After Alex left, Alissa gave up on sleeping and went into the living room. She knew that she wanted to be with Dale, but she didn’t know if it was right to do it at Alex’s expense. Sharlee had gone to the kitchen for a drink and saw her mother.
“Mom, I’m not a little kid anymore. I want to know what’s going on!”
“Sharlee this is going to shock you, but your Dad is back!”
“No. I don’t mean Bronson! Dale is back!”
Sharlee looked at her in shock and then a huge joyous smile spread across her face from ear to ear!
“Dad isn’t dead!”
“No.” Alissa told her about Dale’s amnesia and that he had been in Egypt. “He remembers me, you, Cara and Shawn, but so far no one else! He doesn’t even remember your grandparents!” Alissa made a mental note to call them.
“When can I see him, Mom? Where is he?”
“He’s staying at the Waldorf. I suppose that you can see him tomorrow after school.”
“Are we all going to live together again?”
Alissa looked troubled and didn’t answer right away.
“I need to talk with your Dad, but I want us all to be together again too!”
Sharlee smiled happily.
“Don’t mention this to Shawn and Cara yet. I need to get things settled before I tell them!”
“Dale, this is Alissa.”
“I’m sorry if I waked you!” She continued.
“No, I… I couldn’t sleep.”
“Dale, I want us to be together again! I hope that’s what you want too!”
His voice was full of emotion when he responded. “I want that more than anything else!”
“I think that the first thing that we need to do is to get you checked out at the hospital here. I’m sure that the doctors in Aswan were very good, but the hospitals here are world renowned.”
“That is a good idea. We can do that. You also need to see a lawyer as soon as possible to find out where we stand legally. Since I wasn’t dead when you married Alex, technically you may be a bigamist. Your marriage to Alex is probably not valid.” He suggested.
“Will you want to continue living here in Virginia?” Dale asked her.
“I haven’t considered that. This is where Alex has really established himself. His job and his close friends live here. So, I think that it would probably be easier for him and for us if we move someplace else. I shouldn’t have a problem getting on at another television station. I’m not bragging, but my services seem to be in demand now. We can sell this house, and I’ll split the money with Alex.”
“Actually, I think that they will be fine. They are like you! They make friends without even trying! I do think that it would be better to wait until the end of this semester though. This one just started. So that’s almost three months to wait.” Alissa told him.
“I’m not living in Alex’s house. That maybe stubborn, but there is no way I’m living where you had a life with another man!”
“We can rent a place for a few months then.” She responded.
“Alissa, I can’t wait until we’re together all the time!”
“What about Alex?” Dale asked her.
“Alex knows how I feel about you, Dale. He knows that I love him, but that it’s not the same as what we have together!”
After Alex’s attitude earlier, Dale found it hard to believe that Alex was going to make this easy for them.
“He’s staying with a friend.” She told him.
“Alissa, even though I don’t remember him, the man that I met today is not giving up on being with you! Do you need more time to think about this, to make sure that being with me is what you really want?”
“Dale, even if he hasn’t given up, I have made my decision. I want you!”
“You don’t know how much I needed to hear that, Alissa! I wish you were here with me now!”
“I do too, Dale.”
“I guess we better get a few hours of sleep. I think I can sleep now!”
“Goodnight, and I love you Alissa.”
“I love you too!”
The tests showed that there had been some damage, but Dale’s brain had remapped itself. The doctor said that Dale’s memories might return, but there was also a good chance that they might not.
“You were an extremely talented pediatric surgeon! You don’t remember?”
“No, I don’t remember.”
He stood thinking for a few moments.
“Come down to the training lab with me. I want to do some tests.”
He showed Alissa to the doctor’s lounge and then he took Dale to the lab.
“Just close your eyes for a few moments and take a deep breath.”
Dale followed his suggestion.
The doctor gave him a practice scenario for the patient and asked Dale what type of surgical procedure would be needed. Without hesitation, Dale shocked himself and performed the procedure on the cadaver. The doctor checked his work. They did a few more practice scenarios.
“Well, I think that with a few months of practice and acquainting yourself with the new procedures that you’ve missed you’ll be able to get your medical license back. You’ll be back in the operating room in no time!”
Dale thanked him and then they went to rejoin Alissa and tell her the good news. They decided on the best way to proceed. Dale was happy because now he knew that he would again be able to take good care of his family. The pressure would be off of Alissa. A surgeon! He had not dreamed that he had been employed in such a fulfilling career.
They visited a lawyer next.
“Whereas Mr. Dale Stallworth was not deceased when you married Mr. Alex Stallworth, then your marriage to Mr. Alex Stallworth is invalid. Technically, you are guilty of bigamy! However, the best way to proceed is to dissolve one of your marriages! Which one do you wish to dissolve.”
Alissa was feeling very emotional and could not stop the tears from falling down her cheeks.
Dale left the room.
“Now then, Mrs. Stallworth. Is this what you really wish to do? Are you being coerced into dissolving this marriage?”
“Ahh, I understand. Do you believe that he will contest the divorce?”
“I don’t think so.” Alissa answered.
Remarkably, the clerk was able to draft the papers quickly, and Alex received them before he left from work that day!
Dale went with her to the house, so that they could talk with the children together. Sharlee came home first. Even though her mother had told her that he was back, she hadn’t wanted to get her hopes up. She was surprised and pleased to see her Dad.
She raced over to him and hugged him tightly with tears in her eyes. Dale had tears as well.
“Oh, Daddy I missed you so much!”
“Please don’t leave us again!”
“I won’t sweetie! I’m sorry for the way things have gone!” Dale responded.
Dale and Sharlee had been close and he tried to catch up on things that he had missed while he was gone.
Eventually, he asked her, “So, any boyfriends?”
Sharlee blushed. “Nothing serious!” She had always been able to talk with her Dad about anything, and she was glad to see that she still felt the same way. It was just as though they had never been apart.
Alissa joined them after a while.
“I’m sorry that I was gone for so long!”
“It’s okay Dad. I’m just glad you’re with us now!”
After about an hour, Dale’s phone rang. It was Dr. Dickerson calling to ask Dale to come to the hospital and watch a special operation. Dale told him that he would have to pass, but thanked him for calling.
“Dale we have the rest of our lives to be together. You need to go to watch that operation! It’s one of the new procedures that you need to learn!”
Dale knew that she was right!
“Here take my car. You can pick me up tomorrow and drop me off at work before you go to the hospital!” Alissa suggested as she gave him her keys.
She walked him outside.