"Ugggh…" Ginger groaned as she opened her eyes squinting at the bright sun. She felt just awful. Why she felt this way she did not know. What she did know is that she never wanted to feel this way again. Her head ached, her chest hurt…suddenly she broke into a terrible coughing fit. "Oh…" She grumbled falling back onto her bed. How much worse can it get?
The movie star had been feeling blue lately. Mary Ann and Gilligan had married four years earlier and had an adorable three year old daughter they named Maggie. How she got her name was comical. Mary Ann had wanted to name the child after it's father and Gilligan has wanted to name the child after it's mother. The farm girl thought it would be silly to have two Mary Anns on the island to which Gilligan suggested calling the child Mary Ann Jr. His wife pointed out you don't add "junior" to a girl's name and said they should name the baby after him. The sailor said "But William is a boy's name. We can't give a girl a boy's name." The brunette then suggested Jillian, it was close to Gilligan. The first mate cringed at that name.
Back and forth it went until it was suggested by the Skipper they combine their names into one name…like Maggie. Both agreed it was the perfect solution and loved it. So Maggie Gilligan it was!
And what a precious little angel she was! Ginger loved that little girl. Making her dresses to wear, applying just a tiny amount of make-up to her cheeks. Putting ribbons in her hair. Such a sweetheart. However lately the movie star was feeling what she could only describe as well jealousy. The redhead knew it was ridiculous to feel this way but it was not something she could help. Maggie was now the center of attention on the island. Everyone doted on her. The Skipper beamed with pride whenever the little girl was around. He treated her as if she was his own granddaughter as did the Howells.
Lovey Howell couldn't stop gushing over what a fine young lady she would grow up to be. She would be sure to teach her all about being a proper young woman. Thurston Howell spoiled the little tyke with little pieces of expensive jewelry and even allowed her to have his prized Teddy! The Professor spent his time making gentle shampoo for her hair and special soap for her delicate skin.
It wasn't that the movie star felt the child didn't deserve the attention. She most certainly did. Ginger knew she too was equally as guilty at fussing over the child. Still she hated that she was no longer the center of attention. Try as she might she couldn't shake the feeling. No more would anyone care if she remarked what the sun did to her skin or how the humidity ruined her hair. Before everyone would sympathize with her but no more.
Stupid she knew but it bothered her. Why it bothered her she didn't know. Maybe it was because a part of her was a little jealous of Mary Ann's marriage. Ginger was thrilled the farm girl was married to Gilligan. It wasn't that she had any interest in the first mate. She didn't. Yes she did flirt with him from time to time but that was her personality. Gilligan knew very well she did not love him and never had. At least not in that way. She made that abundantly clear a long time ago.
Ginger had been minding her own business when all of a sudden "Gilligan" (He would later claim it was a double-not him) started slobbering all over her and going on about how they were in love. She was repulsed by this and fled the scene as fast as she could.
Gilligan was a sweet boy but that's all he was to her. A boy. Did she want him making suggestive remarks to her? Most certainly not. Did she want him at all to say any of those ridiculous pick up lines she had heard a thousand times to her? Most definitely not.
What was bothering the actress was that she was now all alone. The lone single female on the island. No more could she chat up with Mary Ann about men and the kind of men they could meet back home if they ever got rescued. Ginger hated being alone. She too wanted to have a husband and a child. But there was no one for her. Sure she knew the Skipper admired her but she did not have any romantic interest in the sea captain and he knew it. The Professor? Well that was a different story all together. The starlet was fairly certain that man didn't even know she was of the female species. He frustrated her to no end. There was not a chance in the world he would ever in his life look at her…No forget it. She was just destined to be alone on this stupid island for the rest of her life. Ginger wanted to cry but couldn't as she lasped into yet another coughing fit. The actress then fell back on her pillow. It was hopeless.
"Isn't she just adorable!" Lovey Howell squealed watching Maggie twirl around in her dress.
"Such a treasure." Mr. Howell beamed proudly.
Maggie then went into a little dance that Ginger had taught her and the older couple applauded. "Oh Mary Ann she is such an angel!" Mrs. Howell gushed again about the little tot.
"She is isn't she?" The brunette said proudly.
"Just like her mother!" Gilligan chimed in.
Mary Ann grinned at her husband. "You are still very sweet." She said kissing his cheek.
Maggie smiled as she saw her Pappy aka the Skipper appear. "Pappy Pappy!" She exclaimed running over to him. "Guess what I can do! Watch!" She then went into her dance again and the Skipper smiled.
"Very good Maggie." He said. "You are very talented young lady." He picked her up and placed a kiss on her cheek. "Say how would you like to go fishing with me?"
"Yay!" Maggie exclaimed.
"Come on sweetheart." Mary Ann said taking the child from the Skipper. "Let's get you ready. We'll put on your little overalls and get your fishing pole then you can join Pappy okay?"
"Okay Mommy." Maggie replied.
A few minutes later the Professor emerged from the jungle. He had been on exploration on the other side of the island for the past day. Maggie had been running low on shampoo and he couldn't get the ingredients he needed on their side of the island plus they were running low on other necessities like sunscreen and soap. He had ventured out to the other side to gather all that was necessary.
"Hello Professor." Mrs. Howell greeted.
"Mrs. Howell." He replied. "What's going on here?"
"Oh Maggie was just entertaining us with this little dance Ginger showed her. It was so adorable!"
The Professor smiled. "That's sounds wonderful." His eyes went over the group. "Say where is Ginger?" He asked. "I'm going to need her help mixing all the elements together."
Gilligan shrugged. "I don't know. I haven't seen her all day. She didn't come to breakfast."
"Didn't come to breakfast?" The academic frowned. "Didn't anyone bother to check on her?"
The three at the table had guilty looks. The Skipper stood there with a guilty expression as well.
"I see." The Professor sighed. "Well I'll go check her hut. If she's not there will you please let her know if you do see her that I'm looking for her."
"Yes Professor." Gilligan said. "We will."
The academic left the scene and headed towards Ginger's hut. He had a feeling she would most likely be there. That's where she seemed to spend her time lately. Why he hadn't a clue but a part of him knew she was sad about something, Just what he didn't know. He gently rapped on the door. "Ginger? Ginger are you in here?"
The answer came in the form of a horrible coughing spell and he opened the door.
Concerned, he rushed over to her seeing her wearing her orange bedsheet nightgown with the covers up around her. "Ginger…what's wrong?"
"Nothing." She croaked out. "I'll be okay."
The Professor felt her forehead. "No you will not be okay." He frowned. "Ginger you are burning up."
"I'm…." Ginger began coughing again. "I'm…." Another cough. "I'm fine."
"You are far from fine my dear." He remarked. "You're sick. And you most likely have a fever." The Professor then pulled the covers over her. "You stay right there. I'll be back in a minute."
He rushed off towards his hut to retrieve the medical kit. He was grateful that was one thing they did manage to salvage from the wreckage of the Minnow. It was more than just a first aid kit. It was loaded with all kinds of medicine for various ailments. The Professor was glad the Skipper prepared such an extensive medical supply. There should be enough in there to help treat Ginger. The scholar then remembered he too had some things. He had purchased some items at a store in Hawaii before he boarded the Minnow. He found his bag and dug through it finding his purchases. The man of science then located his book of medicine and his A World Of Facts book as it also contained useful information. It then occurred to him that Ginger was going to need something else to sleep in besides that orange bedsheet nightgown. It wouldn't do for her condition. The Professor pulled one of his own shirts from his small closet and also grabbed a pair of socks. These would have to do as he was certain Ginger did not have any socks of her own with her. Mary Ann probably didn't as well.
The Professor hurried out of the hut with the items and back to Ginger's hut. He saw her trying to get up out of the bed. "Just where do you think you are going?" The Professor said. "Get back in that bed."
Ginger gave him a look. "I was just going to get some water. Bite my head off." She said swinging her legs back onto the bed.
"I'll bring you something." He said setting the medical kit down.
The Professor then walked over towards her and handed her the shirt. "Here. Wear this."
Ginger looked at him. "What?"
"My dear you need something warmer than that…" His voice trailed off as he looked her over. "You need something warmer."
"Alright." She said taking the garment. "If you say so."
"And wear these too." He said handing her the clean pair of socks.
"You need to keep your feet warm. I know you probably don't have any socks so you can borrow a pair of mine."
"Thank you Professor." Ginger said. She slowly got up from the bed and went behind the screen to change.
As she did this the academic sifted through the medicine box to find the thermometer.
A minute later Ginger emerged and he looked back wishing he hadn't. The woman looked amazing in his shirt and the socks…well if it didn't make her more irresistible….His eyes noted her long legs as she sat on the bed and settled back in. He shook the thoughts from his head. This was no time to be studying her.
The Professor walked back to her and instructed her that he was going to take her temperature. She held the thermometer in her mouth while he waited. He took the device out and looked at it. "Ginger you have a temperature of 103. How long have you felt sick?"
Ginger spoke. "I don't know. I wasn't feeling too well yesterday but I thought a good night rest would help and then this morning I just…I felt awful…" She couldn't continue as yet another round of coughing overtook her. "I'm sorry…" She said.
"You should have said something." He chided.
"I didn't want to bother anyone." The actress sighed.
"Bother anyone? Why would you bother anyone?" The Professor asked confused.
Ginger shook her head. "Forget it. It's nothing."
Roy Hinkley was a smart man. He was educated about many things and he knew a little bit about psychology. Something told him Ginger was holding back. However he decided not to press her on the issue.
The Professor walked to the table and picked up a jar of vapor rub. He went back over to the redhead and began to unbutton the top of her shirt. If Ginger's temperature was 103 she was fairly certain it just shot up to 113! "Professor what are you doing?" She asked bewildered by his actions.
"I'm going to rub this on your chest." He said holding up the blue jar. "It will help with your chest congestion."
"Oh." She said wondering why he had to rub it on her. Surely she could do it herself.
Her eyes watched as he scooped the substance from the jar and placed it on her chest. He rubbed it into her skin and she had to fight all the emotions surging through her.
"There." The academic said as he finished. "That should do it." He then began to button up her shirt. "Just apply this as you need it." He instructed setting the jar down on a small table.
Ginger nodded saying nothing. She looked as he got up and went back to the medical kit finding a bottle of liquid medicine. He then turned back towards her just as she let out a huge sneeze. Then another. Then another. Ginger lifted her eyes up to him. "Sorry." She said.
"Perfectly alright." He said handing her a handkerchief which she took and blew her nose.
The Professor handed her the bottle. "Take this every six hours." He stated. "And get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids."
"I will Professor." Ginger said settling into her bed after taking a dose of the medicine. "What do you think this is?"
The man of science dug through his books. "You don't appear to have influenza."
"Oh. Well that's good isn't it?" She asked.
"It most certainly is. I think you just may have caught one of those 24 hour bugs. Looking over these tropical diseases it does not appear you have anything too serious. I think you should be okay in a day or two."
"I hope so." The redhead stated. "I feel horrible. I look awful too!" She said checking her reflection in her handheld mirror. "My eyes are puffy, my face…hideous!"
Roy wanted to tell her that she could in no way ever look hideous but said nothing.
Ginger set her mirror down. "Thanks for taking care of me Professor."
The academic approached her bed kneeling down. "You are welcome. Do you need anything else?" He asked.
Ginger shrugged. "I suppose I could use something to read. I don't really have anything though." Her eyes went to the two books sitting on the table. "What about those?"
The Professor shook his head. "Ginger I don't think those would interest you. One is a medicine book and the other is a book of facts."
"Oh…well can I see that one?" She asked.
"You want to read that?" He said surprised.
"Why not?" Ginger shrugged. "It probably has some interesting things in it."
The Professor got up and retrieved the book. He handed it to the starlet.
"Thank you." She said opening it up. She read through the texts and was fascinated. "Wow." She said in awe. "I didn't know that a tiger could run that fast...wow it must be one powerful cat! Oh there are more than one type of tigers? I didn't know that…"
The Professor somehow ended up behind her on the bed and she was resting up against him. He answered her questions as she read the various facts presented in the book. If tigers are so ferocious how do they train them for the circus? You can tame them? How do you do that? Won't they attack you?
The academic patiently explained how it took a lot of patience to get the animal to trust the other person. Some people have a natural ability while others do not. Ginger thought it most interesting. She told him she was once in a circus show. Her act was with horses. It was one of the jobs she had before making it big that she actually enjoyed. It saddened her to leave the show but she knew she had to move on. Her circus family wished her the best.
An hour or so the pair was reading more chapters before the Roy noticed the movie star had drifted off to sleep. A part of him wished to remain there with her in his arms but he knew that was not a possibility. He carefully moved her aside and got up from the bed. He tugged the covers back up over her and then gently kissed the side of her head before walking out of the hut.
The Professor found the others back at the table. Maggie had gone down for a nap after the afternoon of fishing. They looked up. "Did you find Ginger?" They all asked.
"I did. She was in her hut. She's sick."
Mary Ann gasped. "Oh no! How awful! Will she be okay?"
The Professor nodded. "She will. Just needs rest. Mary Ann can you please make a pitcher of juice for her. She needs to drink plenty of fluids."
"Yes certainly Professor! Right away!" The farm girl hurried off to gather the fruit for the juice with Gilligan right behind her.
Roy looked at the three remaining. "Mrs. Howell, will you be able to take over helping Mary Ann with the laundry for a few days"
"Why of course!" The socialite declared. "I would be glad to. Ginger needs to get well. That's what's important! I'll even help her with preparing dinner and whatever else she needs."
"Skipper, I need your help building a bathtub for Ginger. I don't want her using the shower right now."
"Sure thing Professor!" The sea captain stated.
"Mr. Howell can you go bring the water up from the well so that Ginger has plenty for her bath and get some firewood."
"Be glad to!" The millionaire boomed. "Ginger is ill and needs help! A Howell always comes through!"
The group all set out performing their tasks. Mary Ann made a nice pitcher of pineapple juice for the starlet with the help of Gilligan. The two brought it to Ginger. Mrs. Howell visited the sick starlet checking her temperature once more. She had brought her a nice clean blanket and took the other one to wash. Mr. Howell also paid her a visit and provided her with a supply of his finest white linen handkerchiefs telling her he wished her to get well very soon. The Skipper had thrown together some soup and brought it over to the move star insisting it would most certainly make her feel better. She told him she appreciated it very much.
Ginger laid back in her bed thinking of how silly she had been. The others did care about her. They loved her. She knew that. It was ridiculous of her to feel jealousy that she was no longer the center of attention on the island. What did it matter? What mattered is that she had six people who loved her and cared about her. Of course she could not help but wish one of those six people would love her just a little more than the others. Maybe someday..someday Roy Hinkely will sweep her into his arms and declare…
"I love you Ginger."
The movie star broke out of her revere seeing the Professor standing there. "Uh…I…what?" She stammered.
"It occurred to me why you were feeling so down lately." He said approaching her.
"Down? You think I was feeling down? Professor I was not…"
"You were too." He said. "I could tell you weren't yourself. You plastered on a smile but were miserable and I know why. You want what Mary Ann has. A marriage and a family. And you were under the impression you wouldn't have this. And my guess is that you were feeling blue because we were all paying attention to Maggie and not you."
Ginger looked at him in amazement. How did he know those things about her? "Um..well I suppose I was…but I don't anymore. I know it's stupid to feel that way. You know I adore that little girl. She's an angel."
"I know you love her." The Professor assured. "You do everything for her. We all do but you are used to be the one who gets all the attention. It's okay Ginger. It's who you are. You are an actress it's a part of you. I'm not saying it's a bad thing. "
"You were also in the belief that you would be stuck on this island for the rest of your life with no one to love and no one who will love you." He said moving closer. "Am I right?"
Ginger turned slightly red and nodded. "Yes." She admitted. "I did believe that."
"Well I'm here to tell you that you don't have to feel that way anymore."
"Because you love me?" Ginger asked.
"I do love you." He said taking her hand and kissing it. "Very much."
"I…when did you…how.."
"My dear I've always loved you. I'm sorry I never told you. I guess I got it into my head that you wouldn't possibly…I hate seeing you look so down. I don't ever want to see you sad and lonely. You should be happy. You deserve to be happy. I want to make you happy."
"Professor." Ginger said with a smile "I do love you."
It was after she said this she sneezed and then coughed. "Oh." She said after blowing her nose. "I guess I shouldn't kiss you."
He placed a kiss on her forehead. "I love you." He then gazed into her green eyes.
Ginger noticed a look on his face. "Professor I don't think you should kiss.." She didn't get to finish that thought as he pulled her close and kissed her lips passionately.
It was a week later and Ginger shook her head at a sickly professor. "Darling I told you you shouldn't kiss me." She said handing him a cup of juice.
"It was totally worth it." He remarked sipping the juice. "You will always be worth it my love."