Royal watched Delia drive off through the blinds. A huge sense of loss pricked at his heart from her hasty departure. Tiredness settled into his body, into his very soul.
Though Royal had lived out several fantastic dreams over the last few hours, none of them had ended with Delia severing all ties and storming off. Now he wished he’d never slept with her at all.
“Oh, who am I kidding?” Royal spoke into the silent room as he moved away from the window. If he had the chance to sleep with Delia all over again, he would, despite the fact that the last few hours were going to haunt him forever.
Just then, Royal’s house phone rang.
“Hello?” he said eagerly, hoping it would be Delia calling from her car with a change of heart.
“Hello to you, too,” Carmen replied.
“Oh, it’s you, Mama.” Royal’s spirit drooped. He should have known it wasn’t Delia. He hadn’t gotten around to giving her his unlisted home phone number yet. They’d only exchanged insurance information on account of the accident.
“Yes, it is. Who did you think it was?” Carmen replied, noting the disappointment in his voice.
“Nobody.” …you need to be concerned about, Royal silently added to himself. “What can I do for you so early in the morning?” he continued aloud, prudently switching the subject.
“I need you to take me to church. Your father called to say he wouldn’t be able to make it back in town before the service. Flight cancellations and all that.”
“No problem at all. I’ll be by to pick you up at ten,” Royal said, even though he really didn’t want to go anywhere.
After the late night at the hospital and his extended rendezvous with Delia, all Royal wanted to do now was go to sleep for a very long time. Yet for his mother, he would forego a few extra hours of slumber. Even rent a car to drive today since his regular vehicle was currently out of commission.
For Carmen, Royal would do a lot of things. For her, he would continue to go to church even though he wasn’t living a consecrated life anymore. For her, he would continue to be an OB/GYN even though he preferred pediatrics instead. Finally, Royal would continue to date women that Carmen tried to set him up with, even though he liked being the pursuer. He deemed his mother worthy of all of those considerations since she’d done so much more for him over the years.
Suddenly a car pulled up outside. Thinking Delia had returned, Royal quickly concluded his phone call and put on his shorts. He practically ran to the door to answer it, forgetting all tiredness now.
“You came back!” Royal said, flinging the door open with an expectant look on his face.
“I always come back,” Layla replied dryly. “And what in the world happened to you?”