An Education

Mending the Break

Fitz heard two soft knocks on the door. He had finally gotten through the triage process and was waiting in an emergency room for the results of his x-ray. The examining doctor diagnosed him with a metacarpal fracture, but only an x-ray could give a full picture of the extent of the damage. The pain medicine had taken the edge off his pain and he was lying back against the pillows. Olivia had been with him up until the x-ray. He wasn't sure where she was now in his groggy state.

"Olivia?" Fitz asked.

"Sorry, dear. It's just me," Granny said sticking her well coiffed head around the corner. She walked to Fitz and kissed him on the cheek. "Well, this sure is a pretty pickle you are in my dear." Granny fluffed his pillows and filled his pink cup with water.

"Granny, thanks for not saying, 'I told you so.' I know you told me to wait before I proposed, but I thought she was ready. Everything has been perfect these last couple of months, after the issues with Mellie…and Celeste…. You were right about me not asking her on Valentine's day, but I thought this was…." Fitz took a deep breath.

"And don't forget that I told you not to make a big spectacle, when you finally did propose…But Fitzgerald, your heart was in the right place. You didn't do anything wrong. I think sometimes you love Olivia to a fault…or like she is going out of style…that's what the young people say, right?"

About 20 years ago, Fitz thought. He didn't know what he would do without Granny.

"She loves you Fitz. There was no need to rush into it, but…you've gone there… " Granny took a seat in the chair beside his bed.

"Tell me what to do, Granny. I never once thought she would think I would make a fake proposal…that I would go to those lengths. She had to know I wanted to marry her. I make comments all the time."

"No one could have planned that. That kindergarten teacher's blackmail and her assuming that you were in cahoots with her friend to create a fake proposal, her decision to resign. Whew! I am tired thinking about it. Fitzgerald, it is obvious that she has been hurt by someone in the past. Have you ever talked about that?"

"Not really. I know his name is Edison and that he lives in DC. I think all my drama with Mellie and then Celeste probably took precedence. She should know that I am not that person. She accepted my proposal in the car but only after I tried to break up with her. Granny, that was the first time I really saw her fight for us. I couldn't believe it."

"Fitzgerald, she loves you, and that was the first time she saw you not fight for your relationship. I know it was scary for her, but she needed that wake up call, which brings us to our next move, my dear."

"Granny, what do mean? Next move?"

"Our next move to fix this mess you have made. Here's the plan. When she comes back to the room, I need you to try to break up with her again." Granny said.

Fitz frowned. "I can't do that. I don't want to break up with her. I won't play mind games with her." Fitz explained.

"Fitzgerald, were your really planning to break up with her tonight? Think about it? Why not take her home instead of dropping her off at your house with your family who adores her? Doesn't make sense. You wanted her to fight back so you threw out the gauntlet and it worked. She accepted your challenge. Now your hand paid the price when you kept pushing her. So, I am asking you to throw out the gauntlet again so we can seal this deal. I am not getting any younger. I'd love to have a nice round number of 10 great grandchildren, and you have only contributed 2 and it's been a while. So here is what you do…"


"GG, can I see him?" Olivia asked when Granny walked into the waiting room where Lauren and Sybil waited with her.

GG looked a little somber as she walked to Liv and whispered, "I'm not sure if he wants to see you, but I still think you should go in."

Olivia's face fell as she walked to the door.

Lauren and Sybil looked at each other and then at Granny confused.

"Granny, what are you cooking up?" Lauren asked when Olivia was gone.

"I'm not cooking up anything. I'm an old woman who should be home right now instead of the Emergency waiting room because my 50 year-old grandson got his hand broken by his girlfriend. I am simmering this pressure cooker down. They are the ones who cooked it up!"

"Okay, Granny!" Sybil said as she and Lauren laughed heartily.


Olivia walked into Fitz's room cautiously. The door was ajar. Fitz was sitting on the bed facing the doctor who was explaining his injury. Fitz looked up when she entered, but quickly looked away and back at the doctor.

"Mr. Grant, you have a minor nondisplaced metacarpal fracture. We will manage it with appropriate immobilization and physiotherapy, so you can recover and return to sports or full activities in approximately 6 -12 weeks. You should wear this protective splint for about three weeks or longer if you feel it would help you keep the hand protected. I will write you a prescription for pain and your physiotherapy should you decide to pursue that. Any questions?" the doctor said.

"No."

"Okay, the nurse will be back with your discharge papers. Have a good night."

The doctor smiled at Olivia and left the room.

"How are you feeling?" Olivia asked walking over to him. She took his right hand that was wrapped and turned it over to examine the bandage.

"It is not as bad as it was," he said, not looking her in the eyes. He was trying to play indifferent like Granny had said, but it was hard with her so close.

Olivia stepped closer to him. She placed her arms loosely around his shoulders.

"I'm sorry about your hand, Fitz. I'm so sorry about everything."

Instead of looking in her eyes he looked straight ahead at her neck. He swore he could see her heartbeat at a pulse point just above her collarbone. Then he noticed the light rise and fall of her chest as she breathed. Without thinking and forgetting about the plan, he bent his head forward to kiss her collarbone.

"Mr. Grant. You are all set to leave. Here are your discharge papers and prescriptions. Do you have any questions?" said the nurse who breezed into the room. She gave the forms to Olivia.

"Let's get you home," Olivia said. She took his left hand, entwined her fingers with his, and led him out of the room.

Fitz knew he had flaked on Granny's plan. He was supposed to decline a ride with Olivia and get a ride with Lauren. When they walked into the waiting room he shrugged his shoulders behind Olivia's back when Granny gave him the eye.

They rode home in silence. Olivia was still holding on to his left hand with her right one. She drove with her left hand, watching her engagement ring sparkle in the darkness.

It was late when they arrived back at Fitz's house. He was prepared for Olivia wanting to go home, but when she killed the engine, she spoke nothing of it. She walked around his car and opened his door. He stepped out and they walked inside. Everyone said their goodbyes and headed home, but Olivia stayed. Karen, Gerry and Granny said goodnight.

They were the only ones left downstairs.

"Do you want me to fix something for you to eat?" Olivia asked.

"No, I am tired. I just want to go to bed. It has been a long day for a school night. Are you staying with me tonight, Olivia."

She nodded, 'yes' and they walked to his room. As soon as they entered, she closed the door.

Fitz turned around to face her. "Don't move, Fitz. Stand right there," She reached in her pantsuit pocket and pulled out a green foil packet and tore it open. She had Fitz's undivided attention.

Olivia pulled out a cherry ring pop and knelt before him. She grasped his left hand, thankful that his ring hand wasn't the one she had broken. She looked up at him.

"Fitzgerald Thomas Grant III, It's simple. I love every little thing about you. I want to be yours and you to be mine forever. Would you do me the honor of being my husband?

A wide green spread across his lips. "What did you say in the car….1000 times yes." He scooped her up and moved to the bed.

"Fitz, your hand!"

He ignored her and kissed her like his life depended on it.

He pulled back. "I do have one request."

"What's that?" she asked, planting kisses all over his face.

"Move in with me. It'll make everything so much easier…"

"Okay."

Elated, Fitz swung her around on her back, forgetting about his injured hand.

He protested in pain, but they both were laughing.

"I have a proposition or request of sorts, too," Olivia pulled his face away from hers to get his attention.

"What's that? Help me with these clothes." Fitz was using his left hand to unbutton her blouse.

"No more lovemaking until our wedding day."

"What? Absolutely not, unless you want to get married tomorrow." Fitz continued pulling at her clothes.

"And this from the man who got me naked and walked away from our almost first time!"

"That was different. We hadn't been together yet. Let's talk about this after we make love, okay?"

"Okay, but this may be our last time making love before our wedding day," she said removing her clothes.

"Let's not waste this time talking," Fitz said.


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