WARNING: You are about to read the FINAL CHAPTER in a challenging piece of romantic literature. If you have not followed the sensuous tale of Flora and Conrad Conrad from the beginning, you owe it to yourself to drink deeply of their story from the beginning; which can be found in its entirety here.
So put on your silken robe, let down your hair and pour a flute of Martinelli's finest bubbly apple juice. Cuddle up with your man and read to him the tale of two lovers who overcame every obstacle to be together.
Flora: An Environmental Romance
Conrad stuttered with embarrassment, realizing that he had committed the most common and discomfitting error made by the sighted when they are conversing with the sight deficient. He had said to Flora “There is something I want you to see”. His handsome face colored as the blood rushed from the unclogged arteries of his healthy heart and sent a red blush across his chiseled cheekbones. “What I mean is… I want to show you…I brought something you might like to…” His resonant bass voice went up two octaves, ending in a squeak.
“Don’t be silly Conrad.” Flora’s voice was soothing. “What I cannot see with my eyes I can feel with my fingers.” She reached out a hand, her delicate tapered fingers brushing against him. “I can also smell, taste…and I have very good ears.” Conrad stared down at the top of her head, suddenly wild with the desire to bury his face in the blonde tendrils and use his own olfactory skills to inhale the intoxicating scent of the organic shampoo which Flora made herself from yucca root and wild strawberries. He swallowed and cursed silently, telling himself to focus.
From the back pocket of the 50l’s that gilded his brawny buttocks in soft washed denim, Conrad drew a sheet of paper, carefully unfolded it and sat down beside Flora on the porch swing once more.
He took a deep steadying breath, his voice as serious as a door to door pest control salesman. “Flora, ever since the button popped off my shirt and took your sight, I have been devoting my life to finding a cure for your blindness. During the past three years I visited ophthalmologists from California to Calcutta. I consulted with medical doctors and witch doctors.
I climbed high into the mountains of Tibet on the back of a Yak to meet with a famous healer. After two years of research I came up with an idea and for the past year I have been facilitating a partnership between a brilliant eyeball transplant surgeon and the National Organization for the Harvest of Overpopulated Deer.” In his eagerness, Conrad words were tumbling out faster and faster.
Flora’s beautiful blank eyes searched Conrad’s face in vain for understanding. “A partnership between an eyeball transplant surgeon and a hunting organization? What do you mean?”
Conrad’s lightly furred knuckles gently enfolded her tiny hands like a fresh tortilla around a burrito. “If you let me take you to the hospital right now, there is a pair of donor eyeballs waiting for you. Dr. Frances Stein can transplant those eyeballs this afternoon and by morning you will be able to see the sunrise.”
Flora gave a little cry of joy, but then hesitated. “But…but who donated…where did the eyeballs come from?”
“That’s the beautiful thing” Conrad said proudly. “They were humanely harvested from an orphaned baby deer that couldn’t survive without his mother.”
Flora’s mind was reeling. To see again! To see the face of the handsome man beside her, the faces of the forest creatures that she had only been able to smell for three years. Her full red lips trembling, Flora pondered; can I rob a little fawn of his sight? Suddenly she remembered that this little fawn was already dead and there was nothing she could do about it. Somewhere, some little cousin of Bambi had given his eyes to her. For the rest of her life she would be seeing through the lens of a woodland creature. She gave an involuntary little sob.
Conrad put his arm around her shaking shoulders, alarmed. “What is it? Flora, you’re not angry are you?”
Flora brushed the tears away and reached both hands to Conrad’s face, her touch sending an electric shiver down his body that made his oversized metal belt buckle gleam. “I have just one question dearest.”
Conrad said “What is it?”
“Will I be able to see in the dark?”
Conrad’s lips met Flora’s in an answer that wasn’t an answer, but was better than the answer she had wanted in the first place.
In Flora’s cottage, Conrad’s despicable twin Wendell struggled in vain against the duct tape that held him bound as Albert the goat licked his face with a raspy tongue. In the forest the wind sighed through the mighty Ponderosa Pines and the forest creatures rejoiced that one of their own had been able to repay, in a small way the great debt they all owed to the lovely Forest Ranger Flora. And somewhere, in that heaven where the souls of forest animals run free amongst celestial streams and sunshine, a little blind fawn kicked up his heels.