maple-1018454_960_720The color amber is found in the book of Ezekiel. Its use demonstrates God’s overbearingly bright and immediate presence. The psychological features of amber displays warmth and generosity. It is light and playful.


Audrey dressed herself with more ease these days. She was being released from the hospital. It was the best news that her doctor could ever give her. She was sure her mother-in-law had something to do with it, but she would ask about that later.

‘Knock knock… are you ready?’

Teddy entered the room holding her medical release papers and prescriptions.   He was followed by a wheelchair wielding orderly.

‘Teddy, I am very ready. I want real food.’ Audrey laughed and reached for her blanket.

She still didn’t have 100% of her memories back, but tiny slivers of sunshine had started to peak through the shutters of her mind. She couldn’t wait to get home,where-ever that was. Teddy grabbed her duffle bag and bounded ahead as the orderly pushed her out of the room she had called home for five months.

Leaving the hospital corridor she entered into the brisk fall air. It wasn’t cold, just a little chilly. The leaves  crunched under the wheelchair.

‘I had the car cleaned. I even put one of those yankee candle things you liked so much in.’ Teddy watched the orderly slide Audrey gingerly into the passenger seat and strap her in. They were going home finally.  Audrey’s hand stroked her blanket absently. Teddy thanked the young man and climbed into his car. As they drove away, Teddy said a silent prayer that Audrey wouldn’t be overwhelmed. The doctors had warned them both that her return home may trigger an onslaught of emotions.

The couple drove in silence. Teddy watched his wife studying the surroundings as they flew by hi window.

‘Okay, we  are  home. ‘ Teddy turned the car off and looked at his wife.

She seemed  to be in a unshakeable trance. Audrey sat and stared at  the front door. She was home. It was familiar. She knew this place. She knew the wreath of fall flowers that hung on the door. She remembered buying them. That was it! She remembered buying them.

Audrey reached over and grabbed Teddy’s arm, ‘I remember buying that wreath.’

Teddy didn’t know whether to cheer or cry. This was a good sign. This had to be a good sign.

‘Okay… this is good. Let’s get you inside.’

Albert bounded out the front door to help his best friend, ‘Hey Drey.. welcome home…’ . Al took the duffle bag out of the backseat where it had been thrown and too it into the house.

‘Thanks Al.’, Audrey said unbuckling her seatbelt.

Teddy opened her car door and lead her into the house. Audrey looked around her home with brand new eyes. She remembered this place. She remembered that she was happy in this place. She loved the look of everything. Her senses were overwhelmed, as she scanned the living room. She  made it over to the plush brown chair and sat down.  Teddy handed the red blanket to her and pulled off her shoes. He propped her up in the chair. Audrey looked  at Teddy. She really liked what she saw. He was gentle and kind. They were going to have to work at their marriage, but she felt like they were in a good place. He had been by her side everyday of therapy.

His best friend Al was a constant source of amusement. He was funny and loyal. Audrey was sure of that much. Al had snuck ice-cream into the hospital for her, when Teddy had gone home early one day. Now, he was here and she could smell food.

‘Do you want anything? Need anything?’, Teddy questioned.

‘No Teddy, I just want to look out the window and watch some television.’ Audrey reached for the remote on the end table and settled in.


Teddy watched his wife sink into the chair. Al was in the kitchen whipping up some concoction for dinner.  He walked in and watched as Al ladled olive oil into a pot.

‘Just how did you become such a good cook?’, Teddy laughed looking at his friend stirring a pot.

‘You didn’t honestly think I came to run a restaurant without learning to cook did ya? I do more than just build the places,ya know’, Al looked away and continued stirring the pot.

‘You can go home now. You know I know what you’re doing right? ‘ Teddy stared at his friend.

Al hadn’t left his side for more than a few hours at a shot since the incident with the bullet. When Al wasn’t there one of the other guys was in the house. He was living up to his nickname. He was the hawk of the group of friends. Teddy was the Eagle. Michael was the crow. Frank was the owl. Together they had nicknamed themselves B.O.P.  They were birds of prey. Teddy’s mother wasn’t happy the day she found her son running around with the motley crew. Over an extended school break one winter the young men ran off to California and had gotten tattoos of their nicknames.  Al had  tried hard to keep Teddy’s nose clean from the shenanigans of the other guys when they were growing up. He feared  that Teddy’s mother might kill them all silently in their sleep with some type of lethal concoction if anything happened to her jewel of a son.

Al had a long history of sticking up for his friend. He recalled the very first time they met in high school. Teddy had been dropped off for school by his dad. Michael and Frank spotted the young man and thought he was an easy pick. Al knew the boys well enough to know that they would try something. Teddy was sharp enough to see the guys coming.  When they reached him to  shove him down, Teddy had managed to move away and trip them both. Al laughed his head off at the melee.  Al admired that the kid had good timing and sight.

‘Hey Eagle… nice  going!’ Al  shouted from his perch on the school steps.

They had all become brothers that day.

Al had been a transplant from Brooklyn. His mother had remarried and moved from Bensonhurst to Nassau County. He still went back to the old neighborhood to visit his dad every week for Sunday dinner. He liked being there and seeing old friends and visiting his dad’s family. They seemed real. People in Long Island still didn’t seem real to him. Teddy, Michael and Frank were the exceptions to the rule.  Al learned about loyalty and commitment from his dad who ran a small neighborhood butcher. He also learned to love food from his dad’s family. They owned a restaurant on Avenue Y in Marine Park Brooklyn. It was a family thing. He learned the construction business and mastered cooking. His father had been stickler about that. He had to have several things to fall back on should bad times come.

‘Are you going to tell her? ‘  Al looked up from the pot with the heavy question on his heart.

‘Tell her… I don’t know’ Teddy sat down at the kitchen bar.

‘You should tell her. You two don’t keep secrets. Secrets kill. Literally…’ Al looked at his friend pointedly. He  moved from the stove  over to the bar and started preparing garlic cloves. The sunlight catching his diamond cross around his neck.

Teddy noticed it immediately and felt that God was now pushing him to tell the truth. He laughed to himself. Now, Jesus was siding with Al. What were the odds of that? He looked at his friend and shook his head. Al was loyal. Al was honest. Al was right. He didn’t want to admit it, but Al was right.

Teddy walked out of the kitchen. He headed over to their china closet. He chose two heavy highball glasses and poured amber liquid into them until it reached the halfway mark.



Teddy placed the glass in  Audrey’s hands.

‘Teddy should I be drinking?’ Audrey looked at her husband with concern.

‘Trust me after I tell you this, you are going to want that drink. Besides, did you forget I am a doctor’s kid?’  Teddy sat on the couch close to her with a dash of concern in his eyes.

‘I can tell you what happened to you now. Please just listen to me…’, Teddy’s voice trailed off.

Audrey noticed the flicker of concern etch in her husband’s eyes. She nodded her consent. They had become good at nonverbal communication the last few days. It  was one thing that had started to connect.

Teddy started the long ramble.

‘You were pushed out a window. It was a message to me to stop doing business on the marina. They lured you there. They told you that your sister was there.’

‘Teddy why would I meet my sister there?’ Audrey moved forward in her chair.

‘She was going to tell you what happened to your family? You had taken the blanket with you to share the last thing he had given you. When you went out the window the blanket had fallen on your car below. I found it laying in the street. I knew something was up when I saw you took it out the house. I went to that place to get some thoughts on why you would go back to that house.’

Teddy grabbed her hand.

‘That house was your family house. It was the last place your parents lived. ‘

‘Where are my parents and why would my sister push me out a window?’, Audrey’s voice went up an octave.

‘Hon.. your parents made a deal that will provide you with millions of dollars. Your sister will have nothing. They cut her off. So, she made a deal  with some very bad people. Those bad people want to see me fail at some business deals that can change Brooklyn real estate.’

‘So they wanted to kill me to get to you and my sister was in on the deal?’ Audrey looked crestfallen.

‘Yes, and I love you. I will never let anyone hurt you. Do you understand me? Never!’

Audrey looked at the highball glass of amber liquid.

‘You were right. I need this.’

Audrey downed the liquid in the glass.

‘Get me another please.’ she looked at Teddy and handed him the glass.

Teddy took the glass out of her hand. He  downed his drink and  walked over to the cabinet and fixed her an amber liquid chaser to follow the glass of betrayal.






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