"Sit, please." I ask him, scooting over on the
bed. He walks across the room and sits down next to me.
"Thanks. What was all that hurry about? Seems like a lot of hustle for someone who just got shot." Hank
"Jeez. Iíve only been on stage for like ten years. They teach you to hustle, even when you feel like you canít
go on. Just something you pick up." I add an eye roll for effect.
"Youíre such a actress, over dramatizing everything." Hank points out.
"You gotta problem with that?" I ask, looking deep into his eyes.
"Itís fine by me."
"Ah, so the-" A yawn interrupts me mid-sentence, and when I open my eyes, I see his caring eyes staring
back at me. "What?"
"I shouldnít have come over so late." Hank sadly remarks.
"Donít be silly! I love having you here." I touch his shoulder, and release a gentle smile upon him.
"Youíve had so much go on today. You should get some sleep. Iíll stop by tomorrow." He says, standing
up. I bit my lip as he begins to walk out of the room.
"Hank! Donít go!" I say, watching as he whips around. "Please stay. I donít like to be alone at
night. Iíve been alone for so long, I just want someone to lay with me and hold me."
"Paloma, I really-"
"Hank, Iím not talking sex. I just want your arms around me. I donít know why, but when Iím with you this
calm sensation comes over me. I need that tonight. I need someone to lay with me and listen as I talk about my
day. I want to listen to someone talk about theirs." I clear my throat and look down, "I understand if
you donít want to stay, but Iíd really like-"
"Anything for you beautiful." Hank states, kneeling down in front of me and lifting my head up by my
chin. "If you want me to stay, than Iíll stay, for however long you want me to."
"The defendant has agreed to the plea bargain. Would
you like to say anything Mr. Wagner?" The Judge asks.
"Just that Iím sorry. Iíve never really been a violent person, and I let my greed cloud my judgement. I know
my apology wonít make up for what Iíve caused you. But please accept it, as it is all I have to offer." Mr.
Wagner says. I look around the crowded courtroom, taking in the people. My entire family sat in the row behind
me, my parents holding hands and looking like they had never been separated. Tony sat next to them, a striking
blonde on his arm. He caught my glance and winks at me, which I return. Next to him is Luis, with Sheridan Crane
on his arm. I still canít get over that one. Miguel and Theresa completed the row, each with their respective significant
others. I look to my right and catch Hank watching me.
"Very well. Bailiff, please take Mr. Wagner away. Courtís adjourned." The Judge raps her gavel, and I
watch the people start to leave the courtroom.
"So, what now? Youíre back to full health, what are you going to do?" Hank asks, me and I whip my head
to look in his direction. Our eyes meet, and I find the same spark there that makes me feel a sense of calm.
"You mean am I going to return to the stage?" I ask, pushing past the lump in my throat.
"Yes." He says, barely audible.
"No." His face lights up at my response. "Iíve always wondered what itíd be like to teach. I donít
know, you think Harmony High could use a music and theater teacher?"
"Babe, with you, they canít go wrong." Hank smiles, and captures my lips for a soul shattering kiss.