“Seeing Beauty”, Ch. 19: Keith and Lily Continue to Enjoy their Sunday Together, 9/17/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #272)
[(1) “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, and Leelee Sobieski as Mercedes. etc.]
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.
Author’s Recap from the previous installment: Keith and Lily revealed the depths of their feelings for each other and became lovers. On Sunday morning, Lily introduced Keith to friends at her church who are delighted that Lily has found a boyfend as toddler Keira calls Keith.
“Seeing Beauty”, Ch. 19: Keith and Lily Continue to Enjoy their Sunday Together
Keith takes Lily to one of his favorite restaurant’s for lunch after church on Sunday–Lorenzo’s Ristorante Italiano. Lorenzo’s décor is upscale modern with dark unornamented wood furniture and modern Italianate architectural features and dynamite food and service. It has been over two months since Keith has been out to a public restaurant and he looks forward to having Lily on his arm. Lily was only in this restaurant once before, but she likes it as well. As they walk in, it is busy as usual with families and couples having lunch or waiting at the bar to be seated for lunch. They give their name to the hostess and then chat while they wait to be seated.
Keith: “Lily, this is my favorite restaurant. Have you been to Lorenzo’s before?” Keith smiles at Lily warmly as he has his hand around her waist while they wait to be shown to their seats.
Lily: “I have, Keith. But I haven’t been back for a long time.” Since it’s rather expensive for her budget, she thinks. “Thanks for bringing me here.”
Then a mature woman colleague of Keith’s from the ad agency walks over to he and Lily and says hi as they’re on their way out.
Janet: “Keith! You’re looking so well.” She says giving him a hug. “You remember my husband Bob, don’t you?”
Keith: “Of course. Janet, it’s good to see you.” Keith says, not having come up with a euphemism yet. “And Bob.” He shakes his hand. “Let me introduce you to my girlfriend, Lily Sherman. Lily, this is Janet and Bob Tate.”
Lily: Lily is still a little caught off guard by Keith introducing her as his girlfriend—since that label is barely 24 hours old—she smiles at them and says warmly. “It’s lovely to meet some more of Keith’s friends. How do you know each other?”
Bob: “Oh, my wife Janet works with Keith at the ad agency. When are you going back to work, my boy?”
Keith: “Well, as you can see, my leg is still healing from surgery for another month or so.” He says gesturing to his crutches and leg brace. “And, well, I’m still having trouble with my sight—I’m only able to see things close up for now.” He doesn’t say more, not wanting to go into the details of him being legally blind. “But, after this second month of rehab is done, I’ll be itching to get back to work—even though I’ll still be on crutches.” Keith just hasn’t figured out how a blind guy is going to manage in advertising—a very visually oriented field.
Janet: “That’s great Keith! All the ladies in the department have missed you. … And Keith it’s good to see that you’ve finally found a nice girl for a change.” Janet looks approvingly and warmly at the sweet Lily.
Keith: “Lily Darling, if you couldn’t tell, that was Janet’s little dig at the dragon lady, Mercedes—whom you met yesterday.” He laughs.
Lily: “Ohh.” Lily nods her head knowingly with her eyes wide–her having met the dragon yesterday.
Janet: “Yes, she …” Janet has an aversion to saying Mercedes’s name. “… used to pop in to take Keith out to lunch sometimes. And, she was always impatient if he was in a client meeting that ran long.” Janet says shaking her head ruefully. Keith rolls his eyes.
Hostess: “Erickson, party of two.” She calls out.
Keith: “Oh, that’s us. Janet, Bob, it’s great to see you.” He says hugging Janet again and shaking Bob’s hand. “Have a great afternoon.”
Janet and Bob: “You too, dears.” They smile and wave as they head out the door.
Lily: “They seem really nice, Keith.” Lily and Keith follow the hostess to their table.
Keith: “Yes, Janet’s a peach. She’s my right arm.” Keith pushes in Lily’s chair next to him and then he also sits down at their table. “I’m going to really need her when I get back to work.”
Keith: “Lily, it’s just that I haven’t figured out how me as a blind guy is going to work in the very visual field of advertising.”
Lily: “But remember Keith, your other senses compensate for your blindness. So, think of you being able to bring more to the table because you’ll be able to focus on what others can’t—the sounds and words used to build the metaphors and meaning that the advertising is hoping to convey to its target audience.”
Keith: “Lily, is that the communication teacher in you talking?”
Keith and Lily go on to have a lovely lunch, punctuated with lively conversation and lots of sweet hand holding. They are oblivious to everyone else at the restaurant as they chat with each other. But there are many knowing glances in their direction at their obvious affection for each other.
It has been five weeks since Keith has been home to his apartment. The building super has checked on it for him from time to time to make sure that pipes aren’t leaking and the appliances are working. They had another resident who was gone for a long time and their refrigerator stopped working—spoiling all the food in it quite stinkily. As Keith and Lily walk into his apartment to pick up some more clothes for him, Keith gives her a tour—with Lily helping him navigate so he doesn’t trip over furniture. Keith lives on the top tenth floor with expansive views of the park next door and its lake beyond—befitting his status as an advertising executive. The apartment’s ceilings are fifteen feet tall—which drew Keith to the place since he is tall and he doesn’t like feeling cramped—and the open floor plan with its brick outer walls is spacious. It looks like a modern man’s home. Yet, it has some sentimental touches, too—such as family pictures from years past, Keith’s high school baseball jersey from the State Championship in a picture frame on a ‘memory wall’ to one side of the large fireplace and mantel surround–and a few obviously heirloom pieces of furniture in the arts and crafts mission style.
Lily: “Keith, your home is lovely. It’s just like I thought it would be. … It’s you.” Lily says gently touching his arm. “… And I love the open floor plan with the kitchen and dining open to the living area. Great for entertaining!” She smiles appreciatively.
Keith: “Hmmm. Ha!” Laughing, he pulls Lily into a loving embrace since they are alone for the first time all day. “I hoped that you’d like it.”
Lily: “Definitely! Though, it looks like it could use a good dusting.” She smiles while looking up at him with her arms around his waist and his arms around her shoulders and back. Then Keith leans down and he kisses Lily sweetly, tenderly, lovingly, and adoringly for several minutes.
Keith: When they come up for air from their kissing, he continues. “Hopefully, the rehab folks can help me adjust anything in here to make it easier for me to navigate so I don’t trip over anything. I’ve lived in this place for years, always hoping that I’d have a family to share it with some day.” He warmly caresses Lily’s face. “Let me show you around the place. Over here are the bedrooms.” He says hobbling toward them—navigating by memory since his sight is still fuzzy. “I’ve got three bedrooms. The smallest bedroom, in the middle, I use for an office now. But it would be great for a babies’ nursery since it also connects to the master bedroom.”
Lily: “Uh huh.” Lily can see the possibilities and nods.
Keith: “The guest bedroom also actually connects to this small bedroom through a shared bathroom.” They walk through the double sink bathroom and into the large guest bedroom.
Lily: “Keith, do you have family who visit you often?” Her hand rests lightly clasps his hand.
Keith: “Well, not as much as I’d like. They live on the east coast. But, my parents stayed here the first week after the accident before they had to go home. But, my Dad’s not been well himself. So, Mom has her hands full with him.”
Lily: “Oh Keith. I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” She puts her arm around his waist and gives him a hug. Then she becomes somber. “My parents died a few years ago from separate illnesses. I was their youngest child by several years, so my brother and sister are quite a bit older than I am. I miss my parents every day.” She says starting to tear up.
Keith: Kissing Lily’s forehead. “Yes, I’m lucky to have my parents still alive—even though they live far away. I should visit them more. Maybe when I’m out of rehab, you and I can take a trip to visit them together.” His eyes twinkle. “I want them to meet you.”
Lily: “Yes, I’d like that.”
Keith: “Another nice feature of this guest bathroom is that it has my laundry closet in it. I don’t have to haul my laundry out somewhere—even to another floor.”
Lily: “That is a nice feature. But at least my apartment building has a laundry for all of us to use in the basement.” She nods, liking the convenience.
Keith: “Now Lily Darling, …” His voice deepens portentously. “…let’s go check out the master bedroom and it’s en suite master bathroom.”
Lily: “Ooh. That sounds fancy.” She says teasingly.
Keith: “It is.” He smiles broadly.
Lily and Keith walk and hobble out of the guest bedroom and head over to the master bedroom on the other side of the small bedroom. As they walk into the spacious master bedroom with its his and her dressers and matching nightstands, Lily sees a beautiful sleigh bed in cherry wood with lovely luxurious fabric bedding on it.
Lily: “Oh my!” She sighs.
Keith: “Do you like it, Lily Darling?” He asks hopefully whilst standing behind her with his arms around her and kissing her cheek.
Lily: “Oh Keith, it’s beautiful! I’ve always liked the sleigh bed style of furniture.”
Keith: “Hmmm.” Keith growls tenderly as he kisses Lily’s shoulders. “And we have a large walk in closet and then the large en suite master bathroom.” He says opening each door and turning on their lights for her to see into each room.
Lily: Lily picks up on Keith using the inclusive we pronoun and she blushes–but she doesn’t say anything about it. Instead, she gushes about the bathroom’s amenities. “Keith, this master bathroom is very nice. I love the large whirlpool tub.”
Keith: “Yes, it’s great after a run and shower to just soak my sores away with the water jets pulsing soothingly.” He kisses Lily tenderly again, thinking of the time when she will join him in the whirlpool tub—and he kisses Lily adoringly for several minutes.
Lily: Blushing at thinking of being with Keith and making love in the whirlpool tub, she says. “Well, you have a lovely home Keith.”
Keith: “Let’s go back into the bedroom.” Keith says kissing Lily’s hand and then guiding her back to the bed. Then, after kicking off his shoes, Keith lies down on top of the bed and motions for Lily to join him. And she does, after kicking off her shoes. They lay spooning together with Keith behind Lily and his arms around her. “You know Lily, I’ve longed to find my heart’s true love and soul mate’, like they say in the movies. And I have, in you.” He says lovingly. “I love you with all of my heart, Lily.”
Lily: Lily turns to lay flat and says looking up at Keith. “And I love you with all of my heart, Keith.” Keith leans over her and he kisses Lily lovingly.
Keith: “You know, we talked about going on a trip together in June once you’re healed from your surgery.”
Lily: “Yes, that will be lovely.” She sighs as Keith kisses her neck.
Keith: “Well, why don’t we make it really lovely, Lily, and have it be our honeymoon.” Keith kisses Lily adoringly again as he caresses her face.
Lily: “Ahh!” Lily gasps and closes her eyes as she and Keith kiss. She’s dreamed of finding love and loving someone wholly and completely.
Keith: “Lily? I’m not sure if your being speechless at my marriage proposal to you is a good thing or a bad thing.” He says impishly. “I love you my caring and lovely and kind and sweet and endearing love. I want to grow old with you and have children with you and grandchildren with you. Lily, will you marry me and share our lives together?”
Lily: Softly weeping with joy, tinged with uncertainty, she says. “I do love you Keith. I’ve never felt so much love for someone as I feel for you–and the love you give to me. But, we still have the issue of whether people will accept us as a couple.”
Keith: “Are you worried about my blindness? I don’t want you to feel burdened by it. But, I don’t want to waste our lives waiting to find out if I might see again when we can love each other now.”
Lily: “Oh Keith, I don’t feel that your blindness is a burden at all.” Lily says caressing Keith’s face reassuringly. You’ve learned to navigate your world brilliantly so far and I’m sure that will continue. You’ve got the will and determination to surmount any challenge.”
Keith: “I can meet any challenge, with you by my side, Lily my love. I can’t picture my life without you Lily. I want you to be mine, all mine, forever.” Keith kisses Lily adoringly and passionately. But he can’t let his passions go too far, because he has one more surprise for Lily. Keith stops kissing Lily and he leans over her and opens the nightstand drawer, he reaches in, and he takes out a small square worn velvet jewelry box and opens it for her to see a lovely one carat white diamond with smaller baguette diamonds on each side in a raised filigree platinum setting. “Lily, this is my grandmother’s engagement ring. I give it to you as a token of my love for you.” Keith slips the ring on Lily’s ring finger and it fits her perfectly. “Marry me, my Darling Lily?” He asks hopefully.
Lily: “Oh Keith, I love you so. I want to say yes to you. “
Keith: Keith smiles and kisses Lily adoringly. “Then, say yes, Lily Darling.”
Lily: “But what about the Mercedes’ of the world wondering about the tall handsome blind man and the short chubby lady?” She says tearing up. Lily is still reticent because of her weight issues. A lifetime of insecurities can’t be expunged in twenty four hours—despite how lovely and loved Keith makes Lily feel.
Keith: “Lily Darling.” He says embracing her and caressing her face. “They should see how lucky I am to have you. Lily, you can’t let one bitter woman’s malicious nature spoil our happiness. And we will be happy, forever and always. The world is filled with so many other people that will celebrate our love—like Theresa and Myron and Sally, Carol and Keira, Pastor Nels, and Janet and Bob, and many others.
Lily: Lily looks up at Keith longingly and lovingly, caressing his face with her small hands. Life is full of moments like these—when you have the chance to choose your path in life. And Lily chooses happiness. “Yes, Keith my love. I will marry you.
Keith and Lily kiss and caress each other with loving abandon as they celebrate their engagement. Keith wants to make love with Lily so much—to really make love with her.
To be continued with Chapter 20
(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.
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