Full Circle

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Family Ties

Lilly had enjoyed her time with her brother-in-law. They drove several different cars and ended up settling for a jeep. She loved driving it. Her father taught her how to drive a stick shift, and she knew that she would have fun driving it around the small town.

While the dealership was detailing it for her, they drove to where the vet clinic was located. It didn’t look very large. Lilly knew that this could be deceptive.

She decided to wander into the building, and invited Cole to join her.

She found the receptionist and introduced herself as the new doctor starting Monday.

“Why you are young?” the receptionist stated, who was every bit in her fifties.

“I just graduated from medical school. This is my brother-in- law, and I’m staying with him and my sister in Pearland. He was helping me locate the facility.” Lilly felt the need to fill the receptionist in.

“That’s very nice to have family so nearby. Well, you will need to be here at eight am Monday, and we will have all the new-hire paperwork available. You will then go into orientation and will be given assignments afterwards,” Marie, the receptionist, instructed.

“I’m so excited. Is there a dress code, Marie?” Lilly inquired. She had forgotten to ask that from the HR Manager earlier.

“You can wear jeans or whatever, as long as you can move in them. If they are too tight, then you won’t be able to move quickly.”

“Quickly?” Cole asked.

“Yes. Your sister-in-law will are responsible for the equine lines. So horses, miniature horses and donkeys.”

“How exciting!” Lilly said, looking at her brother-in-law and saying that she would have to do some additional research on all the equines in the rodeo.

“There’s a lot of them. Have you ever seen the HL&R?” Cole asked her.

“No, just online but not in person,” Lilly admitted.

They said their goodbyes and headed back to the dealership to pick up her jeep.

In the interim, Cole called his wife to see how things were going.

“Fine,” she snapped.

“We are done with finding Lilly’s job and getting her a car. What if we come and get you and go to eat in Galveston?” Cole asked, hoping that time had given Sara the chance to cool down.

“No thanks. You and Lilly go. I’m going to bed early,” Sara stated.

“I don’t want to go without you, Sara. I miss spending time with you.”

“Well, I don’t feel like being alone with you right now,” Sara snapped.

“I am sorry that you feel that way. I don’t want to fight anymore,” Cole said defeated.

“Good, then go and have fun and leave me alone,” Sara stated.

When Cole came back into the building, Lilly noticed that he wasn’t the same. She went to him and asked what was going on.

He related the conversation to Lilly and hoped to keep her out of this, as much as possible.

“What’s happening with Sara? Are you and she having problems?” Lilly asked sincerely.

“Honestly, I don’t know what is going on. She’s so consumed with having a baby that I think the hormone shots are driving her crazy. She’s hot and then cold,” Cole replied.

“I’m sorry, Cole. I know that this is important to her, but I hate that it’s putting so much strain on your relationship.”

“Lilly, I’m hoping that you being here will help her. Is that selfish of me?” Cole asked his wife’s sister.

“No, not at all. You know, maybe we should go back and have dinner with Sara,” Lilly stated, but then saw the expression on her brother-in-law’s face. It was one of pain. She didn’t want to subject him to any more pain. He had been so nice to her.

“On second thought, I think it would be cool to go to Galveston, plus I’d like to see your offices. Do you mind taking me?” Lilly asked.

“No, of course not.” He smiled.

“Let’s take my jeep and let the wind run though our hair,” she said, like a young child.

“I guess we could leave my car here,” Cole said, and hopped into the car with her.

“I can’t believe this is my first time driving in Houston.”
“Oh, great. I forgot about that.” Cole smirked.

They took I-45 south toward Galveston and headed to the seawall. They parked the car and got out, and Cole watched as Lilly ran down into the water, rolling up her jeans as she was running. She seems so alive, he thought to himself. He wished that Sara was there to see how happy she was and maybe remember how happy they once were.

Lilly was running into the water and letting the waves push her back. The water was now above her rolled up jeans, and she knew that she was going to stink because of the saltwater.

She told Cole to come in, but he just watched and shook his head.

Lilly was giggling like a little kid and letting the waves push her back.

She noticed briefly that Cole was out of sight, but she kept having fun.

When she saw him again, he had a sundress and towel in his hand from one of the local shops across the street.

“Cole, you didn’t have to buy that,” she said as she met him back toward the jetty.

“I couldn’t have you go to my office looking like a wet seal.” He laughed.

“Seal? Really? That’s what you would compare me to.”

He just laughed out loud and tossed her the dress and the towel. He pointed to a changing room on the beach and told her to meet him at the jeep when she was ready.

She was thankful that she still was wearing sandals.

They went to his office and Lilly was introduced to Cole’s staff. He had another doctor there and two nurses, and several office personnel.

She was happy to meet everyone there, and they all had so many nice things to say about Cole.

When she asked Cole if Sara had ever been out there, he said no, that she had no desire to be around people.

“I’m sorry, Cole. I really don’t understand what’s going on with her,” Lilly said sympathetically.

“It’s not your problem, Lilly. We will get through this one way or another.”

The two of them headed back to the car dealership in time for Cole to pick up his truck. He then followed Lilly as she drove to his home. Except it didn’t feel like his home. It felt cold, unloving and unwelcoming. It had been a little nicer having Lilly there, but she would be leaving soon.

When they arrived, Lilly ran into the house and called out to Sara.

“Sara, Sara? You have to come see my new jeep.”
But there was no answer.
Lilly waited for Cole to enter and said that Sara wasn’t answering.

Cole called out to her, and again silence.
He walked into their former master bedroom and found her lying in a pool of blood.

“Call 911!” he shouted.
“Oh my God, what happened?” Lilly asked in disbelief.

“I don’t know, but we need to get her to the hospital at once.”

Cole called 911 and told the dispatcher that he was a doctor and that he just found his wife in a pool of blood. He was trying to find the origin, but it looked like it was from her feminine area.

“She may have had a miscarriage or something, because she’s bleeding vaginally.”

Cole instructed Lilly to go get towels and bring them to him ASAP. She also wet some towels so they could try to clean her up and find the source.

In the background, they could hear the ambulance, and Cole hurried to clean her up.

When the paramedics came in, Cole explained what he knew; that Sara was taking infertility drugs and was having major complications. He also explained that she had aborted a tubal pregnancy a few months back.

The paramedics recommended that they take over, and Cole asked which hospital they would be taking her too. While they were discussing it, the decision was made that they needed to life- flight her to The Women’s Hospital.

Cole cleaned up and grabbed Lilly by the hand, as she was crying, and led her to his truck. He lifted her up as if she weighed nothing, and drove directly to The Women’s Hospital.

One the way, Lilly was quiet, angry with herself for leaving her sister in such a bad state of mind.

“Look, Lilly, I know you are questioning us leaving her behind today, but I do that every day. Everyday, I wonder if she will be alive when I get back. She’s so frail and weak,” Cole said, as distant as a doctor giving bad news to a stranger.

“Cole, we left her, knowing that she wasn’t in her right mind. We played and laughed, and who knows how long she was bleeding.” Lilly cried softly.

Cole reached over and grabbed her hand, and promised that everything would be ok. He had such a way of making her feel stronger, and she wanted to believe it, that Sara would be ok.

By the time they reached the hospital, Life Flight had already arrived. Cole went straight to the nurse’s station and told him who he was and that he was there for his wife.

Of course the nurses looked Lilly up and down, as if she was a trollop, but Cole interceded on her behalf and said that this was Sara’s sister.

All of the sudden, people were being nicer to her and not giving her ugly stares.

The nurses told Cole that his wife had miscarried again, and that the doctor would be out shortly to give him an update.

The two of them sat in silence, not sure what to say. Lilly knew she should contact her mother, but didn’t know what to say, so decided to keep it on the down-low until she knew more.

About half an hour later, Dr. Winters came out and spoke with Lilly and Cole.

“Dr. Meeker, I’m Dr. Winters. I understand you know that your wife has had another miscarriage.”

“Yes, sir, I do. How is she?”

“She lost a lot of blood and because of the infertility drugs and the number of cysts, we had to do a hysterectomy,” Dr. Winters explained.

Cole and Lilly could only look at each other. They didn’t know what to saw to that. This would kill Sara, and they both knew it.

“Does Sara know?” Lilly asked, after introducing herself to the doctor.

“Yes. In fact, she’s asked to see you,” Dr. Winters said, speaking to Lilly.

“Me? Not Cole?” she quizzed.

“No. She was very clear. She wanted to see you immediately.” The two exchanged looks and the doctor continued, “Follow me and I’ll take you to her.”

When Lilly saw her sister, she looked as white as a ghost. She started to cry. She couldn’t stop herself.

“Lilly?” She barely heard Sara speak her name.

“I’m here, Sara and so is Cole,” she responded.

“I need your help,” Sara asked with tears staining her face. “Anything, Sara. What can I do?”

“I need you to carry my baby for me. Mine and Cole’s baby. I need you to be our surrogate.”

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