Sep 11, 2011

When The Fireworks Begin (Chapter X)

James was sitting outside the closed doors of a room in the hospital. Devon has visited Dr. Alvarez for her regular check-up. At that time, Devon was inside one of the rooms for her therapy sessions.  She has to undergo series of therapy sessions for her legs.

James was inside, learning the different exercises that he could perform to ease the pain and numbness that Devon frequently experiences on her legs.  The session was briefly interrupted by James’ ringing phone. James went outside to take the call.

“Hello,” James answered, he recognized the name that registered on the screen. “Any news?”

“Hey,” answered the caller.  It was Adam, a friend who was working in one of the banks in the cities. James applied for a loan in the bank and was expecting good news. “Not so good.”

James listened as Adam explained that the bank did not approve the huge amount he was trying to loan for Devon’s therapy and medication. But they have agreed to allow James to borrow money, but the loan amount was only half of what he applied for.

James thanked his friend for his help and was about to hang up when he heard Adam clearing his throat.

“What is it, Adam?”  James asked.

“Why don’t you just withdraw some money in your other bank account,” Adam asked.

Adam was referring to James savings account in another bank.  His father has placed a large amount of money in a savings account under his name. James has thought about that too.  The money was enough to cover months and even years of Devon’s medical needs.

James shook the thought out of his head. “Thanks for the tip,” James curtly responded to Adam. “I’ll stick with my own plan.”

James ended the call and looked at the large hospital grounds.  He has to make ends meet.  He heard someone calling his name, it was Mommy Linda, together with Devon’s father, Tony.

“James has the session ended?” asked Daddy Tony, while James bowed his head to mano.

“No, it’s just halfway,” James answered.

“Aah good,” Mommy Linda said. “We were supposed to learn some of the exercise so we could help Devon, especially when you’re at work.” She tapped on James’ chest fondly and entered the room. Daddy Tony stayed outside and stood beside James. He was watching his daughter’s husband closely.

“How are you?” Daddy Tony asked.

James smiled weakly. “I’m fine, Dad. You don’t have to worry about me.”

Daddy Tony leaned back and looked outside through the hallway window. “I know it is difficult, and we haven’t helped that much…”

“You have helped us a lot,” James interrupted. “Keeping an eye on Devon especially when I am at work, you’re even taking her to the university and back home, every single day. You have been a huge help to us.”

Daddy Tony nodded. “We know, but we feel that it is not enough.” Daddy Tony took something out of his pocket. It was a white envelope, he took James hand and placed the envelope in his hand.

James took it reluctantly opened. It was peso bills, judging from the thickness of the envelope, he knows that it is a large amount of money.  “I can’t accept this, Dad. This is too much, you might have taken it out of your retirement money.” He was handing the envelope back but Daddy Tony crossed his arms.

“It will help you a lot,” Daddy Tony answered.

“I know,” James answered back. “But I can take care of her, really. And besides I know that you and Mommy will be using this money when you retire. I can’t accept this.”

“We know you can take care of Devon, you are doing great job. But she is our daughter, James.  As parents we want to give everything to make her safe and happy,” Daddy Tony softly answered. 

James and Daddy Tony were about to get inside the room, when the door opened.  It was Devon and behind her was Mommy Linda.  James glanced at his watch, there was still another half an hour left in the session. 

“What happened?” James asked. “Are you done?”

Devon nodded and continued walking.  Mommy Linda shrugged her shoulders and walked alongside her daughter.  Daddy Tony gave James a questioning look.  The therapist walked out of the room and approached James. “She said she’s already tired. She stopped the session and said she wanted to go home. ”

James quickly followed Devon. She has never acted this way and James was bothered. “What’s wrong? Was there any problem with the therapy? Are you feeling well?”

Devon shook her head and continued walking.  Devon’s parents followed the couple. James held Devon’s elbow and firmly asked, “What is wrong?”

“I just don’t feel like doing the therapy,” Devon curtly answered and turned her back.

James walked around Devon and faced her. “You can’t just walk out like that. It is for your health.”
“I know it’s expensive,” Devon started. “But I just don’t feel like doing it today. I am really exhausted.”

James saw dark rings under Devon’s eyes and noticed how much weight she lost.  James pulled Devon into her arms and whispered to her ear reassuringly, “Really, baby, you don’t have to worry about it.”

She smiled at James. “Thank you. Don’t worry, I’ll try my best next time.”

James silently watched as she slid inside the car.  Somehow, he felt that Devon’s giving up. 

Shey was trying to coax Devon out of the couch to dance, while the television volume is in its maximum volume. Devon was laughing half-heartedly as she tries to fight Shey from pulling her up. Ivan and Shey decided to pay the couple a visit one lazy afternoon.  James welcomed the distraction and the company.  James and Devon needs a lively crowd.

James approached Ivan and tossed him a can of beer. They were sitting outside, while watching Shey and Devon trying to imitate the dancers on TV.  Devon was smiling, but her smile barely reaches her eyes. 

“Can you see it,” James asked Ivan.

“See what?”  Ivan asked while sipping on the can.

“See how sad she is?” James asked while looking at Devon.

Ivan nodded.  “Shey noticed it the other day too, which is why we decided to drop by today,” Ivan explained.

“I don’t know what I have been doing wrong,” James shook his head and looked sadly at his can.

“You’re not doing anything wrong,” Ivan tried to reason with James.  “She needs a new perspective.” James looked at Ivan and raised an eyebrow. Ivan nodded and continued, “Yes, a new perspective in life.”

James looked at Devon sadly.  “I wish I could return that old sparkle in her eyes.  Before we found out that she was sick, she will always look at things in a bright light.  She even has a list of places that we should visit.”

“Well, you can’t do it now,” Ivan answered while sipping on his beer.

James looked at Ivan. Why not, he asked himself. “Why not?’ James asked loudly.

“Don’t be silly James,” Ivan stated looking appalled at James’ question. “You can’t be possibly considering  fulfilling that silly list.”

“It means a lot to her,” James reasoned.

Ivan was starting to shake his head. “You can’t just travel around and do whatever it is that you or she wants to do. You have to put her health first.”

James felt that his blood is pumping through his veins. He knew that he was thinking the right thing. He knew that this will make Devon happy.  For the first time in the past few days and weeks, he knew that this will rejuvenate his life.  He took a good look at the forced smile on Devon’s lips. 

Ivan noticed the look in James’ eyes. “Don’t be stupid, James. You are endangering her because of this whim.”

“It is not a whim,” James slowly whispered. “It’s her dream.”

James stood up and was about to enter the living room, when Ivan tried to pull him back. 

“You are being selfish,” Ivan reasoned a little loudly. Devon and Shey looked at both men who appeared to be having a disagreement.

“Take a look at her Ivan,” James answered. “Her body is wearing out, but so is her spirit.  I can’t let that happen.”


Anonymous said...

a person who loved you very much would've noticed such fire slowly dying and would do anything to prevent it. Pero parang i have a feeling it's not the money or impending death that's dampening Devon's spirit.. it might be the effects ng mga pangyayari kay James... haay ms bite anywhere this'll go i have a feeling hayweellavit

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