See Part 1
A Siblings Rivalry
By Katia N. Ruiz
Copyright Poem "Love Not Lost" By Katia Ruiz ©1997
Copyright Poem "Almost lost you" By Erica Polanco ©1997
P AR T T W O
IT had been over a month since Frances had left to France. Ross had already started his undercover courting. Rather primitively. First visiting Katie for a few minutes during the week; then prolonging the time on the weekends. Katie, who was very lonely, would accept his presence without question. When he found it proper, he began to shower little William with presents; toys the child didn't even find interesting. Ross figured that by courting the brat also, he could get a few points ahead. At home he would sit down and think that if Katie had returned the love he felt for her, William would have been his son. This knowledge made him hate the poor child even more.
William, smart boy that he was, didn't like Ross much. Ross knew this, but what was the difference, he wasn't fond of him either, was he? And when the day came that Ross asked Katie if he could take little William out for a little walk, the very intelligent two year old cried with fear, hoping his mother would understand that he was afraid of this monstrous man.
But to his dismay, Katie didn't understand. She didnt see the monstrosity behind Ross eyes, she could never understand. She tried to soothe the crying boy, telling him that `uncle Ross' would be fun to be with. Finally, resigned to the fact that he would have to go anyway, William stopped crying. He resignedly walked out of the house, Ross holding his hand. When they had reached the first block away from the house, Ross began walking faster, the poor William struggling to catch up with the fast, adult strides. Ross looked down at him and smiled with venom. "Little brat! What, did you think you could get away from your uncle Ross?" He snarled.
William began to whimper with fear. He wanted to go home to his mommy. But Ross pulled him on, harshly pulling him up by the arm when William stumbled and almost fell. "Let me tell you something, you little jerk," He snarled, grabbing the boy by his small torso and pulling him up to face level, bruising his tender little chest. "Your mommy is mine! You hear? Not yours, not Di's or who-ever's, mine!" He shook the frightened boy, who had already begun crying. A lady passed close to them and Ross pulled William to him, a little too tightly, as if he were comforting him. The lady smiled reassuringly, loving the `father/son' image they represented.
And when the lady was a way back, Ross put William down on the floor. Before he could take his little hand into his, the boy ran away. "Speeding bullet" wasn't said lightly when they regarded William. He ran away from Ross, crying, wanting to run to his mommy. Ross ran after him, trying to catch up to him. "Come here!" He yelled, waving his arms in an almost comical manner. Being only two years old, William was never taught how to cross the streets, the reason being that he was still too young and was always with either Frances or Katie, his hand being held by his mothers.
So he ran into the street, and out of nowhere came a Lincoln; the driver pressed on the break frantically. It stopped, not before it hit the poor frightened boy, breaking quite a few bones and knocking him unconscious. Ross cried out, he didn't need this now! People gathered around the bleeding boy. The driver climbed out of his car, crying pitifully for the boy, holding his head between his hands, falling down to his knees and calling out for an ambulance.
BACK in the house, the mother's instinct in Katie sent a jolt through her heart; instantly letting her know that something had happened to William. She ran out of the house wildly, not conscious of anything but finding her son. The tears ran down her cheeks freely, the pains in her heart letting her know that her son was very near death. What she found was William's swollen little body being carried into an ambulance. She screamed, running through the crowd and up to the blonde female paramedic. "He's my son! He's my son!" She shrieked frantically, tears were by now streaming down her face in great big gushes. He looked into her eyes and complied, letting her into the ambulance.
A few feet away, Ross watched as Katie climbed into the ambulance. He cursed and turned away and ran towards the house. As he reached the lawn, he realized that Katie had run out and left the door open. He ran into the house and into the kitchen, towards the phone. He dialed his house number and waited while the phone rang. Flores answered the phone.
"Flores!" Ross exclaimed. "Get my father." Flores sensed his excitement and told him to hold.
Richard's voice came to the line. "Ross?" He said, there was worry in his voice. "Is something the matter?" He demanded.
"Dad! William's had an accident!" Ross said, touching his forehead with his fingers. Shit, shit, shit! What am I going to do? He thought frantically.
Richard felt his heart stop. "What!" He exclaimed. "What hospital is he in?"
"Jamaica." Ross said. He heard his father hang up the phone. "Damn!" He cursed over and over again. He didn't need this now; he was supposed to be winning Katie's trust and now this happened. Ross walked out of the house, making sure that he took Katie's keys and purse from the kitchen.
Almost Lost You
by Erica `Mickey' Polanco
Almost lost you tonight,
Though I may have not put up a fight.
Seeing your pain is killing me the same.
My son, left between death and life.
I can do nothing else but cry.
Fight for your life and I'll help you survive.
Sadness is so strong I may not see the light
`Till you smile again.
LOUIE was deeply asleep; Korina was in his arms, asleep also. The phone was ringing; he heard it from far away. Almost unconsciously, he picked it up. Richard's urgent voice jarred him awake. "Pa?" He said groggily, but alarmed. Korina stirred and seeing his expression, gazed at him with worried, sleepy eyes.
"Louie, you have to get Frances!"
FRANCES woke to the sound of urgent pounding on her door. She carefully lifted Claudette's arm from her stomach and picked up the bed sheet from the floor, wrapping it around her shoulders. She opened the door to find Louie standing there; Korina was behind him, a look of apprehension in her eyes. The expression in Louie's eyes made her heart jump. "Something's happened," Louie said softly, his eyes were tearing.
Frances swallowed hard, her eyes widened. She thought about her parents, about Katie, about William.... "What?" Her voice shook. "What's wrong?"
Louie shook his head slowly, a tear escaped his eye. "It is William, he has had an accident." He said softly.
Frances felt her body sway, her eyes rolled to the back of her head. She didn't register completely the information that she heard coming out of Louie's mouth. All she knew was that she had to get to New York. She said it out loud: "I have to get to New York." Tears were streaming down her cheeks. She dropped the bed sheet from her shoulders and ran towards her dresser, not caring that she was naked. To Louie, she said shakily: "Call the airlines, I have to go to New York now." She didn't notice that Louie was already down the stairs, ready to make the phone calls; she was putting her clothes on and crying softly.
Claudette walked up to her and touched her shoulder. "I am sorry." She said softly.
Frances sobbed then, burying her head into her shoulder. Her knees weakened, Claudette kneeled with her, wrapping her arms around her. "Poor baby," She whispered, smoothing Frances' hair. "Your son will be fine. Do not worry."
FRANCES didn't arrive at New York's Kennedy Airport until the very next day, Sunday, in the afternoon. Theyd had problems booking a Concorde flight for that very same night, and had to take the next plane, which wasnt until the very next day. Even the two hour and forty-five minute trip was an eternity to her. She hadnt slept all night, walking back and forth through the living room in desperation, doing nothing but mumbling to herself and crying. Louie had insisted in coming along; Korina also insisted in coming.
She had taken a liking to Frances and she felt her pain, having lost a child of her own. They had rented a car and as soon as they were in it, Frances had torn out of the airport and into the highway. Within twenty seemingly long minutes they were at Frances' parents' house; she drove into the driveway. Frances told Louie and Korina to stay in the car and ran towards the door. Flores opened it. "Where are my parents?" She asked anxiously.
Flores' eyes were worried and tears hovered in them. "In Jamaica Hospital, Miss Frances." She said.
Frances didn't say a thing and ran towards the car. She got in and screeched down the gravel driveway, leaving a trail of dust behind them.
WHEN they walked into the hospital after having parked the car, Frances ran up to the information desk. The clerk looked up at her with expectant blue eyes. "William Rosenberg-DeValoi." She said quickly. The clerk typed the name into the computer and waited a few seconds.
"Intensive Care Unit 324." She replied.
Without a word, Frances walked away, Louie and Korina followed. At the waiting hall of ICU were Richard, Francine, Ross, and Katie. Richard was the first to see her walking towards them. He stood and waited with open arms, into which she went gratefully. She was crying again, she moved into her mother's embrace and lingered there. Louie gave Richard a fierce hug and introduced Korina. Louie moved towards Katie and hugged her. She didn't respond and when he pulled back, he saw that she hadn't realized he was there. She must be in shock, he thought. "Pa, Katie doesn't look too good." He said, his thick French accent prominent.
"We have tried to get her home, but," Richard explained, with a shrug. "She won't leave the hospital."
Frances moved from her mother's embrace and glanced at Katie, who had her arms wrapped around herself and was rocking herself to and fro. Her green eyes were staring blindly ahead; her lips were drawn into a tight grimace. Tears were flowing freely down her cheeks. Close by, Ross stood looking down at his feet, a sneer on his lips; he was pissed that Frances was back.
Frances didnt even glance over his way, but looked at her father. "I want to speak to the doctor." She said.
"He has not really spoken to us yet, dear." He replied. His eyes were puffy from crying.
Frances frowned. "It happened yesterday!" She said.
Richard nodded. "I know," He said. "They have been working on him day and night, the nurse said that he has a few broken bones; she did not specify."
Frances turned away from him and said nothing. She walked towards the wall height window and looked out into the night, her feet apart, holding her hands behind herself; her eyes watered. She stood there for almost half an hour, not talking to anyone; her mind was on William. She could imagine his little unconscious body laying on that hospital bed with endless machines connected to him. His beautiful face bruised and swollen. Involuntary images of William running all over the house, practically running to her when he first walked, of the giant smile that was always on his little face tortured her. She closed her eyes tightly and shook her head slowly. "Oh, God!" She gasped, feeling the tears slide down her cheeks.
She heard somebody stepping up to her slowly, but she didn't turn to look at the person. "You should have never left him," The person whispered mockingly.
Frances heard the mock in the voice and turned around to look into Ross' cold blue eyes. His eyes were glaring and his lips were an ugly snarl. He was laughing very softly, looking at her with venom in his eyes. "It's all your fault." He whispered mockingly, letting her know with his eyes that it was because of him that William, what he thought was the last bond between Katie and Frances, was dying in the hospital.
And there, at that moment, she saw that he had something to do with William's accident. Her anger flared and she screamed loudly, an angry shriek, as she lunged at him, landing on top of him on the floor. She punched at him blindly and broke his lip in the process. He had no time to fight back.
Louie, Richard, Francine and Korina stared with disbelieving eyes. One moment Frances was silently looking out the window, the next, she was on Ross, punching him with all her strength; all heard the sound of the violent contact. Richard and Louie sprang forward, pulling the furious Frances off Ross. She screamed and growled wild-eyed, almost getting away from their grasp. She fought against them, trying to push them away. Katie apparently didn't see any of this, for she remained as she was.
"Why him? Why not me? Why?" Frances was crying out, more to Ross than to God, pulling her arms frantically, trying to get Richard and Louie's to let her go. She sobbed: "He is so innocent! Why him?" Ross looked at her with carefully guarded eyes, through which only she could see his elation.
Francine and Korina sprang forward and started talking softly to the now sobbing Frances, rubbing her face, her shoulders, holding her in their embrace. Richard demanded to know what Ross had said to Frances. With completely innocent eyes, Ross answered, rubbing his aching jaw and tending to his broken lip: "I asked her not to blame Katie."
Richard had no reason to disbelieve him, for he had not heard a word. "Go tend to your lip and go home." He watched as Ross obeyed and walked out of the waiting hall.
Frances was on her knees, her head buried into her mother's shoulder. She sobbed in despair, throwing her head back and roaring in her deep emotional pain. She remained like that for a long time, crying and seeking comfort on her mother's shoulder. After a while, she calmed down. Her hands and lips were trembling a little and her eyes were red from the shed tears. She looked around herself and shook her head in desolation.
Louie and Korina had moved to Katie's side and he attempted to introduce them. But it was futile, Katie didn't respond to anything. Frances moved away from her mother; she stood and slowly walked to the seats in front of Katie. Katie's long hair was pulled away from her pallid face, her eyes were red-rimmed and the skin of her cheeks was flushed. She must have been crying so much, Frances thought. She studied her for a long time and realized that Katie was now looking at her also. Their eyes met across the space.
Katie's lips moved as if to speak, but at that moment Williams doctor came into the hall. He had soft brown eyes that were naturally made for a doctor, to comfort the families of his young patients. When he'd seen the tiny toddler brought into the emergency room, a lead weight attached itself to his heart. He decided to do all that he could do to save William. And he had, at least the child was alive and it was agreed between him and the other trauma doctors that there was a possibility for survival and even recovery.
Katie moved her eyes from Frances' and questioned the doctor with her eyes. Frances stood and walked up to him, questioning him. The doctor met Katie's questioning gaze and nodded in greeting. "We have done all we can," He said softly. "He's in stable condition, but presumably in a coma." Frances breathed hard, trying to hold back her tears. Katie shook her head, more tears spilled down her cheeks. "All you can do right now is go home," He said reassuringly, his eyes were compassionate and calm. "We'll call you if anything changes or if William wakes."
Frances shook her head, willing her tears back. "What is wrong with him?" She asked hoarsely.
He remembered that she had not been there when hed given his tiny report to the family, and remembered also the other name of the guardian, another woman. He took it in without problem. "A severely broken right arm, two of his ribs are slightly cracked, and several contusions." He said matter-of-factly. Then his voice softened when he said, "Believe me, if anything changes, I'll personally call you."
Frances believed him, and she nodded. "I think he is right."
Richard agreed. "Louie, Korina," He said. "Why do not you two come with Francine and I? Frances, you can take Katie home."
Frances looked at her father and nodded slowly. She looked at Katie and realized that she had returned to the shell that she was in. She walked up to her and sat beside her. "Katie," She whispered huskily. She wrapped her arm around her shoulder and pulled her up. "Come on." Katie didn't respond, she just stood when Frances pulled her and walked wherever Frances guided her.
The numbness she felt inside was killing her. It was incredible, the strength with which she felt William's accident. One moment, she was in the kitchen, cooking William's and her own dinner. The next, she felt her heart suddenly stop and the knowledge of William's suffering was in her mind. All she knew was that she had to run and find him, and keep him safe. Then the sight of her little son being carried away in a stretcher, the oxygen mask towering over his little face, the IV's connected to his unbroken little left arm... She sobbed loudly and her knees weakened.
Frances held her up with her strength. She continued to guide her down the hallway, until they were in the lobby and out the doors of Jamaica Hospital. Richard, Francine, Louie and Korina accompanied Frances and Katie towards the rented car. There, Louie and Korina took their luggage from the trunk and watched as Frances drove off with Katie on the passenger seat. They both waited there with Francine, while Richard went and fetched his own car.
FRANCES pulled the car up into the driveway, glancing at Katie. She turned it off and got out of the car, locking the door. She walked over to the passenger side and opened the door. She gently grabbed Katie's arm and she felt a flicker of desire. Katie climbed out of the car and she stood face to face with Frances. She felt the sudden urge to fall into Frances' embrace. Frances felt protective for this person, the woman she most loved. She pulled Katie towards the front door of the house and searched her pockets for the keys; she had left her own at her father's house before she had left to France.
Once inside, Frances pulled Katie towards the stairs. She intended to have her take a shower and to go to bed. She forced her to stop in front of the bathroom doorway and pushed her softly inside. Frances stood and waited to see if Katie was going to do this on her own. But Katie just stood there and looked at her helplessly, her arms still wrapped around herself. Frances sighed and walked up to her. "I will help you." She whispered lovingly.
Katie felt her mind reeling. She knew that Frances hadn't stopped loving her. She wanted her close; she wanted to feel her reassuring warmth. She stood passively as Frances pulled her arms away from herself. And then slowly, tenderly, Frances removed her clothes. First, the cotton T-shirt; then, she unbuckled the belt of her pants, unbuttoning them and pushing them down her long smooth legs. Frances' fingers accidentally touched Katie's skin and she felt an electric current run through her body; Katie shivered with desire.
Frances pulled herself up to her feet and pushed her towards the shower. Katie stopped and turned to look into Frances' eyes. "Come in with me," She whispered. "Nothing has to happen."
Frances took an empty swallow and nodded slowly. She slowly began to remove her jacket, throwing it on the floor beside Katie's clothes. Katie watched and waited patiently until Frances was naked except for her boxers. She pushed her into the shower and walked into it with her. Katie looked down at her boxered hips and looked up into her eyes. Frances smiled and pushed them off. She turned Katie away from her and picked up the bar of soap, rubbing it softly against her back. Katie tensed under her touch, feeling the pleasurable electricity running through her body, as she felt every time Frances touched her. She turned around and looked at Frances' naked body. Frances looked into her eyes and smiled reassuringly. She turned on the shower, turning the water on warm.
She allowed her hands to soap Katie's chest, but she was shy about touching her full breasts; she thought she would burst right there and cry. She never thought that shed touch or hold Katie again. She went around her breasts to Katie's stomach. Katie moved closer to her and wrapped her arms around her neck. The familiarity of Frances' soft breasts against hers was overwhelming. She moaned. Frances wrapped her arms around Katie's waist and pulled her tightly to herself, nuzzling her neck softly. And then Katie pulled her head back and, closing her eyes, kissed Frances softly on the lips. The kiss was soft and passionate and desperate. They each felt the other's sadness and fear for their son.
Their tongues now caressed each other as their breathing slowly became erratic. They pulled back slightly and breathed hard against one another. Katie rubbed her soaped body against Frances, who was leaning against the wall, breathing heavily. They needed the closeness of each other, the comfort; the love they knew still existed with infinite strength. Frances pulled Katie to her again and kissed her deeply. She pulled her under the shower and waited until the soap rinsed itself from their bodies.
She pulled them out of the shower and took the towel. Katie allowed Frances to dry her slowly, allowed her to stare at her body as she did so; and after, she watched Frances dry herself, then allowed her to pull them out of the bathroom and into the bedroom. Katie's eyes watered, she never thought she would hold Frances again; and now that their son was dying... She pulled her to herself and sobbed into her shoulder. Frances held her and comforted her. She pushed them into the bed and lay next to Katie, who still cried against her shoulder. They lay there, their legs entwined, their naked bodies touching comfortingly. She pulled back slowly and studied Katie's tearful face, felt overwhelmed by the sight of Katies wet hair resting matted on her forehead and cheek. Katie's eyes were closed and her full lips were quivering.
She kissed her softly on the lips again. "Katie," She whispered against her lips. Katie responded by kissing her back. She opened her mouth to allow Frances to slip her velvety tongue inside her mouth. Frances sighed as she felt Katie burrow deeper into her arms. She caressed Katie's bare back with her fingertips.
Their kiss was slow and passionate. But their minds were in the hospital with William and they both knew this. Katie pulled away and sobbed against Frances' chest. "I can't!" She cried out.
Frances' tears couldn't be held in; they spilled down her cheeks and she tightened her embrace around Katie's smaller shoulders. "I know," She comforted. "I can not either." She soothed her until she felt Katie begin to fall asleep, almost an hour later. She must be exhausted, she thought. She felt herself falling into a light sleep also.
"YOU should have never left him.... It's all your fault." Ross' words reverberated through her lightly sleeping brain, and she woke up. She lifted her head and looked around. Katie lay half on top of her, her arm draped across her stomach. She slowly and carefully lifted Katie's arm off her and moved from under her. They must have been asleep for over an hour. She went towards the bathroom and picked up her boxers and slipped them on. She slipped on her shirt and went towards the stairs.
She went down to the living room and stood there staring at everything. It all was the same as it was when she had left more than two months earlier; except for the fact that her son wasn't running around the house causing havoc. Her eyes riveted to the place were all the drinks were locked. She felt a desire to drink at that second. She went towards it and kneeled before it. It was a combination lock and she remembered the numbers very clearly. She opened it and pulled it out of the lock holder. She took a cup and a large bottle of Vodka.
She was used to having her drinks strong or pure, so she opted to have her Vodka pure. She poured herself half a cup and drank. An hour must have passed and Frances was slouched on the couch, drunk beyond return; the empty bottle of Vodka hung from her hand. The words that Ross had so vehemently said to her reverberated through her drunken brain: "You should have never left him.... It's all your fault." She stood up and staggered to the middle of the living room, all of a sudden wanting to kill her brother. "You should have never left him.... It's all your fault." And then she tossed the bottle across the room, screaming in her anger and pain.
© © © © © © © © © ©
KATIE jumped at the sound of breaking glass and Frances' drunken scream coming from the living room. She realized that Frances was not at her side and she stood and went to the drawers. She pulled out a long shirt and pulled it over her head. She walked quickly down the hall towards the stairs. Downstairs, Katie found Frances on her knees, bent over and sobbing, her forehead pressed down on the carpet. Katie felt her heart wrench. She quickly went to her and wrapped her arms around her shoulders.
Frances looked up at her and cried out: "It is my fault! He is dying because of me, because of me!" Her words were slurred. She tried to pull away from her, but Katie was surprisingly strong. "You hate me!"
Katie knew that Frances was voicing her greatest fears. She knew Frances was reliving that last fight before she left. And she knew that Frances' love for William was blinding her. "Frances," Katie exclaimed, shaking her. "Frances, relax!"
Frances' unfocused eyes were looking wildly at her. She cried and clung to Katie as if for dear life, her face pressed against her chest. "I love you," She whispered, pulling Katie to her fiercely, kissing her harshly in her desperation. "I am so in love with you!"
After a while, Katie made her stand, pulling her towards the stairs. Frances stumbled, but she allowed Katie to guide her. In the bedroom, Katie forced Frances to lie down on the bed. She was still crying and buried herself into Katie's embrace, murmuring incoherently. She said things about their son, about how she wished this hadn't happened to him, about how she wished that things hadn't happened the way they did.
Shortly after, Frances fell asleep. Her arms were still tightly wound around Katie, who held her in her arms.
Continued in part VIIIReturn to the Academy
Katia N. Ruiz