Mary Norton was overwhelmed with excitement. A romantic date awaited her with Jordan, the young man she had been dating. On Valentine’s Day, Jordan invited Mary to a restaurant. She was in anticipation of him asking her the most coveted question.
Mary chose a little black dress and stylish high-heeled shoes as her outfit. She was unaccustomed to standing in high heels after the shoes she usually wore to work. Mary had the fondest feelings for Jordan; she imagined that the evening ahead would be the happiest of her life. But how wrong she was.
Jordan’s car pulled up in front of her house at 8 p.m., and then the two lovers drove downtown. Mary was indescribably thrilled when she saw Jordan’s driver stop the limousine near the tallest building in town. This was where the famous restaurant was located.
She gasped. “I can’t believe it, Jordan! That’s Top Hat!”
“My girl deserves the best,” Jordan replied with a satisfied smile and opened the limo door for her. As soon as the driver pulled away, something strange caught Mary’s attention. Not far away she noticed a man leaning against the wall. He was pale as a sheet, sweat trickling down his face. He was massaging his left shoulder, and his face was contorted with a grimace of pain. Mary ran up to him and asked if he was all right.
At that moment she noticed that he was very poorly dressed. The man looked at her with bright blue eyes and tried to smile. “Thanks, I’m fine,” the stranger replied. Mary was impressed by the man’s pleasant voice and put-together speech.
Suddenly he collapsed to the ground. Mary called out to Jordan, “Call an ambulance, he’s having a heart attack!”
Jordan began dialing 911, and Mary got on her knees to feel for the man’s pulse The heartbeat could barely be felt, and she began indirect heart massage.
“Car’s out,” Jordan said loudly, tucking his phone into his pocket. But immediately froze when he realized that Mary was about to give the victim CPR. “No, Mary, not that!”
The girl looked questioningly at Jordan and said: “What else am I supposed to do? He can’t get enough air!”
“If you touch that tramp, there’s no way in hell I’m kissing you!”, Jordan’s voice broke into a shout. “It’s over!”
“In that case, it’s over,” Mary replied calmly, and without hesitation began to give the man CPR. Jordan watched this picture for a while longer, and then indignantly turned and left.
Until the ambulance arrived, Mary continued to massage the man’s heart and breathe into the stranger’s mouth. Then she got into the ambulance to escort the man to the hospital. On the way, he opened his eyes for a moment and smiled at Mary. “Angel,” the stranger said faintly. Then Mary took his hand in her palm.
Soon they were there. Mary herself worked at the hospital. The man was taken away by the doctors, and Mary was left standing in the hallway in a chic dress and heels. “So much for Valentine’s Day!” she sighed bitterly.
At this point someone on the staff asked her if she knew the man and if he had insurance. Mary replied that she did not know him. She surmised that he might have had some identification with him.
Going through his pockets, Mary found his wallet. That’s how it turned out that the man’s name was Jake Burlington. In the wallet, she also found a small piece of paper on which was written a phone number and the words “Mom.”
Mary immediately dialed the number. “Hello!” she heard a soft female voice.
“Hello!”, Mary said cautiously. “Do you know Jake Burlington?”
“Jake?!” a woman’s voice interjected. “That’s my son. What’s wrong with him? Where is Jake?”
“I’m sorry, Mrs. Burlington,” Mary replied. “Your son had a heart attack. He’s in intensive care at St. George’s Hospital.”
“Please,” the woman pronounced. “Wait for me, please. I’ll be there soon.”
Soon a stately, graceful woman appeared in the hospital lobby. She looked about sixty years old. She headed toward the front desk. “My son, Jake Burlington, is here. How is he?”
Mary approached the woman. “Mrs. Burlington? I was the one who called you today.”
“Oh, it’s you!” replied Mrs. Burlington. “Do you know my son?”
Mary smiled. “I was on my way to the restaurant when I saw your son, he suddenly got sick, and I gave him CPR.”
Mrs. Burlington suddenly took Mary’s hand and said: “Thank you so much! You saved my son’s life.” At that moment the doctor came out to them, and he reported that Jake had regained consciousness and they had some time to see him.
When the women entered the room, they saw a pale Jake, surrounded by IVs. But he found the strength to smile. “Angel,” he whispered, turning to Mary. At that moment he saw that his mother was in the room.
“My boy,” Mrs. Burlington cried. “Forgive me, Jake! I miss you so much! I’m sorry for you!” But Jake shook his head, took his mother’s hand, and kissed her. Then he closed his eyes and fell soundly asleep.
The women hurried out of the room. Mary cradled a distraught Mrs. Burlington in her arms. “It’s been ten years since I kicked Jake out of the house. It was all about the fact that he didn’t want to go into the family business. He dreamed of being an artist…”
“I thought it wouldn’t last long, that he’d soon come to his senses and come home like a sweetheart. But he didn’t. Then I saw his work, and it was great. But from the looks of it, his situation is dire.”
According to the doctor, Jake’s heart problems were caused by prolonged malnutrition. And with proper care, adequate nutrition, and rest, he would soon be fully recovered. And Jake is actually on the mend. Mary visited his room several times a day to see how he was doing and to see the bright smile that lit up his face as soon as she arrived.
As Jake made a full recovery and prepared to be discharged, he confessed his feelings for Mary. Mary reciprocated his feelings for her. A few days after Jake was discharged from the hospital, Mary was shocked to learn that a large bank account had been opened in her name.
She rushed for an explanation to Mrs. Burlington, who told her, that she had thus decided to thank Mary for her attention and concern for her son. Jake had by this time returned to his mother’s house, who promised to consider any decision he might make.
Sometime later Mrs. Burlington sponsored an exhibition of Jake’s work at a major art gallery in the city. It was his finest hour. Now Jake had the opportunity to get his own studio. He also asked Mary to marry him.
Exactly one year after they first met, Jake and Mary were married on Valentine’s Day, and it was the most romantic wedding ever.