Piping Hot Tamales
On the eleventh day of Christmas, my hot date gave to me some pain pills, and some cute gay men brought me tamales.
I groaned and tried to move. Everything hurt.
“Shh, its okay.” Chris wrapped around me. I relaxed into his warmth.
“I need to pee,” I said.
Chris was up and helping me to the bathroom door, then left me on my own.
I wasn’t so bad off I needed help going to the bathroom, and our relationship wasn’t to that point yet. At least I didn’t think so. I carefully made my way back to bed.
Chris followed me with a glass of water and some pills. “Here, you can have more pain meds.”
I swallowed the pills and handed him back the glass. I noticed the clock across the room. “Shouldn’t you be at work?” I felt groggy with sleep and groggy from the muscle relaxers. “I need to call in. It’s so late.”
“I’ve already called in for both of us. They know you won’t be in all week. I even sent over a picture of the orders from the doctor.”
“Thank you.” I whimpered.
“I’m taking the day to take care of you, and to deal with my car. Insurance is supposed to get me a rental today or tomorrow.”
“You can borrow mine if you need to run errands. I’m not driving anytime soon.” I volunteered.
“Thanks, I will this afternoon. Right now it’s be lazy in bed and hold you.” He indicated I needed to lay back down so he could curl up around me again.
I moved slowly and carefully back into him. He wrapped his arms around me and nuzzled his nose into my hair by my ear.
“I’m staying with you today because I need this. I was scared last night, scared I had let you get hurt. Scared because they made me deal with my stupid car when they took you away to the hospital. I had to tell everyone we were engaged just so they would let me into the ER with you.”
My stomach did a little flip at the idea.
“I’m falling in love with you Nat. Last night made that clear to me.”
I tried to roll over to look at him. Instead, I gasped with pain and tensed up.
Chris sat up. “What? Are you okay?”
“Come over here so I can see your face,” I said through winces of pain.
The black eye he got had really bloomed over night. He looked worried and beat. I lay my hand against his cheek. “That’s the most wonderful thing I have ever heard. All I wanted was you to be near me last night. I wasn’t scared when you were around.” I ran my fingers through the thick hair on top of his head. “I love butterscotch. Be my butterscotch?”
He gave me the sweetest, most toe-curling kiss. It could have progressed to something hotter, and more intense but Chris kept it in check. I’m sure my flinching with pain in the middle of it put a damper on things.
We spent the day just hanging out in quiet company, watching movies on TV.
Chris put me down for a nap before he left to run some errands and get a few things from his place.
I felt muzzy headed after my nap. Chris came back and changed the DVD for me. It was nice to have him around, nice to have someone bend over for things I currently could not manage on my own. And nice to have around simply because I liked him.
“What do you want for dinner?” Chris asked as he rummaged through my cupboards. I didn’t have too much food on hand since I hadn’t gone shopping over the weekend like I typically did.
“You gonna cook?” I asked.
“If I can find something to make I will.”
“You cook?” I asked jokingly.
“You’ve met my parents. Of course, I cook. I can do more than run a grill too.”
I leaned against the wall and watched as Chris started to pull food out.
We both turned when there was a knock on the door. I stayed put as Chris went to open it.
“Boyfriend you look beat up. How’s my girl?” Blake asked as he swept in, followed by the good looking man I saw him at the movies with. Both of them were laden down with groceries and aluminum foil pans.
The food brigade had landed. The department I was in at work had a support system, whenever someone was sick and going to miss work for more than a few day, or was injured, or had someone at home in bad shape, we fed them. Those of us who lived close enough went home for lunch and cooked. Others hit the delis and grocery stores.
“Natalie this is Scott. Scott, Chris, Natalie.” Blake introduced us as he unpacked a variety of homemade meals and deli contributions from pre-sliced fruit and a rotisserie chicken to several casseroles and bags of chips. They also brought bottles of soda, and a six pack of beer.
“Oh wow, Jane and Lupa really outdid themselves,” I said eyeing the tamales and enchilada casserole. My standard contribution of bacon cheddar mashed potatoes was missing, then again this time I was the recipient of all the food.
“You probably have a few holiday leftovers here from the look of it,” Chris said as he started putting stuff away in the fridge.
“Even better,” I said. “I don’t have to worry about cooking or anything for at least a week.”
“How long you out?” Blake asked. “I thought someone said you broke your back.”
“No, I sprained it. Nothing is broken, it just hurts like a son-of-a-bitch. I should only be out this week.” I explained.
“Well good, we need you.” Blake kissed me on both cheeks, then turned to Chris. “You take care of my girl, okay.”
“I will,” Chris said with a grin.
And then Blake swept right on out, dragging Scott in his wake.
“I didn’t realize you and Blake were that close,” Chris said.
“That makes two of us,” I said. I eased my way into the kitchen. “Now that we have all this food, what’s for dinner?”
©2016 Lulu M Sylvian. The Twelve Dates of Christmas