|A Love for the Decades
Author: keekeebaker PM
An older Keith Partridge finally finds love but can he keep it when an accident threatens to take his life and how will their love survive?Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Keith P. - Chapters: 8 - Words: 16,899 - Reviews: 6 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 10-18-12 - Published: 10-10-12 - id: 8597258
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I don't own the Partridge Family or its characters, only the original characters within the story
Chapter 1 -
The bed sheets twist tighter around her unyielding body as the sound of her heart pounds against her eardrums, mocking her with each of its rhythmic life giving beats. Mechanically droning to her, 'You are still alive and healthy while his life is hanging in the balance. You are still alive and healthy while his life is hanging in the balance.' Images of his beloved face flashes behind her closed eyelids; of him laughing with her as his dark eyes dance mischievously, of the smouldering look that passes across his face whenever she catches him watching her, of him turning his big dark eyes to her as tears well within them and of his silent and peaceful face as he lays unconscious, hanging between the balance of life and death. Her pulse quickens as the sheet binds itself around her, trapping her in the endless and unforgiving nightmare that has become her life since the accident. The sound of his hoarse and pain filled voice calling out her name fills her senses and every inch of her soul.
The car tyres screeched to a halt outside the San Pueblo General Hospital was the first sound that Paige had heard since the two police officers had knocked upon her door and informed her of Keith's accident. She ran through the parking lot and pushed the swinging doors and gained entry to the confined and sparsely furnished waiting room. "Where is he?" Paige whispered to the occupants of the small room.
Shirley and Charlie rushed forward and held her between them, Shirley sobbed quietly on her shoulder as she whispered Keith's name over and over like a mantra.
Charlie murmured, "He's dead, Paige, Tom's dead."
"WHERE IS HE?" Paige screamed as tears slipped down her pretty face; grief gripped at her heart for her brother as fear for her husband welled within her.
A sympathetic looking woman dressed in blood stained surgery scrubs, approached the huddled group and stated quietly, "I'm Dr. Kovach. Are you Paige Partridge?"
"Yes, can you please take me to Keith?" she managed to choke out.
"Please come with me, Mrs. Partridge. We need to talk first," Dr. Kovach replied as she led Paige down what seemed to her to be endless corridors, past untold and unseeing patients and into a small cluttered office. "Please have a seat, Mrs. Partridge."
Paige dropped shakily into the hard-backed plastic chair, the keys to the car Keith had given her; a mad romantic gesture on his part, still held tightly within her hand. She looked up to meet the doctor's eyes and Paige whispered, "Please tell me how Keith is."
Dr. Julia Kovach began by saying, "First off, I'd like to say how sorry I am about the loss of your brother. I didn't work on him but his doctor told me that he'd lost too much blood and had sustained a series of head injuries. Would you like to speak with your brother's doctor?"
Paige shook her head no as her eyes dropped to the keys that she still held in her hand as tears filled her eyes before she looked up once and whimpered, "Please tell me how Keith is."
Julia Kovach nodded and took a deep breath, she had never been very good at informing people that their loved ones were not going to make it, but this time it seemed a thousand times worse. She had always been a fan of the Partridge Family and Keith especially and now she was forced to tell his wife that she might soon become a widow. 'How am I to tell this still so young woman that Keith's life is hanging precariously in the balance? And that he might slip from this world at any moment?' A silent tear passed her red-rimmed eyes. The doctor jumped slightly as she felt Paige's hand rest softly on her own. She looked up and was surprised to see Paige smiling sadly at her, a smile that did not reach her heartbroken eyes.
Paige whispered, "It's alright, Dr. Kovach, you can tell me. Keith's going to die, isn't he?"
Julia cleared the tears from her throat and spoke with a voice more confident than she felt, "We're not sure. It's up to Keith to decide to live or…die. I'm sorry."
"Please tell me what happened," Paige whispered as tears slipped from her eyes.
Julia pulled herself together, surprised that she felt she had to be strong for the stranger who was being strong for her. "As far as we can make out, Keith's car was approaching the off-ramp on the highway, somehow the car swerved back and Keith missed seeing the truck that had approached on his blind side. The driver's side of the car ran straight into the truck, your husband and brother took the full brunt of the accident. Your brother was DOA on arrival and Keith has sustained a lot of internal damage and a head wound. He has been slipping in and out of consciousness but when he has been conscious, he has been asking for you. I'm sorry that I can't tell you more, Mrs. Partridge but I've already said we will have to wait and see if Keith chooses to wake."
"How's Danny?" Paige asked suddenly, her voice choked with tears.
Dr. Kovach, stopped mid-stream surprised by the auburn haired woman's sudden question, "He's fine. He only sustained a few cuts and some bruising."
Paige nodded as tears continued to slip from her eyes, "Good, Shirley couldn't take losing both Danny and…"
"I'm very sorry, Mrs. Partridge. Is there anything that I can do for you? We will leave all the paperwork regarding your brother until later; maybe someone else in your family can handle it?"
"Can you please take me to Keith now?"
"Yes of course."
Paige was once again led through a warren of corridors and passages, their journey only at an end when they arrived at the large ICU. The curtain was pulled aside slowly and there laying pale and drawn before her, drifting in and out of consciousness was Keith. The sound of Keith desperately calling out her name spurred Paige into action and she rushed to his side and took his hand in hers. She ran her hand through his hair and whispered, "Keith, darling."
Keith opened his slightly glazed eyes and looked at her. He smiled weakly, reached up and brushed the side of her face and croaked, "You're the most beautiful thing that ever happened in my life. I'll always love you."
Paige, her face was wet from tears as she managed to choke out, "Don't talk like that. You're going to be okay. You've got to be," unable to truly believe that she may be losing him.
Keith whispered in reply, "Shh, don't cry," suddenly his breath was taken from him by a fit of coughing, his whole body jerked with the motion. Paige held him and tried to take his pain away. When the coughing fit had stopped, he continued, "Don't cry. Kiss me and tell me how much you love me."
She leant forward and took his lips in a slow, sweet kiss. She pulled her lips a little from his so that he could see her eyes and the truth of her words as she sobbed, "I love you more than life itself. You've got to live because I don't know how I'd live without you."
He looked at her with anger in his face as he said as loudly as he could, "You must keep going, live for me, darling. If something happens to me, you've got to promise me that you're going to keep living. Do you promise me?"
Paige nodded her head and vowed, "I promise."
"Kiss me again, Paige my love."
She placed her lips softly upon his and whispered, "I love you Keith," as her silent tears fell upon his pale face.
Keith had only held onto consciousness long enough to tell Paige how much he loved her and to get her to promise him that if he did die that she would continue living for him. Having done so and with her sweet lips upon his, Keith Partridge surrendered to the tiredness that was threatening to overpower him and he slipped once more into unconsciousness.
Fear gripped at Paige's heart as her hold on Keith's hand tightened and she looked up into the awaiting doctor's face and said, "He's not…"
Dr. Kovach smiled as she replied, "No, he's not dead, Mrs. Partridge. He's just slipped back into unconsciousness. We're going to be moving him into a private ICU room tomorrow, so you and the family can have your privacy. For now we need to keep a close eye on him, tomorrow in the single room you can come and sit with him for as long as you wish."
Paige nodded, kissed Keith's blue tinted lips once again and reluctantly left. "Thank you, Dr. Kovach."
Paige awoke from her nightmare and screams out, "KEITH!" She reaches for him, only to find his side of the bed empty. Her eyelids slip open, as the tears again begin to fall from her over-red eyes. She crawls over to his side of the bed and buries her face in the pillow. Every night since Keith's accident, less than a week ago, she had woken up screaming his name out in terror. Her life has been a continuous roller coaster of highs and lows as she waits for Keith to awake or…
She looked to his bedside table and sees the book that he is halfway through reading; still open to the exact page with his reading glasses thrown carelessly on top. She hopes with all her heart that Keith will return to her and be able to finish reading the book. The now crumpled note that he had left her on his pillow the morning of the accident sits beside the book. It reads:
Paige my love,
I know that you wanted me to wake you up before I left with Danny and Tommy but you looked so peaceful, I didn't have the heart too. Wait up for me to come home, my love and I'll make it up to you. I'll be back with you as soon as I can. I love you, always.
You're ever loving,
Paige's body is racked with uncontrolled sobs. Her sobs echo around her empty heart, within their silent room, within their cavernous house that had never felt that way when Keith was with her, until eventually she drags herself from their bed and showers and dresses for Tom's funeral, then goes to the hospital to await with a still too silent Keith, the time that she would be witness to her oldest brother begin put into the cold, hard ground.
The day of Tom's funeral is as dark, brooding and sombre as all those who attend it. The large church that holds his service echoes with the voices of the few people that felt they could stand and talk of the quiet and loveable man. Finally prayers were offered for the quick and full recovery of Keith. A tear had not yet slipped from Paige's eyes, not at the funeral nor as Tom's coffin was slowly lowered into the cold ground. All those there began to disburse and head for the long black cars that had brought them to this unhappy place.
Danny approaches Paige, his face awash with tears and he whispers to her, choking back a sob, "Sorry isn't anywhere near adequate enough but it's all that I can say. I am so sorry Paige that I took your brother from you and maybe even Keith."
Paige steps forward and takes Danny into a tight hug and allows the man to cry over the near loss of his brother and the loss of hers, she eventually whispers, "I forgive you Danny."
He whispers back, "But what if Keith dies? Will he forgive me for taking you from him? You are the most important and loved thing in his life and I might have taken him from you."
She pulls back from him and takes hold of his face with her hands and says, "Of course he forgives you, Danny. He loves you. He is so proud of you, so proud that you want to return to rehab again." Paige releases him and begins to walk away from the man before she turns, to look back over her shoulder and adds, "I want you to do one thing for me though, Danny."
"Anything Paige, anything you want."
"Go back to rehab and get clean this time, at least do that for Keith and for your family."
"I will, Paige. I promise that I will." Danny watches as Paige turns and walks back to the graveside, a solitary figure standing looking down into her elder brother's grave as she finally lets the tears come unbidden as she crumples down onto the wet dark earth.
(I hope that you've enjoyed what you have read and want to read more, please review:))