Mob’s Cardinal by Phyllis Chapter 2

Author’s Note: I have taken some artistic freedom in the storyline and you will discover that Fletcher’s son is being used as a tool to tell the story. It will be easily identified in the age range of some of the characters. Danny, Michelle and other characters will all jump on the scene quickly. Enjoy!

Mob’s Cardinal by Phyllis – Chapter 2

The door opened to reveal an older couple in their sixties. The woman rushed in ahead of the man accompanying her as he walked with a slight limp. Their dress revealed that they had been called away from a party or celebration. The lady was dressed in a two-piece pink evening dress that demonstrated a still attractive petite body. Her hair pulled back into French braid with a diamond clasp holding the braid up off of her neck. The hair gave evidence of once being a brownish blonde with silver streaks laced ever so delicately through out the hair now. She stood at the window looking in at Cardinal Santos and turned to place her head against the chest of the older man that had managed to catch up with her. I saw him gently place a kiss on the top of her forehead and push a strand of hair back out of her face. I failed to notice the two younger men that came in with them until the older man moved his hand as to push away an invisible insect. They both retreated out of the ICU.

He and she turned back to face the window still embraced in each other’s arms. With one arm around her waist and the other stroking her head. I felt like I had invaded their personal space. It was so evident that this couple had once been a beautiful young couple that had grown old together gracefully. He still stood erect and the physique was that of a younger man. He appeared older in appearance only because of his almost all gray curly hair. I wondered what was the connection of this couple to this man.

After the crisis seemed to settle down the nurse in charge recognized the couple and allowed them into the room. The Code Blue Clear announcement came over the hospital intercom and within minutes a doctor that I knew from my youth came into the unit. It was an old friend, Dr. Rick Bauer. He rushed to the bedside of Father Santos. His son was the doctor providing the care for my father. Father Ray must have been one of his old patients and he had been called as a courtesy. I had hoped that they would let the rest of us visitors go back into the unit soon to visit our loved ones. With all of the distractions, I had noticed some of the visitors making eye contact among them but never uttering a word about what they were thinking.

It had seemed an eternity before we were allowed back into our specific cubicles to resume our waiting. I had mentioned to one of the nurses that my father and I knew Dr. Rick Bauer. I asked if she would let Dr. Bauer know about Dad’s failing condition and ask him to stop by to see him.   Moments later Dr. Bauer came in and said, “I’m so sorry that you have been here alone. Since I retired, I don’t get all the hospital gossip and we had a big wedding this afternoon that has been keeping the family busy. Then we had a little interruption at the reception when Father Ray had a heart attack and I came as soon as I could to see Ray. He is an old patient and I wanted to reassure him that the Open Heart Surgery is the right choice. Sometimes these men of God will wait too long before having the surgery. He has his cousin Danny and my sister visiting now. So I can stay with you and we can catch up on all the old times. Beside it gives me the chance to play doctor again.”

We watched together as my father ‘s heart stopped beating. He died just before sunrise. As I left the unit, I thanked the nurse for their care and walked out the ICU. There were the same two men standing outside the door that I had seen earlier in the unit. They were like guard dogs of a sort dressed in expensive Italian suits and shoes. It registered in my mind that you didn’t want to have to tangle with either one. I heard my name being called and turned to see the woman that now had a name. She was Michelle Bauer- Santos.

“Ben, I am so sorry that your father has died. I knew he had been in declining health for a while. Tonight has brought all of us sadness. My husband’s cousin and best friend had a heart attack at our granddaughter’s wedding reception. He, like your father, is such a good man. Sometimes I wonder why God is ready to take the best away from this world? If there is anything that my family or I can do to help you; please feel free to ask.”

I knew the words that she spoke were genuine and heartfelt. I thanked her for the words of respect that she spoke of my father. From the memories of my past, I remembered this classy lady as the beautiful young girl that had shocked the society of Springfield.

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