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When Time Matters
|by Maria Reed-Shore|
The day she had lost her husband Jon, Lee Ann came across Shari. She was caught in the cross fire and apparently crawled into a steel drum, which was her saving grace, it kept her unscathed from shrapnel that flew all around. Her appearance made her look worse off then she was. Her hair was matted and she had cuts and bruises all over. She looked like an urchin; she also looked a lot younger than she was, because she was malnourished, so she was smaller in stature. She seldom spoke, her eyes showed her emotions. Her eyes would follow Lee Ann Cooper who was the doctor on call.
Shari was orphaned (her village was wiped out, she had no one to cling to) so she immediately clung to Dr. Cooper.
Dr. Cooper took her under her wing, in fact she taught her how to read and write. Shari learned quickly, she loved to see the look of joy in Lee Ann’s eyes when she was able to accomplish a task. She did not wish to fail. Soon she was helping in the care of the patients. She brought them water and helped to feed them and do light jobs, like picking up and keeping the hospital clean. Lee Ann saw the change in her. She was taking it all in like a duck takes to water. She even spoke English, and dressed in western garb. Soon she was like everyone in the camp. She would smile and bring joy to the patients. She vowed she would become like Dr. Cooper.
Dr. Cooper chose to work in the front lines to help the fallen and needy. She was the Florence Nightingale of the desert. She wanted to be of help to the needy.
Ali was summoned by his father, the king. It was unsettling. He felt that they had distanced themselves because father held high expectation of him, but he chose to play the part of play boy and lover.
Ali bowed in reverence; he showed respect to his father…same as ever, sleek and suave as always, the king thought.
“What have you been up to lately?”
“I have been traveling, making friends, mingling with the enemy.”
“You will have to do more, duties that are useful. You will go to the front lines, where an American doctor, has been working magic, getting the attention of our people. They say she is god sent, that she cares for all. I want you to watch her every move, if she is genuine, you are to treat her with respect and give her whatever she needs. Take away some of her magic.”
“Your highness, I am not equipped to work as emissary, but I will do as you wish, I will keep an eye on the doctor, and report her movements.” He bowed and backed out of the kings chambers.
He felt resentment to the American lady, what does she have that most of us do not? I do not wish to be a pawn to her whims.
He dressed in western clothing, and drove a jeep. He did not ride his horse “Sha,” the Arabian that would allow Ali to ride him. The horse meant more to him then the people he came across.
He was interpreter for the camp and helped calm the patients. Everyone knew he was a prince who was sent to watch Dr. Cooper…She was not impressed with him, He would try to put her in her place. Her insightfulness and education had placed her above most women; he showed respect for her achievements.
She knew him as Ali Akim, a prince…She called him “Highness” and he would call her “Doctor Cooper.”
He was there all the time; in fact it was beginning to irritate and distract her. She wished that he would go away; maybe stay away, so that she could accomplish what she had come here to do.
There were numerous air raids and attacks, but this time it was bad. The missiles were flying, the hospital tent shook and soon there was chaos. One minute she was operating and the next everything went black. He was there, shielding her from the danger. He saw the fire and then there was smoke that was so thick, that he could hardly breathe. He instinctively picked her up and ran out of the tent. He felt the heat, then everything went black.
The doctors tried to analyze the damage…it wasn’t good. He lived through it, but for some reason or another, he was sightless.
He knew that something was wrong. His eyes were bandaged. The doctors kept telling him that they would be able to tell him everything soon.
Lee Ann was kept away; they didn’t want her to see him in his present condition. They needed her to help with the injured after the day of the bombardment. She didn’t need the worry and distraction over him.
She went by his tent, she walked past his bed…
He felt her presence, “Leeann” he called out…she turned to see who it was, it sounded like Ali? She found herself sitting next to his bed. Then the memory flashed back, she had been shielded by him, and he had gotten the brunt of it. His eyes were bandaged, he reached out, and she took his hand. “Are you alright? He asked. She nodded, because she was choked up, and then remembered he could not see. “Yes, I am alright.” she responded.
“How are you doing, “Ali”, you forgot and called me by my rightful Christian name”…He smiled and shrugged, “I was bowing down.” I shall give you the privilege since you are able to see and continue the practice. I will return to my home to be nursed back to health, father will pay handsomely for my sight, I am sure they will be as good as new in time.”
“I have to go to the States to recuperate, and then return to the battle field to take care of the wounded.” I suppose I will not see you again? Allah’s blessings on you.”
“Dr Cooper”, you will not see the last of me,” He chuckled as he spoke. Her pulse quickened, she remembered it now, before he shielded her from the bombardment, she heard him say; “I love you, Lee Ann.”
She would wait forever, for in her heart she knew, they had bonded and become one that day, they had worked to save the very people they had considered enemies…!
In time, their relationship would grow, who knows; maybe they would be bonded in love. Belonging to a world when time mattered.
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