Roller Coaster 7

Continued from 5/22 post…

Wendy jumped, dropping her father’s hand as if she had been caught doing something wrong.  Her mother looked perplexed, then smiled. 

“Hi Wendy.  You changed your mind?”  Her mom set her cup of coffee on a side table.  Wendy shrugged and looked away. 

There was a sharp rap at the door.  Again, Wendy startled.  “What’s wrong with me?” she asked herself. 

A gentleman with white hair and a stethoscope around his neck peered around the door.  “Good morning.”  His voice was soft but strong.  “Will you ladies excuse us please?”  he asked.

Wendy followed her mom out of the room and down the hall to the lounge.  “Is that your bike?” her mother asked in disbelief.  Wendy hid her face behind an old issue of Glamour. 

A moment of silence stretched into several minutes.  “I’m glad you came,” said her mother finally.  “I know your dad has missed you.”  The words on the page of the magazine blurred before Wendy’s eyes as tears threatened to fall.  She felt so ashamed of avoiding her dad, as if cancer were contagious. 

When she finally looked up, she expected her mom to be right beside her, but she was across the room, looking out a window.  Wendy studied her mom’s face.  Laugh lines had faded into dark circles, and no makeup highlighted her features.  She was torn between wanting to reach out to comfort her, and longing for her own shoulder to cry on.

The doctor poked his head around the corner.  “Mrs. Rogers.  May I speak with you please?”  As her mother left the room, Wendy wiped her eyes just in time to see the handsome young man she almost ran over in the elevator. 

“Hey!  Are you Mr. Rogers’ daughter?” he asked.  She frowned and nodded.  “He is so cool.  He is always making us laugh.” 

Wendy’s curiosity got the best of her.  “What do you do here?  I know you’re not old enough to be a doctor.”  She felt dumb, saying exactly what was on her mind.

“I’m an aide.  I help him get up to the restroom, get him water, stuff like that.  I’m debating whether I want to go to school to be a nurse or a doctor, or something in between.” He took a sip from the can of soda he was holding.

“A guy nurse, huh?   It doesn’t sound like a very masculine job.”  Almost instinctively, Wendy found herself flirting with the young man.  He was exceptionally good looking, and had a fascinating occupation.

“Actually, it takes a man secure in his own masculinity to do what I do.  Besides, everyday I’m surrounded by women.  What more could I ask for?” His lopsided smile indicated that he was not as much of a player as he pretended to be.

“I’m Wendy,” she finally said, offering her hand. 

“Jason,” he replied, grasping her hand and shaking it firmly.  He cleared his throat.  “So, how are you dealing with your dad’s, um, illness?” 

Continued on Fiction Fridays…

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