Betrayal Has a Name: Conclusion
My problem is that I always feel something is there, even when I’ve lost it. My leg. My beautiful leg Jonathan always groped and tickled, just right under the knee- is now gone. I am told to be grateful I still have my piano fingers. But I have no leg and I am in awful pain.
Alista pushed herself up in the bed, just as Patsy, Jonathan and Coby walked into her room. In that order. Her mom, Patricia Michaels stood up, erect, dignified. Nodded at each friend briefly. “Please. Make it short. She needs her rest.” Adjusting her heavy pewter coat with white fur lining the hood, Alista’s mom walked out the room. Her heels clicking hard. The sound of importance and success. Alista only hoped to be like her someday. Unaffected by life, taking charge as problems come.
“Hey baby,” Jonathan leaned down. Kissed her lips gently. She couldn’t feel it. Her lips were too dry and cracked. Noticing her discomfort, he poured her some water from the pitcher on the side table and added the short, tiny white straw. “Drink.”
She sipped a little as he stroked her hair, telling her he missed her and asking about her health and did she dream of pianos.
Meanwhile she caught the faint surprise on Patsy’s childlike face. That brown, beautiful face of a cherub. But her eyes held a shine. Tears. “Oh, Alista!” She came over and leaned down on Alista. Patsy’s soft body smelled just like Jonathan’s arm. Baby powder and Dove soap. “Hi! Are you okay? I am so, so sorry!”
“I miss my leg.” Alista said. “I would borrow yours, but you have incredibly short, turtle ones. I’ll manage.”
“Still find time to crack jokes, huh?” Jonathan stepped back from Alista as Coby narrowed his eyes at everyone. Alista waved her hand. She knew Jonathan hated how she picked on Patsy. Ever since high school Patsy was just easy to like and tease at the same time. She couldn’t help it.
“I have to. I’ve been in an accident on my way to perform.” She took Coby’s offered hand. He kissed the back of hers.
“You are a perfectionist, Sweetheart.” Coby’s handsome pierced face and blue eyes shone with affection for her. Alista loved her childhood friend. Suddenly she wish they could start that band he’s been meaning to put together.
But Alista wanted to make sure she wasn’t dreaming. Jonathan’s eyes usually soft for her, were now hard. With concern or…something else?
Patsy appeared skittish as usual. Such a shy kitten. But Alista could see clearly that Jonathan was protective of their little friend.
“When I said break a leg,” Coby began. “I was only joking.”
“You know I always took your advice.”
“How does your body feel? I mean. Are you going to be alright?” Patsy asked her.
“What’s crazy is I think I feel my leg.”
“What?” Patsy asked touching the railing. “What do you mean?”
“Phantom limb effect I believe. Remember in psychology class? When the teacher talked about losing a limb but still having the feeling that it’s there?”
“Oh, yeah.” Patsy and Jonathan said at the same time.
“Anyway,” Alista ran her hand down the severed limb part. Grateful the blanket was covering her. “It may be gone, but I still feel it.” She paused and sat her cup down. “We lose something and still feel it is there. Now it hurts more now that it is gone, than if I had it. Doctors said it had to be done.”
“Wow,” Patsy bit her bottom lip. “It had to be done to rescue you from worse hurt you know.”
“Yeah. You wouldn’t be with us, otherwise.” Jonathan shifted, placed his hands in his pockets. “It must be done.”
“I keep thinking,” Alista sat up even more. Slightly grimacing as everyone leaned in closer to hear what she had to say. “I keep thinking, maybe if they could have left it on. I can walk on crutches you know?”
“You would still suffer,” Jonathan offered. “Why have something that is crippling you. Why would anyone want that? Plus, you are here. You needed to be cut out from that car.”
“You sound insensitive. Why would anyone want their leg cut?” Coby interjected.
“No one wants it,” Patsy glanced at Jonathan’s face. “But if something is not working or if it can rescue you from a world of debilitation and pain. Why keep it?”
Alista shook her head. Coby suddenly took her hand again while Jonathan’s remained in his front pockets, but his eyes still loved her. In whatever form it was conveying. It had to be love.
Yes, it was still there.
Copyright 2017 Erica Jean Smith