Wife by Design(9)

By: Tara Taylor Quinn


Her job as live-in certified nurse/midwife at a woman’s shelter generally precluded the chance.

“He’s going to need physical therapy several times a week over the next few months if he’s to have any hope of ever obtaining full mobility again.”

Like a flash of lightning, she saw where this was going. “Dr. Zimmer suggested you apply here for Darin’s therapy.”

“He also told me that The Lemonade Stand sometimes trades services for services.”

“For residents. Or previous residents,” she clarified. Many of the services offered at The Lemonade Stand were free to the Stand, donated by former clients. Or by current residents. Some by way of payment. And some just because.

“That’s what Dr. Zimmer said.” Grant Bishop nodded. “He also said that you have group therapy sessions when patients have similar needs and don’t require one-on-one physical touch, and those sessions are less expensive.” Grant shrugged as he added, “But he explained that male involvement in group therapy is a sensitive issue and has to be decided on a case-by-case basis.”

His hands were still in his pockets. Lynn was still distracted.

“The thing is, I can’t afford physical therapy sessions at all.”

“Darin’s on disability insurance, isn’t he?” She’d seen something about it on his paperwork—not that she paid attention or remembered such things about her former patients, but Darin and Grant…they’d been different.

Brothers who were all alone. Devoted. And acting as if their lives were perfect.

“It covers eighty percent of his costs. And I’m going to be tapped out for a while covering the other twenty percent of yesterday’s surgery.”

A craniotomy, which was the only way to do the drainage he’d spoken of, could run fifty thousand or more. Just for the procedure. Add in hospital and supply costs…

“I don’t know what—”

“Please…” the man interrupted her. “Dr. Zimmer thought you might be able to put a word in for me with Lila McDaniels. I understand she’s the managing director of The Lemonade Stand. I’m a landscaper,” he continued, almost as though if he didn’t stop for air he wouldn’t be able to hear the word no. “I own a small design business. Darin works with me and I employ a couple of other guys. I don’t know what you’re currently paying for yard care, but I can already see that that parking lot out there could benefit from some shrubbery.” He pointed to the small lot accessible to the public. “I suspect we could make improvements to the rest of the grounds, as well. We’d be willing to take it all on, for free, in exchange for Darin’s therapy. Dr. Zimmer said that if there’s a session for general motor skill exercise, he’d be fine there.”

“And afterward?” Lynn asked, going with the first objection she could voice. “We fire our landscapers, you take over for the couple of months that Darin needs therapy and then what happens?”

“We’ll continue to service the clinic indefinitely at a rate that’s ten percent less than you’re currently paying.”

“You don’t know what we’re currently paying,” she reminded him.

“My brother could be partially paralyzed for the rest of his life if I don’t get him this therapy.”

If she recommended him, Lila would pay attention. Angelica Morrison, the Stand’s physical therapist, would approve the decision, too. As long as both men passed background checks. The Stand’s founder was actually a man. A good man. The world was filled with good men. And the residents at The Lemonade Stand needed to be exposed to them.

Grant Bishop’s proposal completely fit with their mission statement. Lynn had nothing to do with the Stand’s finances, but she was privy to them. Their landscaping bill was exorbitant—and rising.

And landscaping was paramount to the overall healing atmosphere of their center.

“You do realize that the secondhand store and boutique out on the boulevard are part of our center? And the garage on the corner is ours, too,” she added. The Lemonade Stand owned a city block.

He’d be responsible for the exterior grounds of all of it.

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