et La Commande á Chouette Creek Há´pital
by Andrea Lena DiMaggio
"Now, sweetheart, I want you to start counting, backward, from 100. Can you do that." I looked up at the doctor, who was smiling with her eyes, her mouth covered by her surgical mask. Everyone in the room seemed to be almost cheering me on. I started, One hundred, Ninety-Nine, Ninety-eight, ninety......"
"She's coming out of it... Oh, honey, are you okay. Let me get you some water. Don't mind me, I just am so glad that this is behind you." My beautful wife Constance looked down with tears in her eyes. She had come to her decision quickly to support me in my decision for the surgery.
"I just love you so much, and I can't think of any better way to be together if we're able to be and see and accept who we are. I married you because I love you. You are such a kind person; it's what drew me to you in the first place. And if this is the way you wish to be, then it's what I want as well."
She smiled once again and leaned over and kissed my forehead. I was still very groggy from the medication and the after-effects of the anesthesia. I almost felt like I died and went to heaven.
"Now you know it'll be a while before everything is how it should be, Toni." My doctor had come into the room and was hovering over the bed next to my wife like a mother hen.
"Healing takes a little time, but you'll find that everything will be okay very soon." She used her hand in a broad gesture to point to my body. The implants were slight, just enough to give me a nice appearance without rivaling my wife's; I didn't want to appear more endowed than her, preferring to let her be the looker in the family.
To finally be on the outside what I had always seen myself to be on the inside would be good enough. As they talked off to the side, I closed my eyes and pictured us sitting at the opera or a concert, both wearing stunning gowns, with long opera gloves and our hair up. Patrons would sit in their own boxes looking across the theater at the lovely women sitting in their seats, the most attractive women in the theater.
"A few days and we'll have you back in the office for an exam, sweetie," Dr. Elise Bon Secour said as she kissed my forehead; almost as a parting blessing before she left the room, leaving me alone with my wife. My teenage daughter Nancy came walking into the room. She had been crying, but there was a smile on her face.
"Momma, doesn't she look lovely; she's more beautiful than I could ever imagine." She said as she kissed me repeatedly on my cheeks.
"You were such a wonderful father, but you were so sad, and Momma and I were sad with you until you decided...well, look at you now. And to think I'll be blessed with the most attractive two mothers anyone could ever have. God bless you, Ma chá¨re má¨re" She kissed me again on the lips lightly like a daughter to her mother before embracing Constance once again before leaving.
"Oh, Toni, I love you so much, we'll have such a wonderful time when you come home. We can go shopping for some more clothes for your new wardrobe; but only if I can get some new outfits as well."
I closed my eyes and imagined the scene. The nicest corsetiere was only a few blocks from our home, and we would visit there and be fitted with exquisite lingerie and undergarments, all colors and fabrics. The Spa next door would pamper us, massaged with fine aromatic oil and all the attention two beautiful women could ever ask for. The dress shop was only minutes away as well, and we'd marvel at the unique and lovely designs. For once, we'd have something to share that had been kept hidden; a new treasure to be enjoyed by two attractive women; madly in love. We'd.....
"Tony? Tony?" the nurse leaned over, her penlight piercing my calm with its intrusive light. I was...where was I?...What?
The doctor leaned closer to my wife and said quietly, not expecting me to hear; the effect of the anesthesia was only just now wearing off.
"We got all of the tumor, there's no reason to believe any of the hallucinations will ever trouble Tony again. I think we've turned the corner, Mrs. Reve. Your husband should be just fine. No more troubling dreams, no more visions. He'll be just fine and back to his old self in no time.
I turned over slightly as the nurse moved from the bed. No one noticed the tears in my eyes.
With great thanks to Ambrose Bierce
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