Chapter 5

Kim endured more painful days of waiting and worrying. She was going crazy anticipating news of hopeful improvement.

It was Saturday afternoon and her cell rang. Kim didn't recognize the number but she answered the call anyway.

"Hello?"

'Hi Kim, it's Angela Higgins," a cheerful voice said from the other end.

"Hi Angela," Kim said. "How are you?"

"Who cares about me!?" She laughed. "Guess who's home?"

"Really?" Kim said with excitement, jumping up from the chair.

"My parents brought him home a couple of hours ago," Angela reported. "They said it's truly a miracle. His platelets are up, his liver and kidney functions are normal, he's off oxygen and now he's home sleeping in his own bed."

"Fantastic!" Kim squealed.

"He's not out of the woods yet," Angela warned. "He's still on antibiotics and he's going to have to do some physical therapy and have some follow up x-rays and stuff. He's weak and still kind of out of it but at least he's home."

"When can I come over?"

"My mom says tomorrow afternoon," Angela replied. "Two o'clock."

"I'll be there," Kim vowed. "Thanks for letting me know, Angie."

"I figured you'd appreciate it," Angela laughed.

Kim spent a lot of time on her make up Sunday afternoon. She put on an attractive dress, fixed her hair up, and tried not to be nervous when she drove over to Rawley's house. How was he going to look? Would he be happy to see her? Would he be changed from his illness? Suddenly, Kim felt nervous and awkward. Had his siblings told him that she wanted to be his girlfriend? What if all of a sudden he wasn't interested in her in that way following his near death experience?

Mrs. Higgins answered the door and she smiled when she saw the spruced up Kim standing on the porch.

"Where's Helen?" Kim asked, caught off guard.

"She deserved to go home and rest," Mrs. Higgins laughed. "Come in, Kim. "We're having roast beef at three. Go upstairs and say hi to Rawley. First door on the right."

"Is he okay?" Kim worried.

"He's getting better," Mrs. Higgins said with a reassuring smile.

Kim chewed on her lip for a moment before slowly walking up the stairs. The door to the bedroom was open and she stuck her head inside the room. Angela was in a chair and Hannah was sitting on the end of the bed.

"Oh, you're girlfriend's here!" Hannah giggled.

Rawley looked lost in the bed. He was weak and had clearly lost weight. His color hadn't returned yet. His eyes looked vacant.

"Hello, George," Kim said.

"George?" Hannah asked with confusion. "His name is Rawley."

"Hello Emily," Rawley replied, his voice scratched and weak.

"I thought her name was Kim," Hannah said with confusion, glancing at Angela. "What's going on?"

"Our Town," Angela explained, getting out of her chair and taking Hannah by her hand. "Come on, let's give them a few minutes of privacy."

The two sisters left the room and Kim took a seat on the edge of Rawley's bed. "That was way too much drama for me," she let him know.

"Yeah," Rawley agreed.

"Do you remember much?" She asked.

"Not really," he admitted.

"Did you have any naked dreams?" She grinned.

Rawley looked at her blankly.

"Never mind," she said, waving her hand. "Inside joke."

"I had more than the flu," Rawley told her.

Kim saw his script for Our Town sitting on his desk. She got off the bed and went and got it.

"I'm going to read this to you," She announced, returning to the bed.

"I think I just lived it," Rawley replied.

"Me too," she said seriously as she opened the script to the first page.

"This play is called "Our Town." It was written by Thornton Wilder; produced and directed by Mrs. Simmons. The name of the town is Grover's Corners, New Hampshire just across the Massachusetts line: latitude 42 degrees 40 minutes; longitude 70 degrees 37 minutes. The First Act shows a day in our town. The day is May 7, 1901. The time is just before dawn. A rooster crows. The sky is beginning to show some sneaks of light over in the East there, behind our mount'in. The morning star always gets wonderful bright the minute before it has to go, doesn't it? Well, I'd better show you how our town lies. Up here That is: parallel with the back wall. is Main Street. Way back there is the railway station; tracks go that way. Polish Town's across the tracks, and some Canuck families. Toward the left. Over there is the Congregational Church; across the street's the Presbyterian. Methodist and Unitarian are over there. Baptist is down in the holla' by the river. Catholic Church is over beyond the tracks. Here's the Town Hall and Post Office combined; jail's in the basement. Bryan once made a speech from these very steps here. Along here's a row of stores. Hitching posts and horse blocks in front of them. First automobile's going to come along in about five years belonged to Banker Cartwright, our richest citizen . . . lives in the big white house up on the hill. Here's the grocery store and here's Mr. Morgan's drugstore. Most everybody in town manages to look into those two stores once a day. Public School's over yonder. High School's still farther over. Quarter of nine mornings, noontimes, and three o'clock afternoons, the hull town can hear the yelling and screaming from those schoolyards. This is our doctor's house, Doc Gibbs*. This is the back door. Two arched trellises, covered with vines and flowers, are pushed out, one by each proscenium pillar. There's some scenery for those who think they have to have scenery. This is Mrs. Gibbs' garden. Corn . . . peas . . . beans . . . hollyhocks . . . heliotrope . . . and a lot of burdock. Crosses the stage. In those days our newspaper come out twice a week the Grover's Corners Sentineland this is Editor Webb's house. And this is Mrs. Webb's garden. Just like Mrs. Gibbs', only it's got a lot of sunflowers, too.. Right here . . .'s a big butternut tree. Nice town, y'know what I mean? Nobody very remarkable ever come out of it, s'far as we know. The earliest tombstones in the cemetery up there on the mountain say 1670-1680 they're Grovers and Cartwrights and Gibbses and Herseys same names as are around here now. Well, as I said: it's about dawn. The only lights on in town are in a cottage over by the tracks where a Polish mother's just had twins. And in the Joe Crowell house, where Joe Junior's getting up so as to deliver the paper. And in the depot, where Shorty Hawkins is getrin' ready to flag the 5:45 for Boston. A train whistle is heard. Naturally, out in the country all around there've been lights on for some time, what with milkin's and so on. But town people sleep late. So another day's begun. There's Doc Gibbs comin' down Main Street now, comin' back from that baby case. And here's his wife comin' downstairs to get breakfast."

Kim lifted her eyes from the script and glanced at Rawley who was staring at her with fascination.

"What is it, George?" She smiled.

"I'm glad you're in Our Town," he said.

"I've had George on my mind since the day you got sick," She remarked.

"George who?" Rawley wondered.

"George YOU!" She smiled.