Never a dull moment
“I had a date,” I whined as I met Doctor Franklin Brackenridge, my boss.
“You’re on call twenty-four seven.”
“I should quit,” I protested.
I walked in and saw him sitting cross-legged on the floor reading a book.
“Good evening, Sheryl. They called you huh?”
“Sir, I can’t believe you’re reading Bukowski in your underwear, again!”
“When the world is cold and dark and the light begins to fade; to be youthful again and follow your path you must breathe. Then you can find your way.”
“Thank you Pablo Neruda, but I don’t think that means you should wear no pants.”
“Sorry the captain is out to lunch. I have a tough job you know.”
“No one disputes that, sir, but we don’t want the sailors to take over the ship.”
“Ha ha, I knew you secretly read Bukowski. Will you come with me to this shindig, Sheryl?”
“Yes, if you want me to,” I answered. I mean if the president of the United States asks you to accompany him you do it. Right?
“The dress I want you to wear is in your room,” he continued.
The man grieved and my job was to see him through this term and to help his mental state so he would be elected again. Bukowski was the link to his late wife, also named Sheryl. I had been hired to nurse her, many doctors tried to keep her alive but she succumbed. All the public knew as that his wife was ill; no one knew she was dead. He hadn’t wanted to tell anyone so close to the election, but the strain of his grief had taken its toll, these incidences were happening more frequently. It became harder as he started to fixate on me.
I turned to live the room and go put on the dress and overheard my boss on his cell phone in the corridor.
“Yes, she’s in there. We told him, how she talked about a date.”
The president knew about my date? How did he find out? Duh, he’s the president. I put on my dress and went back in. He was dressed.
“Let’s go Sheryl,” he said taking my arm, “Now you remember you have to pretend to be my wife.”
“I remember the drill,” I answered.
The night was over and he brought me back to the White House since it was late I went to my designated room.
I heard the president talking to my boss outside my room, “Do you think Sheryl will ever remember Doctor Brackenridge? She was so lovely tonight almost herself at the dinner.”
“I’m sorry Mr. President, we just don’t know.”
“It’s my fault; if she hadn’t stepped in front of me...”
“Then you’d be dead.”
Who were they talking about? I decided I didn’t care I was tired and my head hurt, time to sleep. I woke up this morning starting my nursing career again, as I found him again in his underwear reading Bukowski. Never a dull moment.
©Sheilagh Lee May 22, 2015