By Audrey W.
John Gage rubbed at his aching head as he relayed information to Doctor Morton at Rampart by use of the biophone.
It was the first run of the day for the paramedics, and it had come early. Before Gage could even get both his shoes tied, the klaxons sounded, sending he and his partner, Roy DeSoto, on a response for a hiker who’d taken a tumble down a hill. The victim had broken his leg and a few ribs as soon as he’d started out on the venture with a few friends.
After he gave the vitals to the doctor, Johnny glanced at Roy. “Remind me to take a coupla aspirin when we get back to the station.”
The senior paramedic looked at the agonized expression on the other’s face. “Somehow I don’t think you’ll forget.”
Johnny snickered. “There’re a few things I’d like to forget.”
Morton’s voice coming through the line drew the younger paramedic’s attention away from his own problems and back to the job at hand. Soon they had the victim treated and ready to be transported to the hospital.
“You sure you feel up to driving the squad in?” Roy asked as he looked out the rear of the ambulance toward his partner.
“Yeah, it’ll give me some time to think.”
“Okay, see you there.”
Johnny was closing one of the doors. “Yep.” He then shut the other and secured them, giving two slaps to let the occupants inside know. The ambulance took off as he once again rubbed at his forehead. Oh man. . .
Johnny felt so bad, he was actually relieved to see that Dixie McCall, a favorite nurse of his and Roy’s, wasn’t on duty when he arrived at Rampart. He knew she’d recognize that he was in misery and question why. For the moment he wasn’t sure if she’d be sympathetic or laugh.
It’ll be bad enough when I try to explain it to Roy. Man, I can’t believe my luck. . .
He approached the desk near the base station where an older nurse who often took over when Dixie wasn’t there stood.
“Hi," she said with a smile. "What can I get for you?”
Besides a handful of aspirin? He thought to himself. “Uh. . .Just a few things.” He handed her a list of what they’d just used, wincing at the throbbing pain he was still experiencing.
“You look like you
could use something yourself,” she noted.
“Yeah, and I’m gonna just as soon as I get back to the station.”
The nurse gave a sympathetic look and turned to get the supplies.
Roy came out of the treatment room he’d gone into with the patient. He smiled as a pretty young nurse walked by and was surprised to see that Johnny hadn’t paid any attention to her. Normally his partner would have just about broken his neck to look at a pretty girl and more than likely would’ve been following her to try for a date.
He must *really* be feeling lousy.
“Did you get the supplies?”
“Yeah,” Johnny said as he picked them up. “Let’s go.” He forced a weak grin at Betty and gave a polite farewell nod before turning and walking away. Roy waved and walked alongside him.
After they got into the squad, Roy turned to Johnny. “How’s the headache?”
The blond paramedic put the key in the ignition and turned it, starting the engine. He put the truck into gear and drove toward the exit of the lot. “So what brought on this headache? Any idea?”
Johnny nodded. “More than just an idea. I know what did it. Or should I say, ‘who’.”
“Not Chet. . .”
“No, not Chet. I haven’t even seen Chet yet this morning. No, it was my date from last night.”
“From last night?”
“Yeah,” came a sour toned answer.
“And you’ve got a headache today?”
“Roy, I’ve had a headache since about dinner time yesterday. That’s when I took her out. Man, I can’t believe my luck.”
“Well, what happened?”
“No offense, but I don’t feel like talking about it.”
Roy quickly glanced over at Johnny, then returned his attention to the traffic ahead. “Okay, if you say so.”
There was a moment of silence before Gage spoke again, rubbing at his forehead. “This chick was perfect. Everything I look for in a date. She was pretty, thin, outgoing; even was into bowling and photography. And she just moved in to the same apartment complex I live in.”
Okay, he *does* want to talk about it. . .“So, what happened?”
“Well, it started when I picked her up. I’d only met her earlier in the day, so we hadn’t had a lot of time to talk, you know? Just enough to know we had those few things in common.”
Roy nodded and waited for more.
Johnny turned in his seat to face toward his partner and continued. “So she greets me at her door in this mini skirt and dressy blouse. And first thing she says is, ‘do you like my outfit?’ Well, naturally I’m gonna say yes. She was hot!”
“But. . .”
“I’m gettin’ to that. So we get into my Rover and I’m drivin’ to the restaurant. A real nice place, I might add. And she says to me, she says, ‘Do you like my hair?’ She had it fixed real nice, so you know, what else is a guy gonna say?”
“Uh huh. . .so she was hung up on herself?”
“Roy, just wait. I’m gettin’ to the problem part.”
“Okay, I’m waiting.”
“Great. So we get to the restaurant--”
“The nice place.”
Johnny glared a moment and once again rubbed at his forehead. “Roy, you’re gonna give me a worse headache.”
“Sorry. Just go on.”
“Okay, so we get to the restaurant and I go around to open the car door for her. She gets out and doesn’t say a word. Not a word! Until we get in, sit down and order our dinner. Then she looks at me with fixed eyes and says, ‘Will you be my friend forever?’ Well, you can imagine what went through my mind. I mean, we just met and she already wanted a commitment!”
“Sounds like a pushy girl. . .with a limited vocabulary.”
“Pushy; limited. . .you name it. But the next thing she said to me was ‘I think you’re nice’.”
“So how does all this lead to a headache?”
“Because the whole night went like that; weird statements. Nothing was like the conversation we had when I met her in the laundry room at the apartments. It was like someone was pulling a string and making her say things out of the blue.”
“Aahh. I think I’m seeing the problem. But how did that lead to a headache?”
“Because she lives by me, Roy! Just a few doors down. And the last thing she said to me was ‘I’m going to be your bestest friend’.”
Roy glanced over in surprise. “Bestest? Just how old is this girl?” he asked as he once again looked at the road ahead.
“I don’ know, but it’s not what you’re thinking. As the date was ending, I managed to ask her what she did for a living. You’re never gonna believe this.”
“She works for MYCO Toys; records her voice for dolls. She’s the voice of quite a few baby dolls for little girls.”
Roy couldn’t help but grin. His partner had managed to find yet another bizarre girl to date; one that apparently took her job home with her. “Well, it could be worse.”
“How? I ask you, how could it possibly be worse?”
“It could be the guy who does the voice for Rocco the Robot chasing after you.”
Johnny once again rubbed at his forehead as he turned to face forward in his seat. “Ha ha. Very funny, Roy. Very funny.”
June Picture Stories