What Matters Most
After meeting all day concerning her cases, she made up her mind to see Bill and talk, so she headed to the station. She hadn’t called ahead, afraid Bill would shut her out, or even not speak to her. She needed to give him the name of the attorney who would be taking over Bobby’s case and she wanted to do it in person; she told herself staunchly, but inside, she knew the truth. She walked into the station and it appeared extremely busy. She didn’t see him, then minutes later, David approached her.
“Hi, Angie; looking for Bill?” He asked, but of course he knew.
“Yes, where is he?” Getting a bad feeling, she asked, “Is he alright?”
“Yes, he’s fine now, but he’s in the hospital,” he sadly replied.
She put her hand over her heart. “What happened?”
“He’s recuperating, but you can visit him. I’m sure he’ll be glad to see you. He’s at City General, about a mile away.”
“I know where it is. Thank you.” She hurried out and caught a cab, then minutes later, she headed inside, heart pounding triple time. Her dream was real, but he didn’t die. Work, her job, her career, none of it mattered. He had to be alright. She made it to his room, pulled herself together, but it’s difficult. She opened the door not knowing what to expect. Sitting up in bed, his arm in a sling, but he’s alive.
“Oh, Bill,” she whispered, eyes tearing up.
“I’m alright,” he tried to smile so happy to see her. He held out his hand. “Come here.”
She took his hand and sat down. “Are you really Okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine now.” He shook his head remembering. “I feel like such an idiot. We chased this guy and he had a gun then he pulled it out and fired. I saw it too late and the bullet went through my arm. Lucky that I didn’t need surgery.”
“Lucky, huh? That remains to be seen,” she said with a smile.
“What does that mean?”
“It means that I can see you whenever you want. I’ll move things around and make it happen. I mean, if you haven’t given up on us?”
“I could never do that, even if I wanted to.”
“That makes me very happy. So, when will you be released?”
“Tomorrow, but I’ll be at home for a few days.”
“A few days, huh? Maybe I can come by and cook for you. You certainly can’t cook with that arm in a sling.”
He squeezed her hand. “I would love that. Wait a minute; you can cook, right?”
“Of course, I can cook. Now, tell me your favorites and I can go to the store and,” she started.
“Get over here.” He pulled her hand, she stood up and then leaned down.
“Should we be doing this?” He didn’t reply, but leaned up and kissed her deeply. She kissed him back, then she managed to release his lips. “Someone is on the mend.”
“You see; I feel so much better, now that you’re here.”
“Oh, Bill, I was so worried, but I have to tell you something.”
This is the moment. “Go on.”
“I had a dream about you and me,” she finally admitted it.
“You dream of me.” It was a statement. “I know because I dream of you too.”
Her eyes watered. “You do?”
“Oh yeah, when I saw you at the wedding, but you didn’t see me; I knew. I knew you were the one and here you are.”
“Oh, Bill, I’m here and I’m not going anywhere. I promise.”
He leaned up again and they kissed.
“Excuse me, you shouldn’t be doing that here,” the nurse chastised them.
“Sorry, I’m leaving now.” She squeezed his hand. "I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye Bill.”
The next day after, Bill left the hospital. Angie helped him upstairs to his apartment. His arm out of a sling, but he’s now wearing an arm brace to keep it close to his chest so he could heal.
“Take it slow. Are you in pain? Are you hungry?”
Bill took her need to care for him in stride. Being the oldest sibling and after their parents had died, he cut her some slack. “No, just a little tired, but I will need those pills.”
“Okay, I’ll get you settled and I'll get your medication for you.”
Once in bed, she fluffed his pillows, making sure he was comfortable. “I’ll be right back.”
“Hey, you don’t need to do all of this. You have a job and I don’t want to interfere with that.”
“Bill, I explained all of that. My boss understands about family and helping you recover.”
“Family; you told your boss, I was family? Angie, that’s not true.”
“I had no choice. I had to lie to come and see you and I’m taking a few days off.”
“But your cases; I know they mean a lot to you. You can’t lose your job over me.”
“I won’t lose my job. Now, lay down and I’ll be back shortly.” She stood up, grabbed her bag and left.
He watched her leave, then shook his head at her. She’s the stubborn one; no question about that, he thought.
She came back a half hour later with his medication. “Here, take these and you’ll feel better.” He did as she said. He closed his eyes and let the pain medication do their job. “Thanks, Angie. I guess I was more tired than I thought.”
She leaned over and stroked his forehead. “Close your eyes, and I’ll be here when you wake up.”
“Angie, please go to work. You don’t have to stay.”
“I will when you’re better.” She watched his eyes close. “I won’t lose you, Bill. When I found out you were hurt, I was terrified, afraid that I had thrown away my one true hope of belonging. You’re here and I want us to try and make this work. I don’t know how long it will last but I want that, and I know you want it just as much I do.” She stopped talking and realized he’s asleep. She leaned over and kissed his forehead.
A few hours later, Bill awakened from another disturbing dream, but this time, Angie is there soothing him awake and touching him.
“It’s alright, you can wake up now.”
“I’m here. You’re going to be Okay.”
He closed his eyes and relaxed, loving her hand on his forehead, but then he tried to remember the dream.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
He opened his eyes. “You were there.”
She smiled. “I was?”
“Yeah, but it didn’t surprise me; I dream about you a lot.”
Intrigued, she asked, “How often is a lot?”
“I don’t know; I lost count,” he replied with a smile.
“Oh, Bill, that’s so sweet.”
“Well, I’m stronger now and,” he stopped speaking when he noticed the briefcase. “You brought your work here?”
She glanced at her case which sat on his desk in the corner, then she confessed. “Yes, I stopped by my apartment and my boss left me a message asking for my draft brief about the mob informant.”
“Okay, that’s it; I want you to leave right now.”
Her eyes watered. “Don’t you want me to stay and take care of you?”
Now, he felt bad, but he had to be strong for both their sakes. “I’m not a child. I can cook, feed myself; I’ll be fine. I’ll call you if I need anything.”
He’s just being stubborn. “Fine; I’m leaving.”
“Angie, please don’t be upset. You can’t lose your job. I’m not worth it.”
Briefcase in hand, she slowly turned to face him. “Is that what you think?” He went silent. “You don’t think much of yourself; do you?”
He tried to sit up, then he explained a few things. “Angie, I’m a cop. Look at me. This isn’t the first time I was shot, and I was lucky, but I know one day I won’t be so lucky.” He paused and spelled it out for her. “You… you should leave and… don’t come back.”
Stunned, he would say that, but she knew he was lying. “Oh, Bill, I can’t give up on us; I can’t do it.”
“You’re going to get hurt and I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Don’t you know, that’s the way the world works. Yes, you get hurt, but you learn about life, about giving yourself to that one special person.” She paused. “To me, you are that person.”
He wanted to fight these feelings; the way she made him feel, but he didn’t want to. “Angie, this world is full of so many things to hurt you, and I’m not talking about bullets. I could hurt you badly, but I do enjoy our friendship, so, maybe we should leave it at that.” The pain of those words hurt more than his wound; a lot more.
“Just friends? Do you truly feel that way?”
He raised his eyes to her face, but he couldn’t lie; not about that. “No; I don’t.”
“Oh, Bill, you can’t live your life that way; pushing people away that care about you.” She put the bag down then took his hand. He tried to pull away, but she held it firmly in her own. “Look at me, Bill. I know why you feel this way because of the way your family died. When my parents died, I felt the same way. One day, I’ll die and you will too, but we can’t live our lives worrying and wondering about that.” Her voice softened. “Most of the world is beautiful, but I haven’t been outside of New York state, ever, but I would love to travel one day; see the world.”
He squeezed her hand. “I would love that too, but.”
She stopped him with a touch to his lips. “No more thinking about what may or may not happen. Got it?” She asked with a smile.
“Got it.” She’s amazing and so right for me, he thought.
“Now, once I finish my brief, I’ll be back; count on it.”
“I guess you’re in charge?” He asked with a smile.
“And don’t you forget it.” Smiling, she picked up her bag and then she was gone.