The Wishing Well: Part VII
The Wishing Well: Part VII
Olivia greeted Max at the entrance to the lab. “Birdie is..”
Max was in a panic. “What dead?”.
“No but she is having hallucinations of God.” Olivia said rather concerned.
Max walked by and went into to see Birdie immediately. He held her hand. The Admiral was fighting back the tears. “You look absolutely ravishing as always.”.
Birdie was no longer under the spell of The Wishing Well Therapy. “You have always been a terrible liar Max.”.
The Admiral came over and stood by Birdie’s bed side he was so glad to have this last glimpse of his real wife. And Birdie looked at her husband and said, “You look like hell and they would kick you out of the Navy for crying like a sissy.”
And that broke the Admiral and tears streamed down his face.
Birdie continued. “Buck up sailor. I’m about to cast off and your are not at the helm this time. This one is in His hands but all of us are especially you Max.”
The Admiral tried to gather his words to say something eloquent and fitting to send his wife off. But she quickly interrupted him. “We will not be parted even in death.”. The Admiral nodded affirming he believed this as well. And then the life drained from Birdie’s eyes. The Admiral overwrought with grief cried hysterically at the passing of his wife.
Max took Olivia into the PET scanner imagining room to give the Admiral some privacy. They could readily see him through the observation glass. Olivia had tears streaming down her face. She had never witnessed a person with whom she was close pass before her. And Olivia felt her own mortality. She was silent. And then she turned to Max and almost on him. “The Admiral told me you were studying to be a Jesuit Priest before you went into Neuroscience.”
How Max had wished the Admiral had not mentioned he was a fallen away priest.
Max snapped. “Look I have had an extraordinarily bad night. I mean a really exceptionally awful evening.” Just then Max looked at his wrist and there was a cigarette burn on his wrist. He looked up at Olivia. “Do you see this?”
Olivia looked at Max’s wrist, “It looks like a burn, zinc oxide should take care of it. What is the big deal?”
Suddenly it occurred to Max he should look up and as he did he saw the Admiral inject himself with The Wishing Well Therapy but it wasn’t the ordinary therapy but the enhanced version. The Therapy. Max had not had time to reverse engineer the formula. Literally there was no cure for The Wishing Well Therapy. Max ran into the treatment room where Birdie’s body lie and the Admiral was lying on the bed next to her. He reached for his dead wife’s hand and held it. “We will not be parted even in death.” He repeated.
“What have you done?” Max asked.
“I have joined my wife and followed her path.” The Admiral answered very frankly.
Olivia held the Admiral’s other hand. “You will only have a few minutes. Would you like me to say that poem you have taught me?”
Bravely he answered. “Yes in a minute. But first I have to give this to him.” The Admiral let’s go of Olivia’s hand and from around his neck he tore a chain at the end of which was a cross He handed it to Max. “This is for you.”
“I don’t believe sir.” Max quickly answered.
“You have had the luxury of not having to believe and I have believed for both of us. Faith is your cross to bare now.” The Admiral was getting a bit foggy.
“Are there others?” Max quickly asked.
“Are you kidding me?” The Admiral laughed. “All of us without The Wishing Well Therapy worship God. You don’t think we would have ever allowed your project to go forward without God's grace? Everyone has had faith and prayer the entire time except you. This cross along with the contents of my safe will lead you to the others. It is now time you enter the ranks of the earnestly faithful.”
Then Admiral took Olivia’s hand and winked at her. “You’ll take care of him?”
Olivia affirmed she would as tears rolled down her eyes. “Now?’
“Yes” the Admiral answered.
“Our Father who art…”
And then the Admiral died.
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