On top of a cotton blanket, an anatomy book left open, and a bottle of wine lay half filled. The lush vibrant ground surrounding the blanket was recently disturbed. Freshly crafted footprints trail off towards the rushing sound of a waterfall.

Two pairs of naked feet slide softly down a rock face. A splash rises as they run into the clear water. A discarded red t-shirt softly lands upon the water. The shirt isn’t the only missing piece of their wardrobe. A trail of abandoned clothes followed them. Grace was tall, but not as tall as Hugo. Hugo held her hand tight as the water encircled them.

He turned pulled her to him. She responded by wrapping her legs around him. He enjoyed the sensation of her smooth legs squeezing his waist. Their arms interlocked around their bodies. As the water fell down a mountainside it started to cool. When the cascade down the mountain found these two lovers, the water tingled their skin. They didn’t mind as they held each other tighter feeling the warmth of the other. Her heart wasn’t the only one beating fast as was his. She arched her back in answer to his fingers pressing into her lower back. When their chests came together they felt that their hearts were beating in unison in eager anticipation of what was to happen next.

A quickly hurried gasp fell from her lips when he entered into her. Hugo heard Grace moan when he teased her ear with his teeth. His lips glided smoothly along her wet body. A rhythm arose amongst their hips. Every time Hugo pushed deeper into Grace, he roared with each exhale. His roar was growing faster as those timeless seconds passed by. She loosely wrapped her arms around his neck and stretched back away, revealing her glistening breasts. Hugo took this opportunity to caress her nipples with his tongue. Doing a dance of fire and ice upon her. His lips and his hot breath warmed, while the cool water chilled her hard nipples. His firm grip ensnared her breast. He squeezed them tightly as he intensified the tempo of their hips. She rocked her head forward. The two locked eyes. They could see each other in them. Her legs quivered, her breathing rapidly yelled: “Don’t STOP!” He listened to her command. He pushed harder, pressed faster. Her shaking legs stopped. He saw the black space in her luscious brown eyes grow bigger. He felt a throbbing surround his defining feature as he gushed into her. He too had wide eyes as they stared at each other.

Water flowed around them as they stood to hold each other in perfect harmony. The world could have ended they wouldn’t of know. For them, in that moment they had each other’s world in their grasp. They shared a collective sigh as they broke their intimate connection with their bodies. Their fingers were interlaced as they walked out of the water. They laid down upon the cotton blanket and cuddled close. The mid-day sun’s rays fell between the trees and warmed select spots. Hugo and Grace appreciated the warmth of those reserved areas.

It would be one of the last times Hugo would ever enjoy the warmth of the sun. This Costa Rican trip was his last Hoorah, before he started his internship at the hospital.

Hugo always wanted to help people. In his youth he traveled his busy city street, looking for opportunities to help. One such day, he heard a low feeble voice echo behind a door. “Help, Help I need help. Is there anyone there?” the voice pleaded.

Fate would have it that the door was unlocked and Hugo peaked inside the cluttered claustrophobic apartment. It smelled of old laundry and a forgotten life. Stacks of newspapers and the kitchen floor trapped an old man. Hugo stepped quickly across the threshold, whilst in mid step a cat darted out between Hugo’s feet. Immediately the newspapers started flying as Hugo dug through them to help the old man. When he could he picked the man up and sat him upright. 
 “I NEED THOSE! AND YOU JUST MADE A HUGE MESS! AND WHERE IS MR. MITTENS?” The cranky old man reprimanded Hugo for helping him.

Hugo was a bit shocked. Instead of thanking the boy for helping he was greeted with loud yelling.

“Maybe you should go to the hospital. Do you know how long you were trapped?” Hugo asked.

“I don’t know a couple hours or a day. I was leaning over to pick up Mr. Mittens dish, and then I can’t remember. I just remember being unable to move. Where is Mr. Mittens?” The old man asked.
 “You need to go to the hospital!” Hugo politely instructed.
 “NO! Where is Mr. Mittens? I need to know Mr. Mittens is safe!” The old man answered back.
 “I am going to find Mr. Mittens and get you help!” Hugo said.

Hugo jumped to his feet in a hurried rush. He knew the cat couldn’t be far. Least still inside the building. On his way out he glanced around at the contents of the tiny apartment. Certain sections of the wall were visible; the others were blocked by stacks of old office boxes labeled “Walt’s Stuff. A sun-faded service photo peered back above the CRT tv. Hugo was in the hallway now. Two choices prevailed in front of him left or right. 
 Hugo’s ears perked trying to hear anything that could have been the cat. The noise from the street poured into the hallway through the open fire escape window. He saw the orange tip of what must have been a cat in the open window.

His feet cracked fast down the hallway. He was right the cat was on the fire escape but now, it was going to the roof. Hugo was deathly afraid of heights. Just looking down to the street through the metal grate of the fire escape sent shivers down his spine. He knocked on the closest door he could find a petite Romanian woman opened the door. Her hazel eyes, her soft red lips, and her brunette hair did not help the fact that she did not speak very good English.

Hugo was mesmerized. He was still years away from actually knowing what to do with a woman, but he appreciated beauty when he saw it.
 “The…The Man, DDD down NN the hall. He needs help” Hugo said nearly choking on his words.

“Cine are nevoie de ajutor?” She said.

“The old man who lives on this floor, he fell and needs help. I am getting his cat. You go see if he is alright.” Hugo’s finger pointed to the left as he spoke.

The woman now curious stepped out into the hallway and saw the open door. She still didn’t understand what the little boy was saying, her eyes expressed that.

Hugo took a deep sigh, took her by the hand and started walking towards Mr. Mittens owner. It would be some time before Hugo would feel the delicate soft touch of a woman, he hurriedly cherished the moment. 
 They peaked into the apartment, thankfully Walt was right where Hugo left him. As soon as Walt saw Hugo his eyes lit up with anticipation to see his feline friend again. When Hugo came in empty hand the grumpy old man erupted.
 “You are a liar! You are a good for nothing hooligan!” Walt yelled.

Then Walt saw what Hugo did bring and his tone changed once again.

“Oh excuse me, Ma’am, I didn’t know I was in the presence of a lady. I will refrain from yelling.” The old man said, adjusting his posture.

“Walt Mr. Mittens is on the roof. I have to go get him. She is here to help you.” Hugo said.

The Romanian woman was looking around the chaotic apartment overhearing the English conversation and knowing nothing about what was going on.

“I will be right back!” Hugo said rushing out of the apartment.

His hurried pace came to a dead stop when he arrived at the fire escape. His fingers began to tremble his brow glistened in the New York sun with wet sweat. Uncertainty pumped through his veins as he threw his leg over the window sill. Nothing seemed to work right. His heart bounced in his chest. His vision narrowed upon the cold unforgiving concrete below. His ears were drowning in the noise of the never sleeping city.

Through all the commotion of everything below him, he heard a piercing meow of the cat above.

“AH SHIP!” He yelled his father forbade him from ever cursing.

He gulped. He swallowed his fear and forced one foot up the stairs. He felt the cold steel of the hand railing as he gripped it tightly.

“Just two more floors to go.” He nervously chuckled to himself.

He found a little solace in throwing his feet as hard as he could into the fire escape. It made a loud CLANG noise each time he did it. He liked that because he was adding his own note to the orchestra that is the symphony of a loud street.

CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG, they came in hurried repetition now. He reached the roof. The white painted gravel crunched under his shoes. Mr. Mittens sat with ears pinned back on top of a flag pole overlooking the street. The cat was stuck. Curiosity had almost killed the cat, it certainly got it stuck.
 “AHHH FUDGE!” Hugo yelled.

His short arms couldn’t reach the cat. He had to throw his belly upon the partition which was the last partition of safety. His feet dangled. He wasn’t tall enough to touch the ground this way. He leaned hard against the flagpole slowly inching his fingertips towards the frightened cat. He brushed the last hairs of the orange tabby.

“Just a little more. Come on!” he said.

His gaze was focused solely on the feline. He knew what would happen if he stared down. His index finger was now able to wrap around the tail.

“Almost there!” He tried to say calmly.

He wasn’t sure if he was trying to convince the cat or himself. The moment was now. He had more than enough tail to grab hold of. He gripped it tightly the cat hissed and dug its claws into the fabric of the flag. Hugo pulled and pulled firm. The cat wasn’t moving.

“Screw it! I don’t like being nice anyways!” Hugo said as he slowly climbed back to safety.

He turned around and abandoned his mission. He was half way to the fire escape when his stubbornness took a hold of him. He walked back to the flag pole grabbed the base and wiggled the entire flag loose. The cat was wobbled wildly. He picked up the flag tilted it back and Mr. Mittens fell safely onto Hugo’s shoulders. The kitty drove it’s claws into him. Hugo winced in pain from the piercing claws. He dropped the flag and grabbed hold of the cat by the neck tightly.

He was mad, damn near furious at the cat. He clenched his teeth and started down the fire escape back to the fire escape. When he made it back to the floor where this all started it was alive with activity. Different neighbors poked their heads out of their doorway. The fire department had arrived and was wheeling Walter away.

When Walter saw his cat, he broke into a big toothless smile. He was delighted to see his cat again. The cat quickly pounced into his lap and started purring.

Hugo was relieved. He did the right thing. He felt accomplished and grateful to be on solid ground again. He also swore to himself he would never grow old. He would find a way to fight time. He would never let his body become frail. Which began his pursuit of medicine.

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