Lisa had to take little Jeremy with her to the office. Although his persistent cries at intermittent times got to her, she loved to have him there with her. His giggles and smiles made her forget her body aches and the stress she had to endure at work coupled with the regular visits she had to make to her mother’s.
Her phone rang. She answered it.
“Hey there; how are you holding up?”
“Good, good; it seems your little boy is in a good mood today. He hasn’t cried…yet.”
Ethan chuckled. “That’s a good sign. Can I talk to him, please?”
“Sure; that’s why you’re calling, right?”
“Oh come on, you’re the reason too.”
“Uh huh, tell me about it.”
“Are you jealous of our son?”
“Of course not; it’s just that sometimes I’ve to fight to get your attention.”
“Awww….my baby…. I promise to make it up to you tonight.”
“Yeah until Jeremy cries…”
“He won’t….” Lisa chuckled as she knelt by Jeremy and put the phone by his ear.
“Say hi to daddy, Jer.” He made some sounds.
“Hi to you too, big boy. Hope your mother is not stressing you out in that office.”
The baby clacked his tongue.
“You know I can hear you, right?” Lisa asked.
“Oh yeah I know. Hang in there, buddy. I’ll see you at home soon, okay?”
Lisa put the phone at her ear.
“You’re coming home early tonight, right?”
“Well….not so sure about that. I may have to…”
“Sure you do,” Lisa interrupted.
“I’m sorry Liz; I know I’ve been coming a bit late these days. I really wished I could be around you and Jeremy more.”
“I understand. What would you want to have for dinner then?”
“Surprise me.” She smiled.
“I will. Take care sweetheart.”
“You too, love.” She hung up.
Lisa entered her parents’ house later in the afternoon.
“Mum, I’m here!” The house was quiet.
“Mum? Are you here?” She entered the living room to find her mum asleep on the couch.
“Oh….poor mother,” she said as she walked to her. She looked still.
“Mum?” she called again as she touched her. Her heart jumped when she couldn’t feel a pulse. She saw a pill bottle on the table. She took it and looked at it. She sighed.
“Overdose of sleeping pills, I guess. But she looks dead….” She took her phone and called for an ambulance.
Ethan came out of the bathroom. Lisa was lying on the bed.
“Have you checked on your mum again?” He asked, wiping his hair with a towel.
“I did about half an hour ago. She’s better now. Ouch, my body hurts, Ethan.”
“Everywhere! It hurts so much it hurts!” He chuckled.
“I’m sorry.” He went to sit beside her.
“How can I make you feel better?”
“A massage would be nice,” she said softly with a smile, batting her eyelids.
“But you always complain I hurt you…”
“It doesn’t matter; I really need it now.”
“Why don’t you endure it for tonight and visit the spa tomorrow?”
“Please Ethan….you know I’ve to go to work tomorrow. I won’t complain.”
He sighed. “All right; let’s do this.”
Lisa took a lotion from the bed post and gave it to him. She rolled onto her stomach. Ethan got into position and pressed his hands on her back. Lisa muffled a groan.
“Painful?” he asked.
“No, go on.”
“Your back is pretty tense.”
“Not surprised. This past month has been beyond hectic.”
“And I’m sorry for my part in it,” He said as he planted a kiss on the back of her neck.
“If only someone could help take care of…..ouch!”
“Uh huh….you want to break my back?”
“Sorry…” He said, about to get off her.
“Oh no, don’t go,” she said, holding his hand to stop him.
“So what should I do now?”
“Just a little more but please be a little gentle.”
She groaned again after a few moments. He sighed.
“I’m pretty exhausted myself, dear,” He said as he got off and collapsed on the bed.
“You used to be much sweeter and more patient,” Lisa whined.
“Oh yeah? I guess recent events at the hospital are getting to me.”
“Why, what’s going on?”
“It’s just that we have some difficult people as patients and worse as their relatives. It’s very hard trying to talk to such people.”
“Yeah…they have made it pretty clear if anything goes wrong, they would sue the hospital but if we don’t do anything, the patient is more than likely to die. And there is no surgery without risks. I don’t know what to do.”
“You’ll figure something out; you always do.”
“I doubt I can this time.” Lisa sat astride him and kissed him on the forehead.
“You’re the strongest and smartest guy I’ve ever met, Ethan. Don’t ever forget that. You can do this, I know you can,” she said reassuringly with a smile.
“Sometimes I think you trust me more than I trust myself.”
“That’s the point so that whenever you begin to doubt yourself, you can draw the strength out of what I have for you. I am after all, your help mate, right?”
“Oh you’re more than that,” He said, pulling her down towards him for a kiss.
“Turn around,” she ordered.
“I’ll give you a quick massage.”
“But you’re tired.”
“Yeah but I can choose to stay home tomorrow; you can’t. Someone’s life depends on you.”
“As it is; I mean when it comes to matters of justice.”
“They can survive one day without me; yours can’t.” He turned and she began.
He moaned. “Your hands are magical, love.” She chuckled.
“Just for you, darling.”
“It seems Jeremy is unusually quiet today.”
“He’s tired too; he can’t afford to waste what’s left of his energy to bother me with his shrieks.”
“I guess. Thank you for being such a good mother….so far.” She laughed.
“Thank you for helping me be just that.” She gave him a loud kiss on his cheek.
“I’ve been thinking, honey; I believe it would be good for your mum to come over for a while.” Lisa paused.
“Why is that?”
“I think being around Jeremy would lighten her up and help her overcome her grief.”
“So how long are we talking here?” Lisa asked cautiously.
“At most a month.” Lisa screamed in joy.
“Thank you so much, honey! What did I do to deserve you?”
“You got me wrapped your pretty little finger, that’s what,” he replied with a smile. She kissed him.
“Thanks so much.”
“Don’t get too excited, dear. It’s just for a month.”
“Got it. I love you; you’re the best in the world!”
“So do I get a thank-you note?” He asked, rolling onto his back.
“And what would that be?” She asked suspiciously.
“You know what,” he said, pulling her towards him.
“I thought you said you’re exhausted.”
“Well, that doesn’t mean I can’t spare some precious moments to be with my lovely wife.”
“Well, I’m exhausted too so I’ll give you a rain check on this one,” she said, lying on the bed, beside him. He pulled her towards him. She put her head on his chest.
“What made you change your mind, Ethan? Honestly?”
“I think you need a little help with Jer and since this will make you happy, I’m cool with it.”
“Don’t mention it.”
About three days later, Lisa brought her mum to her matrimonial home.
“Are you really sure Ethan wants me here, darling?” Mrs. Cooper asked.
“Come on mother, how many times are you going to ask me that? He said it himself, mum. I wouldn’t bring you here without his consent.”
“Have a seat, mother. Let me get you something to drink…after I’ve put Jeremy to bed,” Lisa said, leaving the room. She sat down.
They prepared lunch together and then each one retired to her room for a nap.
Hours later in the evening, Ethan arrived home to find Lisa’s mother watching an old movie in the living room.
“Good evening, Mrs. Cooper; I can see you’re fully settled in now,” he said with a smile.
“Yes I am; thanks, Ethan.”
“It’s nothing, ma’am.”
“Please call me Annie, Ethan; I believe you’ve earned it.”
“Is that Ethan?” Lisa asked as she entered, wiping her hands with a napkin. Her face broke into an uncontrollable smile when her eyes fell on her adorable husband.
“Yes it is, my love.” They kissed. Lisa turned a shy face towards her mother.
“Sorry mother; I can’t help it whenever I see him after work.”
“Don’t apologize, dear; feel free. It’s your home after all,” she said with a knowing smile.
“Let me help you with this,” Lisa offered, taking his laptop bag from him.
“I’ll see you at dinner, ma’am,” Ethan said.
“It’s Anne again, Ethan and okay.” The couple went upstairs. Lisa put the bag on the bed as Ethan sat on it.
“How was work today?”
“Okay; performed one surgery today.”
“A tough one?”
“Pretty much, yeah.” Lisa took off his shoes and knelt behind him. She began massaging his shoulders.
“Yeah….I’m fatigued,” he exhaled as he leaned on her. She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed his hair.
“You deserve a luxury bath then; I’ll get it ready.”
“If only you’ll join me.”
“Ugh ugh, not tonight; remember my mum’s here now?” Ethan turned his head to look at her, puzzled.
“I mean, it’s her first day here, I can’t ignore her…”
“I’m your husband, Lisa. I come first now.”
“And you will; just not tonight. Let me go and check on the food before I burn this house down,” Lisa said, taking her arms off him.
“Just hold me for another minute,” he pleaded softly. Lisa smiled.
“I’ll be right back,” she said after she had given him a quick kiss. She left the room. Ethan collapsed onto the bed with a huge sigh.
“Thank you again Ethan for allowing me to spend some time here with your family. It really means much to me,” Mrs. Cooper said gratefully.
“It’s okay, ma’am; it’s what Liz wanted and her wishes are always my commands.”
Lisa smiled thankfully.
“Thank you darling,” Annie said to her daughter. “I’m sure one month is more than enough to get better.”
The earlier the better, Ethan thought.
About two nights later, Lisa was walking towards her bedroom when she decided to check in on her mother. She knocked and opened the door. Annie was looking at a picture of her and Lisa’s father, crying.
“Mother…” She entered the room and closed the door. She sat by her.
“I miss him so much, honey.”
“I know, mum; I miss him too but over-grieving isn’t good for you, mother. God has blessed us with a son and a grand-son; God gives and He takes away but everything is for a purpose. Life goes on, mother.”
“I know, dear; I’m sorry.” Lisa hugged her mother and rocked her gently as she continued to sob.
Ethan turned himself on the bed and he dropped his arm expecting it to fall on Lisa. His disappointment caused him to open his eyes. He looked around and then back at the bed. Lisa’s end wasn’t slept in. He looked at the clock. It was 6:15a.m. He got out of bed and headed to the bathroom.
Lisa entered the room, covering her mouth as she yawned. Ethan was buttoning up his shirt.
“Good morning to you too,” Ethan said.
“I’m sorry I woke up late. I’ll go and get breakfast ready.”
“Don’t bother; I’ll grab something at work.” She walked to him.
“Let me help you with that,” She said, buttoning up the wrist of the shirt. She looked up at him.
“Are you okay?”
“You didn’t sleep here last night.”
“Oh…yeah,” Lisa said, looking at her end of the bed.
“I ended up sleeping by my mum last night…I’m sorry…I should have told you…”
“It doesn’t matter; I’ve to go,” He said, brushing it aside as he took his laptop bag.
“No Ethan, I’m really sorry…”
“Well, we can’t talk about that now. I’m off to work. Will you go to the chambers?”
“Yeah, I actually have to go to court today.”
“All right; all the best today,” he said with a quick kiss on the cheek and left the room. Lisa sighed as she threw herself on the bed.
“Do you want to grab some lunch at the cafeteria?” Mike asked Ethan.
“I need to finish up with the scans; I think I’ll pass.”
“Okay; I’ll see you later,” he said as he got up. He opened the door to see Lisa.
“Hi Mike,” she said cheerfully. Ethan raised his head. She entered. Mike saw the packed food in her hand.
“Good; he just refused to come to lunch with me,” Mike said.
“I guess he knew I was coming.”
“Enjoy your lunch,” Mike said and left the office. Ethan dropped his pen onto the table.
Lisa raised the pack with a smile.
“What are you doing, Lisa?”
“Well,” she said as she sat, “since you didn’t take breakfast at home today, I figured that it would be advisable to bring you lunch.”
“Don’t you have work to do at your office?” Ethan asked.
“Well, not during lunch time; no. I need to be here with my husband. Listen, I’m sorry I couldn’t make you breakfast this morning…”
“And who says I’m mad about that?”
“So we are okay?”
“You didn’t sleep on our bed last night….that’s what bothering me.”
“It was just one night, Ethan.”
“Which could turn out to be the first of many other nights to come.”
“Of course not; I’ll not let that happen.”
“Why did you sleep by your mum?”
“She was crying and I was comforting her and I don’t know….we both fell asleep, I guess.”
“Can we please eat? It will get cold, please.” They began to eat. Lisa took a tissue paper and beckoned Ethan to her.
“What?” He asked, drawing closer to her. She wiped the side of his lips and gave him a wide smile. He couldn’t help but smile back.
“You make it hard to be mad at you, you know?” he said.
“I know; it’s one of many talents,” she said with a wink.
When they were done, Lisa cleared the table.
“Thanks for lunch, love.”
“Thanks for lunching with me, sweetheart,” she said, getting into his arms. They hugged and kissed.
“Oh I missed you last night,” he murmured. Lisa looked at him and it suddenly dawned on her.
“I know…. I’m sorry….” He kissed her forehead with great affection. The door opened. They turned their heads to look at the intruder. The nurse gasped.
“Doctor…” she whispered in shock.
“Don’t worry nurse; I’m Mrs. Richards.”
“Oh…” A wave of relief washed over her face.
“Chief wants you in his office right now.”
“I’ll be right there.” She left.
“I’ve to go.” She nodded. They parted with a quick kiss. She took her things.
“I’ll see you at home.”
“Can’t wait.” The door closed behind her.
Ethan was doing some research on his computer in the study room when the door opened. Lisa’s head appeared.
“Dinner’s ready, sweetie.”
“I’ll be right there.” Lisa entered and closed the door.
“Yeah right; that means you’ll be down in the next half-hour,” She said, walking towards him.
“I’m almost done,” He said, his eyes fully focused on the monitor. She began massaging his shoulder, taking a look at the computer screen.
“Is that someone’s brain?”
“There’s something abnormal about it, right?”
“Are you sure you don’t need to eat first? This looks like it requires much energy to crack whatever is hidden in there.”
“Yeah…I just want to finish with this…”
“Lisa! Dinner’s ready!” They heard Lisa’s mum voice call out. Ethan looked at her, puzzled. Lisa walked to the door and opened it.
“Mum…what are you doing upstairs?”
“It’s dinner time, honey and I was going to call you. You know your father hates it when you’re late to the table.”
“Is something wrong?” Ethan asked as he appeared behind his wife.
“And who’s this young man in your room, dear?” Annie asked innocently. The couple looked at each other, confused.
“Where’s Jeremy, mum?” Lisa asked.
“Jeremy? Who’s that?”
“Oh no,” Lisa said as she rushed downstairs, leaving Ethan and Annie staring at each other.
“I advise you leave immediately young man before Lisa’s father finds you. It’s wrong to be in a girl’s room alone, you know that, right?” Annie said.
Ethan could only nod.