Mob’s Cardinal by Phyllis Chapter 15

Republisher’s Note: Danny takes Michelle to see Dr. Sedgwick.

Mob’s Cardinal by Phyllis – Chapter 15

“Honey, I have enough patience for both of us. The word patience has another meaning you know. Perseverance- the steadfast pursuit of an objective or object. I’ll take the flowers and get them into some fresh water while you get a shower. Do you need anything? Olga is here to help since you aren’t feeling that well today. Her English isn’t the best but I have a feeling that she can be a trusted friend.”

Michelle remembered their attempts at conversing in Spanish, which brought out an unexpected giggle. The giggling erased the tension in Michelle’s face. Her finger traced over Danny’s upper lip and then the bottom lip to his tongue. Danny’s tongue wet her finger as he licked the finger moving his tongue up to meet Michelle’s lips. The low groan escaping from him intensified as they fell back onto the bed. He pulled back from Michelle’s embrace using all the strength of self-control to stop his physical desire.

“This isn’t good, Michelle. We have too many bodies here for me to be hitting on you here and now.”

“I could get use to doing this in the morning.”

“Let me take the tray for Olga.”

Danny appeared in the kitchen with the tray and flowers. After he requested Olga to find a container, Danny walked over to his mother. Squatting down to her level, he whispered so that she was the only one to hear his request. “Carmen, I want to show you some new landscaping in the yard.” She followed Danny outside to an area where they could speak without Michelle overhearing the heated conversation.

“Carmen, how dare you question Michelle about her virgin status?  I am so angry with you. Are you intentionally trying to jeopardize my decision? Michelle doesn’t think like an Latino woman. You must be extremely careful in any conversation that you have with her. She doesn’t know about the respect that is afforded you because of the family.”

“Daniel, I was trying to apologize to her when you came into the bedroom. I promise you on your father’s grave.”

“Mamá, I believe you. This is the plan. Michelle and I will ride in the Mercedes to the doctors office. I don’t want her getting sick in my car. The darkened windows might be able to prevent any motion sickness. After she sees the doctor, I will take her home. I think your idea of Pilar coming home soon is a good idea. The quicker she bonds with our family the better. You may as well know that Ray isn’t into this solution one hundred percent. Father Ray is busy attempting to be the voice of my conscience.”

“How so, Danny?”

“Ray sees all of our actions as dire measures. In the future, Michelle may stumble onto the truth of how she was brought into the family. He wants Michelle to have a choice about the family.”

Carmen didn’t like the intrusion from Ray, but she was well aware that Danny respected Ray. Whatever had been said between the cousins, Danny was still thinking about the consequences. “Danny, perhaps if Ray was given the protector role; the collar around his neck wouldn’t be so tight.”

“I’m sure he means well.”

“Sometimes I wonder if his service to God is more of a prison than the refuge he swears by. It is clear to me that Ray has some unresolved issues with the family. He was born into the family and doesn’t want to be a Santos.”

“Carmen, Ray’s faith in God is the driving force behind what he is preaching. He is afraid that the deceit may cost me a beautiful relationship with Michelle.”

“Daniel, are you considering telling Michelle about the family before the wedding?”

“Yes I am. I don’t want to waste one second of time that God has given me with her. I know that I love her and in time she will love me. I have to trust my feelings.  I have to believe in something that I can’t see.”

“Danny, we usual see then believe in the evidence.”

“Well mother this time; I am taking a leap of faith.”

“Danny, I am meeting my contact at the hospital today and I assume I am to continue with the medical school options.”

“Definitely, we will plan for the worst scenario. If all goes our way, we won’t have to show our hands.”

Returning to the house, Danny and Carmen were comfortable again with each other. Ray and Olga knew the routine of the two. The separate walks and heated discussions produced a peaceful environment. The subject of conversation had no doubt been about Michelle.

Ray gave the small ice chest to Danny.

“Ray, what is this for?”

“Cousin, Olga put a couple of cans of ginger ale and ice in the chest for Michelle. Here is a package of saltine crackers and some plastic bags for the trip into the city.  I don’t think Aunt Carmen would want any gastric contents in her car.  I assume that Carmen is here to oversee the project.”

“Why Ray thank you for seeing to the details. It is nice to have you to put God’s blessing on the project.” Danny smiled at the two knowing that it was time to stop the verbal duel.

“I’m going to see if Michelle is ready. Ray, why don’t you take the chest out with Carmen?”

Michelle had the big white towel wrapped around her body. She had another towel in her hands drying the long wet curls. She was flipping her head up when she saw the black leather shoes. Funny how the first thing she saw the night they met was the shoes. She moved her foot next to his foot to see the difference in the size. His foot had to be twice the size of her foot.

“Michelle what are you doing?”

“I was looking at the size of your feet.”

Laughing at what she said. “And why would you be interested in the size of my feet?”

“I’m not going to tell you if you don’t know.”

“You know something that I don’t know?”

“Forget it, you don’t want to know.”

“Yes, I do want to know.”

“It’s a girl talk thing.”

“Michelle, come on I want you to tell me.”

“Have you ever heard about the comparison of the size of the man’s shoe to the size of his you know?”

“Michelle, you are asking for it. We can cancel the appointment, get rid of some people and have some fun. Come on just say the word, ” after he had wrapped both arms around her towel wrapped body.

“I was only looking at your feet but I say the old tale is true.”

Basking in the pride of his manhood, Danny promised Michelle a private viewing. “Get dressed quickly, Carmen has offered her car in case you get sick. Olga is sending ginger ale and crackers in a first aid kit.”

The black Mercedes had been turned around in the driveway and the chauffeur opened the back door for Danny and Michelle. She had prayed for a quite entrance into the hospital. The Tower, which housed the doctor’s offices, was connected to the ER entrance. The three walked through the sliding automatic doors into the atrium. Carmen reminded Danny that she would catch up with them later.  Michelle turned to face the elevator when she heard her name being called.

“Michelle Bauer, wait up a minute.”

The voice was familiar. “Fletcher Reade, what are you doing here on a Sunday morning?”

“My son Ben fell out off the skateboard this morning. He is waiting to have an x-ray done.”

“Gosh, I’m sorry to hear that.”

“I wish your Dad or Rick had been here to take care of him.  Speaking of Ed, when is he coming back to Springfield?”

“Dad was in Africa but the war in the Balkans created another burden on the Doctor’s Without Borders. So he extended his tour of duty. Fletcher, I forgot my manners. This is Danny Santos. Danny, Fletcher is a friend of my real mother-Claire Ramsey and my father.” Both men shook hands. The elevator door opened with Danny holding the door for Michelle to enter. “Please say hello to Ben and I’ll check to see if you are both here when I leave.”

The door of the hospital chapel was closed when Carmen walked into the candle lit room. Sitting on the pew was Dr. Andersen; he had the manila envelope in his hand. Removing the contents from the folder, Carmen had Michelle’s transcript in her hand. She held a second place ranking in her class. Carmen was beginning to grasp all the positives a woman like Michelle would bring to the Santos family. Inside the folder was the request for a temporary withdrawal application. The form was completed and signed by Dr. Andersen. Michelle’s signature would finalize the process. At her discretion, she could resume her classes at any time. An assistant would be available with classroom assignments and all the professors had agreed to allow her access to their lectures. Carmen was pleased with Dr. Andersen and pulled the certified check from her purse. The check was designated for AIDS research foundation at the university. Dr.Andersen had suggested the choice because Michelle had created a garden at the hospital in memory of those that had died from the disease. The completed work opened the door enabling Michelle to make a decision to go to Puerto Rico.

In Dr.Sedgwick’s office, Michelle changed into the gown for the pelvic exam. Danny waited outside talking with Dr. Sedgwick. Dr. Sedgwick had reviewed the lab results with him after he had affirmed his involvement with Michelle. A brief recounting of Michelle’s irregular menstrual history and the difficulty in using the pills had been a sure set-up for a pregnancy. The mild dosage of the BC pills and the skipped pills had resulted in this pregnancy. The pelvic exam would verify the changes in the uterus and ovaries. Dr. Sedgwick suggested Danny wait in the outer office. They would be finished shortly and he could rejoin them in her office.

Dr. Sedgwick came into the exam room. “Michelle this will take a few minutes. Your friend outside is certainly concerned about you. I showed him the lab report. The high hormone levels indicate a pregnancy. I am surprised the levels are this high so soon.” With the completion of the exam, Dr. Sedgwick removed the gloves. Patting Michelle on the knee, “you can get dressed.” Michelle slipped back into her jeans and sweater. The Birkenstock sandals made the escape from the exam room quicker.

Danny was waiting in the office with Dr. Sedgwick. The chair closest to Dr. Sedgwick’s desk was vacant. She sat in the chair and positioned her hands underneath her thighs to hide her shaking hands. Michelle saw the package of materials and free samples of multivitamins and iron sitting on the desk. “Michelle, you are pregnant. My guess is at least three weeks. I have written a prescription  to help with the nausea. I don’t like to medicate unless necessary because of all the fetal development in the first trimester. Generally, the nausea and vomiting gradually disappears after a couple of weeks. I suggest small light meals. Since you are vegetarian, you will probably need to eat more frequently.  If the nausea and vomiting becomes excessive, I want you to come to the ER for replacement fluids. The fluids seem to stabilize the phase. Now, my guess the due date is around February 14 but future sonograms will determine the baby’s actual due date. This of course is assuming you don’t have plans on other options.  I don’t as a rule talk about my own experiences but I will share this with you, Michelle. I had my first child when I was in my first year of residency. It wasn’t easy but it can be done. The hospital has 24 hour child care now. Today, it is so much easier on the professional mother.”

Danny was beginning to squirm in his seat, as he hadn’t planned on the OB-GYN to be so forthright with Michelle. Danny spoke, “ I think that Michelle and I need to discuss all of this in more detail. I am of the old school. When the baby comes I want the baby to be cared for in my home.”

“I agree that both of you need to make your own decisions. Michelle, do you have any questions?”

“Yes, I do but it has to do with how you managed your medical residency and caring for the baby. Can we meet one day for coffee in the hospital cafeteria?”

“Sure, we can, Michelle.”

Carmen was sitting in the waiting room when Danny and Michelle emerged from Dr. Sedgwick’s private office. Carmen saw the samples of the vitamins and the booklets in Michelle’s hand, which had already answered her question. Carmen picked up the yellow folder and slipped it to Danny. “Everything has been taken care of in the insurance department. You only need Michelle’s signature on the form.”

Assuming the form was some insurance form, Michelle said, “why don’t I sign the form now?” Danny opened the folder and pulled the form out requiring her signature. Without giving the form a second glance except to see that she was giving permission for information to be released. She signed her name B. Michelle Bauer and dated the form. Unknowing , she had withdrawn from medical school for medical reasons. Danny returned the form to the envelope and kept the papers close to his body.

Smiling at Carmen, Danny gave her a kiss on her cheek. “Thank you.”

Carmen removed the ring from her right hand and slipped the object into his hand. He took the ring and put it into his pants pocket. “I guess we are ready to go.”

“Honey, are you ready?”

“Yes, I am but I would like to stop by the ER to see Fletcher.  I want to see how his son made out.”

“Sure, we can do that.”

The elevator was prompt in returning the three passengers to the ground level. Danny allowed the two women to exit first. Carmen excused herself when she saw her chauffeur in the atrium. “Renaldo and I will wait for you two in the parking garage.”

Michelle walked over to a nurse, which she knew. “Grace, do you know if a young boy Benjamin Reade has left the ER yet?”

“Hi Michelle, he just got his cast put on and they are waiting to see if the cast will have to be trimmed before he leaves. He and his father are in the cast room.”

“Danny, do you want to go in with me to see Benjamin?”

“Sure, I’ll go.” They found Benjamin and Fletcher in the cast room.

“Hi Benjamin, I see you have one of the new blue cast. Your Dad told me the skateboard won this morning. Has anyone signed the cast yet? Can I put my name on your cast?” Benjamin moved his head up and down indicating it was OK.

“Michelle, I can’t tell you how nice it is to see a Bauer face in here. It is always reassuring. I guess your babysitting days are over. Huh?”

“Daddy, is this my Michelle?”

“This is your Michelle.”

“I remember when she taught me how to do cannon balls in the pool.”

“Let me go out to the desk and get one of the markers.”

Looking up at Danny, Benjamin asked, “Mister, are you Michelle’s boyfriend?”

Danny smiled at the young boy. “You could say that I may be just one of her boyfriends. You did this catching some air on your board.”

“Yep, I did, mister.”

“Why don’t you call me Danny?”

“Danny who?”

“Santos.”

“Have you ever kissed Michelle?”

Laughing at his small competion, Danny answered, “Yes, I have.”

Michelle came back into the room with the marker in her hand. “Where do you want me to put my name?”

“Right here on top.”

Michelle drew a heart on the cast and signed Michelle inside the heart. “Is it ok if Danny signs the cast to?”

Danny took the marker and wrote + Danny. Danny’s cell phone rang and the reception was filled with static. Danny told Michelle he had to go outside to hear the call.

After Danny left the room, Fletcher asked Michelle if this was a serious relationship with Danny. “Michelle, I didn’t know you were seeing anyone. I guess we all thought that Bill Lewis was the guy in waiting.”

“Bill and I have been friends so long. It was always a best friend thing. I haven’t known Danny that long. We met one night at Y2K and our relationship did move very fast. His family is from Chicago. He went to school back east at Princeton and Harvard. Danny works for the family business.  It is some kind of security and import business. Have you ever heard of San Corporation? I’m dying to find out from Phillip Spaulding about the business. I keep missing my brother to ask for me.”

“Michelle, the company doesn’t advertise in the newspaper so I have to assume the business is an international one. He seems like a nice enough guy to me. I’ll give you a call if I hear anything.” Taking his notepad out, Fletcher wrote down the name Danny Santos-San Corporation (Securities and Import). Michelle placed a kiss on Benjamin’s cheek and said goodbye to both. She left the ER to go and find Danny.

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