When Love Comes Along.byGrey Eagle 286©
Bob Murphy sat in the waiting room in the R.P.M. Cancer Clinic and watched the young mother and her son. It tugged at Bob's heart to see the 6 or 7 year old boy looking at a fishing magazine and excitedly point out different pictures to his mother. The thing that tore at his heart was the frailness of the child and the totally bald head. The boy looked up at him and smiled, then pointed at him, "Look Mommy, he is just like me." The beautiful mother tried to apologize for her son but Bob held up his hand and stopped her.
"Why, yes son, we look just like twins." He grinned and continued. "I am Bob. What is your name, young man?"
The boy grinned, "My name is Willy Two, William Gordon the second. Do you like fishing?"
"I sure do Willy Two. I love fishing, do you go very often?"
"No Sir, I have never gone fishing. I have always been too sick to go. We hope that this treatment will let me be strong enough to go. I love to read about it though and I watch all the fishing shows on TV."
"Willy, I am a very lucky man, I live on a boat, and own several fishing boats. I promise that when you are strong enough I will take you fishing." Bob reached in his jacket pocket and took out a card case, he handed a card to Willy's mother. "Here is my card. Please stay in touch and I will see that he goes fishing."
The mother looked at the card and smiled, "Robert Patrick Murphy? I thought you looked familiar, you used to live on Fort King didn't you?"
Bob looked puzzled, "I don't think I remember you, who are you?"
"I am Bill Gordon's daughter, Mary Anne Gordon."
"Mary Anne! Lord girl, have you ever changed! I would have never recognized you."
"Yes, Mr. Bob, I am 150 pounds lighter now."
"Hey! It's just plain Bob, girl. Where are you living now, are you still with your mom and dad?"
"No. I, er, ah, live with a friend."
Bob looked at her sharply; he noticed a tear trickle down the girl's pretty cheek. He noticed there was no ring on her finger. "How can you work and care for my buddy Willy?" He watched another tear slip down the other cheek.
"Sniff, I can't. I may have to turn him over to Child Welfare. I am homeless and broke."
"I'll never let that happen! Won't your mom and dad help you?"
"No, they kicked me out when I got pregnant. I haven't seen them in seven years. I had a job but the little company I worked for went broke about a year ago. My unemployment ran out, I lost my car and my apartment a week ago when I couldn't make my payments. Food Stamps won't pay for a place to stay. I have applied for more help but it hasn't come through yet. I have been staying in a friend's garage but it is about four miles from here and it is a long walk for us. I have to carry Willy most of the way. I had a wagon I pulled him in and someone stole that! Sob!"
A very large black man wearing a black suit and cap approached Bob and saluted, "Sir, the tire is fixed if you are ready to go now."
"No, Jason, I haven't seen the doctor yet. He had some sort of emergency." Bob looked at Mary Anne and Willy. He said, "Jason this is Miss Mary and Master Willy, please take them to get her things. They are going to be staying with us for a while. Call your sweet wife and tell her to prepare two adjoining cabins for them please. Pick me up when you get her things."
Mary Anne said, "We can't impose on ---."
"Hush girl, you and Willy need a place where he can be comfortable and where you can get a chance to get on your feet. I'm too tired and grouchy to listen to any excuses, just go with Jason."
Bob watched them leave and got up and walked to the main desk. The receptionist looked up and did a double take. "Mr. Murphy! Dr. Northrop is not free yet, Sir."
"Is the Director of Pediatrics, Dr. Quaid, available?"
"He is in his office, let me see if he is available." The woman turned and picked up a phone and spoke for a moment before she turned and smiled. "Dr. Quaid said to send you right in."
Bob started down the hall and saw a tall thin man in a white jacket step out of a door just past the door to the office. He smiled, "Hey, Bob, come on in and have a seat. How can I help you?"
"I have an interest in one of your patients, a Willy Gordon, are you familiar with his case?"
"Yes I am. I wish there were a way we could do more for him and his mother than we can. His prognosis is not good. He really needs a kidney transplant. As you well know, we do not have the capability of doing that here. He has a large tumor in the right kidney a small one in the left. He only has a few months without a transplant. He is a good candidate and is on the list for a kidney but there are quite a few ahead of him. The mother can't afford to pay for a good hospital even if we had a donor. She has no insurance and is out of work. I have tried every Children's Hospital in the country without any luck. They are all back logged with several months of waiting time for him."
Bob said, "Jack, you have a look in your eye that says there may be a way. Tell me what you are thinking."
"OK! The best guy in the world is in Tampa and I have told him about Willy and the possibility of a donor being available. He said he would do a double transplant if he had his way. He uses a Da Vinci robot that he has had modified to use smaller tools for use on kids. This guy is the best and he is willing to do if for free if we can get a donor. I think we may have one coming up here shortly. The family wants to sell the organs to the highest bidder."
"Is that legal?"
"Don't ask! Off the record, it is possible. I have no way to come up with that kind of money. Miss Gordon certainly doesn't have it so I haven't pursued it."
"Listen Jack, check it out for me. Get a figure and let me know as soon as you can. Don't get yourself in trouble, OK?"
"Right, Bob! Keep your fingers crossed."
Bob stood, and at 41 years of age he was an imposing figure at 6' 4" and 290 pounds with scarcely an ounce of fat on him. He was a couple of pounds lighter than normal. The treatments for his lung cancer had him off of his normal routine of exercise and power walking and he didn't have much of an appetite. This, combined with extensive travel to Japan and China on business, plus a phobia about surgery had delayed a much needed operation on his lung.
He stopped at the desk and was told that Dr. Northrope would contact him later by phone. He walked into the waiting room and sat back down. He picked up the magazine that the boy, Willy, had been reading. He was looking at the pages but he only saw the boy and his mother. He took out his cell phone and pressed a speed dial number. He listened to the recorded answer and said, "Pat, Honey, Bob Murphy here, I need your services. Are you there."
"BOB, Sweetheart, it has been months, how are you. Did you have your operation yet?"
"No, not yet, soon though! Listen, I have a project for your talents. I have a young mother moving in with me. She will be on the boat when I have visitors and she literally has nothing to wear. She will need everything from the skin out. Do it right! OK?"
"Bob, are you in love with her?"
"NO! She is down on her luck and was a neighbor years ago. I was very fond of her when she was a very fat child who had a wonderful personality and a very inquisitive mind and loved to go everywhere with me if I would let her."
"Damn! I was praying you were over Cathy and were in love again."
"I'm over that bitch but I don't have the time or inclination for romance right now. If I need sex I buy it. I think this girl will need a few things to wear when I entertain. She is pretty active, she is tough too. I know she had been walking four miles each way to the cancer clinic, carrying her 6 year old son most of the way."
"Bob, do you want me to bill you or is the old card I have still good. Let me look. Here it is. The expiration date is a year off."
"Use that card, Honey. It has a $25,000.00 limit on it. If it is alright, I will have Jason bring her over about a half an hour from now. I plan on taking the boy with me to the boat. And Oh! Have her get new cloths for him too, OK?"
"Bob, I haven't heard you so excited about anything in years. Are you that attached to the boy?"
"Sugar, the lad is so bright and cheerful it is hard to believe he is dying. I am not going to let that happen if I can help it. At the very least I am going to try and fulfill all his dreams before he goes. Sniff."
"Bob, Honey, take care of number one too! If you are taking responsibility for this child's life you better be around to do it."
"Yeah! I hadn't thought of it that way. I'll think about that, talk to ya later. Love ya, bye!" Bob looked up and saw Jason entering the waiting room and he rose and walked over to meet the huge man.
"Everything go OK?"
"Yeah Boss, that po' lil' gal don't have much. She has a bed and a TV and some other stuff I'll have to go back with a truck and get it. I didn't wanna try an' put it in the limo. Other than that she had just what she could carry."
"Does she seem happy with me taking them home with me?"
"Oh hell yes, Boss. She tickled to death, she don't have any idea 'bout how much money you got. She was worried 'bout you havin' 'nough room for them on 'Tach'. She wanted to know if I worked fo' a Limo Service. She is sho' a sweet lil' thing, an' loves that boy to death. They was all excited 'bout ridin' in the limo too."
"Ok Jason we will head for Miss Pat's place, we are going to drop the mother off and you can take the boy and I to 'Tach' then wait for Miss Pat to call you to come and get Miss Mary."
It was 5:30 and Bob and Willy were watching a fishing show on the huge flat screen TV when Mary Anne rushed into the Salon and hurried to her son. Willy pushed her away when she tried to hug and kiss him. "Mom! We're trying to watch this show! Mr. Bob knows most of the people in this show. He knows lots about fishin'. Oh Momma wait 'till I show our cabins. Come on, you have to see!" He grabbed her hand and dragged her across the room and down a hallway to an open door. "This is your room, oops! I mean cabin. Mine is right in here. There is a door between them through the bathroom, oops! Head."
Mary turned and looked at Bob who was right behind them. She threw her hands in the air. "I can't believe this, this is no boat, it's a damned ship, and it's humongous. I saw four men aboard, how big is the crew?"
Bob said, "In port like this there are always three to six aboard in three shifts. Three at night and six during the day, unless we have company, then there can be up to twenty. I think I am going to give you the job of coordinating all of this crew business. You will also be the hostess if we have company. You will have lots of help until you get the hang of it. Did you get some pretty things today?"
"Oh My God! We bought enough for three girls. Expensive stuff too! I have never had such beautiful things, how can I ever thank you, Bob?"
"Just do a good job and take care of Willy. We have a dinner for 8 coming up on Saturday night. You learn everything you can from the stewards and the cooks. We have these things several times a month. I am invited to parties and things every week, I decline most of them but when it is one I really need to attend you will be my date, OK?
"Pat and another girl take turns going with me from time to time. It's not a bad deal for them, I pay for a new outfit each time and give then 500 bucks too!"
"Where can I see the people that work for you on the boat?"
"The ones you need to see will be here to serve us dinner tonight. They serve three meals a day. They leave to go to the markets, do shopping, between meals and do other chores. Some of the maids and the galley help are here doing cleaning and food prep work. You'll pick it all up pretty quickly. When you figure it all out, you are free to change things around if you want to. I have an office in town too. Ten people work there. My Executive Assistant is someone you need to meet. You will be doing a lot of coordinating with her. Her name is Megan Andrews and is a real sweetheart."
"I hope everyone is as nice as Jason. He was very sweet to us today."
"Well," replied Bob, "You are going to meet his brother, wife, and sister too. Suzy, his sister will be your bodyguard, driver and companion/assistant. George, the brother, will be Willy's 'manny'. He is a retired pediatric RN, he loves kids. All four of them are highly trained professional bodyguards and are always armed. George and Suzy are a brother and sister. They also a couple. They have been lovers since they were teens and they like it that way."
Mary laughed, "I know of several couples that way. As long as they are consenting adults it doesn't bother me. While we are on the subject, I need to tell you about Willy's father. I have no idea of who he is. I went to a party. Drank nothing but lemonade, passed out and woke up in the morning, no longer a virgin, and naked in a strange garage. You know the rest, Daddy wanted me to abort the baby but I couldn't do that, so he kicked me out. I got a good job and Willy and I did great for five years. Then everything hit at once, Willy got sick, I lost my job and everything. This morning I was resigned to losing Willy or becoming a prostitute." She laughed, "That would have been a joke, I am virtually a virgin, the only sex I ever had, I slept through! I think of myself as 'the virgin Mary'."
Bob looked at Mary, "I can't believe your dad threw you out like that."
"I have heard that he regretted doing it, but I don't think he ever tried to find me. I never hid from anyone, my friends found me easily enough, Bob, you look a bit tired, why don't you take a nap while Willy is taking one?"
Mary wandered around and explored the yacht. She met and became acquainted with several of the crew. She stepped out on the large stern deck and saw four large black people boarding the vessel. She smiled when she recognized Jason and greeted him. Jason introduced her to his wife, Samantha, his brother, George, and their sister, Suzy. Mary told the group she was delighted to meet all of them. She said she was going to really need their help and patience as she learned her duties and responsibilities on the boat. "I think I will be working very closely with each of you. Samantha, I think you are the head of the culinary department and I was just told by Mr. Bob that I am responsible for how the parties and dinners turn out. I don't even know how to turn on a gas stove and I have only cooked for my son and myself. Suzy, I am told you are my bodyguard /driver /assistant, AND my 'companion'." She laughed and said, "I don't have a car. I have never needed a bodyguard or any of your other jobs, so good luck."
Suzy took Mary's hand, "Miss Mary, you have never been a part of a very wealthy man's family before. It puts you and your son at risk from kidnappers and other nuts that have perceived grudges against our wonderful boss. Mr. Bob owns several cars and he will either buy you a new one or give you the Rolls or the new Towncar. I hope you get the Rolls, I love that ride. I will help you in any way you want me to. I hope we will be real friends. I can't wait to meet your son and George is looking forward to that too. Right Honey?"
The other huge man said, "You got that right, I understand he is undergoing treatment for cancer. Where is it located in his body?"
Mary sadly said, "In both kidneys. He has a large tumor in his right kidney and a small one in the left kidney. He is such a sweet and brave little guy, sob! I just don't know how he stands the pain and fear. God, I love him so!" Suzy took the weeping girl in her arms and held her tightly.
Suzy said, "Sweetheart, all of us, and Mr. Bob are going to do everything that needs to be done. Mr. Bob is the best man in the world to have helping you. He will move heaven and earth to help your baby boy." Suzy led Mary into the cabin and sat beside her on a large couch. The girl softly cried and cried while the black girl comforted her. Finally Mary sat up and wiped her eyes. The others, except for George, had left. Mary apologized for crying and Suzy told her she was being silly, she was entitled to a good cry now and then.
A booming voice yelled, "What's wrong?" Bob rushed to Mary, "Are you alright, why are you crying?"
Suzy calmly said, "Boss, this poor girl is scared to death for her boy. She has to let it all out now and then or she'll go crazy."
Bob lifted her from Suzy's arms, "Mary Anne Gordon you need to get a grip on yourself, you need to make a decision very quickly about Willy. A kidney donor is about to be available in the next few hours or days. I have everything ready to go, we need your approval for a double kidney transplant. I have one of the best surgeons in the country on standby in Tampa. I have a Learjet ready to go. Doctors are ready to remove the organs here. Willy, George, and you and I will travel together to Tampa with the kidneys. Suzy, and Jason will follow in separate cars and be ready to assist us. Oh! I am going to have the upper lobe of my lung removed the next morning. My assistant, Megan is on her way here with some paper work you need to sign."
Mary stared at Bob, her eyes wide, "They said that no donors were available and that the operation was impossibly expensive. What happened?"
"Do not worry your pretty little head about that, it all worked out."
She said, "What about you, how long have you needed this operation?"
"They told me eight months ago I needed to get it done. I have a terrible phobia about operations; but I figured that if Willy could do it, I could too. Mine is not as serious as his is. If you are going to approve his operation you need to pack a bag for a night or two. Suzy will give you a hand."
Mary looked at Bob. "Don't I need to pack for a few weeks?"
"No! When we leave, 'Tach', this little boat, will be right behind us. She will go south around the Keys and back North to Tampa. Willy and I will recover at home aboard her when we get out of the hospital. You and our motley crew will find a Motel until Tach arrives. You will stay aboard while we are in the hospital. Willy and I are going to be in the same room to recover until we can come home to 'Tach'."
"This is a silly time to wonder about this, but what does 'Tach' mean?"
"That's easy, 'Tach' is 'short' for tachometer. What does a 'tach' do? It measures the revolutions per minute a device is turning, or its RPM. MY initials are R.P.M., I guess it IS silly."
"No. it's cute, not silly. You have a very comfortable lap."
Bob moved his head and pressed his lips to her forehead, "You feel nice there too."
Mary looked up at him, "Be careful, Bobby, I have had a crush on you since I was thirteen years old."
"Oh yes! You have been my dream man forever."
The cell phone in Bob's pocket buzzed and Mary jumped up, "What in the world was that?"
Bob grinned, "You set off my vibrator, did it feel good?"
"Oh! I was just teasin' you, it was my cell phone you were sittin' on, now excuse me and let me answer the phone. ----"Hello! Hi! Pat. No. She hasn't shown me a thing except the cute little slack set she is wearing. You think she is do you? Really? Yeah, she just told me that. Yes I am thinking about it. I tried to take a nap but couldn't sleep for thinking about it. Well, at this minute she is sitting in my lap. No, I'm not kidding. Do you want to talk to her? OK here." Bob handed the phone to Mary.
"Hi Pat. I am still excited about all my new things. I haven't had a chance to model any of them for him yet. No, I didn't tell him about the makeover. Yes, Ma'am, I'll tell him when you finish talkin' to him. Yes, more and more every minute. OK, here he is." Mary smiled and handed the phone back to Bob.
"Yes Pat." Bob listened for a few minutes then looked at Mary, "She looks beautiful just the way she is. Let me check and get right back with you. Love ya too! Bye."