Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chapter 5 - Amour and a Miracle

December 1947

The week before Christmas, Alice Hope arrived home from the University in Ohio where she was a freshman. She had gone there to get away from the smothering influence of her mother, Alice Moriah. She wasn’t too excited about the prospect of being away from her friends at school, but that’s the way these holidays went. You just had to get through them. The only person in the area that she was remotely interested in spending time with was Solomon, the guy that worked at her grandfather’s clinic. She thought he was handsome enough to be a movie star, but he was too shy to suit her. She’d flirted with him for years, but he’d ignored her like he thought she was a child. When she asked him why, he’d told her that he didn’t think it would be appropriate for him to date his employer’s granddaughter. “You’re a fuddy duddy just like Grandfather,” Alice Hope had said to him.

Alice Moriah came out of the kitchen where she’d been preparing dinner. “Alice Hope, I think you should go caroling with the folks at church tonight,” she said, “and I think you should ask Solomon to go with you.” Alice Hope’s mother wasn’t trying to initiate anything between her daughter and Solomon. She was just thinking about her daughter's being out after dark in Black Fort. She knew that Solomon would protect her.

Alice Hope thought about it for a minute. “That might be fun,” she said. She picked up the phone and called the clinic. Actually she was thinking that it might be fun to mess Solomon. I wonder what it would take to get his attention, she grinned mischievously.

Solomon answered, “Dr. Wall’s office.”

“Hi Solomon, this is Alice Hope,” she said playing with the phone cord.

“Heeeyyy! Welcome home, Alice.”

“Thanks Solomon.” She took a deep breath. “I have a proposition for you. Mother wants me to go caroling tonight, and she wants you to go with me. I suppose to protect her precious daughter.”

Solomon laughed, “Well, you are precious, Alice Hope.”

“I’m not a child,” she said.

“Okay, what’s your proposition?” he asked. He sounded like a big brother, which was the way he felt about her.

She lowered her voice. “I’ll agree to go, if you’ll agree not to tell anybody that I smoke.”

Solomon laughed heartily. “Do you really think they don’t know? There’s nothing more pungent than the smell of tobacco smoke to a non-smoker.”

“Your attitude pisses me off.” She slammed the phone down.

Solomon smiled and hung up the phone. I’ll give her five minutes before she calls back, he thought.

It didn’t take that long. “Alice Hope, I’d be happy to accompany you to the caroling tonight,” he said.

She was at the clinic as soon as the last patient left. She sat down at the kitchen table with her grandfather. Solomon stuck his head in the door and said, “I’ll be ready in fifteen minutes.”

Dr. Wall listened to Alice Hope’s stories about college. She had him wrapped around her little finger, and she knew it.

When Solomon came back into the kitchen, Dr. Wall handed him the keys to the Cadillac and a ten-dollar bill saying, “You young folks have supper on me, and Solomon, you have her back here by ten o’clock.”

“Yes, sir, I’ll do that,” he said.

Alice Hope looked Solomon over. He had on chocolate brown wool pants with a pale blue oxford shirt and brown wingtips. He looks good, she thought, but that pea coat’s got to go. “Grandfather,” she crooned, “could Solomon wear your cashmere coat?”

“Alice!” Solomon said.

“Anything you want, precious,” Dr. Wall replied.

“Alice pulled the caramel colored cashmere coat out of the hall closet. She held it over one arm and stroked it. “This is so pretty. Come on, Solomon, try it on. You’re as tall as Grandfather.”

Solomon did what she asked.

She smiled real big. “Now you look like someone, who could take me out to dinner.” She twirled around the kitchen sashaying her hips, “How do you think I look?”

Sexually active, Solomon thought to himself. Her pink cashmere sweater stretched tightly across her ample eighteen-year-old breasts. Her rouged cheeks with eyelashes fluttering under theatrical make-up and a pouty pink mouth suggested her availability. “You look beautiful, Alice,” he said instead. “Your pink sweater brings out the pink in your cheeks and the strawberry blonde of your hair.”

Dr. Wall put one hand over his eyes. Peeking through two fingers he said, “You’re scaring your old granddaddy. When did you become a woman?”

Alice Hope beamed.

When they were out of sight of the clinic, Alice slid to the middle of the Cadillac’s front seat and put her hand on Solomon’s leg. “Do you think I look like a woman?” She watched his face as she lightly traced figure eights on the inside of his thigh.

“As a matter of fact, you do, Alice.” He tried not to show the effect her fingertips were having on him. He felt her little finger stretching higher up his thigh getting dangerously close to his manhood. His breathe came deeper and faster.

Alice watched his nostrils flare and his mouth grow slack. “Do I have your attention now?” she purred.

“You definitely have my attention,” he said as his erection pushed against his zipper.

“Mmmm good,” she pressed the back of her hand against it. “Oooh yes, I do have your attention, don’t I?” She stretched up to his neck and gently sucked.

“Your grandfather will know if you give me a hickey,” he whispered through a raspy throat.

“You’re right,” she said moving her hand from his groin to his biceps. She smiled and put her head on his shoulder. She knew she could have him. That made her happy.

As they drove into Black Fort, he asked, “Where do you want to eat?”

“I feel like a steak,” she said grinning, “and you look like you could use some red meat.”

Solomon pulled the Cadillac into the steak house parking lot. He got out, walked around the car, and opened her door. She pulled her skirt up showing off the garter belt that held up her silk stockings. She smiled when she saw him looking at her legs. He offered his hand, and she pulled herself out of the car.

The steak house was dark inside. A fat candle lit every table. Alice Hope asked for one of the circular booths. Solomon helped with her coat and hung it with his on the hook beside the booth. They sat down and Alice slid all the way around the table until she was inches from him.

“What subjects are you taking at the university?” Solomon asked.

“Regular freshman subjects,” she said turning towards him. She put her leg up on the seat with her knee lying on his thigh—a perfect position for his hand to easily reach her where she wanted him to touch her. He could see the top of her silk stockings.

“Uh, are you doing in a dorm? I...I mean, do you live in a dorm?” he stammered.

Alice Hope grinned. She was enjoying his awkward discomfort. She put her hand on the back of his neck and ran her fingers through his hair. She leaned closer so that her breast was touching his arm. She moved it slowly and deliberately. “How many women have you been with?” she asked in a sultry voice.

“Alice Hope, the people over there are watching you.” He cut his eyes toward a table near them.

“Why do you care?” she asked.

“I care,” he whispered firmly. “I’m not into public displays of...of...sex.”

“Alright, alright,” she said putting both her hands on the table and sitting up straight.

“Alice,” he said, “you’re a beautiful and desirable woman. Do you know what you do to a man?”

She sounded annoyed. “I’ve had sex with lots of guys. Don’t make this a big deal.”

Solomon looked concerned. He touched her chin and turned her face to his. “Do you use protection?”

She smiled impishly. “Yeah, I got a diaphragm. I’m not stupid.” She leaned close to him again and said, “I put it in before I left home. I put my diaphragm in and left my panties at home, and you spoiled my surprise.” She turned her head in a mock pout.

Solomon said, “I’m glad you’re not stupid.” He leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. “You better not let your mother find your diaphragm.”

“You’re telling me!” She winked and said, “I can’t believe you turned down the best sex you ever had.”

“Let’s just say I postponed it,” he said touching the tip of her nose. “Anticipation makes sex better.”

As they pulled into the church parking lot, people were bundling their coats around them and hurrying into the fellowship hall. The wind had picked up making the twenty-five degree temperature feel like zero. Solomon laughed and said to Alice, “You’re going to freeze your butt off…literally.”

She giggled. She was glad he’d remembered that she wasn’t wearing panties.

Confusion reigned inside the fellowship hall. A five-year-old boy was missing. His frantic parents paced and wrung their hands. Solomon got bits and pieces of the story. The child had been playing with siblings. The older ones had gotten cold and had come into the fellowship hall to warm up. That’s when the mother first missed five-year-old Charlie. It had been an hour ago, and they still hadn’t found the boy. Hope had faded, and gut-wrenching grief had taken over. The wails of the family stood out over the crowd’s judgments, “Why were they not watchin’ that young’un?”

The boy’s uncle burst through the door screaming, “They fount Charlie floatin’ face down on the north side of the pond!” He threw his arms around the boy’s father and sobbed, “He’s dead, Charles. Your boy is dead.”

Solomon was instantly alert to the situation. He remembered resuscitating animals after they’d apparently drowned in cold water, and he had a feeling that the child wasn’t dead. Dr. Wall’s cashmere coat flapped in the wind as Solomon hurried down the hill to the pond where men were pulling the boy out of the icy water. They flopped him up on the beach. The child’s face was blue and ice crystals clung to his hair.

“Don’t move him!” Solomon ordered.

The men didn’t know who Solomon was, but his sound of authority stunned them into compliance. They backed away. Solomon took off Dr. Wall’s coat and laid it over the child. He touched the boy’s cheek with the back of his hand and detected a weak electric current between the hair on his hand and the boy’s icy face. “He’s alive,” he said, “get a plank to carry him on.”

The child’s parents ran towards Solomon and the boy. Solomon put his arms out to slow them down. “Don’t move him!” he shouted as he blocked them. He knew that when the blood in an extremity was not circulating, like when a tourniquet was on it, poisons built up in the stagnant blood. He reasoned that if the boy was moved quickly, the poisons would go to his heart and brain.

The child’s mother looked at Solomon with pleading eyes. “Is he alive?” She gasped as she looked at his blue face. “Oh no, he’s dead,” she cried as she dropped to the ground.

“He’s alive. Trust me.” Solomon said it with such conviction that she believed him.

She carefully put her hand on her son’s forehead and said, “Oh God, he’s so cold.”

“I know,” Solomon said, “we’re going to fix that.”

When the men arrived with the plank, Solomon gently slid the boy onto it. He put Dr. Wall’s coat over the child and stood up with the boy and the board in his arms. Solomon’s foot skidded on the ice. “Steady me, fellas,” he said, “don’t let me fall.” They walked up the hill beside Solomon and his precious cargo.

In the fellowship hall, Solomon laid the board and the boy on a table.

A rotund middle-aged man introduced himself as Pastor Hall. “What can I do?” he asked anxiously.

“I need scissors and warm blankets,” Solomon said

A heavy-set woman stood watching with her hands over her mouth. Solomon said to her, “Ma’am, warm some towels in the oven and bring them to me.” She hurried off.

Another woman handed him scissors.

He cut the boy’s clothes off underneath Dr. Wall’s coat and threw the pieces of cold, wet material on the floor. He looked towards the kitchen and shouted, “I need those warm towels!”

The ice in the boy’s hair had melted, and his skin was pale but no longer blue. Solomon saw that the boy’s chest was beginning to move. The mother tenderly stroked her son’s forehead as Solomon said, “You’re doing good, Mama. Breathe your love on your son.”

Solomon put his fingertip against the child’s carotid artery. He felt a small bump from it. He placed a finger under the boy’s chin and slowly lifted it opening his airway. He showed the boy’s mother how to blow very small puffs of air from her own lungs into her son’s. “Blow slowly so he doesn’t start coughing, and then let the air just flow out of Charlie’s lungs.”

Solomon threw Dr. Wall’s wet and muddy cashmere coat on the floor and replaced it with layers of warm towels and wool blankets. He was unaware of a roomful of people standing around him silently witnessing what they considered a miracle. Whispers spread around the room. “He’s brangin’ Charlie back to life.” “I drug that child outta them icy waters. He was dead as a hammer.” “It’s a miracle.”

The boy’s eye’s fluttered as his face turned pink. His mother’s tears dropped onto his face. She wiped them away with her fingertip. She looked at Solomon and said, “Thank you, and God bless you.”

As the crowd pressed closer, Solomon motioned them to back away with a wave of his hand.

An older gentleman with a doctor’s bag came over to the table in time to see the child open his eyes and recognize his mother. The boy’s weak voice trembled, “Mommy?”

Dr. Jones from Black Fort had been called by one of the church members. The preacher said, “Doc, this is Solomon Sepaugh from Rooster Cove. This child was pulled from the icy waters of the duck pond after being under that water for at least an hour. He was dead, and now he is risen. Like Lazarus, this child is risen.”

Dr. Jones cut his eyes at Solomon. Solomon shrugged and raised his eyebrows. Dr. Jones obviously didn’t know what to make of the situation. Solomon said, “The child was severely hypothermic. His bodily functions were so minimal that he appeared dead. We’ve gently warmed him. I believe he needs to be kept warm and rehydrated with intravenous dextrose and water.”

The doctor seemed grateful for information that he could deal with.

“The child shouldn’t be moved until his core temperature is closer to normal,” Solomon added, “and I’m sure he has some acidosis due to the pooling of his blood.”

Dr. Jones nodded as he took over the boy’s treatment.

Solomon picked up Dr. Wall’s muddy cashmere coat. He saw Alice Hope across the room and waved her to him. She hurried over. “Let’s get out of here,” he whispered.

She followed him into the kitchen where they could escape out the back door. They managed to get into the Cadillac without anyone seeing them. Solomon started the engine and waited for the motor to warm up.

Alice Hope was staring at him. He looked at her and grinned. He raised his eyebrows and said, “What?”

“That was amazing. You were amazing,” she said.

“I’m happy it worked out for little Charlie,” Solomon said looking in the rear view mirror.

Alice Hope moved closer. She stuck her arm through his and put her head on his shoulder. He drove out of the parking lot before anyone noticed they were gone. Alice didn’t move on the way home. She was so quiet that Solomon wondered if she was asleep. She wasn’t. She was thinking about what Solomon had done.

Solomon drove the Cadillac into the clinic parking lot and looked at his watch…eight-thirty. They were back early. He remembered the doctor’s muddy cashmere coat with dread.

“Trade places,” Alice said, “I’ll drive you home, and I’ll come back and tell Grandfather about tonight. I’ll have his coat cleaned tomorrow.”

She drove the short half-mile to Ma Patsy’s. She pulled into the driveway and put the car in park. “This was quite an evening,” she said.

Solomon felt awkward. Should I kiss her goodnight?

“You never told me how many women you’ve been with,” she said playfully.

Solomon looked at his hands like he was counting, and then he grinned, “None,” he said.

“None?” she gawked. “I guess you get disgusted with all the gross female stuff you see.”

“No, that’s not it. I’ve just been so busy that I haven’t had the time to give to a woman...you know to romance her and all that.”

“I wanted to be with you when we were in high school,” she said, “but you never noticed me.”

“Oh, I noticed you. I just thought your grandfather would kill me if he thought I was interested in you.” He put his hand on her shoulder and squeezed. “Yeah, I noticed you for sure.”

She put her cheek on his hand and turned and kissed it. She nuzzled it until his finger was in her mouth. Her eyes locked on his as he watched her curl her tongue around the end of his finger. He closed his eyes for a moment savoring the heat rising in his loins. He ran his hand under her hair and caressed her neck. Then he pulled her towards him.

He meant it to be a simple kiss, but he lingered with it, and sensuously moving his mouth on hers, he closed his eyes. The warmth and softness of her lips started a flood of heat cascading from his loins. His tongue slowly explored her lips, which she parted obligingly for him. He touched her breast and felt her softness through the cashmere sweater. She sucked in her breath in response to his caressing her nipple. It grew hard under his fingertips. Solomon wanted to bury himself in her softness. He pulled her out of the driver’s seat and into his arms. He kissed her deeply, probing with his tongue.

Alice hit the gearshift with her knee as she twisted her body towards him. Solomon reached over her and turned off the ignition and the headlights. He ran his hands over her legs relishing the smooth feel of the silk stockings on her legs. He fondled the naked skin above the stockings, first on the outside of her thigh, and then he moved his sensitive fingertips around the top of her stockings to the inside. He followed her garter belt…until he felt her coarse pubic hair. He watched her face while he explored her. His knowledgeable fingers followed her contour until his middle finger sank into her. Her half-closed eyes fluttered. Her jaw relaxed and her tongue was visible between her parted lips. Her head rolled back, and she groaned a guttural sound in the back of her throat.

With his hand on the small of her back, Solomon pulled her forward. She lay back on the car seat. Without her knowing, he checked to make certain that her diaphragm was still in place on her cervix. Then his finger found the swollen roughness of the vaginal wall on the underside of her clitoris. He cupped his hand so that he applied pressure to her clitoris with his palm while his middle finger was planted inside beneath it. He pleasured her inside and outside. She moved her hips with the primal rhythm of sexual excitement as his massage took up the rhythm she was showing him. She rode a crest of pleasure until…her eyes squeezed shut and her mouth pulled taunt. She stiffened the muscles in her legs and feet. Solomon felt her vaginal muscles grasping and releasing around his fingers in their orgasmic dance.

When the contractions slowed, he unzipped his pants and freed himself. He picked her up. She was as relaxed and limp as a rag doll. When she realized what he was doing, she guided him into her. She was hot and swollen inside and wet with slick secretions. She buried him deeply inside, and then she ground herself into him in slow voluptuous circles. Solomon took her face into his hands and kissed her tenderly, and then passionately. Her orgasmic contractions surrounded him…massaged him as the firmness of the roots of her clitoral erection encircled his organ. He was so close to ejaculating that he dared not move lest this paradise end.

Alice put her hands on his shoulders and then around his neck. She whispered to him, “Move my hips the way it feels good to you.” With his hands around her waist, he moved her up and down. She felt his pleasure as his thighs grew hard. He pushed his hips up out of the seat. He exploded inside her again and again until he relaxed and sank back into the seat. They sat coupled together relaxing into bliss.

Solomon was the first to move when he looked at his watch. “Nine-thirty,” he said.

Alice Hope slowly raised her head from his shoulder and looked at him.

He smiled and whispered, “You look like you’ve just had sex.”

She smiled at him and said, “Yes, I sure have.”

“Come in my house and freshen up before you go to the clinic,” Solomon said to her. “Your grandfather will know what we’ve been doing. I can promise you that.”

Solomon opened the car door. They both climbed out on the same side. When Alice stood up, she grimaced, “Oh crap, bring a towel next time.”

Solomon laughed and pulled her to him. He teased, “Can I help you in the bathroom?”

“I think you’ve helped me enough tonight,” she grinned and winked at him.

Alice Hope came out of the bathroom looking perfect again. Solomon walked her back to the Cadillac, kissed her on the cheek, and watched her drive out of sight. He bounded up the front porch steps taking them three at a time. He couldn’t remember ever feeling so happy…or so satisfied.

Copyright © 2008 by Robbin Renee Bridges
Coping with Grief through Afterlife Communication

No comments: