THIS IS A WORK OF ORIGINAL FICTION
It will be serialized over the next several days…the ending will be marked in the classic styling…
Leanne sat beside Jim on his couch. He told her to bring over her dogs, so she could stay to watch the whole first ‘night’ college football game of the season. As usual, he watched intently. Her head lolled onto his shoulder, and for a moment, he’d assumed she’d just fallen asleep. As much as she tried, she still couldn’t get into Crimson Tide football. He lightly scratched her upper arm with the fingertips of the hand that was previously resting on her shoulder with his arm around her. “You awake, Lee?” When she didn’t answer him, he got louder and more concerned. “Lee?! You ok?!”
“Hmm?” she moaned, not opening her eyes. It wasn’t ‘just woke up.’ It was delirium.
“Feeling bad?” She nodded. “You need a cookie or you need that kit thing?”
“Jussa cookie. Low. Shoulda ate more dinner I guess,” she mumbled.
“Okay. Sit up for me. Don’t lay down, alright? I’m coming back with sweets.”
“Ok. I’ll be right here,” she kidded.
“Well, good. You’re not feeling that bad. You can still be a wise-ass,” he sighed. He returned from a trip to the kitchen with two chocolate chip cookies, a cup of milk, and a cup of apple juice.
“I don’t need all this. I’ll have to take more insulin if I eat all this…”
“All this isn’t for you. One cookie and the milk is for me. Damn, you’re so selfish, Lee,” he teased.
“I know, right? Eat your cookie.” They sat together eating for several silent minutes until she felt the needed rise in her glucose levels.
“You were really gonna give me a shot if I needed one, weren’t ya?” she asked, incredulous.
“Well, yeah,” he stated with authority. “Of course I was. What the hell else would I do? ‘Sorry, Lee. I know you’re having a hyperglycemic episode, but needles freak me out. I’ll call an ambulance and hope you don’t die. Best I can do…’”
“It’s just a…I dunno. How’d you even know about the kit and the…you know what hyperglycemia is?”
“You told me you were a Type I diabetic before our first date. I looked shit up on the internet. I wanted to be prepared for…y’know…whatever. Just in case. I know what hypOglycemia is too. That’s what you just had go on there, right? Hypoglycemia is my favorite, by the way. Eating is better than shots. Kinda expected something like this to happen around me way sooner. You’re right. You do have it managed pretty well.”
“Haha! That’s a question?” he teased. “You’re welcome. What do you do if something like this happens when you’re by yourself?”
“Give myself a shot or get myself something to eat if I can. Or call somebody. Usually Sarah or Mark. They usually can get to me in less than a half an hour and it’s never gotten so bad I had to call 911, but…I can’t believe you were gonna…”
“Aw, don’t look at me like I’m a big hero. ‘Cause not gonna lie, I’d rather not. Needles are no fun. Cookies are far superior to needles. But if needles are what’s called for to make you feel better…I can do that.”
“Could I ask you a big favor?”
“Bigger than emergency cookies in the middle of a prime time Alabama football game? I dunno…” he kidded. “Ask me anything.”
“I have a kidney doctor appointment in two weeks, and I get kinda anxious going by myself. Sarah or Mark go with me sometimes, but this is on a Friday, and that’s Sarah’s Room Mom day at Frankie’s school, and Mark’s working the store solo those hours and…”
“I’ll go with ya. I’m happy to go. What time is it?”
“You’re just gonna go? Just like that? There’s no…negotiating or complaining or…?”
“No. Why would you think there would be?”
“No reason,” she claimed. It was the only little white lie she ever told him.
“Do you like Jim?” Leanne asked Sarah over bowls of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches at the niche restaurant next to Sarah and Mark’s chocolate shop that served gourmet grilled cheese.
“Yes! He’s great. I mean, he’s no Mark, but…” Sarah relayed to Leanne, winking at her. “Why are you asking me now if I like him?”
“Because I’m having delusional thoughts about marrying him, and I wanted to see if you’d call him a doucheface before I told you I was having delusional marriage thoughts.”
“Hahahaha! No. Jim is the antithesis of Doucheface. They have virtually nothing in common. Except you loved them once.”
“So you think he’s a good man, then?”
“Yeah. He lets Homer and Marge jump on him and sit in his lap even if he’s eating, and he plays Mario World with Mark and Frankie when he comes over. He’s a keeper. Thoughts of marrying him are fantastic, not delusional. There’s a difference.”
“Do you think he…thinks…I dunno.” Leanne swirled the corner of her grilled cheese quarter in her soup.
“Yeah. I think he thinks about marrying you.”
“Maybe marriage is something I can’t do, though.”
“No, babe. You have already done marriage like a bad ass. Doucheface can’t do marriage. Shit, if he couldn’t do it with you, he can’t do it with anybody. Like I said…Jim…he’s not the same as Kyle. Not even a little.”
“Ok, I’ll give ya that…”