“My main office is there. We have a home there as well. A condo.” He pulls back the covers on one side of the bed, patting it for me to come and lie down. The giant bed looks like heaven. Not only that, but now he can lie down with me. In the hospital I wanted to be wrapped in his arms, but the bed was too small.
“Wait, do I work?” I suddenly realize that I might be letting people down.
“Your job is getting better.” He pats the bed again and I crawl over, getting under the blankets.
“Get in with me,” I demand, and he smirks.
“Eat and I will.” He walks toward the fireplace, picks up a tray I hadn’t seen, and brings it back to the bed. He sets it down next to me and I don’t know if I can.
“Eat and then maybe take a soak in the tub if you want.” I reach for a piece of cheese off one of the small plates. There’s a variety of things, which is good because I can’t remember my favorite foods. A long soak in a tub sounds nice.
“I’ll eat and then you’ll lie down with me,” I counter-offer, because being in his arms sounds better than the bath. I pause with the cheese right at my mouth and raise an eyebrow.
“Deal,” he agrees. As I take a bite, he slips his shoes off and starts to unbutton his shirt.
I forget about chewing as I watch him and this time he’s the one to pause. “Eat.”
I take another bite and he goes back to unbuttoning his shirt. I might not remember anything from before, but these new memories are perfect. Maybe a little too perfect.
“Now look over my left shoulder and try to hold still,” the doctor says while shining a light in my wife’s eye.
I’m seated in the corner of the room watching her check over my wife. Dr. Lula Eckhart graduated at the top of her class and residency at Johns Hopkins just under a year ago. There are hundreds of articles detailing why she’s one of the best neurologists in the country and I knew she was the one I wanted here to take care of Collins. It didn’t hurt that she didn’t have any children or family tying her to Chicago, and it was easy enough to convince her to come to the island and care for my bride.
“Any dizzy spells, blurred vision, loss of concentration?” Dr. Lula asks.
“Other than not knowing my name or where I am?” my wife jokes, and the doctor’s eyes soften.
“The mind is still such a complicated thing that unfortunately we don’t know everything about it. But like we talked about, it’s better that it comes back to you naturally than trying to force it.”
“I remembered something last night,” she offers, and her cheeks heat when she looks at me.
“My nickname,” I say, keeping my eyes on Collins.
Last night I stayed on top of the covers but still managed to wrap myself around her all night. I slept for a little while, and in that time it was peaceful. But when I woke up and she was on top of me, it was more than I could bear. I made an excuse about seeing the doctor first thing and got us both out of bed before something more could happen.
“That’s great,” Dr. Lula encourages. “Just take your time and do things together. The more you talk and share, the more your mind will have a chance to heal.” She squeezes Collins’s shoulder and smiles. “But it will come back.”
“Thank you, doctor.” I push up from my chair and hold out my hand for my wife. She takes it before she slides off the table and we exit the infirmary.
“Do I finally get that tour of the island now?” she asks, leaning into my side.
“Yes, and then we’ll get some breakfast.” I kiss the top of her head and close my eyes, trying to absorb every ounce of her I can. It’s not enough, but I have to be patient.
Just as we make our way to a row of golf carts, I spot X standing nearby with a scowl on his face.
“You go ahead and pick which one you want to ride in. I need to talk to my brother.” I kiss her hand before I let it go, and she smiles at me and walks over to the carts.
When I get to where X is standing, he looks over at me like he’s surprised I’m here. Did he not just watch me walk out of the building?
“What’s wrong with you?” I say, looking him up and down and seeing he’s visibly upset.
“A woman doctor? Really, Kade?” He clenches his fists then crosses and uncrosses his arms like he’s not comfortable in his skin. “We said no women, only wives. You’re ruining everything we’ve built.”