Who Does That?
By Audrey W.
Doctor Brackett gave his latest patient a reassuring smile.
“You’re cleared to go back to work. You’re probably going to be rather sore for awhile, but I didn’t see anything in the x-rays to keep you from finishing out the remainder of your duty.”
“I thought so.” Sitting shirtless on the exam table, John Gage looked to his partner with a slight glare as he added, “But someone insisted I get checked out.” He then grinned. “I guess this is your lucky day, Roy! You aren’t gonna lose me the rest of the shift after all.”
There were some days Roy would have considered that not so lucky, such as when the bachelor Gage was attempting to give him advice about his marriage. But this day had been going rather well so far, thus he had to agree. However, he wasn’t the only one who could count himself ‘lucky’.
“I think you can count yourself as pretty fortunate. When you got knocked into that deep trench, I thought for sure you’d fractured, cracked or sprained something.”
“Roy, have you forgotten? I’m skin--”
“I know__ you’re skinny, but you’re tough.”
Johnny grinned again, despite having been interrupted. “Right.”
Brackett shook his head at the exchange, a smile still on his face, his arms folded across his chest. “Well, I’ve got patients who really need my services. So I’ll see you two later.”
“Bye, Doc,” Roy said.
“Thanks again, Doc.”
The doctor turned to face them as he placed a hand on the door. “Just be careful around anymore edges. Especially when you’ve got such a thankful co-worker of a rescued victim.”
“You got it,” Johnny promised. Being 'skinny and tough' was no match for a muscular two-hundred-sixty pound gracious and somewhat clumsy construction worker who didn’t seem to recognize his own strength. The nearly-bone crushing handshake had been bad enough. But when he'd turned to give Roy one as well, he'd bumped roughly against Gage. The paramedic was knocked into the seven-foot deep trench, and he hadn't landed on his feet.
Brackett left, the door closing behind him.
Johnny slid off the exam table and grabbed his balled up white undershirt with his left hand. He shook the shirt out, wincing slightly with the use of his right hand and opened the bottom so he could pull it on over his head.
Meanwhile, Roy was still thinking about what happened.
“You know, maybe we should make sure--”
“Oh man!” Gage interrupted.
“Man, I don’t believe this!”
“What? What’s wrong?”
“Man, who does this?”
Being he couldn’t follow the younger man’s conversation, he wasn’t making any sense at all, Roy had almost come to the conclusion that the doctor had missed something. . .like a bump on the head.
Johnny looked at the baffled blond paramedic. “Who does this?” He asked, shaking the hem of the white shirt for emphasis.
Roy still didn’t get it.
“Who puts their name on an undershirt? By the hem, yet!”
Being whose shirt it was, he had one guess. “You?” He tried to peer over, but Johnny jerked it away with his better hand.
“No man. No way. This isn’t even my shirt!”
“Well who. . .?”
Johnny held up the hemmed end of the clothing so he could read it out loud this time. “C B Kelly. It’s Chet’s! Somehow I ended up with Chet’s undershirt.”
“Maybe when we let Marco’s mom take some of our clothes to the Laundromat a few shifts ago. Remember when we all came back to the station pretty filthy after that mudslide and she’d dropped by to give us the food she’d fixed us for lunch?”
“Yeaahhh. . .” he trailed off as he recalled the wonderful burritos, refried beans and Mexican rice she’d brought them. “You know, you’re right, Roy. You’re absolutely right! That’s gotta be it.”
“Right, so just get dressed and we’ll be on our way.”
Johnny shook his head. “I’m not wearin’ Chet’s shirt.”
Roy’s lower jaw dropped in disbelief. “You already have been.”
“Yeah, but I didn’t know it at the time. Now I do.” Again he shook his head as he dropped it in a heap on the exam table and put on his blue uniform shirt over his bare skin. “Nope, I’m waitin’ till we get back to the station and puttin’ on one of my own clean shirts.”
What ever made him happy. Roy was just ready to return to the station.
Once his blue shirt was buttoned, a task that took slightly longer than usual, and his dark blue jacket was on, Johnny grabbed the t-shirt in his left hand again and headed for the door alongside Roy.
“Man, who puts their name in their shirt? Ya know, I’m gonna hafta give ol’ Chet a hard time on this one. Yes siree,” he giggled, “This is gonna be fun. . .I’ve finally gottum right where I want ‘im.”
Johnny went out the doorway first, once again ranting about names in shirts.
Roy rolled his eyes and shook his head. His partner was going to be on the subject all the way back to the station, he just knew it.
Well, that ‘luck’ didn’t last very long. . .
Chet might not feel so lucky either.
Who puts their name in an undershirt? Roy thought to himself. He guessed after today, it wouldn’t be Chet.
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January Picture 2011