It’s time for TUESDAY TALES! This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘heart’. Now, you’d think with Valentine’s Day being this week, I’d be headed there with this prompt. I almost went the Valentine’s direction. But I changed direction and went here instead. In Fat and Sassy, I needed to start getting Casey’s health history into the story, and this seemed the perfect time. Join us for a scene with ‘heart’, but no Valentines here.
Return to TUESDAY TALES for more story snippets. With all the romance writers in the group, you’ll find plenty of stories with a romantic bent I’m sure.
Bea poured herself another cup of coffee and turned back to the table where Casey sat, nursing his hot, steamy brew. “You’d better git on outta here. Yore a gonna be late.”
Casey emitted a long low sigh as he ran his fingers through his thinning hair. “I just don’t have any giddy-up in my step this morning. I’m just plumb wore out.”
“You sleep well last night?”
“Slept like the dead. I don’t remember a thing until the alarm started ringing. I shouldn’t be this tired.”
Bea reached for the percolator, sitting on the stove singing its bubbly tune. She topped of Casey’s mug and returned the silver flask to the warmth of the flickering flames. Moving behind Casey, she laid a hand on his forehead. “You feel a little clammy. Think yore coming down with a bug?”
“Could be. I feel a little peaked. And my left arms a little weak and tingly. Maybe I just slept on it wrong.”
A worried look flashed across Bea’s face. “Ya wanna stay home and call the Doc?”
“No. We need the money. I’d a better git along,” Casey said, standing up. “I’ll feel better onct I get to work and start moving.”
Casey finally headed out the door, battered lunch pail and thermos in hand. Bea didn’t know where the rest of the morning went. Once the older children got themselves ready and off to school, she had the little ones underfoot. She ran a load of laundry through the wringer washer, hanging it on the line out back while trying to keep Alvin and Ida out of trouble. Back inside a laundry basket sat, its dampened clothes beckoning to her, begging to be ironed before they dried out and wrinkled up worse than before. She stood looking at the basket, contemplating her next move; work on the laundry, go start a mess of beans, or go pour another cup of coffee. The jangling phone interrupted her thoughts.
“Ayep?” she answered, halfway expecting it to be Aunt Annie.
“Bea,” Casey’s foreman spoke up, “we’re taking Casey to the hospital. We think he’s having a heart attack.”
The receiver slipped from Bea’s hand, her hand catching the curled cord just before it hit the floor.
“Bea? Bea?” the foreman’s voice echoed from the ear piece as she placed it up to her ear again.
“Is he all right?”
“He’s fine right now. We just need to get him checked out. He’s already on the way to Glendora Hospital with Johnny. I’ll keep you posted if I hear anything.”
A sharp clunk sounded as Bea dropped the receiver onto its rest. She stood rigid, tears forming and streaming down her face. Alvin and Ida gathered at her ankles, chattering and tugging on her skirt, their voices blending into a background orchestra of noise that she didn’t hear. Fear welled up from her midsection, growing and expanding until her body was suffused with anxiety and worry. She’d never felt more helpless. Here she was at home with two little ones, the older children were due home from school soon, and she couldn’t drive. There wasn’t another car even if she could drive. If need be, she thought, I can call the pastor. Maybe Cecil can take me to the hospital – if Mildred’s willing to watch the chillin’s.
The litany of frantic thoughts kept running through her mind. He has to be all right. Lord, please keep your arms around my Casey. Please, please, please let him be all right. I love that man. I need that man. He is my world.
Bea was worried then. And yes, it was Casey’s heart. Though she didn’t know it on this fearful day, they still had many more years together. While she would end up losing her husband many years before she wanted to, they would be together to see their children grow and marry and give them a passel of grandchildren. But, she didn’t know that on the day of the phone call. She’d already learned several years ago when she lost little Evan Lee that life is fragile and there are no guarantees. Her world felt out of kilter at that moment and she was scared.
Please God, don’t take Casey from me. I’ll do anything to make his life easier, to help keep him here with me longer. It was a day for bargaining with God. It was a promise she didn’t intend to ever break. She loved her children. Later in life she loved her grandchildren with every fiber of her being. But Casey was first in her life, that day and every day.