Part 2: Recovering
Hope started towards the pediatric unit. She often visited the children there. Many of them had common ailments, some had come to have their tonsils out. It was often a scary thing for a child. Hope knew how they felt. She too had a minor operation done on her but she was terrified none the less. But the kindness and protective love of her mother helped her to be brave. She wanted to pass that kindness and love to the children that had to endure the same fear that she did. Even though they were not her children, she considered herself as a big sister to them all. It was just the kind of person Hope was. She didn't like to see children crying and in pain. It killed her to see many who suffered from more serious conditions having to go through rigourous and painful therapies in order to prolonge their lives. She knew that some children suffered from terminal illness. For the most part, the lives of such children was a question of whether or not they would live to celebrate another birthday...for some, whether they would live to see another day period.
There was one little girl in particular that had captured Hope's heart. She was a little girl named Macy. Macy, like some of the children in the pediatric unit, suffered from terminal illness and her life was pretty much borrowed time. What made Hope so sad for Macy was the fact that she had been abandoned. Her mother was a prostitute and drug addict. Macy had been born a crack baby. Hope hadn't known her but a few months, but the hospital was all too familar with children like her. Macy was only 5 years old. And she spent a great deal of her small life in pain or being poked and prodded. It was always a joy for the little girl to see Hope. And it was a bitter sweet joy for Hope to be a part of this little child's life. Hope walked up to Macy's bed. She had just finished a kemo treatment. "Hi Macy. How have you been today?"
"The doctors had to make me hurt again...." Macy said. Her little mouth turned in a frown. Her eyes were red from her tears. She noticed that she had a little thing in her hands. It was a trading card...a wrestling card. Hope's eyes widened when she saw who was on it, The Undertaker. Then she thought of something that might make Macy feel better. But she would talk to the child first and make sure this was something she wanted to do. "Who's that your holding Macy?"
"Undertaker. He my guardian angel...he watches over me." Macy said with all the innocence of a five year old child. Hope looked at the little girl. The pain in Macy's eyes broke her heart. "They let you hold the card while you went through your kemo?"
"Yah." Macy said and hugged the card to her heart. "He kept me company while I was hurting."
"Do you like wrestling?" Hope asked.
"Yah. I got to meet some of them when they came to the hospital...but my gaurdian angel wasn't with them...but that was ok. He watches over me." Macy said. "Macy, if someday you could, would you like to meet him...for real?"
"Yah, but I won't get to here on Earth. I don't think I will be here long enough. I'll see him when it's time for me to go though."
Hope wanted to cry then and there. She was going to see that Macy got to see her guardian angel before her life in this world ended. "I wish I could see him though. You are the only other person who makes the pain not hurt so bad."
"Macy, I have to go see somebody else right now. I'll come back later and if I'm able to, I might have a suprise for you. You try to get some sleep...and I'll see bout bringing you something very special later on."
"Ok." Macy said and closed her eyes hugging her Undertaker card to her chest. "You will get to see your angel soon Macy. I promise you that." Hope said and headed for Taker's room. She walked in and found him up and just finishing off dinner. She had managed to hold back her tears when she entered his room. She quietly walked up to him. "Hope..." He said as he saw her enter the room. "Taker...there is something I need to ask of you. And it's very important."
"Hope, what is it? You look like you're on the verge of tears." Taker said. Hope sat down beside him oh his bed. Her eyes began to water. "I...I often go to the pediatric unit to visit with the children. Many of them are terminally ill and their parents can't be there with them all the time. There is one little girl in particular that I can't get out of my mind. Her name is Macy. She's only 5 years old. She suffers from a terminal illness. I visited her after she went through her kemo treatment. She...she had a card hugged to her chest she told me....it...it had your picture on it. She...she called you her guardian angel." Hope finally broke into tears. "She's in so much pain. She was abadoned by her mother who was a prostitute and drug addict. No body ever adopted her. She's been in state shelters all her life. She's only five years old. And...she may never live to be six. She never asked for any of this. She just wants to have a day where there is some true joy in her life. She...she wants to meet you so much."
"She...she wants to meet...me? She calls me her guardian angel?" Taker asked someone stunned by what Hope told her. "Yes. She held the picture she has of you while she was going through her kemo. The sad thing is, she has no parents, no family...I'm basically all she has...well, there are some other girls that come and visit her. But I'm the one she always reaches out for when she's afraid or in pain."
"Which room is she in?" Taker asked. "She's in the pediatric ward. She might have months, she might have days. We can never be too sure." Hope said drying her eyes. "Hope, Macy will get her wish. I can promise you that. I don't care if I have to hobble out of this bed and crawl to where she is. She will get her wish."
"Right now? Taker you're still recovering."
"You will find that I recover quickly. I have much more time than Macy might. And I know that this will mean a great deal to her. I'll be all right, besides...I think I have given the doctor suffcient cause to keep his distance with me. My gear was thankfully spared in the crash."
"I know where things are. I'll go get your gear for you. What does the bag look like?" Hope asked. "It's a black duffle bag, should have WWF on it somewhere."
"All right. I'll go get it then." Hope said. She went and found the locker that had his bag in it. She grabbed it and brought it back to him. He took out a pair of black jeans and a black tank top. He started to move but felt a jolt of sever pain shoot through his lower body. "You can't..not right now. You're still recovering. Look Macy is in remission right now. The kemo is just routine treatments to hopefully prevent a relaspe. You aren't in any condition to walk. You need to finish recovering. Look, just try to get some rest and regain your strength. I will be keeping up constantly with Macy. If anything should happen, I'll let you know. You...you try to get some rest ok?"
"All right. Hope...will you be ok?"
"I deal with this sort of thing all the time when I'm here." Hope said and left. Taker looked down at the gear in his bag, frustrated that he couldn't get up. "This is pathetic..." he said to himself. "I should be able to just get up and walk...but I can't. She might have time, then she might not. I can't believe that there is someone out there who still regards me so highly. One so young...damn this. I'm going to visit that little girl even if I have to smile through my pain. She has less time in this life than I do. Hell what the doctors will say. I have the chance to actually make a little girl's last days happy...and I'm going to see that thru." He said to himself and looked at the gear for a long time. He was in too much pain to move at the moment, but then he started to go into a trance and began to zone out the pain.
It was late into the night when Taker awoke from a deep sleep. Hope had long since left and he was alone in his room. He thought about the young woman who had come to him when he was near death and brought him back. Perhaps it was that there were people who did still care, who still had room in their hearts...even for someone like him. He looked around to make sure no one saw him, then he slowly started to get up from his bed. The aches wracked his body but he began to bear through them and get up to his full, monstorous height. He knew now he could get up, and he could walk. But he got back into bed realizing he wouldn't be able to really go anywhere without getting himself into a lot of trouble. He slid his bag under the bed so no one would notice it. He didn't want Hope getting into trouble on his account.
Morning came as the nurses came in to check on their rather unique patient. His injuries weren't as bad as they once appeared. They seemed to heal rather quickly. Most of the nurses were spooked by him...and of course, the head doctor made it a practice to stay away from him. Hope was a different story. She came in and saw him sitting up flexing his arms. "How are you feeling?" She asked as she walked in. "Much stronger. Macy...I can visit her today. I'm strong enough to walk." Taker replied. "All right. If you feel you can do it. She will be in a better mood today. She slept through most of the day yesterday after her kemo. I wanted to bring you to see her yesterday, but I realized that wasn't a good idea. Neither of you were in very good condition. I think she'd love it if you went to see her today."
The day progressed and Hope made her daily rounds of the patients and then went to see Macy and the other children in the pediatric ward. "Macy...how are you feeling?"
"My head hurts..." Macy said, her little lips turned in a frown. "Well, I might have something that will make your head feel better. You wait here and I'll go get it for you. Now have your eyes closed, I don't want you to peek."
"Please....I wanna see...."
"You will, but you got to close your eyes....it'll spoil the suprise if you peek."
"Ok..." Macy shrugged and closed her eyes. "Ok...she's waiting. Come on..walk easy." Hope said. "I'm all right. I can walk." Taker replied. "Macy, are your eyes still closed?"
"Yes Hope." Macy answered. "Ok...I'm bringing your suprise in. Keep those peepers shut..." Hope said. Taker saw little Macy for the first time. His heart about went through the floor. Macy's hair was regrowing from the past bouts of kemo she'd had to endure. Her skin, though it maintained somewhat of a healthy color, was pale and she had little patches on her arms from all the needles. She was also very small, very thin. It broke his heart to see one so tiny, so innocent suffer so much. She didn't ask for such agony, he thought. "Hope...she...she's so little. Can't they find a cure for her?"
"I wish they could find cures for all these little children. Many of them were born to mothers on crack or other drugs. Many are unfortunate victims of inherited illnesses. I don't understand why it happens to them." Hope said. "Come on. This is a big moment for Macy."
"Hope...my eyes are starting to hurt." Macy said. Hope and Taker walked over to Macy's bed. He sat down beside the tiny child. "Ok Macy, open your eyes." Hope said. Macy opened her eyes and looked up with amazement. "You brought him! You brought him Hope! Oh is it really you?" Macy said as a huge smile graced her mouth. "Yes Macy. I'm really here."
"Oh you heard me! You heard me and you came! I knew you would! See Hope, he is my gaudian angel! He knew I needed him. Oh thank you! Thank you Hope!" Macy exclaimed. Then she held out her arms and went right to Taker. She clung to him like he was a long lost family member...almost as if he was like...a father to her. He in turn put his long, massive arms around the tiny child and hugged her. For the first time in so long someone was....happy, to see him. The sight of him brought joy to a little child's heart. Her eyes were wide, her smile was too. He swore he could feel something forming in his eye...a teardrop. After all he'd done, after all the things he'd said...this tiny child still loved him as if he were a saint.
There were no words that could describe the feeling the smile on Macy's face gave the dark man. For close to a year now he'd been hated and despised by the masses, yet this one little girl looked on him with all the love that only a child in all her innocence and compassion could give. He spent what time he could with her until he felt the aches of his own body telling him he had to go back and rest.
Macy gave him one last long hug and then watched him get up and turn to leave. He looked back for a second to see the little child close her eyes and fall asleep. Something inside his heart stung. He didn't have a good feeling about the child's future. He saw visions of the child's future, but didn't want to acknowledge them knowing what would eventually lay ahead. He walked away and went back to his room where he found the attending doctor looking at him and rather angrily at Hope. "What have you been doing? And Hope, where does it say that you can just get a patient dressed to go walk whereever he pleases?"
"Doctor, let me ex..."
"You can explain it in my office because I want to see you there right now. And you are to..."
"You know I've just about had it with your attitude. If you must know Hope was just helping a little girl to feel better. Which is a hell of a lot more than I can say for you. Poor little Macy was a wreck after they got that damn kemo done. You didn't see the smile on her face when I came in there and visited her. She had wished to see me for a long time, and I damn well didn't see it as a crime to make a sick child happy. Now I suggest you take care of this attitude problem of yours. Remember what I said dear doctor. One of these days it will be you lying in a hospital bed." Taker growled sternly. "Hope, you may...go about your business." The doctor said quite nervously. Taker glared at him as he walked out. "I've seen cadavers with more compassion than him. How can he be so cold...as cold as...I...was." Taker said suddenly remembering the things he had said in the not so distant past. "That is the past Taker. And you have to let it go. You made mistakes, but what you must do now is learn from them and not make them again." Hope replied. "That's not an easy thing to do for me. My whole life had been an experiment in nightmares."
"It's never easy, and you can't just rush in and make things better. People will need time...so will you."
"It just isn't easy to describe what I felt when that child held out her arms to me. There has never been a time when people were...not afraid of me. I've never had anyone call me a guardian angel. It feels so...strange."
"You realize now that there are those who find a place for you in their hearts no matter how dark and menacing you might appear. Children have the gift of innersight more than most would realize. They have so much compassion and love mainly because of their innocence of good and evil when they come into this world. She doesn't see you as some heartless, evil monster that others might. You remain a hero in her eyes. You always will remain a hero in her heart."
to be cont.
Part 3 A struggle begins
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