Copyright © 2013 by:Janet Fears. All rights reserved
A Promise To Keep ?
Emily placed the 3 orders on the customers table, then walked back to the kitchen to grab the next two. She still couldn't believe that Captain Butler called her. She had never given him her cell phone number....it had to be Tommy in that one letter he insisted on writing himself. He wanted her to call him back. What was she suppose to say. She was still reeling over the words "I Love you" that were in his letter. And now he was coming to Chicago on leave in three weeks. She never intended to have such feelings for Captain Butler....it just wasn't right...they were so different in so many ways...race especially. She didn't consider herself a prejudice person, but she knew how people treated interracial couples. The looks, stares, snubs. It was just awful ! Her and Jason had been together since childhood . They were of the same race. They were even high school sweetheart, and later went to the same university...then finally he became her husband. She had never given herself to another man since his death, and it was a promise she intended to keep. Captain Butler would understand once she explained it to him how deep her love was for her late husband, and the promise she made to him...the promise she intended to keep........or would he?
New Beginnings !
It was her first day at the hospital. Nervously she asked for Mr. Waters the Physical Therapist. He was the one who would be evaluating her during her internship at the hospital for the next three weeks. She had studied hard, but now she was beginning to wonder if she really would be able to apply all she had learned to be a Physical Therepist.. On paper it seemed easy, and she scored excellent on her test...but now she would have to use these techniques on live people! Her thoughts went to thinking about Captain Butler as she waited. She had called him, but he was in surgery at the time. She knew she should of called back, but she just left a message saying she would talk to him when he arrive in Chicago. It would be better to tell him face to face. It surprised her how upset her parents were when she told them the promise she had made to Jason at his grave site. Her father thought it was a impetuous promise, and her mother said it was one Jason would never ever expect her to keep. Tommy needed a father, and she needed a husband. If not Captain Butler, then someone one day ! She had always had a very open relationship with her parents,, and valued their thoughts in all areas of her life. It was because of her mothers suggestion not to worry him out on the field that she decided to wait and talk to him in Chicago. Captain Butler had become a very important person in her parents lives, he was like the son they never had. And Tommy never went one day without talking about him, and how he couldn't wait until his return. Her mother thought she should call again and speak to him...but she just couldn't. Whenever she thought about him, her heart raced, and she felt weak all over. The same feelings that always came over her whenever she was around Jason the love of her life all those years ago. How could those same feelings belong to anyone else...when she thought they belonged to only her and Jason.
"Mrs. Emerson," a voice called behind her, and she turned.
"Yes, I'm Miss Emerson," she replied.
"Welcome...I'm Carl Waters, he said with a broad smile... lets get started then."
Emily followed behind the tall muscular figure of the man in front of her. He definitely looked like a body builder to her. Handsome, Tanned, about thirty five, and in great shape with his long black curly hair pulled back into a long ponytail.
She followed closely behind him wondering exactly what he meant when he said "Lets get started". Well , she smiled ,as he buzzed open the door for her and she walked through...she was about to find out !
Emily knew after one week that Carl Waters was a ladies man, and she had made the mistake of saying "Miss Emerson" when she should of left the Mrs. in front of her name. He found countless reasons to touch her, oh he tried to make it look professional, like he was showing her the correct techniques, but she knew better.
"You should report him, her mother said. her eyes blazing with anger. I don't care if he is you boss."
"I can't mom...I need this if I want to be certified. I have to stick it out. I'm a grown woman, I'll take of this problem myself....please!"
"Well I agree with your mother, her father spoke up from behind his newspaper......no boss has a right to harass a worker ever "
Emily knew they were both right, but she just had to stick it out. She had two weeks left, some how she would make it. Perhaps it was the stress of it all that made her write Captain Butler and bear her heart about it all. And to add the words at the end"I miss you too" If she could have gotten that letter back from the mailman, she would have , but it was to late. She had told him that she cared...and she did. She just never realized how much !
The Boss !
Emily dreaded the thought of another two weeks with Carl Waters. It was like being in the room with an octupus. Contending with the patients was nothing compared to staying away from him. By the end of the day she was exhausted. She was thinking about what to do when nurse Andrews informed her that The Head of the Physical Therapy Department wanted to see her after her shift ended, which was now. What had she done wrong, she wondered. She was sure she was using all the correct techniques her course had taught her. She walked down the hallway quickly to his office and knocked on the door. She had to pick up Tommy from the sitters in half an hour. Whatever it was she hope it wouldn't take long.
"Come in, the heavy masculine voice said."
Emily walked in. He was writing at his desk, and never looked up until she sat down.
"Well Miss Emerson, you must know people in high places in the military."
Emily stared blankly at him. She had no idea what he was talking about.
"I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean."
"I would have preferred to have heard it directly from you about Mr. Waters behavior, and not from Captain Butler's phone call today."
Emily was shocked. "You know Captain Butler?"
He smiled..."Yes, known Clete since medical school in Savannah Georgia. We grew up together. ..We stay in touch now and then, but not that much lately. You must mean a lot to him...he tracked me thought six hospitals until he found me here. and asked if I had a intern therapist working here by your name "
Emily didn't know what to say. She just sat there staring into the face of the department head...Mr. Arms.
"So, I am transferring you to Mr, Hughs. He's a good man,married, six children, with two daughters in related medical fields at Mercy General. He's sixty years old, and one of the best Physical therapist we have here . He won't give you any trouble...if you get my drift.
As for Mr. Waters, we will meet tomorrow, and if he can't get his game right and stay professional...well then maybe he should look else where for employment. I'll have no law suits against this hospital because of him."
Emily smiled. "Thank You Mr. Arms."
"Next time Miss Emerson, if anything isn't right ...please let me know...not the military okay!" He laughed softly as he shook his head then went back to writing in the tablet on his desk.
As She walked from his office, she was totally shocked at how Captain Butler had taken it upon himself to solved her problem from thousands of miles away . She rushing to her car to pick up Tommy. She remember how her heart raced when Mr. Arms mentioned Captain Butlers name. He called him Clete. She liked that, it sounded personal...and she was discovering that she wanted to know him well enough to call him that too. Clete. She repeated it over and over. She liked the sound of his name...yes she did. Clete was making it extremely hard to keep the promise she had made to Jason at his grave. If just his name made her heart race...how would seeing him in person in two weeks effect her?
The Talk !
"He did what?" Sassy mouth dropped open when Emily finished telling them all about what Captain Butler did over dinner that Saturday night at Club Nostalgia It was Albany's 34th birthday and they were all happy and joyous over the occasion.
"So your assigned to another Physical Therapist.
"Wow!," was all Albany could say. Emily looked at Tiffany who hadn't said anything yet.
"Well, she said finally, as she looked at Emily. That's what I call really loving a woman. He's in Iraq, thousands of miles away, and he takes time out to hunt down a old friend in the states to help you out. Gotta meet this guy." They all nodded in agreement.
"Whens he coming in?" Tiffany asked. At O'Hare right?"
Emily smiled. "Next Friday...at least that's what he told Mom and Dad."
They all looked at her slightly puzzled. "Haven't you talked to him," Tiffany asked
Emily shook her head. "No"
"Well why not," Albany asked?"
"For heavens sake Emily, why not," Sassy asked too.
Emily bit slightly down on her lower lip. "Because I made a promise to Jason to never love anyone else again."
"A stupid promise,"Sassy blurted out, then quickly put her hand over her mouth. Albany punched her in the arm, as Tiffany shot daggers in her direction.
Why would you make such a promise Emily?" Tiffany studied her friend. Your a young beautiful woman. Your bound to fall in love again, it's only natural."
"Maybe she's thinking of becoming a nun, Sassy said...but can Nuns have kids?" She looked in Albany's direction. Albany quickly put her hand over her friends mouth before anything else could slip out, as Tiffany gave her friend a shocked look of disbelief.
"Jason was my all in all...I just can't hurt him like that."
Tiffany looked again at her Friend. "You can't hurt Jason by loving again. He would want you to be happy, and for Tommy to have a dad. A man he could grow to love and respect, who could show him what a real man should be. From what I hear about Captain Butler, he is that man. Am I wrong?"
Emily looked up into Tiffany eyes. "No, your not wrong. Clete is such a man."
Tiffany smiled. "So your on a first name bases I see."
"I heard my boss call him that...I guess it's a nickname."
"One you like right?"
"Yes, Emily could feel herself blushing...yes one I like very much."
Tiffany reached across the table and took Emily's hand in hers"We would all give anything to have what you have Emily. Someone to love. Be happy !" Well with that said, she stood up, pulling Emily up with her as they all started to dance and clap their hands. Tiffany waved her arms around in the air..."we came here to celebrate a birthday....lets get this birthday party started...lets party." Everyone in the dinner club smiled and clapped their hands as they watched them dance and sing to the music Tiffany had requested the band to play. It was Albany's favorite song....... "Celebration"
Why not celebrate Albany birthday too. Click the link below and join the party !
Show time !
"So, what's got you so excited Clete," Reese asked as they all walked back to the barracks. Clete smiled as he pulled out his cell phone.
"There's a message here from Emily , some type of video that needs downloading ."
"Hey Capt, download it so we all can see it...unless it's for your eyes only, they all laughed, patting him on the back.
"Emily's not like that," he said blushing, as his steps quickened.
She's a good Christian woman. Its probably something about Tommy, maybe he got a trophy or something. Or maybe its showing her parents dancing. You know they've been taking dancing lessons. Yea, that's probably it."
"Okay, leave the man alone, Reese said, as they all enter their quarters, let the man enjoy his video by himself."
Everyone still gathered around him as he downloaded it from his cell onto the USB port, then into his computor. He looked around. All they needed now was popcorn! Every doctor, medical tech, was there that wasn't on duty.waiting for whatever was about to show. When the video came on and the music started, he recognized Emily but not the other three ladies that were there. They were all dancing and singing and yelling Happy Birthday Albany . The guys watching along with him went wild, commenting on the ladies as they danced along with the music. But all Clete could see was Emily. She looked absolutely beautiful in a slender red dress, and red high heels. Her hair wasn't back in a ponytail, but was long on her shoulders.
"That's Emily in the red dress, he said to everyone pointing at the screen.
"Like we don't already know with all her pictures you have around here." They all laughed.
"Wow!, Reese said, she looks better on screen...and the other three...he smiled not bad either!"
Every one stopped dancing when one of the girls ...the tall woman with short hair and big hooped earrings looked into the camera and said "Hi Captain Butler, I'm Tiffany, and this is Sassy, and our birthday girl Albany....we're"The Girlfriends".....we're going to check you out in two weeks. You gotta pass the girlfriend test, then we'll let you know if you can have our girl. Emily quickly placed her hand over her friends mouth, and in front of the screen. Clete laughed softly. Whatever the test was he would pass it. Emily was worth it.
The Call !
Emily was furious with Tiffany for videotaping their little dance routine with her cell and then sending it to Clete. , but it was Albany's Birthday and she didn't want to make a scene.
"Oh come on Emily, "Tiffany hugged her tightly, even though she tried to pull away. It was all in good fun, and besides if he's going to be in your life, well then he has to accept us too...we're not going anywhere...we're girlfriends."
Emily hugged her back. She knew she never could stay mad at any of them. She loved them dearly. The buzzing of her phone caused her to pull away and rummage through her purse to find it. She stood looking at the name that was showing.
"Well, Tiffany said. Aren't you going to answer it?"
Emily shook her head as she looked at all of them. "Its Clete, I mean Captain Butler."
Tiffany took the phone quickly before it went to the fourth ring'
"Hello Captain Butler its me Tiffany, Emily's friend. Nice to talk to you too. Yes, we are all looking forward to seeing you next week. Emily' will be right back, just stepped away for a minute. Well here she is now." She shoved the phone into Emily's as she hit speaker so they all could listen.
"Hi, she said softly...wasn't expecting to talk to you until next week when you arrive here.
They all smiled as they heard him laugh.
"Just had to tell you how much enjoyment your video brought to the guys here...it was laughter and fun all evening. They must of played it fifty times...thanks, over here there's not a lot of laugh about. Really appreciated it Em."
Her mouth dropped open.....what did he just call,her..... Em."
They all looked at each other stunned. "He called her Em," Sassy whispered to Albany, as they each looked at Tiffany who's face was frowned .
Emily stood silent. No man had ever called her Em but Jason...it was his nickname for her. Why did he call her that. He had no right too. Only Jason had that right. She dropped the phone and walked away swiftly. The girls all looking at her. Tiffany looked at the phone lying on the floor. The call was lost. And they all knew why . Then it started to ring again. It was Captain Butler. They looked sadly at each other, what were they suppose to do...then Tiffany answered it.
"Hello, Em, the voice said..what happened?"
Tiffany knew what had happened, they all knew. He called her by a name only Jason used. But was it her right to tell him what he'd done...she slowly put the phone to her ear. He needed to know if he was ever going to have a real chance of winning Emily's heart!
"Captain, there's something you need to know, she said softly...something very important about Emily."
Captain Butler listened as Tiffany told him the whole sorted story.
"I'm truly sorry, he said. It just naturally slipped out. He hesitated. You see my mama's name was Emma, and as a child I called her Em instead of mama because I always heard my papa call her that.Didn't even know I said it Tiffany...really didn't know I said it."
"Capt, helicopter coming in." He heard the voice behind him and knew he had to go.
"Tell Emily I'm sorry, and that I'll write her when I can...gotta run." As her hung up the phone and rushed out he could only think of how he had probably lost Emily forever.
He felt truly exhausted after hours of surgery, but he knew that wasn't all of his wearyness...no it was the fact that he probably lost Emily forever. He flopped down on the bed, staring up into space. He didn't really know what to do now. He didn't want to disappoint Tommy, and he really wanted to see her folks too...but now...he sighed deeply, it looked like all that wasn't going to happen because of a slip of his tongue.
Reese sat down on the bed beside him.
"Look, he said in that voice that Clete knew meant he was getting upset with him. You love the lady right?"
"Well then go after her, and don't stop until she loves you...he winked..I think she does man, but she's scared. Those feelings she thought could only belong to one man, now she's feeling for another...YOU! Just be there for her no matter how long it takes until she see 's you're r not going no where. Remember that movie we saw last month "DreamGirls" and that song I loved "And I am telling you" By Jennifer Hudson. Well you gotta be like that girl was in the movie...never giving up until she loves you ."
He walked over to his bunk and rummaged through the tapes and cd's that were stacked on the side . He put the cd in the player.
"I think you need to hear this song man. He pressed the button. Listen Clete to the words, and I'll see you later," He then walked out leaving him alone with the song playing.
After the song stopped he sat up straight. "I'm not giving up on you Emily....like the song says "I'm not going no where, and you, and you, and you,.......you're gonna love me"
Take a listen to the song that inspired Captain Butler to not give up on love. Click below!
A Time To Say Goodbye ?
It was hard to believe that she had acted that way to Clete. Tiffany and the girls were right, he had no way of knowing that Em was Jasons pet name for her. And now that she knew his mothers name was Emma, and he had called her Em for years..made it even worst. She didn't have a monopoly on that name. So many thoughts were running through her mind as she placed flowers on Jasons grave. She knew in her heart that she was doing the right thing. It was time to say Goodbye, and let go of the past. She would always have the blessed memories of her life with Jason, but everyone was right, her girlfriends, and her parents when they said it was time to say goodbye to the past and move on to the future. She didn't know if that future would have Clete in it, but she believed that one day there would be someone. She still hoped that C lete would always be there for Tommy in some fashion..she would talk to him about that if he ever wanted to talk to her ever again. Tommy was so excited about him coming back to Chicago. She just couldn't tell him that now because of her, he might not.
She stood up and looked down at Jasons tombstone again, then blew kisses to it. Her mind went back to their favorite movie "The Way We Were" it was so fitting...remembering all the memories they shared together...it was like a movie was playing in her mind of the way they were""Goodbye my love, she said softly...goodbye!"
Toi Hear Emily & her late husband Jason favorite song "The Way We Were" click link on video
The Apology !
She couldn't help but think of how she had behaved. It haunted her thoughts all evening and most of the night. She turned over and glanced at the clock, it ws 2:45 in the morning and she was still awake. She got up and walked to Tommy's room, and peeked in. He was sound asleep, like she should be. She headed down stairs to the kitchen. Maybe a warm glass of milk would help. Her mother use to give her warm milk as a child when she was restless. As she put the pan on the stove and poured in the milk, she knew nothing was really going to help but talking to Clete, and apologizing for her behavior. She was glad she was off this Friday, but she knew it would be Saturday there. Weekends wern't the same as in the states where most people looked forward to rest and relaxization. He might be in Surgery, or meetings, but she was still going to try and call him. It was the only way she was going to get any rest. She turned off the milk and left it sitting on the stove, and walked to the hallway where she had left her purse, and pulled out her cell phone.
She punched in the number quickly before she lost the nerve. It rang three times. Perhaps he was to busy...or maybe he saw her number and just didn't want to answer at all. She started to hang up when he answered.
"I'm probably catching you at a bad time, she said softly."
"No, just coming in from a staff meeting. Wasn't sure I would hear from you, but I'm glad you called. I wanted to apologize for what happened ."
"Emily could feel the tears rolling down her cheeks.
"You have nothing to apologize for Clete...I'm the one who needs to apologize."
"No I need to Emily."
"No you don't Clete, I need to."
She could hear him laughing, and she started to laugh too. The fear she had felt about talking to him suddendly disappeared.
"Why don't we just agree to disagree then."
"Okay, I think that's a good idea, she said smiling as she sat down in the chair by the phone.
"Are you still coming to Chicago...I mean, Tommy 's really looking forward to seeing you, and so are my mom and dad."
"Wouldn't miss it. My plane will arrive on Tuesday 3pm O'Hare Airport."
Emily heard the silence...he was waiting for her to say something...something like"I can't wait to see you too Clete."
"Might be a big reception, my friends want to meet you, she said feeling the nevoursness in her voice
"Awe! Tiffany, Sassy, and Albany...hum, and just what is this test there talking about giving me?"
Emily couldn't help but laugh. "Can't tell you that, I honestly don't know."
"No sweat, he said in a casual tone...I was always good at test."
Why was it so hard to say what she was feeling, she wondered. She took a deep breath. "I can't wait to see you too Clete, I 've really missed you." There she had said it.
"Missed you too Emily, he said softly..I think about you all the time."
Emily felt her heart beat faster at his words. She missed him too, more than she ever realized. And in her heart she knew it was okay to have such feelings.
"I think about you too Clete, all the time, "she said as she pictured his face in her mind. How would it feel to be in his arms, to feel his kiss on her lips, to build precious moments with him, she hoped she would have the chance to find out.
"Well I'd better let you get some sleep...it's about half past three there, right," he asked.
Emily looked up at the clock on the wall in the hallway. "Yes, it's 3:15 ."
"Well then.....I should be saying good morning to you , he laughed. Get some sleep Em.....is it okay to call you Em now?"
"Yes, it's okay, she said happily... we both have good memories attached to that name."
"Yes we do, he said softly...the best memories in the world."
She felt the tears well up again, and knew he was having a similiar reaction with the thoughts of his dear mother, as she was about Jason.
"Clete, she said softly...grits, Ham and biscuits right?"
She could hear a hearty robust laugh come from the other end of the phone.
""Right, he said happily...grits, Ham and biscuits ma'am." See you Tuesday Em."
Catch The Conclusion coming soon On Page 3 !