Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Oral Dilemma: Murphy

 You have to wonder when things  go  smoothly, it's almost a given setup for disaster. Murphy was an optimist!  Circumstances are always subject to change. 

Oral Dilemma: Murphy
Ellie Mack 

Read Part 1 here
Read Part 2 here
Read Part 4 here
Read part 5 here.  
Read part 6 here.
Read part 7 here.  
Read part 8 here. 
Read part 9 here.
Read part 10 here

  Things were in full swing the day we returned to classes. Luke had two more matches scheduled; one in April the other the first week of June just after finals. We trained, attended classes, and barely had time for anything else.

   Luke landed a job with Cyberpro Corporation, a company that made vitamins, supplements, and holistic food products. Luke not only got the position on the legal representatives team, but he also won a spokesperson gig filming six commercials that ran on television and ran on the loop of ads that would roll on the TV monitors in the health food stores. He made a guest appearance at the Home and Garden Extravaganza. A brief exhibition match to display some of his trademark moves had the crowd on their feet cheering before he ever took the mike to promote the products. There were record sales that day! 

   In addition to that, thanks to Luke they had the women’s exhibition match as well. I got in the ring with Nora Winston; the lady I was next scheduled to fight. We agreed that there would be no rough stuff, just exhibition. Someone needs to explain to that bitch the difference between exhibition and the real deal! I came away with bruised ribs and a busted lip. I saw the smirk that crossed her lips when the announcer touted the next match and not to miss this brewing rivalry. I wanted to cut loose on her right then and there as she had taken several cheap shots. But I didn’t because this was Luke’s day. 

   The company held a formal dinner and dance for their employees the last week of June. Luke rented a tuxedo, and I splurged to buy a really nice formal dress. It was  crystal blue with a beaded bodice, sleek and hugged my body like a glove.  I felt amazingly sexy in it.  It was in many respects  like attending prom but without the high school drama. An elegant dinner with a string quartet playing was followed by a live band in the grand ballroom where awards were handed out. Luke won a week vacation in the Bahamas at the Atlantis Paradise Towers resort for 5 days.SQUEAL!

   We scheduled it for the beginning of August, before school started for us - undergraduate classes for me, law school classes for Luke. We figured it was between mom’s chemotherapy and school, we could use the down time before our lives picked  back up to a full throttle. 

   The last week and a half of July was a blur. Between work and trips home to the hospital, I was exhausted. Luke normally went with me, but Cyberpro had sent him to a week-long training seminar in Los Angeles. I sat at mom’s bedside with Tara. Mom went downhill really fast. She was weak, had lost a great deal of weight, had lost her hair, and hadn’t been fully conscious in two days. She turned to me that last time and smiled, almost awake and squeezed my hand. Something in the pit of my stomach knew but as I held her hand watching the heart monitor slowly fade until a flat line appeared, it was still shocking. 

   How? Why? It wasn’t fair! She was a good woman! She worked hard and never seemed to catch a break. I sat there dumbfounded holding her hand as she slipped from our world, slipped from my life, still holding her now cold hand when the nurse came in, sitting with tears streaming down my face. I hadn’t even bothered to waken Tara. My world just caved in and I couldn’t breath. 

   The nurse pried my hand from hers and I screamed “NO! You can’t take her from me!”

   We were driven to the funeral parlor. Someone had called Grandma and dad. They arrived shortly after we did and helped answer the important questions. Tara said nothing during the whole ordeal, her face pale, her eyes glazed.  When we had to select caskets, she touched the side of the one we agreed on and burst into tears then  turned to me, her head buried against my shoulders.  We stood sobbing, holding each other with that final impact that the casket made.  I think dad drove us to  mom's house, I don't remember for certain.

   Luke’s plane was scheduled to arrive one hour before the funeral. I sat numbly in mom’s house in a simple black dress. I felt guilty because I didn’t go buy  a new one, I’d spent my money on the fancy gown for Luke’s company gig. I just took one of mom’s dresses from her closet. It was one of her favorites, black chiffon over a simple black silk chemise with a scoop necked bodice, and cap sleeves. A simple black satin ribbon below the bust on an empire waist.  It was one of my favorites of mom's as well. It was oddly comforting.  I sat calmly waiting for Luke to arrive. Normally I’d have rushed to the airport but given the circumstances I was in no shape to drive. 

   Tara tried one dress on then the other, fussing over why none of them were right. I was getting antsy waiting on Luke. I couldn’t wait to be in his arms, leaning into his big warm chest. Then my phone rang. It wasn’t a number I recognized so I almost didn’t answer it but curiosity got the better of me.

   It was Luke’s mom Linda Reed. Of course Luke must have told her about my mom. ”Oh hi Mrs. Reed. I was just waiting on Luke to arrive from the airport to go to my mother’s funeral.”

   “Roxanne, honey. I . . .” Her voice broke on the other end.

   “It’s OK Mrs. Reed. We knew she had cancer, knew she was going downhill.”


  1. wow what a cliffhanger!! Poor Roxy when it rains it pours!!

  2. Oh my gosh, that poor woman! Damn those bad things coming in threes.

    Great chapter, Ellie. Very powerful and dramatic.