I Think I am Being Healed in Every Way

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Think of your fellow man

Lend him a helping hand

Put a little love in your heart.

You see it's getting late

Oh please don't hesitate

Put a little love in your heart.

And the world will be a better place

And the world will be a better place

For you and me

You just wait and see

– Jackie DeShannon (Put a Little Love in Your Heart)


The house on Bilkova Street looked just the way he remembered it. It was a year or so later for him and for them as well. He strode purposefully over. There was only one errand on his mind.

He knocked at the front door, but no one answered. He tried the knob and it was unlocked. He walked in, and found no one. Then he remembered that there was an attic room. What the hell. He climbed the stairs.

What he found shocked him. There was Noemy – Milena's sister, sitting at the side of a bed that contained a shrunken version of Milena. She was pale and her breathing was shallow, and she was as thin as a reed. She had lost much of her hair. "I, I came as soon as I could," Rick said.

Noemy turned. "I can't believe it. She has said your name a few times, in her fevers. It is the cancer. She has ovarian cancer," she explained, "her doctors; they allowed me to bring her home in order to, oh God." She just stopped talking, and wept a little, and it was obvious why Milena had been allowed home – it was to die. Noemy's accent was still heavily Slavic, despite the Universal Translator that was a part of the permanently embedded Communicator in Rick's left ear. Vowel sounds were often shifted.

"Radek?" Milena asked, and then something rearranged itself in her head and she remembered better. "Richard?" It came out as Reesherd.

"I'm here," he said. He came closer.

"What are you doing here?" she croaked out.

"I had to see you," Rick said, "I, I had to tell you that, that I love you."

Noemy was standing in the doorway. "I'll, I will leave you alone."

"Wait a second," Rick said, the basis of a small plan forming in his head, "do you have a knife, or a, a scalpel or something?"

Noemy looked at him in horror. "What do you mean to do? We do not; I will not have you speed her along."

"No, no, it's the opposite," he said, "if it works at all."

"Will you allow it?" Noemy asked her sister.

Milena nodded weakly. "I have little to lose," she gasped.

In the background, there was a Soviet-style broadcast. The announcer was intoning, "And the Americans today claim they have landed on the moon. Such liars! Everyone knows that is impossible!" While the broadcaster continued to scoff, Noemy ran to fetch a knife.

"So, did they get to the moon, my, my love?" Milena whispered. The new word was a good word; it was an appropriate and true one, even though she had not said it before. She raised a trembling finger and he took it in his hand. She smiled weakly and closed her eyes.

"There and back and a thousand other places," Rick said, "Would you like to see them?"

"You are a sweet talker," she said softly, "right now I just want to see the next hour. For I am not kidding myself, I am certain that you are only here because this must be my day to leave this place."

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