You can sure tell this isn't utah!! It's in Morehead Kentucky, by the way.
But Morehead doesn't have mountains like these!!
Or like these!!
Utah has it's beauty, too!!
Nan must’ve dozed off because the sound of rattling bags woke her up. She sat up, feeling disgustingly nasty. Her face was oily, and her eyes were watery, too. She needed a shower, but that would have to wait. “Yum, it smells good.”
“I got you a burger and fries. I didn’t know what you liked on your burger so I brought the rabbit food in a separate container.”
“Aw, that’s sweet, thanks.” She grabbed the bag he handed her and sighed inwardly. If only he didn’t see her as a sister.
“Has she moved around or anything?”
“I don’t think so, but I dozed off for a while. They should be coming to get her soon. I hope this fixes her.”
“I do too.”
“Luckily it isn’t cancerous.”
“Yep, I don’t think I could deal with that, too.”
“Me neither. I kept thinking about how we became friends. Your sister is a great person.”
“I know she is. I give her a hard way to go, but she knows I’m just teasing, doesn’t she?”
“Yeah, I think so. If you didn’t joke around with her she’d probably worry.”
“She’s always been there for me, she’s a strong person. I wish mom and dad were here right now.”
“Nah, think of the worry they’d be going through. You wouldn’t wish that on anyone, would you?”
“No, I guess not. Where’s Wyatt? I figured he’d be back by now.”
“I don’t know. I haven’t heard from him. I gave him my cell number so he could call me if he needed to.”
“You better watch out, Lily might get jealous.”
“That’s true. I’ve never seen her get jealous over anyone until him. I can’t even tease her because she gets angry.”
“Maybe he’s the one.”
“I think he is. I think he thinks she’s the one, too.”
“Wouldn’t it be awesome if it worked out for her that way?”
“Yeah, she deserves to be happy.”
“We can pray for it.”
“Yes we can.” Nan bowed her head and said, “Dear Lord, Your will be done, not ours, amen.”
Willie raised his head and there was a twinkle in his eye. “If you weren’t like a sister to me, I’d think you were the one for me.”
Nan gasped at his statement. Was he teasing, or did he really mean it? “You know I like Billy Barbour…” She began.
“Oh come off it, Nan. He’s someone to look at, and that’s it. He can barely remember his own name, let alone yours.”
“If I didn’t know better I’d think you were jealous.”
“Maybe I am. That’s what it feels like, but it’s funny, too because you’ve been in the family for so long.”
“I don’t want to be like a sister to you.” Nan said.
“Nope, I’ve had a crush on you for a long time.”
“I thought you liked Billy Barbour.”
“Billy Barbour couldn’t hold a candle to you. He’s eye candy, that’s all. All brawn and no brains isn’t a good combination.” She gave Willie a long look, hoping taking this chance wouldn’t backfire on her. She couldn’t deal with more emotional stress right now.
He looked up and smiled. “I hope you’re serious, because I can’t take more emotional stress right now. Don’t lead me on if you don’t mean it.”
“I think you’re the only one who didn’t know I liked you.” Nan told him. She reached up with her napkin and wiped the corner of her mouth. Wow, I had ketchup on my face. She thought.
“I’m so excited by this Nan, but let’s keep it on hold until after the surgery.”
“I agree with that. We’ve got to focus on Lily right now. Where are those people? It’s after noon. They should be coming any time.
As if they heard her, two aids came in to take Lily down to surgery. She hadn’t regained consciousness.
Nan rushed over and took one of Lily’s hands in hers. “I love you, Lily. Wyatt says to tell you he loves you, too.” Nan inhaled sharply when she thought Lily moved. She watched for a second longer, but didn’t see an indication of consciousness.
Willie was on the other side, encouraging. “I love you, sis, it’ll be okay, you’ll see.”
“The surgery could take a long time. The doc said it’ll be at least three hours, but could take substantially longer once he gets in there. If you have anything you need to do, now would be the time to do it.” The male aid said.
“Thanks, we’ll stick around here for a bit.”
“Okay, use the buzzer if you need anything.”
“Thanks, we will.” They wheeled Lily away and Nan burst into tears for what seemed the umpteenth time in the last twenty four hours.
Willie rushed over and hugged her. “It’s gonna be okay. The doctor knows what he’s doing.”
“I hope so. I need to go home and take a shower and change clothes. I’ll be back as soon as I’m done. If you need to go to the store, now would be the time.”
“I think I’ll stick around for a bit in case Wyatt comes back.”
“Okay, I’ll see you in a while then.” Nan pulled away; embarrassed by her need to feel his touch, but he didn’t seem to notice.
“See you in a bit.”
Nan hurried out the door, and then turned around and came back. “Do you need anything?”
“Nope, I’m all set for the day, thanks though.”
“You’re welcome; I’m just returning the favor.”
“We’ll talk when you get back, Nan.” Willie said.
Nan was torn between two emotions. She was worried about Lily on the one hand, and ecstatic about Willie on the other. Guilt assailed her. How could she feel anything but fear when her best friend lay on an operating table, getting a brain tumor removed, of all things? “Forgive me Dear Lord.” She whispered as she walked out of the hospital. The heat of the day swamped her as soon as she hit the sunlight. She’d forgotten it was summer out here.
Lily moved through a dark, dusty tunnel toward a huge light. It was so bright it hurt her eyes to stare at it. “Is this heaven?” She asked.
“Hardly, this is your unconscious mind.”
The voice sounded familiar but she couldn’t place it at first.
“Why is it so bright then?”
“You chose brightness over darkness.”
“You’re having surgery for a brain tumor.” The voice informed her.
“I know, I remember that. Isn’t that strange? I’ve gone through life for who knows how long not remembering one thing to the next, but I can sure recall I’m having surgery.”
“You can stop worrying and put your trust in God.”
“I do trust God.”
“You don’t trust Him enough.”
“No, probably not, but who does?”
“Nobody does, it’s just important that we submit to Him.”
“You’re beautiful, Lily.” The voice told her.
Suddenly his image came in loud and clear. It was Wyatt Adams. “Wyatt, what are you doing inside my mind?”
“I’ve been there for years, haven’t I?” One corner of his mouth curved up and Lily returned the smile involuntarily.
“You know you have.”
“Lily, what kind of books do you write?”
“I write love stories.”
“Have you sold anything?”
“I’ve published a few magazine articles on recreational photography, but none of my books. I’m hoping that happens sometime soon.”
“I bet you’re just as good at writing as you are at everything else you do.”
“I wish that were true. I fear I would’ve sold something by now if that was a fact.”
“Maybe you haven’t been exposed to the right person yet. It takes time and determination.”
“I know it does. I’ve been determined for over a year now.”
“What did you do before you started writing?”
“I worked at Jensen Plastics.”
“It’s an automotive plant where they make grills, bevels and other plastic pieces for cars.”
“Lily, there isn’t an automotive plant anywhere near where you live.”
“Oh yeah, I worked at the grocery store.”
“Which one and what did you do?”
“I worked for Marietta’s Foods.”
“Oh, that’s where I shop. Why didn’t I ever see you there?”
“I wasn’t at the store.
“You’re not making sense, Lily.”
“I love you Wyatt.”
“I love you, too Lily.”
“Nan, what are you doing?”
“I’m watching you, sugar.”
“Am I going to do tricks?”
“I don’t suppose so. I’m trying to count the freckles on your face.”
“I don’t have freckles.”
Dr. Wilkes pushed a button on the wall and said, “Give her some more meds. She’s trying to wake up. Put the magazine down and pay attention to what you’re doing.” He stood above the operating room watching the surgery from the glass-enclosed gallery. Anger at the incompetent anesthesiologist coursed through him. This would be a relatively easy surgery if they would just follow procedure down there.
Lily thrashed around, terrified of the tunnel. Her body moved toward it involuntarily and she fought it all the way. “Wyatt, don’t let them take me.”
“Go with the flow, Lily, it’ll be fun.” He laughed maniacally.
“Wyatt, that isn’t you, is it?”
“You need to wake up silly girl. If it isn’t him, why would whoever it is admit it?”
Lily moaned. “Please God; let this be a nightmare I can wake up from.”
“You’re never waking up.” An evil laugh filled the inside of Lily’s mind and she screamed. Would this ever end?
She began to run, anxious to reach the light now. At least she could see down there. Something grabbed onto her blue, flowered hospital gown, trying to stop her from getting away.
“Stop, let me go. I need the light.”
“Say the magic words.” Someone said in a sing-song voice.
“Dear Lord, save me.” She ran toward the light, her arms out-stretched. She came up against something hard and she gasped in surprise. “Wyatt, is that you?”
“It is, my love. Stay here, I’ll keep you safe.” He stroked her hair gently and held her to his chest protectively.
“Why do you keep changing into other people?”
“I’m not, my sweet. I’m still the same as I’ve always been.” The faint smell of candy and oranges wafted through the air as he stroked her hair. “Go to sleep, sweet Lily.”
“I don’t want to sleep. If I sleep I may not wake up.”
“You have to sleep, Lily.” His gentle hands turned rough, and he began pounding her head against the wall. “Go to sleep.” He punctuated his words with a hit for each syllable.
She screamed in pain. “Wyatt, stop.” But it wasn’t Wyatt. It was some shadowy being in a black hooded robe. She struggled, straining to see his face, but it wasn’t visible. “Let me go you…thing.” Her voice broke and she sobbed uncontrollably. Why wouldn’t it stop?
Nan felt a hundred percent better after her shower. She rushed to get an overnight bag packed and ran out the door. She wanted to stop at the church on the way to the hospital.
It only took ten minutes to get to the church, and that was only because the school zone lights were on. She pulled up into the parking lot and parked in front of the church.
Pastor Fowler was kneeling in the flower bed, planting peonies. “Hey Nan, how are you?” He stood up and slapped the dirt off his hands.
“I’m fine pastor, but Lily isn’t.”
“What’s wrong?” The pastor asked, frowning.
“She’s in the hospital with a brain tumor.”
“My goodness child, when did this happen?”
“She’s been in since yesterday. She was hallucinating and passing out so they did an MRI and a bunch of other tests. They said it isn’t cancerous, but any brain surgery is dangerous.”
“Yes it is. Are you going back to the hospital right now?”
“Yeah, I just jetted home to take a shower and change my clothes. She’s still in surgery.”
“I’ll get the wife and we’ll be up there as soon as possible.”
“Thanks Pastor Fowler. I knew you’d be supportive.”
“Of course child, that’s part of the reason I’m here.”
“I’ll see you there.”
“Okay Nan. Tell Willie we’re already praying for her.”
“I will.” She walked to her car and got in, blowing out a breath of frustration. This was so hard. She pulled her phone out and dialed Willie’s number. “Hey, is she out yet?”
“No, I’m still waiting. Wyatt isn’t back, either.”
Nan heard a noise from the other end and Wyatt said, “I’m back.”
“Have you heard any news?”
“Nope, I haven’t heard a word.”
“I’ll be there in a few, goodbye.”
“Goodbye future girlfriend.”
Nan’s heart pounded as she ended the call and headed to the hospital.