EMT: A Tale of Love and Disaster
Copyright 2017 by Etienne
THE REST OF THE day went by fairly uneventfully. Brody and Ron responded to three calls, all of which involved transporting people to the hospital—people with life-threatening problems; who for one reason or another, were unable to be transported by family. Brody actually found time in the hour before dinner to make use of the workout room. Jonas was doing the same thing, and they spotted each other on the bench press.
“Looking good, buddy,” Jonas said when Brody had an impressive amount of weights in the air over his head.
Somehow, that simple affirmation from one of his new friends and co-workers meant more to Brody than he could explain to himself, and he was a bit overwhelmed. Still, he managed to return the bar to its holder, and huff out a brief “Thank you” to Jonas.
Brody took a quick shower, then sat down at the table with the rest of the men—feeling really, really good about his job choice. A feeling that lasted all of fifteen minutes until his cell phone rang, and he looked at the caller-ID. “Excuse me, guys, I have to take this call,” Brody said, and hurriedly left the table. He stepped into the relative privacy of the weight room before he answered the phone. “Hello.”
“Hello,” the somewhat strained voice of Mary Ann said into his ear.
“How are things in Iowa?”
“Forget Iowa. What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
“Whatever do you mean?”
“You know damn well what I mean. Your mother said you were at work—at the fire department.”
“Brody, you know I didn’t want you to take that job.”
“That’s too bad, Mary Ann. I’ve taken it, and I’m going to stay here.”
“After all our plans—”
“—Whoa. Those were never my plans. It was always what you wanted.”
“That’s too bad,” she said. “If you want to be with me, you’re going to have to change them.”
“Mary Ann, I have two things to say to you. One, you can go screw yourself; and two, don’t ever call me again. Got that?”
Brody hung up before she could respond. He returned to the table, and was shocked when the guys applauded.
“Oh, shit,” he said. “Did you guys hear that?”
“Of course we did, buddy,” Ron said. “You were practically yelling at the end of that call.”
“Sorry,” Brody said. “If you heard me, then I don’t need to explain, do I?”
“Not at all,” Jonas said. “And I, for one, say, good riddance.”
“Yeah,” Harry said. “Lots more fish in the sea.”
“Maybe,” Brody said.
“Heck, Brody,” Harry said. “I saw you after your shower this morning. You’re a good-looking guy with broad shoulders and a narrow waist. You’ve got a great butt, and a dick most guys would be proud to have.”
“So, you’ve got what it takes to attract a lot better than what’s-her-name. In fact, I’ll bet she wasn’t even a good lay, was she?”
“Honestly, I have no idea,” Brody said. “We never actually went quite all the way.”
“She was holding out for marriage, right?” Harry said.
“Yeah—can we talk about something else?”
“I just realized something, Brody,” Jonas said.
“I haven’t seen you doing any texting on that phone.”
“For one thing, I don’t text,” Brody said. “And, it’s just a normal cell phone, not a smart phone.”
“You don’t text?”
“No, I don’t. Nor do my closest friends. We keep in touch with e-mail and the occasional telephone call.”
“I guess there’s hope for the younger generation, yet,” Andy said. At fifty, he was the oldest member of the group.
“Some of us actually find texting to be slow and inefficient,” Brody said.
“And more power to you,” Andy said.
Brody looked at his half empty plate and realized that he’d lost his appetite, so he excused himself, carried it over to the garbage can, and scraped it clean. After he’d dealt with his plate, he retrieved his iPod and tablet, and settled down in one of the chairs. Mercifully, the rest of the guys respected his privacy and left him to his own devices.
They only had one call that night, but it was in the middle of the night. The next morning, Brody showered, dressed in street clothes, and went home to face the inevitable questioning from his family. His dad was at work, and his mother wasn’t home, so he left a note and drove down to his grandfather’s house at the lake.
Brody pulled onto the parking pad next to his grandfather’s garage, and walked around to the front of the house. The house was a large two-story brick house, that actually faced the lake. The family entrance was at the side of the house near the garage, but he knew he’d find his grandfather sitting in the swing that hung from a huge old live oak tree.
“Hi, Pop,” Brody said, as he walked up to where the old man sat.
“Brody, my lad. You’re a sight for sore eyes.”
“I decided to spend my two days off with you, if that’s alright with you.”
“Of course it is, and the lake is gorgeous this morning. If you want to go for a swim, I just might join you.”
One thing Brody dearly loved about his grandfather was the fact that the old man never pried. Patrick Murphy was rail thin, had a full head of white hair, and was on the far side of eighty. Brody had always enjoyed the old man’s company.
“By the way, Brody, I’ve moved you to the upstairs bedroom.”
“Why? The master suite is huge, and your study’s up there.”
“That’s true, but I’m getting tired of climbing all those steps. The upstairs is yours, and you can take over the study as well. I took the rear bedroom, and have turned the other downstairs bedroom into a study slash library for me.”
Brody went inside the house and to the upstairs suite, where he quickly changed into a pair of Speedos. He’d spent so much time with his grandfather in recent years that he kept several changes of clothes in the house. On the way back outside, he retrieved a bath sheet from the bathroom, and took it out to the dock. They’d been through a couple of years of drought, and the lake had receded a good hundred feet from the former shoreline. The bottom dropped off rather quickly near the end of the dock, and Brody was unable to resist the pull of the water, so he ran to the end of the dock and executed a perfect shallow dive into the lake. When he emerged, he saw his grandfather wearing trunks, wading through the shallows toward him. They splashed around in the lake for a while, then Brody’s grandfather sat on the edge of the dock dangling his feet in the water while Brody swam laps for an hour.
“That was a good workout,” the old man said when Brody finally climbed up the ladder and collapsed on the dock.
“Tell me about it.”All (874)
“Seriously, lad, you’re looking good, fit, and reasonably happy; although I detect an undercurrent of something.”
“You’re too sharp, Pop. Mary Ann found out I’d taken the fire department job, and called me last night about it.”
“It’s over. She issued an ultimatum, and I told her where to stick it. I like what I’m doing, and it’ll be valuable experience for me.”
“Good for you, lad. Don’t ever let anyone try to stop you from doing what you know is right for you.”
“Thank you for that, Pop. Can I buy you lunch at your favorite place?”
“I won’t say no to that.”
“Great. Let’s go get cleaned up.”
Brody spent a pleasant two days at the lake with his grandfather, and headed to the station for his next shift in a very good mood.