by Jerry Guarino
Sid (short for Siddhartha,
his given name) sat across from Kelly in the
romantic Italian restaurant, in the university
town where they were seniors. In spite of his
parents arranging an engagement for him
with a suitable Indian girl in Mumbai, the second-generation
college student only had eyes for Kelly, quite
possibly the antithesis of everything his parents
had planned. Kelly was protestant, preppy and the
only daughter of a good, upper middle class
family from Boston.
Why dont we ever go to Indian
restaurants Sid? Dont you like Indian food?
Sid took a bite of his risotto, smiled and looked
into Kellys eyes. No, I dont.
Cumin and curry are disgusting and every Indian
dish has them to excess. Look at Italian food.
Elegant, delicate and romantic, like you.
Kelly blushed. America is my home. I have
no desire to visit India, much less marry someone
my parents have arranged.
Kelly squeezed his hand. Sid, you know how
I feel about you, but what will your parents say?
Sids expression told Kelly she had nothing
to worry about. They will see in you what I
do, the light of my life.
A violinist played an Italian aria accompanied by
a heavyset waiter in a tuxedo, serenading the
patrons as they ate in a restaurant Kelly had
always wanted to visit. This is so romantic.
What a perfect night. Kelly was in love
with Sid. He was smart, athletic and handsome.
They had been together for a year now. Their
relationship had taken off, since she first saw
him on the football field. But Kelly loved his
mind as much as his body; with a 3.85 GPA in
Economics, Sid made college look easy. She took
another look at the menu. Sid, this is so
expensive; we could go to four dinners for what
this is going to cost. Sid appreciated
Kellys watching the budget, but this was a
The violin player came over to their table as the
tenor began O Sole Mio. Do you know
what the words mean in English Kelly?
She shook her head. No, but its
Sid translated. Its about a man who
sees the sun come out after a storm, then tells
his lover that her face is even more beautiful
than the sun. Thats how I feel when I see
you. I love you Kelly!
Kelly leaned over and kissed him. I love
you too Sid. They could feel the moment,
smell the food and were at peace. It was one of
those times that dont come along very often,
when everything is in sync.
Sid pulled out his chair, kneeled down next to
Kelly and looked deep into her eyes. Kelly
Ann Caverly, you are my sun. Suddenly,
everyone around them was listening. When I
wake up, you are what I want to see. At sundown,
you will be the light that keeps shining. With
you by my side, I will always have the warmth and
light I need. Please do me the honor of lighting
up my life. Kelly, will you marry me?
Kelly began to cry. She reached out for Sid,
nearly knocking him over. Of course I will.
You are my sunshine too. The tenor hit his
high note, the other diners clapped and the
couple was now engaged. The owner put the
Tarantella CD on and for the rest of the night,
Sid and Kelly had an engagement party. There were
cannoli for everyone and a cake the restaurant
reserved for special occasions.
The last year of college went by quickly. Sid and
Kelly were planning their futures and their
wedding. Kelly had an internship at Deaconess
hospital and Sid had offers from several banks.
On a warm afternoon in May, they walked hand in
hand in Kenmore Square, to see a Red Sox game.
Outside the stadium, they stopped for a steak and
cheese sub, smothered with onions, peppers,
mushrooms and grease. Just as smoothly as their
life was going, so were the Red Sox, coming off
their first world series win in 86 years.
The next week, Kelly was planning on meeting Sid
for lunch when she got a call on her cell phone.
Sid had been taken to the hospital and Kelly
rushed to the emergency room. Waiting for an hour,
she began to cry, not knowing what had happened.
Finally a doctor came out to see her. Kelly
Caverly? She quickly got up. Yes, Im
The doctor took her into a treatment room. Sid
had an acute attack in his intestines. Were
running tests now. Weve sedated him, but
you can wait here with him. Kelly thanked
the doctor and sat next to Sid, holding his hand
as he slept.
When Sid woke up, Kelly told him what the doctor
said. Im so glad youre here,
not out on the street somewhere. What do you
Sid groaned and rubbed his stomach, still in pain.
Maybe something I ate, but nothing unusual
in the last few days. The blood tests were
done quickly at the emergency room. A beautiful
young Asian doctor came into his room and gave
him a tablespoon of medicine and told him to rest.
Sids face turned sour. Argh. This is
Thirty minutes later, she returned to his room.
How are you feeling now, Mr.
Patel? With Kelly by his side, he looked
exhausted but relieved.
I feel a little better now. Am I going to
be all right?
The doctor smiled and reassured him. Yes,
you had a parasite; just take a tablespoon of
this every six hours for the next week.
Sid grimaced. A week! It tastes awful doc.
The doctor nodded. Yes, I know. Its
the cumin, but it kills the worms faster than