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The nurse finished with a vital’s check as Buck peeked his head through the door to Marilyn’s room.
Marilyn’s spirit lightened when she saw him. After a nap, her brain had cleared the anesthesia fog. Given the pain medications in her IV, she felt pretty good.
As Buck stepped through the door, his face still held the worried look it had worn earlier.
She waved him over to the chair beside the bed. He sat tentatively on the vinyl covered chair.
“Thank you for contacting Lark,” she said reaching for his hand.
Buck grimaced, but took her hand in his. “About that…”
“Is she still here?” Marilyn took a deep breath. “I’m so excited to finally meet her. I’ve been so scared to call her. So it’s a happy event that you called her.”
“She… uh left.”
“Oh.” Marilyn sighed. “I imagine it’s a lot to take in. Meeting your mother here.” She gestured to her hospital room and the machines hooked to her arms by the tangle of tubes and wires.
“Yeah.” Buck agreed. “That’s probably part of it.”
Marilyn’s attention caught the word part. “What happened?”
Buck shook his head. “I was explaining the events to my sister and Lark heard that you attempted to call her several times.”
Marilyn rubbed her forehead, remembering the cold sweats and shaky hands each time she dialed the number. She managed to get the full number in the phone four times before she chickened out. She’d punch cancel before that call connected. After she attempt, she’d practice some deep breaths, trying to calm the raging fears of a daughter who could reject her twenty years after having been given up. And she had every right to not want contact with her birth mother.
Marilyn had hoped to try again today, but today hadn’t followed her plan at all.
“I’ll try to call her again,” Marilyn affirmed. After meeting the young woman, calling her wasn’t as terrifying.
Buck clasped her hands in his. “She was quite upset when she left.”
Marilyn nodded. The whole situation was strange and awkward.
“I’m so sorry,” Buck said, squeezing her hand one last time as he rose from his seat.
“Won’t you stay for a while?” Marilyn asked. She didn’t think she would sleep for a while and didn’t want to sit here alone. Despite having the ability to contact someone else to come, she wanted Buck. He was the only one who knew everything that had happened to her in the last twenty-four hours.
An orderly opened the door, carrying a tray with covered dishes.. “I brought some food.”
At the mention of nutrition Marilyn tried to recall her last meal. Sometime last night. Food sounded good.
Buck moved toward the door as the orderly placed the tray on a rolling table. She removed a cover and rolled the table in front of Marilyn.
“I’ll leave you to your meal.” Buck said as he pulled the door open.
Without an excuse to keep him, Marilyn called, “Will you come back tomorrow?”
“I need to make sure you are doing your exercises.” She smiled. Any excuse to keep him around. She told herself it was to keep him on track for regaining his health. Another reason lurked beneath that. She hadn’t had someone care for her, someone who would spend the day at the hospital for her.
“Okay.” Buck nodded and waved as he ducked out the door.
Marilyn smiled as she dipped her spoon into the chicken broth. A strange day but she had a new hope for the future. For the first time in a a long time, she had a person who cared for her and the possibility of a relationship with her daughter.
Her happiness masked the bland flavor of the broth.
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