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Drama Fiction Romance

BALDY

Susan W. Hudson

Aurora and Val ran into each other at a legal conference at the Downtown Conference Center in New York City. They each got a cup of coffee during a break in the schedule. And, not paying attention, they physically ran into each other. Most of the spilled coffee splattered onto the floor. They both apologized profusely, grabbed handfuls of napkins, and bent to clean up their mutual mess. Their eyes met during the process and sparks flew. 

Before the conference ended, after many less eventful coffee chats, they had exchanged contact information and made their intentions of seeing each other again after the convention clear.

Aurora took her law degree from Harvard University. She decided on family law early on. Her interest grew in the area of helping women and children. She dedicated many “pro bono” hours to helping women who were fighting for child support and relief from domestic abuse.

Val, on the other hand, was a prosecutor. He took his JD from Columbia University. His particular interest was finding and prosecuting slippery mobsters in hiding.  Aurora learned that he had been pursuing a particularly abysmal character named Carlo “Baldy” Skipone (his adopted mob name) for five years. Baldy was particularly elusive. He was hidden. He had one defining feature. He had a white, cylindrical scar on his face from his right eye down to the right side of his mouth. Val never mentioned this to Aurora.

Aurora and Val found they had many things in common. They both loved to wander through museums or ramble down nature paths. They both loved to cook and experiment with new foods and recipes. They both had rigorous physical work-out routines. She was beautiful and he was quite handsome. Though their interests in law were quite different, they had the utmost respect for each other. They had endless discussions about their hopes and dreams.

Val was an only child. He quickly introduced Aurora to his mother and father. They both fell in love with her immediately. She seemed to be perfect for their beloved boy. 

Aurora’s parents were similarly impressed with Val. Her mother put him through her “Helicopter Mom” drill. Her dad who was paraplegic from a past automobile accident but clear of mind, obviously approved.

Val seemed to be so in love with their baby girl. Val never met Aurora’s only brother. He was an enigma. Val only saw a few grainy pictures of Carl from his youth. There was always some excuse for his absence. He was hard to contact.

About one year after their first meeting, while enjoying dinner at their favorite restaurant, Carmine’s Italian Restaurant in Times Square, Val ordered a bottle of champagne. He popped the cork and popped the question. Aurora was delighted; she  responded with a resounding “Yes.” They started their wedding plans immediately.

Aurora decided on a soft sweet free-flowing gown and a long, nearly invisible veil. She was thrilled when her girlfriends planned a surprise bridal shower for her. While all this planning was going on, Aurora was working diligently to contact her brother and ask him to walk her down the aisle.

Val kept up his work schedule, still pursuing “Baldy,” and delighted in seeing Aurora beaming, asking for his opinions, and providing him daily updates on the wedding plans. They both wrote their own vows.

Their big day arrived. Everything was in place. Val was nervously standing at the altar, awaiting his beautiful bride. He knew she was “the one” and that they would have many wonderful years together.

The door opened and she entered. She looked like an angel ensconced in a lovely white cloud. She carried a bouquet of fragrant gardenias.  On her arm was her elusive brother. He was small, bald, and sporting a white cylindrical scar on the right side of his face. Aurora’s brother was Carlo “Baldy” Skipone.

Val passed out. Baldy ran. Aurora screamed. Aurora had no idea what caused Val’s visceral reaction. Her brother wasn’t all that handsome, and he did have that scar from a biking accident as a child. Although cosmetic surgery over the years had improved the severity of it, he had not aged well. Nothing had prepared her for Val’s reaction.

The world was askew. EMS rushed in. They whisked Val away in an ambulance. People dispersed. Aurora’s bridesmaids gently released her from her wedding dress and dressed her in casual clothes.  They rushed her to the hospital to find her love.

 Val’s eyes popped open. “Where am I?” he inquired of the beautiful young woman standing by his bed. “You’re in the hospital,” she replied. “What’s that? Why?” he asked her. “I feel fine.” 

Aurora came to visit Val every day. He could not remember anything from his past. He told her every day that he planned to go to law school. He wanted to bring villains to justice. 

Val asked her who she was. She answered, “a friend, here to help you.”

“What’s your name?” he asked. “Aurora,” she responded.

Every day he asked, “Who are you?” I’m going to go to law school and track down egregious villains.” “Maybe, at law school, I will find a woman as beautiful as you who shares my need to prosecute bad people and will share her life with me.”

“Our future will be bright. We will work together.” I want to get one of those sports cars and learn how to drive it. Varoom, varoom!”

“ We’ll explore the world together.” “Maybe we could buy a house and have a couple of adorable children. I will teach them to be bold and fair.”

The drill went on and on. Val could not remember that they finally captured “Baldy.” He didn’t know he ruined their beautiful wedding. He could not remember a shred of his past. All he could find in his addled mind was ideas for the future.

The doctors put Val through every test known to mankind. First, he had an MRI, then he had a CAT scan with iodine contrast. Then he had another MRI. He had blood work. He was tested, scanned, and studied for everything from head to toe. Everything came back within the normal range. The doctors gave up. He was physically normal and healthy.

Aurora came to visit. Val was sitting up in bed grinning from ear to ear. “I have an idea,” he said. “You are beautiful. I think I’ve fallen in love with you. After I finish law school, will you marry me? We can fulfill all my dreams and have beautiful children.  We could move to Jamaica or Belize and snorkel every day.  Doesn’t that sound wonderful?”

Aurora was taken back, but she answered, “Yes.”

Aurora leaned close to him and whispered in his ear. “Baldy is my brother. I did not know. Forgive me. They caught him.” Val looked at her in amazement. He leaned back in his bed with a big smile on his face and had a heart attack. 

After many attempts at resuscitation from his doctors, Aurora signed the Death Certificate. She wondered what in the world her future would bring and how she would reconcile her past.

October 09, 2020 19:05

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1 comment

Jaymee T
12:08 Oct 15, 2020

What a neat premise! The dialogue felt a little unnatural but I liked how eventful you were able to make this for such a short story! Great job.

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