Read Chapter 37 here with cupcakemummy
Phillip squeezes my hand as I lean down to give him a kiss on his forehead. His dark hazel eyes give away that he was a handsome man when he was…whole. There is a striking resemblance between the two brothers. Both tall, lean and olive skin. His sparkled when he saw Mark come in the room. I can tell how much these two care for each other. I stand back after I great Phillip and watch Mark say goodbye to his big brother. He high 5’s him like a real guy and the pulls him closer for a deep hug. The embrace holds tight for a few seconds until Phillip burst out laughing. Deep good laughter, like a small child. Then I realise Mark was tickling him with his free hand. He was right. Mark was right. His brother is happy. Honest good happiness.
Mark settles his brother down and plants a gentle kiss on his head. It makes me fall deeper and deeper in love with him. We leave the recreational area and I follow Mark to the reception, he slides his hand into mine and squeezes it tightly. He greets each of the ladies at reception by name and introduces me to them. One of the older ladies came to the front of the counter to give Mark a hug and a big kiss. They really like him around here.
Mark pays for his brother’s care and has for years. Ever since his parents past away. How did I even get so lucky to have this man in my life? He has been taking hourly work as tech support at the office to be able to afford this. That is how he ended up helping Pam out with her computer. Not once have I heard him complain. Not a single word. The lady that came to the front of the counter, softly asked him how he is coping and he just smiled and gave her a kiss. He replied in a low voice that he will be fine and he is dealing with insurance but it’s not looking to great. Mark tells me to wait there he will go fetch the car. It is raining outside and I imagine Winter is loving today’s weather. I give him a faint smile and nod in agreement. The minute he is out the door I let my curiosity get the best of me and ask. “I know it’s none of my business, but I overheard what you said. Is Phillips car in trouble?” She walks to the counter and leans over as she tells me; “His care is no longer being covered by Marks insurance. You see they changed their policies and now cover only his chronic meds and not his day to day care. Mark has been paying it cash ever since” She has real concern in her voice. “I see, thank you.” Is all I manage to get out as I head for the door, Mark is outside with the car running.
It’s been 2 weeks since I told the Mateo’s about Winter. They haven’t made contact yet but I still want the launch to be hosted at their restaurant. I am hoping Winter can make it happen for us. I don’t know why they haven’t contacted me but I won’t push. I miss them though. And the bread.
Mark dropped me off after this morning’s visit and said he had work to do. I didn’t question it. But I have spent enough of my life sucking happiness out of the atmosphere. I spent all these years believing I cannot be happy nor can I ever add joy or care to the world but I can. I know I have something to give and this time it’s easy. Even if Mark and I end up taking different paths in life I will forever be grateful for him showing me I have so so much to be thankful for. I have no right to be this angry with the world. I feel ashamed for all the self loathing.
I brush the dogs head as I open my laptop. The kettle whistles signalling its ready to make some coffee. I step over the dog, now napping on the tiles and make myself a cup of coffee. I miss the Mateo’s biscottis.
I settle down on by the counter and pull my open laptop closer to get cracking on a few mails.
Email : To: Juliet
Subject: Phillip’s care
Hi Juliet, thank you for the kind reception at today’s visit with Phillip. I was hoping you could take care of something for me. You see, meeting Phillip was a privilege and he is so utterly happy at your care facility. I firmly believe Phillip deserves the best possible care, and you, are the best. Such a special soul.
I phoned your financial department earlier and have settled his care indefinitely. Please find proof of payment attached.
Phillip has taught me that being child like happy is ok. For a long time I felt my happiness will hurt those around me. Turns out, it’s not true. What is true is that Phillip can laugh like I have never heard anyone laugh and that is rather sad. Sad that people do not laugh like that anymore. Life too often gets in the way and I am making a conscious effort to push it out of the way again. If I fail to do it for myself, I can be calm in the fact that I have been able to help Phillip.
I trust you will keep this confidential.
Please give Phillip a kiss for me.
All my love,
Finally my T.I.T.S did some good. I knew that money would come in handy one day. I always thought I would spend my savings on something adventurous. An extravagant holiday, or an expensive house. I was right about one thing though. It did enrich my life.
One idea down, one to go.
Email: To: Winter
Subject: Its time.
Winter my darling,
It feels like ages since we spoke. I miss you.
I met Marks brother and he is amazing. I will tell you all about it someday. You will like him. He is special. In every single way.
How are the Mateo’s? I haven’t heard from them yet. Ill admit it scares me a little. I figured not everything could work out in the end. Not very Iris-like at all wouldn’t you say?
Listen we need to talk about the launch. I am wrapped up in paper work for the export of the last few boxes would you mind helping out? Just a few media and close friends. I was really hoping we could do it at the Mateo’s. Its such a great little venue and well, you know how well it suits our book.
I am so so thankful I got to work with you on this project. Turns out you were part of the story all along.
I hit send and walk to the kitchen to put my mug in the sink. I really hope she is willing to help on the launch. She is better at making things pretty than I am. But I am working to change that.
I glance at the clock in the kitchen and do a little double take when I realise I am 10 minutes late for my class.