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©Survival of Love and Truth!

©Survival of Love and Truth!

©By BR Chitwood

*

PART ONE:

*

(Cameron’s Concern…)

You sit across from me with that soft sweet smile of love and compassion, dressed in one of my faded blue shirts, the fulsome curves of your breasts taut against the unbuttoned upper edges. The cut-off denim shorts give delightful vision to your splayed legs and naked feet.

Yet, it is your face placed inside the mold of your long raven braids that reach near the top of your breast-line on which my sight is locked, pondering its beauty and the sparkle that shifts with the light in those deep-blue eyes. Moments go lost with my staring until your velvety soft lips part to speak.

“You’re making me nervous, Cameron. Why did you want to talk to me? Is something wrong at work? Is it me? Have I done something to cause you concern? Talk to me, Cam, we’ve been sitting here in silence for several minutes, and I have a chore to finish.”

These were the moments he dreaded with a heavy heart but his decision had been made and he must painfully finish his charade…it was the only decision that would solve the ugly dilemma he faced.

“Mattie, just one question! Please consider it carefully… Do you love me?”

Mattie shifted her head a few times, began to rise…

“No, Mattie, sit. Answer the question.”

“Cam, what the hell kind of question is that? You know damned well I love you. We are hopefully having a child soon, beginning our family after trying so long. What on earth brought this on?”

“You went out yesterday afternoon with Bev Rawlings to shop. After shopping at Central Mall, you went to Durbin’s for cocktails. Who joined you there?”

“Jeez, Cam, you’re having me followed?”

“Just answer the question, Mattie.”

“I can’t believe this…nobody joined us, you silly man. Now, stop this inquisition now, Cam. You are scaring the hell out of me. This is not you. You are never in this sort of mood. You know very well I love you – and only you. Who is feeding you this crap? We had two drinks and we left.”

“So, your ex, Charlie Pike, did not join you at Durbin’s, Mattie?”

An angry squint came to her face, “Hell, no, Charlie Pike did not join us…yes, he was there with a friend of Bev’s, and we only said, hello. They did not join us for drinks. In fact, we left after our second drink…end of story. If you just remember, we had a late dinner here at home last night because your final appointment ran longer than expected.

“What is this all about, Cameron? We’ve been together for three years. I’ve never been happier, and we are trying to get me pregnant and start our family.”

“So, that’s your story?”

“No, it’s not a story. It’s the truth… I don’t know what brought all of this on, Cameron, but don’t do this to me again. Maybe you are seeing someone and want to make a case against me to suit your ends. If that’s the case, tell me. As for me, I’m invested in this relationship. If you want it otherwise, be man enough to tell me without pulling this kind of crap on me. Fidelity is most important to me. I love you, Cam, but I can live with the truth, not a lie.”

*

(Mattie’s Thoughts…)

Mattie, her face red and tears beginning to flow, rose quickly from her chair and left the room, leaving Cameron to stare after her. She finished her housekeeping while the entire time was spent with thoughts about the sudden and surprising accusation by her husband. She was shocked, hurt, by his words that broke into their assumed happy marriage. She could not shake the thought that there was something more to their conversation than what Cameron told her, and it puzzled her. Their marriage was good, had been good for the few years of marriage. No, their marriage was ‘story book’, happy and lovingly strong. She was certain there was some other problem she was not yet aware.

Mattie heard the door to the garage open and close, assumed Cameron was off to his office. She put her favorite CD music on the stereo and resumed her chore, humming along with the dip and sway of the romantic song. She closed her mind to the Q&A with Cameron and somehow felt whatever the cause all would be back to normal by the time he arrived home.

Finished with her chores, Mattie decided to go poolside and work on her tan. When the large bedroom wall mirror presented her in the pale blue and yellow polka dot bikini, she smiled her satisfaction – her body was still the same 110-pound weight and the curves in her assessment were still as they should be. She shook her long raven hair with a hip swing, grabbed her Smart Phone, and went to the pool.

Before Cameron left for the office, the pool service guy showed up, and, now, the water was sparkling and the strong scent of chemicals filled the air. While unable to explain the feeling, this was her most favorite time to be poolside, breathing in the gentle chem-aroma carried on a soft breeze.

She brought a new John Grisham paperback to the pool and reached for it from the concrete table next to her lounger. Mattie in her lazy effort dropped the paperback in a small water pocket, uttered a mild expletive, and placed the book back on the table for drying.

With the lounger in a comfortable laid-back position, Mattie placed eye-pads on her eyes, took a deep breath, and gave herself up to the May sun and gentle breeze. She forced out the negative conversation with Cameron, and, in a few moments, a lethargy induced a short nap.

The nap was short as a small stray cloud moved across the bright summer sun, bringing a shadowy grayness to momentarily dull the back part of her closed eyes.

It was as she suspected – a small cumulus cluster was leaving the sun’s brilliance and going westward, leaving the sky again clear blue and the pool lustrous in its sparkle.

Mattie closed her eyes again, a slight smile lingering for some seconds, but the nap would not return. She reached for the ice-filled fruit-jar of water under her chaise lounge, took sips, and began to recall the morning’s ‘accusatory attack’ by the husband she loved. It had all seemed so hollow and somehow staged, so totally outside his polite and loving nature. There had been no preamble, no hint of outrage. ‘What the hell is going on’? she thought aloud.

Mattie looked all around the beautiful 2-acre property, the royal palm trees, the freshly mown grass, the flower gardens, the hedges, the pool and spa, all the beauty outside and inside their delightful home. She married Cameron Lee Hendrix. She loved the man so completely, wanted no one else in her life, all her dreams of ‘the good life’ were met by this man. Everything about Cameron, his humility, kindness, his intelligence, his hard work, his tenderness in love and friendship. He was perfect in her eyes…

The morning shocked her. As she came into the den, he seemed aloof, pretending to look over some papers, not the man she had lived with for three years, love growing richer each day, talks of children, trips to be taken, never a ‘chink’ in their love and union.

She was shocked, yes, and surprised that her anger had reached the hot point so quickly. That never happened in their three years together before this morning. She was shocked, surprised, as never before in their months dating and their married years.

She could not fathom this day she was living.

Her mind covered so many possibilities that it could not accept.

What was today’s meaning? In their lives and for building a family? The doctor suggested there were signs a little girl was beginning life inside of her. Cameron was so happy when she gave him the news ten days ago. Mattie’s hope that their talk this morning was to be about that new joy coming into their lives. 

Mattie began to weep, feeling an emptiness she could not understand. The years had been so happy. She wiped away the tears with a lounge towel, forced a smile, and said to the passing air current, “We will make it through this. We have to make it for the little girl growing inside of me.”

*

PART TWO:

*

Cameron Little left his high-rise office early afternoon, and his mood was sad and somber. All morning he could not keep his mind on some important. potentially lucrative meetings with engineers and/or city government officials.

The office meetings were not the reasons for his mood. The morning meeting with his beautiful wife was the cause for his mood. He felt terrible for putting Mattie through that kind of trashy act.

The meeting he was about to attend had a lot to do with this morning’s inquisition of his wife, serving as a beginning scenario that would protect her and protect the child she and he would want to protect.

As Cameron pulled into the parking space of the large Medical Building, he felt a body spasm and a brief reluctance to get out of the car. Cameron’s nature was always positive. He was indefatigable in all sectors of his life, including work and play.

He pulled the key from the ignition of his new Lexus and sat for some moments, his thoughts bouncing around in his head. Finally, he sighed deeply and got out of the car.

In Doctor Salem’s office, the nurses and staff were smiling congenially and announced that the doctor was awaiting Cameron in his office…not the examination room, but, his office.

The usually upbeat senior nurse, Marcie, had a warm smile on her face but it lacked its more normal glow of gaiety. Marcie led Cameron to the Doctors office and left as the two men did their customary handshake and brief shoulder hugs.

The two men were longtime friends and golf buddies, both members of the Arizona Country Club, both graduates of Arizona State university, both members of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, both trading off family dinners and vacations.

“Sit, Cam, please. Would you like something to drink, cola, coffee, even a highball since I have no more patients for the day?”

“No, Stan, thank you. I prefer the final words on my lab work, particularly the final X-Ray work-up. Don’t feel the need to soften your words, my good friend. I know why I’m here and a good idea of what might be coming…but I wish to hell we were on the golf course. What’s the final word, Stan?”

Doctor Salem’s brows drooped but he forced a small smile. “The words from a beautiful song come to me, Cam – ‘He can turn the tide and calm an angry sea. He alone knows how to write a symphony…’ That’s just my way of saying, Med lab data are not always Absolute. In my years of Medicine, I’ve seen reverses of a patient’s lab profile that were stunning to me, and, yes, I know you want to know what our lab reports show. The congregate lab reports show that you do have Tuberculosis.

“That’s the bad news, Cam. The good news is, you have ‘Latent TB’, NOT the TB disease. Your ‘LTB’ is curable in relatively short time. There are various methods of antibiotics treatment lasting a few months at the most…”

“What’s the difference, Stan, between ‘Latent TB and TB Disease?”

“Your ‘Latent TB’ is asleep in your body and protected by your immune system. Your LTB will not pass to anyone else – non-infective.

“What effect will this have on my longevity, Stan?”

“Virtually, none, Cam… You, know, a hundred years ago, the TB Disease carried with it a death sentence – it could vary from weeks, months, and, for a lucky few, some years…

“In fact, and this is a true story, a gentleman in Seattle was diagnosed with the TB Disease, the doctor giving him a true assessment of what remedy measures might be taken. The doctor likely be a short period before his death from TB.

“The good gentleman had a loving wife and daughter in Seattle who knew nothing of their husband-father’s medical condition. The man was suffocating on his thoughts of ‘what to do’ – to stay meant death to his wife and daughter, a legacy he could not accept… So, he stayed in the desert just south of Phoenix, Arizona, and had the movie reels been rolling, they would have now on record a most interesting and improbable tale to show and tell.

“The Seattle man lived a hermit life there in the Phoenix South Mountain area with no one but the snakes and animal types of the desert. He began a tedious building project there in the foothills, working for years, collecting discarded wood and metal left by nearby home builders, relics, rocks and anything that would fit in the mansion he was building for his beloved daughter   as some form of atonement for his desertion.

“Today, that colossal structure is called ‘The Mystery House’ and is visited by people all over the world. The daughter was left the property and lived there for some years – until commercialism saw the value of the structure and its essence.”

“Wow, that’s quite a story, Doc… AND, I like the first story as well. You set-up my schedule for treatments, and I’ll be here. You know, my mind was going somewhere in the direction of that poor man in South Mountain. Thank you, good friend for this day. You won me the ‘lottery’.”

{Okay, readers, build your own ‘Welcome Home Story’ for Cam and Mattie! AND, if you like the story, refer it to a friend – the ‘Mystery House Story’ is NOT fictional!]

©BR Chitwood – June 2, 2021

My personal Website and Blog:

https:brchitwood.com

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6 comments on “©Survival of Love and Truth!

  1. eden baylee says:

    Hi Billy Ray,

    A wonderful snippet. This was gut wrenching to read. I’m sure it must’ve been difficult to write — Bravo!

    xo
    eden

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Roses you carry in your heart come with this ‘Thank you’ note… xox

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dang, Billy Ray! Good stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dang, good buddy! Love it when you talk dirty! TeeHee!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Not fiction! Wow. An intense and build-up type of story. Interesting to see it from both sides also. Nice job, Billy Ray!

    Liked by 1 person

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