeezes her hand holding his. “I really couldn’t have gotten through this first phase of my recovery without you.” Keith says sincerely grateful to Lily for her help and support and encouragement.
Lily: “Keith, that’s kind of you to say.” She tries to sound cordial and professional.) “But, the time has come for you to move on—and I have to move on as well.” Lily thinks that the issue of transference might be rearing its head soon.
Keith: “Oh, … sorry. I … I guess I thought you and I were becoming … that we are friends.” He says dejectedly. Then he asks hopefully. “Lily, couldn’t you visit me as a friend?”
Lily: “Of course, we’re friendly with each other, Keith. But, as one of your caregivers, I have to recognize that the friendly feelings you might have for me are due to something called transference—where patients exaggerate their gratefulness at getting well onto the people or persons around them.”
Keith: “Honestly Lily, I haven’t really thought of myself as your ‘patient’. With the staff, that’s different. They’re paid to do their job. But, with you volunteering, … Lily, … Well, I just thought that all the time you’ve spent with me meant that we might be developing our friendly relationship … maybe to something beyond friendship.”
Lily: She pauses, not knowing how to respond to him at first. Then she says. “Well, I’m sorry if I gave you the wrong impression, Keith.” But, of course, Keith is interpreting Lily’s feelings for him correctly. It’s just that Lily doesn’t feel that she’s allowed to act on them because of her formal volunteer position at the hospital. Besides, Keith is way out of her league romantically—blind or not. “I didn’t mean to.” She says a bit discomfittedly since they are sitting right next to each other on the couch. So, Lily starts to stand up, but Keith stops her by gently laying his hand on her arm.
Keith: “Lily, I like you.” He says quietly. “More than I can say. … Don’t you feel anything for me?
Lily: Her eyes tearing up—and in truth a tiny tear is falling down her cheek, that the blind Keith can’t see—she says. “Keith, I like you, too. You’re very kind. But, apart from my position as a volunteer meaning that friends are all we can be, I … I’m the ‘chubby gal’ from the blood drive. … Remember?” Lily says forlornly as she looks at Keith pointedly and longingly. But, it’s hard to convince someone else of something—especially when you’re still trying to convince yourself of it.
Keith: Then he says quietly and contritely. “Lily, I’m so sorry for having said that you were chubby. It’s obvious that I hurt your feelings. … And I wouldn’t hurt you for the world.” He says sincerely while looking at her soulfully and clasping her left hand in his hand.
Lily: “Hey, you were just being accurate, Keith.” She tries to say offhandedly.
Keith: “Well, may I at least kiss you goodbye on your cheek, Lily?” He asks dejectedly.
Lily: “I don’t know. Keith, maybe we should just shake hands.” She says holding out her other hand to Keith. Because Lily really doesn’t want to be kissed on the cheek by Keith—because she wants to kiss him on his lips.
Keith: “Very well, Lily.” Keith says resignedly while taking Lily’s hand in his. Then he kisses her hand tenderly and holds on to it. Lily’s eyes are really tearing up now and another tear falls down her cheek. Keith lifts his other hand to Lily’s cheek and he brushes her tear away.
Lily: Startled, she asks him searchingly as she looks into his eyes. “Keith, how did you know that I was crying? Let alone be able to see the tears on my face?”
Keith: “Oh, I’ve found over the last several weeks that my eye sight has been improving and I can see things better when they’re up close and within a foot of me. Like your face is now, Lily.”
Lily: Spontaneously giving Keith a hug, Lily says excitedly. “Oh Keith, I’m so happy for you! That’s wonderful!”
Keith: Hugging Lily back, Keith kisses her cheek and says. “Thanks, Lily. There, I’ve got my kiss in.”
Lily: “Oh you.” They both laugh. “Keith, have you told your doctors?” She asks him excitedly.
Keith: “Yes, they’re fairly optimistic that, in time, my sight will continue to improve. And, they might try another brain operation on my optic nerve later to see if that will help.”
Lily: “That’s wonderful! You’ll be back to your old self.”
Keith: “I hope not.” He says ruefully.
Lily: “Oh come on Keith, you have a pretty good life. You’ve just had a bump in the road.” Lily smiles warmly at him with tears still in her eyes—because she knows that she won’t be a part of Keith’s life.
Keith: Putting his hand up to her cheek again, Keith says. “Though I wouldn’t wish my injuries on anyone, I’m glad that I’ve met you, Lily.” Then Keith leans in and he kisses Lily softly on her lips.
Lily: Startled, Lily starts to pull away from Keith and she says breathlessly. “Keith, we can’t!”
Keith: “Oh Lily, I’ve fallen in love with you.” Keith tells Lily from his heart. And with that, Keith pulls Lily into his arms and he kisses her tenderly. Keith thinks that Lily feels soft and small and cuddly in his arms. He’s a big guy with long arms and he envelopes her in his loving arms.
Lily: Not having been kissed so tenderly in a long time, let alone by a man that she has deep feelings for—as she does for
Keith—Lily starts to cry again. But, she tries to regain some level of professionalism and says with her hands on his muscular chest. “Keith, your feelings for me are just … just transference. When you get better and get your eyesight back, you’ll find that you’ll be interested in someone … more like you.” Lily says caressing Keith’s face tenderly.
Keith: “More like me?” He asks quizzically.
Lily: “Yes, … someone … ‘not’ chubby, like me.” Lily’s own insecurities about her weight are too ingrained in her to overlook this fact.
Keith: “No, I won’t, Lily. I want you.”
Keith pulls Lily into his arms again and he tenderly kisses her for several minutes while caressing her face. And finally, Lily kisses Keith back adoringly—running her fingers through his hair. Lily and Keith are locked together in their passionate embraces and kisses for several minutes. Their lips speaking the silent language of love as they abandon their reticence and let their passion for each other erupt. Keith trails a few adoring scalding kisses on Lily’s neck before reclaiming her mouth again with his own. And now, their tongues explore the sweetness of each others’ hidden passions. Lily has never been kissed like this before–never been loved like this before–and she is overwhelmed with the sensations of joy and contentment she feels.
To be continued with Chapter 14
Scene 14: Keith’s friends visit to see him off to his new rehab at an inopportune time
But then, Keith and Lily are interrupted. Timing is everything, and Keith’s friends have very bad timing. Because they walk into the rehab lounge after the nurse told them that Keith was down here with Lily. They’ve never met Lily since they’ve always visited on Sundays when Lily wasn’t there. But Keith has told them all about Lily’s encouragement and her support of him. And Keith told his friends about his loving feelings for Lily–just not that she’s chubby. Now, Keith’s friends walk into the lounge and see Keith passionately kissing a chubby woman.
Keith: Coming up for air from kissing Lily, Keith says. “Guys! Glad to see you! Come and meet Lily!” Keith says warmly as he still holds Lily in his arms. Keith’s friends look at Lily and wince at her chubbiness.
Lily: Startled at having someone see her kissing Keith, Lily pulls away from him. “Oh, I’m sorry. Keith I should leave you with your friends.
Keith: “Lily, don’t go.” Keith pleads as he puts his arms out as if to pull her back into them. But Lily has already stood up and moved away from Keith.
Lily: “No, I have other patients to visit. Keith, I hope that the rest of your rehab goes well for you.” Lily says standing and looking at Keith lovingly with her back to the friends so they can’t see her tearful facial expression.
Keith: “I’ll miss you, Lily. Please come visit me at my new rehab facility.” Keith asks her pleadingly.
Lily: “We’ll see.” Lily leaves the room, barely nodding at Keith’s friends—not even waiting to be introduced to them because her composure fails her and she’s crying now at the tenderness of Keith’s kisses.
Brock: Once Lily has left the room, Brock asks quizzically. “So, ‘that’s’ Lily?”
Keith: “Yes. She’s a great girl!” The still legally blind Keith looks wistfully in the general direction that Lily walked out of the room.
Sam: “We’re sure she is.” The three friends all nod hesitantly
Jack: “But, Keith, … she’s not exactly your type.” He says starting to allude to Lily’s chubbiness.
Keith: “She’s sweet and kind and lovely and caring. If that’s not my type, then it should be.” He counters forcefully.
Brock: “Of course. It’s just that … well … she’s … chubby.” He says disdainfully.
Sam: We know you’re blind Keith, but you can do better than her.
Keith: “Don’t talk about Lily like that!” Keith says standing up literally and figuratively for the woman he loves. “I love her and I want to be with her.”
Jack: “That’s nice Keith. But, …”
Keith: Cutting him off, he says. “Guys, I think you should leave. I’m sorry that you can’t appreciate that I love Lily. But, I do love her.
Brock: “Alright Keith. We understand. We’re sorry.” Brock decides not to pursue it with Keith today.
To be continued with Chapter 15
(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.
P.S. Sorry that there aren’t illustration images. I was too tuckered out to find and build them in.
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