“Deacon, that must have been dreadful for you. If you will forgive an old woman an alarming correlation, that is exactly when Peter died.”
Deacon’s eyes filled with tears and he wept for the brother he had never known. Nancy held him comfortingly in her arms as he tried to compose himself. The stress, pain and uncertainty of the last few days had come to a head, and he expressed it the only way he knew how. He couldn’t remember ever having cried like that since childhood, but it was a marvelous sensation of relief, as if a weight had been lifted off him.
Somehow, it was no longer his fault. He hadn’t been a wimp, or some kind of psychotic freak. It was his psyche recognizing that a part of him had been wrenched away. Although it didn’t diminish his episode, it put it into perspective. In a way, he felt better knowing.
The days passed slowly for Deacon, who felt trapped in the house, even with all the things he had to distract or entertain him. He had always been a man of action, and he was bored out of his mind. The cast and crew members came by to see him. Kacy and Nancy spent a lot of time with him. Dino came and visited periodically. One of the private duty nurses he had hired was Cindy. Dino’s visits often, coincidentally, happened to be during the time she was with Deacon.
The only person who rarely put in an appearance was Everett. He almost seemed to be avoiding Deacon. For his own sake, Deacon didn’t really mind. He felt the man needed his space, but it disturbed Nancy and Kacy. They kept apologizing for Ev’s behavior. Nothing Deacon said to excuse him made any impression. It was a man thing, and he respected that.
“The last thing I want to do is force myself on him. He’ll come to accept me in his own time. You have to realize, he thinks of me as an interloper.”
“How could you possibly know that?”
Kacy was shocked. Ev had used that exact word the night before when he was talking to her and Nancy after Deacon went to sleep.
“Because that’s how I’d feel. I never had the kind of relationship of a father and son, but I can imagine how I’d feel in his shoes.” He shrugged. “I’d hate me, too.”
“He doesn’t hate you, Deacon….” Nancy began, but couldn’t in good conscience continue.
Ev didn’t hate him, but he resented Deacon and the place he now had in their lives. He considered Kacy’s affection for Deacon as a betrayal.
“He doesn’t want me ever to find anyone again. He wants me to be a grieving widow the rest of my life!” Kacy told Deacon later that day, when they were alone.
Patting the couch next to him, he encouraged her to sit and stop pacing. “He doesn’t want that, Kacy. But it’s only natural he doesn’t want you to replace Pete so soon. He died such a short time ago.”
“That’s just it! Pete died as soon as that bomb went off under him, only his body didn’t know it! I sat by that bed day after day, praying he would come back to me, and he never did, not for a minute. I couldn’t even say a proper goodbye. What I had put from my mind, is that Pete and I were growing apart, even before that. Our lives were going in such different directions, it was amazing we had lasted as long as we did.”
“Have you told his parents this?”
She shook her head. “I didn’t want to hurt them any more than I already had. Taking him off life support was the hardest decision I ever made. It’s what Pete wanted, though. He was always so full of life! I couldn’t watch him like that another day, not another hour. I never stopped loving him, I just wasn’t in love, if you understand what I mean.”
“I think so. What about us, Kacy? Do you think we’ll last?”
“No one can ever go into a relationship, knowing that for sure, but with all my heart, I want us to. I can’t help thinking, that when I married Pete, I got it wrong. I think the man I was supposed to be with, was you.”
Their embrace was infused with desire which couldn’t be satisfied. Frustration born of lust filled them both, causing an ache—deep and brutal, in their chests.
“I don’t care what the doctor says, Kacy. I want you more than I can even tell you.”
“No, Deacon, no. I want you too! But not until the doctor’s seen that leg. Just a little longer. We go this afternoon. Please.”
Her voice held a plaintive note of desperation. He couldn’t help touching her, kissing her, exploring her body with his hands, hardly able to control his need for her. Reluctantly, he stopped, pulling away from her with a Herculean effort. She rose to go. Leaving him alone was probably the cruelest thing she could have done, but the best under the circumstances. She didn’t come back until it was time for them to go to the doctor’s office.
They hardly spoke all the way to the office. In fact, Dino, who was driving them, worried that they had, had an argument.
“No, nothing like that, Dino. I promise. It’s bloody complicated,” Kacy said, walking ahead of them a few feet. She opened the door, walking in by herself.
Deacon told Dino in very brief, and well edited terms, what the problem was.
Aside from blushing deeply, Dino said nothing but, “Oh, I see.”
©2021 Dellani Oakes