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November Rain- Cheers
It was a cold November morning, cold as L.A. could be, when Diane got the call that would change her life.
"Stick, is that you?"
Diane would know that voice anywhere. "Carla? How did you get my number? This is a private listing and I donít know how you would get it."
"It doesnít matter. What does matter is that you get to Boston, pronto."
Diane grew concerned. At age sixty, she wasnít exactly in the best state to travel, but something in her nemesisí voice told her that she should be there. There was only one reason for Carla to call her.
"Sam? How is he? Is everything okay?"
"No, as a matter of fact everything is not okay. Itís Sam. Heís in the hospitalÖ"
"What, did he get himself another hernia?" Diane laughed.
"No, Stick, the only thing that keeps me from reaching your scrawny neck through the phone is the thought that you will be kicking yourself when I tell you what I have to tell you."
"What is it, Carla? Is Sam okay? Heís not dying or anything is he?"
The silence on the other end of the phone spoke volumes. Carla told her everything she needed to know, and then Diane raced to start packing.
Sam, dying? It couldnít be. He was older than she was, but not by much, and the last time she had spoken to him everything was fine. Sam was enjoying playing baseball with his granddaughter Samantha, and had developed a close relationship with his son, Ernie. Samís wife had died suddenly in a car accident a few years ago, and that was the last she had heard from Sam. But he didnít tell her anything was wrong; in her heart she prayed that he was not suffering. And, for good measure, she prayed that she would get there in time.
In time. In time for what? Time to see Sam one last time? Time to make their peace finally after all these years? Time to say what she hadnít said all those years ago in Boston, the last time she saw him (on their wedding day)? Diane quickly looked at her watch, and realized that time was running short. It didnít matter anymore, all of the fighting and arguing and bickering. All that mattered was that she got to tell Sam what was on her mind.
What was on her mind? Those three little words had not come easily to either Sam or herself, but they always knew it was there. At least, Diane hoped that Sam knew how much she cared about him. After all these years, though many miles apart, there was a space in her heart reserved for one man- and now it just may be too late.
"I love you, that's all I got." - Rick to Lori
The Following User Says Thank You to carylfan10 For This Useful Post:
Awesome start to your new story, I hope Sam is going to be ok. I can't wait until Diane goes to see him. I love your story already.
Fab start to your new story Daphne, I hope Diane gets to tell Sam she still loves him, but I hope Sam pulls through ok, look forward to more updates.................
It took Diane nearly eight hours, but finally, she arrived in Boston, the one place she'd sworn she would never visit again. It was too painful, even now. It was amazing how almost forty years had passed since she'd been to this city and yet she associated only one person with this town- Sam. Oh, how she wished she could undo all of the damage of their past, all the hurt and pain they'd inflicted upon each other. Maybe it wasn't too late. What if it was? Then all she would have left was her memories of Sam, and that worn out baseball card she carried around in her wallet of him. No, she couldn't think like that. Sam had to be okay. He was practically immortal, or at least he had once lived like he was. It was too much thinking of Sam in anything less than perfect health. But Carla had done the right thing and called her. There was nothing she wouldn't do for Sam now, even if it meant selling her house and moving across the country to be there for him. What she wouldn't give to prove her love to him!
Boston General… a very good place. Stepping inside the building, Diane was taken back to a very different place in time- when Sam had developed a hernia. Even in that condition, he'd had one thing on his mind. Diane stifled a laugh- Sam was probably still hitting on every one of the nurses. Some things even time couldn't replace.
"May I help you?" A nurse approached Diane. "Are you new here? You look lost."
"Me, lost? No," Diane smiled. "I'm actually coming home. I've been gone a long time but I'm back in town, here to see an old friend actually. You wouldn't happen to know where I could find Sam Malone, would you?"
"Of course. If you follow me I'll show you to his room."
Right outside his door, the nurse gently grabbed her by the arm. "You say you're back in town. I take it you haven't seen Mr. Malone in some time?"
"I think that's fair to say."
"Please don't be discouraged at what you see. He is making progress every day. He seems to be in good spirits, especially with his friends around. But I'm afraid the stroke has left some…"
"Stroke?" Diane nearly choked on her own words. "Did you say that Sam has had a stroke?" Her eyes filled with tears at the very thought of her own, beloved Sam, lying helplessly in the hospital bed, with only a few visits from his friends to cheer him up. What kind of life might that be? Her heart broke at the very thought.
"Yes, I'm afraid that is accurate. It's too soon to assess the damage, but I should warn you, his memory and speech seem to be affected. I'm afraid he's not the same Sam Malone you remember him to be."
"I have to go. I have to see him. And thank you…I think." With that, Diane knocked twice on Sam's door, then entered without waiting for a response.
Sam- there he was, lying in bed with his back turned towards the door.
"At least his pitching side is still good," Diane thought to herself.
After staring at him for what seemed like an eternity, Diane finally announced herself. "Sam…Sam. It's me. Do you remember me?"
He lifted his head, but didn't turn around.
"That's okay. You stay there. I wonder if you even do remember me. I know that I could never forget you. But sometimes when I look back I wonder if I was nothing more than just another pretty face in your stable of girls. I would hope that you remember what we had…I'm sorry, maybe I shouldn't say that. But no, Sam Malone. I refuse to treat you like an invalid. You are strong and healthy and I don't care what the doctors say; I'm not leaving your side, I want you to know that. My God, Sam, look at you? Time has been your friend. Look at your snow white head of hair- you'd always said you'd rather die than lose your hair, so what's the matter? Did you lose a few strands then decide to pull this over us?" She laughed out loud, probably doing so in order to avoid crying, before composing herself.
Bracing herself, she walked across the room to finally face the man who'd driven her away from the state all those years ago. There, on his side, was Mayday Malone, the man who'd always had her heart. It was a good thing he still had it, because she didn't know if she could handle it breaking anymore than what it was at that moment. How could this have happened? She couldn't believe this was really Sam-her Sam- who was now facing her.
Without a moment's hesitation, she bent down and gently touched his face. "Sam, it's me. Do you remember me?"
He looked her in the eyes, and in her heart she could see that that look spoke volumes, even if he couldn't express himself as well as he'd liked to have. He remembered her- how could he possibly forget her?
She leaned over and kissed him on the forehead, to which she received no response. It was going to be a long ride, but she knew that she was in it for the long run. They may not have actually promised each other in sickness and in health, or more accurately they never kept that promise that had once been started all those years ago, but she knew now that Sam needed her. Little did she know that she needed him too, probably more so than he did her.
"I love you, that's all I got." - Rick to Lori
Another awesome update but so sad poor Sam, I hope he get better, and I hope seeing Diane again will help.
That was a Brilliant update Daphne, but a tearful one too, poor Sam I hope he gets well soon and Diane stays with him always, look forward to more updates................
He looked at her but said nothing, not alleviating Diane's fears about what she would find when she did see him. The way he looked at her, with those haunting eyes, was the same, but other than that Sam Malone was virtually unrecognizable. His soft white hair was in bad need of a haircut, something that the old Sam would never allow. Oh well, Diane smiled to herself, at least he's kept it. But there was something different about him, and she couldn't quite pinpoint what it was.
"Sam…it's me. It's Diane. Do you remember me?"
She waited for a nod, a yes, or anything, but nothing came forward.
"I know it's been a long time but I just couldn't stay away. I want you to know I'm here for you and I'm not going to leave you. I've booked a hotel room a few blocks away, which I haven't even checked in yet. They will probably charge me some ungodly fee for missing check-in, but I suppose that's the price one pays sometimes. Let me make one thing clear- there is nowhere else I'd rather be than right here with you. Oh, Sam, won't you say something?"
Tears flooded her face as she had forgotten-almost- how much she missed the witty repertoire the two of them had once shared. Sam had driven her crazy-literally- but now she would give anything to hear him yell at her, insult her, demean her-anything to show her that there is still life in him.
"Oh, Sam, I know I said I'd come back, and I always meant to. What went wrong between us? I've spent years wracking my brain searching for the answer. I know I once told you that I was married, but you know something? That was a lie. That was just an excuse so I didn't have to face you. What was so scary about visiting the man who'd I nearly promised to love for the rest of my life? I don't know. I don't know why I lied and I don't know why I didn't come to you sooner. I suppose I will have to live with that knowledge that I have let you down for the rest of my life. I will, but it will be hard for me to forgive myself for not being there for you when you needed me the most."
"I know about your wife, and I always wanted to call and tell you how sorry I am. You didn't deserve that. I'm sure your wife was a lovely woman. I know that she was a lucky one. Anyone that has gotten the privilege of having you in their life can consider themselves blessed. Oh, Sam, " Diane sniffed. "Here I am rambling- but I suppose you're used to it. Just tell me something, anything, say you hate me, say you love me, say whatever you want, but just say something dammit!"
"I'm afraid he hasn't said much since this has happened," spoke a voice coming from a young man entering the room.
"Oh, I didn't realize that anyone was listening. Are you one of his doctors?"
"Actually, I'm his son, Ernie. You must be Diane." He shook out his hand, only to be surprised at the vigorous embrace he received instead.
"Ernie? As in…"
"Yes, as in Coach. My father told me all about him when I was growing up, and I feel honored to carry his name. I only wish I could have met him."
"Oh, the Coach was a dear, dear, wonderful man. He had the most contagious laugh I've ever heard, and he loved a good joke, even if I'm not sure that he understood the punchline. I miss him to this day."
Ernie smiled. "You must be Diane Chambers."
"Oh," she brushed herself off. "I'm sorry for not introducing myself. I suppose you would know that it was me. I hate to think of what he's had to say about me over the years."
"Actually, he didn't say a word about you."
"Then, how did you know about me?"
"One time, when I was about twelve, I was looking through my dad's old stuff, when I came across a stack of letters, tied neatly with a bow, that he'd kept. They were your letters, Diane. They told me more about my father than what I had learned in all of my previous years."
Diane looked at Sam, and without a second thought she kissed him on the cheek. How sweet, how meaningful was it that he had kept her letters all those years?
"I'm sorry, did I hurt him?"
"No. The doctors say he's aware of what's going on around him, well, most of the time. I'm sure he would be thrilled to know that you are here."
"You are so sweet. I don't know if your father would agree. He and I didn't exactly part on the best of terms."
"Oh, that's a tale best told on another occasion. What I am here for is to do anything I can to help your father. Whether he knows it or not, he was-is- the love of my life, and I would do anything for him. I'm sure that doesn't make you comfortable, considering he had remarried, but it is true. I'm here for him and will do anything I can to help him get better. Anything you need, you just let me know." Diane shook Ernie's hand once again.
"Thank you, Diane. This means a lot. The rest of the gang from Cheers has already stopped by. Woody, he's a character isn't he?" Ernie smiled. "He's taking this the hardest. His wife had to take him out of the room once he saw him like this. I guess he's been hanging out at the bar when he's not working there."
"Poor Woody. He always looked up to Sam, like a younger brother would."
"My father seems to mean a lot to so many people. Do you remember a Dr. Crane, from Chicago?"
"Really? Frasier's moved to Chicago? I hadn't heard that."
"Yes, well he is flying in tomorrow. You're welcome to come back here to visit with him as well if you'd like."
"Oh Ernie, you're so polite and well mannered, so unlike your father!" Diane laughed. "Would it be all right if I stayed for a little longer tonight? It's important to me that your father knows I'm here and that….well, that I care. I do care about your father, you know."
"I can see that. Anyone who can write the kinds of letters you write I trust cares about my father. Of course you may stay. If you'll excuse me, I need to go and call and check on my daughter."
Diane nodded, then turned her attention back to Sam. She would never give up on him, no matter what anyone said. If it meant staying in Boston for the rest of her life, she would. Nothing else mattered, only Sam, and she would right those wrongs she'd made all those years ago, even if it killed her.
"I love you, that's all I got." - Rick to Lori
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to carylfan10 For This Useful Post:
cardiff1984 (08-01-2012),Jessie (07-29-2012)
Great update Sam has a son he seems so nice, I'm glad Diane is there for Sam. I hope you update again soon, great story.
Lovely moving update Melinda, nice to see Sam has a son, but I hope he can come round and forgive Diane, look forward to more updates.....................