Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Oral Dilemma: Velvet and Sorbet

It seems things are falling into place for Roxanne. Every rose has it's thorn though, and it seems  fate has dealt her some bad cards. 

Oral Dilemma:
Velvet and Sorbet
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

  Luke and I worked together to make one of our special meals to share with Tara and mom. Luke was amazing in the kitchen and I think I learned more from him than I had from mom. We flowed smoothly like a choreographed dance. He seasoned the salmon fillets and prepared the stuffed zucchini for the grill while I chopped the veggies for the stuffing and tossed the salad. As he would step behind me to return the seasonings to the cabinet, his arm would snake around my waist and he’d nibble on my neck or ear.
By the time mom arrived home from work we had everything ready, and the salmon was just ready to take from the grill. She eagerly hugged me, her eyes welling with tears as she said “I thought you weren’t coming home till after finals.”
Luke came up behind me at that moment and I couldn’t help but blush. “Well, um mom. We wanted to surprise you.”
Luke served her a generous plate full, she seemed to have dropped twenty pounds at least; she really was quite thin. I poured the Pinot Grigio while Luke filled our plates. Mom picked at her food not eating much of it.
“Don’t you like it? I can fix you something else mom, if you don’t.”
She sighed and set down her fork. She raised her hands, holding her head in her hands for a bit. “It’s not that Roxy. It all looks and tastes lovely. It’s better than I’ve had at restaurants. It’s just.”
I could see the worry on her face. “Tara told me about the cancer mom. You don’t have to hide it from me. She was worried about you.” I reached over to squeeze her hand. As I did her eyes welled with tears.
“ Oh damn. Roxy I.” Her lip quivered a bit before she could continue. Then with a big sigh “ It’s not like I was trying to hide it from you. I didn’t want to worry you.” She gave an awkward little laugh. “I mean when is a good time to tell your kids, hey girls mom has breast cancer and I’m gonna have to get my boobs cut off.”
The tears flowed. “I’ve already started the chemo, but I’m going to stop.”
“Mom! NO! You need it.”
“NO, Roxy. I just came from the doctor’s office, and I'd have to have a radical mastectomy.” She slammed the wine. Luke poured her some more. “It’s stage 4 Rox. I’m a nurse, I’ve cared for patients for years. Ha.” The awkward little laugh again. “Well on the bright side, there’s no point in a mastectomy.”
She stood pacing around the room. ”Not a conversation I ever envisioned having with my girls. Tara doesn’t even know about this part, I just found out. She swiped at her eyes turning away taking deep breaths. ”It’s spread beyond my lymph nodes. It’s spread to my bones and brain now Roxy. Doctor Meehan gave me 6 to 9 months.” She swiped her eyes again then returned to the table and took a few more bites.
“It really is good. I’ve just been so upset. Not easy hearing bad news like this.” She nibbled a few bites of everything. “Luke, where did you learn to cook like this? I hope you’re better at teaching Roxy to cook than I was. Afraid I was always working and didn’t take the time to . . . “ She trailed off taking a few more bites.
“It’s OK mom. I wasn’t the best student. Always wanted to spend my time on other things. Luke has really helped me to cook healthy foods, not that junk food I used to eat.”
We sat in silence for a short time before Luke and I began to clear the table. I came back with the special bottle of Velvet White wine that we’d bought to announce our engagement. I filled our glasses while Luke brought in the special dessert that he’d made; fresh peach mango sorbet.
“Wow! What is this? What’s going on?” Mom asked as Luke set hers in front of her.
“Well Mrs. Winters, Sharon. I was hoping to butter you up and get on your good side before I asked your permission to marry your daughter.”
“Tara? NO way! She’s only 16.” I could see the mischievous grin as she sipped her dessert wine.
“Mom! Stop it! Luke doesn’t know what a jokester you are.”
Both of us looking at Luke at that point seeing the flustered bewilderment that crossed his face.
“I know. Tara texted me. Said you had on a ring.” She grinned as she winked at Luke. “Any man that can cook like this and make my daughter so obviously happy is welcome.”
She reached for my hand. “ Now give over and let me see it. I’ve been dying to get a good look at it since I got the text.”
The rest of the evening was spent with idle chit chat, catching up and discussing plans for the summer and of course planning a wedding.
Luke was attentive to mom’s needs for the rest of the evening until she dozed off in the chair and decided she had to call it quits.
We stayed up watching a movie for a little longer wrapped in the soft cotton throw, Luke’s arms wrapped around me. Tender kisses were interspersed throughout the movie, until I fell asleep, safe in his arms knowing that whatever life threw at me I could manage it as long as I had Luke.