Carolyn and Katy: Yep, alls' well in Evansville and moving right along let's go!!!
The next morning the alarm went off way too soon to suit the newlyweds. It seemed like they had just fallen asleep…and in truth they had. Liz managed to roll over to her side of the bed and crawl out with a big fat groan and Max reached over and pulled her back in next to him. She cuddled for a minute, gave him a peck on the cheek and told him she really needed to get up and take a shower. Max wanted to know if she needed some company…Liz checked the clock and then gave him a big smile and said “You betcha!” And with that Max was hot on her tail. They enjoyed a nice leisurely shower together, playing with each other and loving every minute of their time together…but all good things must come to an end.
While Max was drying off he asked Liz if she wanted a PB&J for lunch…she said sure so he quickly put his jeans on and headed over to Maria’s to make some coffee and to pack Liz some lunch. The furniture would be delivered this morning and he would be pretty busy all day so Liz would either be eating at the office or finding someone to eat with and since she would be taking off Monday afternoon it would be better that she stayed in to make sure everything was current for Diane, Kyle and her.
Besides Liz felt this would give her a chance to talk with Diane and Jody regarding taking some time off and hiring a temp to do phones while she was gone on a honeymoon if that’s what she and Max decided to do. She hoped things worked out so that she and Max could take some time off to go somewhere, it really sounded like a great thing to do.
Once he started working at the hospital it would be close to impossible to take any time off for at least a year, maybe more. And if they continued with their plans for the medical building it would really be next to impossible to make any plans for any extended vacations.
‘Where should we go?’ she wondered as she dried her hair. Anywhere with Max sounded like fun. Oh well, maybe they could talk about it more this weekend
Liz arrived at the office just before 8:00 a.m. and Jody had already finished the morning tasks and had Liz’s messages laid out on her desk in the order of importance. She definitely needed to talk to Diane about a raise for the girl. She was turning into a very valuable asset and they certainly didn’t want her to decide to leave them for any reason whatsoever.
When Diane arrived around 9:00 a.m. she stopped in to see Liz as she always did and Liz told her that the furniture would be delivered today and Max would be overseeing the delivery. She also told her how he and Michael had unpacked all of the small kitchen appliances and washed all of them, how Max had cleaned the entire apartment and did the laundry including changing the sheets on the bed.
Diane just sat back and listened to Liz talk about Max as though he was the greatest thing since wheel and she had a tough time hiding a giggle or two but she couldn’t hide the twinkle in her eyes.
She was so very proud of her son and sooooo happy that he finally realized his feelings for the ‘girl next door’. Liz continued to go on about Max’s virtues and then finally looked at Diane and realized that she had been monopolizing the conversation for the last 20 minutes, she looked at her mother-in-law and apologized profusely about her ramblings and Diane just smiled at her and said…
“Liz, you have no idea how happy it makes me to see you so content with my son and that you are so happy in your marriage. Honey, don’t ever apologize to me for being happy…it’s just too wonderful to see.”
“Oh Diane, thank you so much…you have no idea how truly happy I am and how truly blessed I feel. It’s just wonderful.” Liz was beaming…
“Good, now do we have any business to discuss before I head on over to my office?” Diane replied as she took in the happiness exuding from her daughter-in-law.
“Well, yes, there are a couple of items I would like to talk over with you. One or two are personal and affects the office but first…I would like to run this one by you. I think Jody needs a raise. She’s becoming quite an asset and I wouldn’t want her to feel she could ever do better anywhere else. What do you think?”
“I think I agree with you there and I will leave the particulars up to you…now about the personal items, what are they?”
“First things first…I have an appointment with a gynecologist on Monday, Michael actually, and would like to take the afternoon off and then there’s a honeymoon. As you know, Sister gave Max the month off and then he will be starting his position at the hoapital which will probably mean there will be no vacation time for at least a year and I know you have his graduation party planned for next month and although Max and I haven’t really talked seriously about it the subject has come up. I just wanted to know how you felt about it before we make any definite plans. We could always hire a temp while I am out and Jody could cover the transcribing. As far as research goes I don’t think that it will be a problem for a week or two. What do you think?”
“Well, you know you have Monday afternoon off with my blessings and as for the honeymoon, go right ahead and make your plans. You are right though, a temp will be a good idea. As I said before Liz, I trust you completely to keep things running smoothly around here and you haven’t failed me yet so go, enjoy your life with my son with my blessings.”
With that Liz got up from her desk and walked around to the other side and gave Diane a great big hug and a kiss on the cheek…Diane just smiled at her. ‘Life was far too short to not take moments for yourself.’ (She learned this too late when she lost Philip.)
Meanwhile back at the apartment Max and Michael had moved all of the new electronics into the spare bedroom and started unpacking it while they waited for the delivery truck.
It was shortly after nine when the doorbell rang and the men were ready to haul stuff in. They wanted to know where everything went and Max told them to put the patio table and chairs in the dining area, the couch and chairs in the living room along with the coffee table and end tables and the bedroom set went into the bedroom across the other side of the apartment with the exception of the armoire which would be put in the living room for the time being. The guy checked it all out and said they would be back with the bedroom first. That way they wouldn’t have to walk around the other furniture. Made sense to Max and Michael…so they just stood in the kitchen with a cup of coffee and waited for things to be put in place.
When the men put the bedroom furniture in the room Max and Michael went to the linen closet and got the mattress pad, sheets, pillows and pillowcases out and proceeded to make up the bed. They had been doing this for years since they shared an apartment all through college and medical school; they were old pros at this stuff. When they finished Max found the comforter they had purchased in the top of the closet with the matching shams and he and Michael made short work of those as well. When they were finished with the bed they stood back and surveyed the situation…it really looked quite nice and they turned and gave each other a high five…
”It really looks nice Max. Liz did a great job of choosing something that was nice but not too feminine.” Michael said with a grin…
“I think so too Mike…Liz bought some kind of panel or something to hang from the posters but I think we should let her do that. I ‘m good with the basics but I don’t think I know what to do with the rest of it.”
“Do you want me to go get Maria?”
“Nah…this is fine. Let’s just get the lamps out of the closet and put them on the night stands and call this room done…what do you think?”
“I think it looks great and I’ll bet that Liz will think so too. Has she said anything about Monday?”
“Only wanted to know if it was going to hurt…told her I didn’t know because I’ve never had it done to me…she punched me for that one but I think she’s a little nervous.” Max said with some concern. He just had this gnawing in his stomach…oh well, he was nervous too.
“You didn’t say that to her, did you?”
“Yeah, I really did.”
“Shit Max, she’s probably ready to cancel now.”
“Nah, she’ll be there…she knows this needs to be done.”
“Okay, if you’re sure…I can talk to her if you want me to.”
“Seriously Mike, she’s fine…I’ll make sure she’s okay with it. Let’s check out the living room and see if everything is there.”
So, the young doctors headed into the living room and sure enough the men had just brought in the last of the pieces and everything was sitting in the middle of the floor just waiting for them. Max took a quick survey of the delivery receipt and made sure everything was delivered, signed it and the guys were on their way. Then the two of them got busy with the rest of the apartment.
They started with the dining room first since it was just a table and 6 chairs to unpack. After they had all of the cartons broken down Max stood back and had a good look at the color. Liz really had a good eye. The taupe color looked really nice with the beige color of the couch and chairs and he remembered the curtain panels that Liz purchased for the windows and thought how really nice they were all going to look together. The patio set was an excellent idea for a temporary set up, and the “monster refrigerator” fit in the kitchen quite nicely…Liz’s term for the refrigerator…and it looked nice with the ‘red’ also.
Now the living room; Max and Michael both looked a little puzzled and then thought about it for a minute and decided that, after listening to their parents discuss focal points for years, they should have paid more attention. Max asked Michael where he thought the couch and chairs should go in respect to the TV and the fireplace. Michael looked at Max like he’d lost his mind and Max just grinned at him.
“You know Mike, if we don’t make this look right this time we WILL be doing it over… right?”
“You certainly are right about that Maxwell…so…let’s think about this logically. If we set the TV up with the couch then you can fall asleep more comfortably while your favorite team wins or loses…and…you can use the chairs for a good book in front of the fireplace, no?”
“Great, do you think Liz will like the idea?”
“Hey dude, she’s your wife.” Michael stated, letting Max know that he would know the answer to that better than he would.
“Well let’s do it and hope for the best.” Max wasn’t quite sure their idea would work but it was worth a try.
So they started on the living room and about lunchtime Maria came over to see the progress. She was carrying a rocking chair with her and when Max saw it he smiled at her and told her to find a place of honor. With that she went right over to the corner of the room, placed the odd candle table Liz had purchased next to the chair and Max and Michael both grinned at her. Neither man knew what the hell the candle table was for but now it all made sense and it looked very nice. Max thanked her and asked her what she thought.
“Max, I think Liz is going to be very impressed. It looks just beautiful. Where are you going to put the TV?”
Michael and Max had only set the chairs up in front of the fireplace and hadn’t placed the armoire against the far wall yet so Maria was confused about the placement of the furniture. Michael explained to her that they decided to have two focal points in the room, one for the fireplace for cozy evenings and one for the TV for comfort. Maria raised one eyebrow and with a twinkle in her eye she said,
“Well, yeah…focal points. You know, we have the fireplace and we have the TV and we can’t ignore either so we are going to make two focal points.” Michael defended.
Maria gave a little nod and then asked if they were hungry…both men said they were and that they would probably be the rest of the afternoon setting up all of the electronics in the armoire so they headed on over to Maria’s for some lunch. After they were finished they headed back over to the other apartment leaving Maria to finish up her day on the computer. But first things first, as soon as they were out the door Maria had to call Liz,
“Liz, you are not going to believe what Max and Michael are doing! You are going to be so impressed that you will be overwhelmed.”
“Why Maria, what’s going on?”
“Well, they’ve finished the bedroom, kitchen, and dining room and now they are creating ‘focal points’ in the living room.”
“Yeah, you know…the fireplace is one focal point and the TV is another focal point. Liz, I think they are getting in touch with their feminine sides, and Liz…it really looks nice.”
Liz started giggling and said,
“God, would I love to be a fly on the wall for this. Thanks Maria, I will be sure to tell them how much I like it. Oh, Alex delivered the proofs of the wedding today and some of them are really nice. I don’t know how I can choose just a few. Maybe we should have some pizza tonight, you and Michael can come over and we can hang out…what do you say?”
“I say it sounds great. What time do you get off?”
“Around 5:30 tonight, probably be home about 6:00 or so.”
“Great, I’ll call in the order for delivery around 7:00. That will give you time to say hello to your sexy husband, no?”
“Yeah Maria, thank you so much; love you.”
“Love you too girlfriend. Talk to you later.”
Back at the Evans’ apartment Max and Michael moved the armoire against the far wall and proceeded to bring out the TV, DVD/VCR and stereo equipment. They pulled everything away from the wall and started hooking things up, Maria and Liz’s tool box really came in handy. By the time they had it all finished it looked great and then they placed the couch at a nice distance from the cabinet to make the TV easy for watching.
They then decided that they needed a table or something in back of the couch since it was free standing and because it looked a little vacant there. Also, Max needed to call the car upholsterer to fix the tear so they needed to hide it. They decided to pull the dresser out of the bedroom and put it behind the couch. It matched the armoire and really looked great. That left the chest of drawers in the bedroom and a mirror with no dresser.
“Max, that looks great but where in the hell are you going to put your clothes…in the living room?”
Max reached up and scratched the back of his ear and then got a grin on his face,
“Maybe I’ll just leave them at Mom’s.” He said,
“Oh for God’s sake Max, get real here, you need to have someplace to put your clothes.”
“Well, Liz has the dresser in the other bedroom and then there’s the chest of drawers that I can use. In the meantime we don’t have to buy anymore furniture until we see where we are going to be living permanently.”
With that Michael gave him a sideways look and grinned…
“Has that estate lady called you back yet?”
”What estate lady?”
“Yeah, right… what estate lady? We saw how Liz reacted to that house and we saw the look on your face just watching her. Are you going to buy it?”
“If I can.”
“Good for you man. Now all of this furniture makes perfect sense. Maria and I both thought that’s what you had in mind when you started buying up all of these pieces.”
“Boy, you guys really have me pegged don’t you?”
”It’s okay Max, we think it’s wonderful, you deserve to be happy.”
“Thanks Mike, I really appreciate it… and I also appreciate this” Max raised his arm and circled the room… “All of this help, I couldn’t ask for a better friend.”
Mike just smiled at his old friend and waved him off.
Around 5:30 Liz went into Diane’s office to say goodnight…
“I’m going to head on home and check out the focal points.”
“Yeah, Maria called me earlier and told me that Max and Michael were setting up the living room with two focal points, one for the TV and one for the fireplace. Why don’t you come over when you get off and have a look at their handiwork? We are going to have pizza around 7:00 and look at wedding proofs. How does that sound?”
“Liz, that sounds great but do you think I should be looking at your wedding proofs before your Mom and Dad see them?”
“Oh for God’s sake Diane, we’re all grown ups here, come over for some pizza and see the place. I can’t wait to see what the two of them have done and I think you should take a look at the wonderful man you have raised and see what he’s capable of.”
“Well, alright then…I’ll see you around 7:00…can I bring anything?” Diane said excitedly.
“Just yourself…oh, and don’t tell anyone you’re coming. We only have 6 chairs and not a lot of room.”
“Great, mums the word, bye honey and drive safely.”
“You too, see you later.”
When Liz arrived home, to say that she was impressed would be an understatement. The apartment had been transformed into a thing of beauty. All she needed to do was add some accessories and it would be picture perfect. She could only stand in the entryway and smile. Max took her into his arms and gave her a huge hug…
“Well, what do you think? Do you like it?” He was so excited to see what she had to say…
“Oh Max, it’s just perfect. You did a beautiful job with everything but where are you going to put your clothes?” Having recognized the dresser behind the couch…
“I’m going to use the chest of drawers and we moved the dresser from the spare bedroom into our room and you can keep your clothes in there for the time being. What do you think?”
Liz was flabbergasted…what did she think? …
”I think you are a genius. That’s what I think.” And she reached around her husbands’ neck and planted a great big noisy kiss on his mouth, which started to turn pretty steamy with the passing of each second. By the time they broke away for some much needed air Liz told Max that she really needed to get changed because his Mom was coming over for pizza along with Michael and Maria.
“Alex brought the proofs of the wedding pictures by the office today and we are going to look at them.”
“Well, what time are they supposed to be here?”
“In about an hour…How about a quick shower? Sound like fun?” She said with a grin…
“Of course it sounds like fun…let’s get to it then.”
So after some fun in the shower our two lovebirds got busy and put some clothes on and headed out to the kitchen. Liz had almost forgotten about “monster refrigerator” and took notice to how really nice it looked and it fit just perfectly. Not an inch to spare though. She asked Max if he thought they should order some soft drinks to go with the pizza or should they run out and get some. Max said he would run to the grocery store and pick up a couple of bottles of wine while he was at it. Liz looked at him and winked…
“Better get some wine glasses while you’re at it. I don’t think we have anything to drink wine out of. I’ll make a pot of coffee while you’re gone and set up the table for the pizza. Be careful and see you in a few…”
Max bent over and planted a kiss on Liz’s forehead and asked her if he should pick up some milk while he was at it just in case they wanted some cereal in their own apartment in the morning. Liz said sure and then got busy in the kitchen.
Around 7:00 Michael and Maria met Diane in the hallway and they all headed over to Max and Liz’s together…when they walked in Diane was flabbergasted.
Liz had told her of Maria’s phone call but she had no idea just how beautiful everything would be. Michael and Max had placed the coffee table in front of the couch and used the end tables at the fireplace with the chairs. They had strung an extension cord under a throw rug to one of the tables and they had used another of the table lamps in the back of couch on the dresser that was substituting as a library table.
There was a smaller lamp on the table next to Liz’s grandmother’s rocking chair and Liz had lit all of the lamps to brighten everything up. Diane was very impressed as was Maria. Maria had only seen it in the planning stages and she was amazed, the guys had done a marvelous job.
Liz then took Diane into their new bedroom and Diane started grinning…
“So, you didn’t buy all of that living room furniture for just the living room?”
“No, we knew we were going to use the armoire in the living room for the time being but Max and Michael decided that the living room needed “two focal” points and they took the dresser out there to use behind the couch because it matched the armoire. I am going to continue to use my old dresser for my clothes and Max will use the chest of drawers, actually it worked out quite nicely, don’t you think?”
Diane continued to smile and told Liz that she thought it worked out more than just nicely; it was wonderful. Liz just kept on smiling. She was so happy she could hardly contain herself.
Soon the pizza was delivered and Max showed up with some wine glasses and beverages and everyone sat down to dinner. Liz had explained to Diane earlier that they hadn’t found a dining set that really impressed them and since they had no idea what type they wanted they bought a patio set instead. They would always be able to match it up with other patio furniture some day and in the meantime it would work out just fine. Diane couldn’t agree more. So far their purchases have been very wise and the way it was laid out it looked very nice.
After they finished with their dinner Liz and Maria cleared off the dishes and Liz got the envelope of proofs out for everyone to look at.
Max had only had a chance to take a quick look at the pictures and he was very impressed with what he had seen but now, looking at them and taking the time to enjoy them, he could see why Liz thought it was going to be difficult to choose from them. He decided that they should buy all of the proofs and then they would only have to decide what to use for the relatives announcements. The parents should get to choose the ones they want and that way they wouldn’t have to make any decisions. Doesn’t get any easier than that,
“When did you get so smart Max?” his mother asked. They all laughed at that statement and then Diane told the kids she thought she would head on home. It had been a long day and she was looking forward to spending some time with Isabelle before going to bed. Alex had to go to a wedding tonight and although he had asked Isabelle to go along she opted to stay home and get some work done on one of her own projects.
“When do you kids think you might be coming over to share pictures with everyone else?” she asked before leaving…Max looked at Liz and she just shrugged her shoulders and suggested they call her Mom and Dad tomorrow and see what they were doing in the evening.
“Let me check it out for you and I’ll get back with you tomorrow, maybe we can have a bar-b-que tomorrow night or something at my house…yes?” Diane asked…
“That sounds great; we’ll wait to hear from you then.” With that Max and Liz both hugged Diane and bid her good night after telling her to drive safely. She was just so happy with them that she couldn’t wipe the smile from her face the entire trip home.
After Diane left Liz asked Maria what her plans were for the morning and Maria wanted to know…
“How early in the morning?”
Liz just giggled and said “Not too early; maybe a quick trip to the yardage shop to get some fabric to make up some throw pillows and pick up some silk greenery. Max and I really need to do some grocery shopping so it won’t be an all day affair. What do you think? ”
“Fine, how about 10:00 or so that should give you plenty of time to pick out some fabric and greenery…yes?”
“Great, 10:00 it is unless you want to make it around 11:00?”
“Okay, somewhere between 10:00 and 11:00…call me when you’re ready ok?”
“Sure…see you then and thanks Maria.”
“You bet girlfriend…anytime.”
Liz winked at Michael and he knew he could carry out his plans for his evening very nicely. He gave Liz a hug and kissed her on the cheek…Liz whispered in his ear “thank you Michael, you guys did a beautiful job.” Michael smiled at her and said “Anytime Liz, anytime.” And with that he and Maria headed to their own apartment.
Max led Liz into their bedroom and asked her, “Do you have any idea just how much I love you?” As he sat down on the end of the bed and took her into his lap.
“God Max, if it is only half as much as I love you I think I’m in good shape for about the next 50 years or so.” Max just heaved a big sigh and held her close, life couldn’t be any better. He was holding her for what seemed like an eternity and didn’t want to let her go when he suddenly realized that her breathing was becoming very even and shallow.
(And the old mans eyes misted over as he remembered.)
“Liz? Are you sleeping?” he whispered…
“Hmmm…” Was her only reply … Max started to chuckle to himself and stood up with his wife in his arms. He laid her down in the middle of the bed and then he took her shoes off and proceeded to unzip her jeans and remove them from her body…He decided to let her sleep in her tank top and panties. She looked so peaceful and beautiful…his heart was just bursting with love and pride for this beautiful woman and she was all his. He turned down her side of the bed and moved her under the covers and walked out into their lovely new living room and turned the TV on to catch the evening news. ‘This is just too wonderful’ he thought, life is really good.