When I finally got into see Emilio, he was sitting in the chair by his bed, with no drips in him, and no catheter.
Well, I see the physio, has been hard at work, I said trying to be happy for him.
I did not think you were coming back he said.
I went over to him and sat on the bed, I took hold of his hand.
Sam’s gone back to school, I told him.
He looked sad.
She will come round, I told him.
Will she, he asked, looking gutted.
In time yes.
First we need to get you sorted.
Emilio asked if I would help him have a bath.
Am I aloud, I replied.
Yes the nurse said as long as my face keeps dry.
A nurse brought a wheel chair in and helped me get him into it, and I wheeled him to the bathroom.
The nurse would need to help me get him in the bath.
The physio had taken off his compression stockings, but he would need to put them back on later.
I tested the water, then me and the nurse got him on his feet.
I removed his dressing gown.
He was only wearing his boxers, and clean ones I had brought in yesterday.
I pulled them down, and he stepped out of them while the nurse held onto him.
Then we helped him into the bath.
The nurse left us and I would call her when I needed help to get him out.
I washed his back and front, his arms, all over really but not his face and head.
I feel like an old man he said to me. Needing help to stand and get in a bath
You look like an old man I said laughing.
He started crying.
Now don’t start that again I said, trying to make him stop.
Liz, he turned to me
I am so sorry for hurting you.
Let’s not talk about that now.
I said pouring water down his back.
But I want you to know, what a selfish fool I was.
I did not answer.
I was so wrong.
His English had improved so much from when I first met him, all those years ago.
And the second time around I said, meaning why did he go back with Olivia.
I don’t know why he replied,
But I thought about you all the time, he said.
What even during sex, I asked, not really wanting to hear the answer.
To be honest the sex was over as quick as it started.
And we did not have much of it, Emilio said, knowing I did not really want to hear that.
Great I thought, you still had sex though.
Liz, he said again
Yes I replied.
Do you still want to divorce me?
Not really wanting to answer that yet I changed the subject.
Do you want to still be with Olivia, I said.
Of course not, it’s you I love, he said quickly.
I said nothing, but carried on pouring water down his back.
I helped him clean his teeth, god know when they were last cleaned.
Right I think that’s you clean, I said reaching for his towel.
He said no more.
I called for the nurse.
We took his hands and helped him up and out of the bath.
I wrapped the towel round him.
And helped dry him off.
I never made eye contact and didn’t say a word.
When he was dry, I helped him back into his boxers, then put his dressing gown back on him.
Then we got him back in the wheel chair.
I wheeled him back to his bed.
He told me to stop, a moment
Liz please don’t ever go away again, I will do anything, you want. He said shaking.
I finally looked at him.
Emilio, I will look after you ok, I said, knowing I still cared for him, but now with pity.
I wheeled him back to his room, and on my own got him up and onto his bed.
I helped him in.
Liz I mean it. He said holding on to my hand tight.
I needed to tell him what I had planned to do.
I sat down on the bed.
Emilio, we have to be realistic now.
I will stay with you and look after you, and who knows where we go.
But knowing you will not work for a while or ever again, I have been in contact with our solicitors.
I told them to put the house on the market, and the one in Gozo.
Emilio was shocked.
Let’s be real now I said.
If me, and you were to share a bed again, it will not be in that house, or in London.
I have told Sam she will have to change schools.
But I will stay with you.
Emilio asked if I loved him.
For now I cared for him, I was not in love with him at the moment, as Olivia, still burned in my soul.
Emilio squeezed my hand.
We can be how we were Liz.
Maybe I said, not wanting to think back to memories long gone.
I put his stocking back on, and checked he was comfortable.
I looked at my watch, it was time to go.
Right that’s me off I said reaching over and kissing his head.
He pulled me in for a cuddle.
I never resisted, if it made him feel happy then I was doing a good thing.
Liz, only look after me, because you really want to and think we could be happy again, don’t do it for pity, he said as he held tight onto me.
I promised Sam I would look after him, if I left now and never came back, she would never ever speak to me again.
Why could I not be happy, this is what I pinned for.
But did Emilio only want me know, because Olivia did not.
Though she never said, she did not want him.
God why was I such a pessimist.
Why could I not be grateful he wanted me back, and he was sory.
Was it because of his face?
How fickle was I.
But I needed to think.
Could I love him again?
I might not be in tomorrow I told him.
I have things to do.
I did have to meet with Kate in the day, but not all day, so I could go in at some point but, I didn’t know if I wanted to.
Ok he said.
I got up, blew him a kiss and walked out.
Getting to my car, for the first time in years, i fancied a cigarette, so i decided i would go buy some.
I found a Tesco’s.
I went in and bought a pack of twenty menthols.
While I was there I bought a lucky dip lottery ticket.
I don’t know what made me buy it, but I thought. A few quid would be nice to win.
Getting home I could see a figure sat on my door step.
Who the hell was it?
Not the press again please.
No one had called to say they wanted to see me.
I was a bit scared.
Was it a burglar?
I drove in slowly with my lights, on full.
Whoever it was never ran away, so they were waiting for me.
I drove up to them but made sure the car was locked.
They had a suite case with them.
I left the engine running.
The figure walked to the car, leaving their case on the door step.
I could see it was a man.
Should I bring the window down to speak to them, I could open it a bit.
So I did.
Just enough, to see the persons face.
Excuse me, the voice said, I am looking for Liz.
Knowing the voice, but him not recognising me, I said.
Terry is that you?
I brought the car window right down.
Liz, is that you, he asked looking puzzled at my appearance.
Yep it’s me.
We looked at each other for a few seconds.
Any chance of a cup of tea, or coffee he asked, I have been waiting out here for you for ages.
I smiled, nearly ripping open my torn lip again.
I did my window back up, opened the door, and stepped out.
I locked the car, and got the house keys out of my handbag.
I could see him looking me up and down.
I will tell you inside about the hair and face, I said, as I know he was looking at me as if to say what happened.
Sorry I did not mean to stair, he said looking sheepish.
I opened the door, and he grabbed his case and followed me in.
I had not seen or heard from him in years, what was he doing here now.