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Breaking the Cycle – Post Two

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I have been waiting all weekend to post this.  I wanted to wait until after the Blog Hop and Tuesday Tales so I wouldn’t take attention away from them. 

One of my intentions when I started this story was to keep the reason I am writing it anonymous.  Well, I am about to blow that out of the water.  We went to Ali’s basketball tournament this weekend.  I’ve tried raising her to never see her disorder as a crutch.  I want her to live her life despite the fact she has CVS (I have Intracranial Hypertension so it’s a shared philosophy).

So my 10-year-old daughter plays basketball (and volleyball and throws for track) with a disorder that can flare up and attack when she gets too hot.  She plays with a cooling vest to keep her body temperature level.  She’s had two minor episodes this season.  I spent a lot of the weekend wondering what possessed Brian and I to let her even do this.  She spends a lot of time on the bench because she cannot physically keep up with everyone else for long periods of time.

But she tries.  She is living her life despite her disorder – just like I want her to.  She loves her team and she loves her coaches.  She’s proud to be a Crusader.  And I am proud to be her mom.

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Max hung up his jacket in the employee locker room then checked his watch.  Seven-thirty.  He could get a couple miles in on the treadmill before his shift started. He lifted his foot onto the bench anchored to the ground to retie his shoe.

“Hi, Max.”

Max looked up at the soft feminine voice that greeted him.  Chloe stood in the doorway, her purple tank top and running shorts clinging tight to her small frame.  Her brown hair was tied up in its customary ponytail brushing lightly against her shoulders.

“Hey, Chloe.  How are you feeling?”

“Better, thanks.  Thank you for covering for me yesterday.”

“No worries.”  Max dropped his foot to the floor and stood straight.  He was pretty tall at 6’4″.  Chloe hardly made it to his chest.  The huge difference in size made him feel instinctively protective of her.

“Well, I have Zumba so I better go.  I just wanted to thank you.  I know I put you in an awful position yesterday.”

“Chloe, wait,” Max rushed.  “I have something to ask you.”

“Yes?”

“Do you want to go to dinner with me tomorrow night?”

Chloe frowned slightly.  “I don’t know.”

Max’s heart plummeted in his chest.  She wasn’t as interested in him as he was in her. “Come on, Chloe. It’s just dinner.”

Chloe stared at him wide-eyed for several moments.  She finally smiled.  “Sure.”

“Pick you up at seven?”

“All right.”

Max grinned excitedly as Chloe waved goodbye and jogged off to her class.

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Tuesday Tales – Picture Prompt: Red Gift

First of all, I so apologize.  I left last week as a cliffhanger and this week’s picture prompt just didn’t want to work with that.  So this week’s Tuesday Tale is from another project I am working on – one that is near to my heart and I hope to finish soon.

red gift

Rico limped on his cane across the sterile hospital room.  His smile widened as he placed the small red box in Max’s hand.

“I came to return this to you,” Rico informed Max as he winked.  “Maybe you should show Zoey.  I think she’d like to see it.”

“Rico,” Max warned.  “Now is not the time.”

“I would like to see it.”

Max turned, his warm brown eyes meeting Zoey’s.  Her blue eyes glowed hopefully against her pale skin.

Max’s heart clenched in his chest.  He couldn’t put this pressure on Zoey, not while she was lying in this hospital.  The stress this kind of step could cause would really do Zoey harm.  It would certainly set off her CVS*.

“Zoey, I promise.  I will show you later.  Not here.”

Zoey’s face fell.  “Why not here?”

“Zoey, sweetheart, please.”

“Max, just show me.”

“You need to show her, Max,” Rico chimed in.

Max shot a glare at Rico.  He slowly exhaled as he approached Zoey’s hospital bed.  He gently opened the red wrapped box and turned it towards Zoey.  Inside, nestled in a seat of velvet, was the most beautiful diamond Zoey had ever seen.

“Max, it’s beautiful!” Zoey glowed.

“I’m glad you like it.”

“Who is it for?”

Max paused.  “For you, Zoey.”

“Me?”

“I wanted to take you to dinner then to the lake.”

“To do what?”  Butterflies swarmed in Zoey’s stomach.  If the IV stuck in the back of her hand hadn’t been pumping anti-nausea drugs through her veins, Zoey knew she would be sick to her stomach right now.

Max slowly dropped his knee to the tile floor as he held the ring out to Zoey.  “Marry me, Zoey.  I love you with all I am.  I love you just the way you are.  Be my wife.”

For those of you wondering what CVS is, this is a link to the Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Website.

And for more incredible romantic short stories – Tuesday Tales