ALBANYVILLE GENERAL HOSPITAL
so we meet again," Fred smiled as he approached
what are you doing at the hospital today? I hope it's not another meeting
of the old crows club."
"No, not at
all." Francis couldn't help but smile at his remarks concerning the
ladies auxiliary. Since her separation from Charles, she couldn't help but
notice the shallow nature of the organization. "Actually, I'm
volunteering in the children's ward today. I figured that they wouldn't
know enough to gossip behind my back."
"Good call," he
chuckled as he laid a stack of files down onto the desk at the nurses'
station. "I think all those tykes are concerned with is whether they
can have a bowl of ice cream or not. You're looking especially lovely
"Thank you, Dr.
Rutherford." She lowered her head slightly to cover her embarrassment.
She wasn't quite used to such flattering comments from near strangers.
"I thought I told you to
call me Fred." He gently laid a hand on her shoulder. "I
don't think it's quite right that friends should be so formal."
"Friends? I wasn't
aware that was exactly what we were." Francis tilted her head
slightly as she spoke. He was very handsome and had been very supportive
of her. However, could she allow herself to be swayed by his charms?
She was still a married woman, after all.
"I was hoping that was
exactly what were." Fred eyed her closely and slipped his hand down
to grab hold of hers. "Actually, I was hoping we could be more."
"I-I don't know.
It's too soon." She quickly looked away. He was very charming
and his attention was quite flattering. "I-I'm still married.
This separation is still too fresh."
"Francis, why are you so
intent on holding onto a man who clearly has chosen another woman over
you." He drew her attention back to him and gazed deeply into her
eyes. "Quite a foolish and incomprehensible decision, I might
add. Your husband has clearly lost his mind to cast you aside so
Francis listened closely to
his words. In many regards, he was right. Why should she continue to
hold on to her love for Charles when he clearly didn't want anything to do with
her? He'd taken 23 years of marriage and just cast them and her aside for
some tawdry fling with Annabelle. She realized she couldn't forget that,
but knew she had to move past it. She had to put Charles and his betrayal
behind her and look towards her future.
"Francis, just give me a
chance." He pulled her close to him as he continued to look into her
eyes. "Let me show you that I can make you feel good about yourself
again. Please agree to a date with me."
"I-I guess I don't see
what harm that could do," she stammered. "Yes, Fred, I'll agree
to go out with you. Just as friends, though. I don't think I'm ready
for anything more."
"I understand. I
hope that when you are ready, you'll see how much I have to offer you. I
hope that it will be me you chose to help you move forward in your
life." He watched her closely and prayed that she would come
to think of him as her future. He knew his future depended on it.