Doctors ConroybyMatt Moreau©
"So you're going to do it, tell him," he said.
"I have to, Jerry; he deserves that much, and it's little enough; we both know that," she said.
"Hollie, it's going to kill him. More, it's going to kill our relationship with him in all its forms. He will never speak to either of us again—ever," he said.
"You don't give him enough credit, Jerry. He'll understand. If the tables were reversed—" she started.
"You're kiddin' yourself, Hollie. He loves you more than his life, same as I do. Breaking up with him after so many years together—it's going to kill him," he said.
"I have to risk it. I have to. I will be a gentle as I possibly can. I will let him know that both of us love him to death, but that..." she started to tear up. He reached over the table and took her hand in his.
"But that we have been cheating on him for almost a year? Hollie, I doubt you could even imagine a way to be gentle enough in breaking something like that to him. I guess you've got to try, but it's still going to be really bad for him.
"Hollie, are you sure you don't want me to go with you. You need me there, my love. I feel it. I do," he said.
"No Jerry, this is between my husband and me. I have o own up to my sins and be as straight—and gentle—as I possibly can. That's the best I can do. I'm just hoping that in time—well—in time he will understand and we will all be able to get by it. Jesus, Jerry, this is going to be hard," she said.
"Yeah, I know," he said.
I sat across from her and stared. Fourteen years. Fourteen years we'd been married and now it was over. All through medical school, all through residency careers well underway. We'd come up together. Come up together, she and I. We'd made it: she a top gynecologist, me a respected cardio specialist. Thirty-eight years old and now it was over. Helluva thing.
"I'm sorry, Charles. It just happened. Jerry and I—we fell in love. I wish there was something I could say, something I could do..." she said. I just shook my head slowly from side to side.
"Hollie, I can't believe this. You're killin' me, us. I mean my best friend! My ex best friend now I guess. You've thought this over? You've thought this out?" I said. "Fourteen years Hollie! Fourteen fucking years!"
"He's still your best friend, Charlie. He's as sick about this as I am. He wanted to be here with me, but I talked him out of it. It's just something that neither he nor I could help—it—it—just happened," she said. "And yes, I have thought it over; I've agonized over it. I still love you, Charlie; we both do—but..."
"Just not enough. Is that it!" I said.
"Forget it Holliie. I guess we're done; we're done. You won't be seein' me again after today, not ever," I said.
Okay I was fucking bitter, bitter as hell.
I got up and walked out; the cafeteria walls were stifling. She didn't follow me or say anymore. There was nothing left to say.
I left the building and just walked. I walked for a long time. In the end I was back to where I had started walking, back at Mercy General. I'd thought it out—sort of—walking was good for thinking, always had been. There were a few things I needed to collect before I left, and I was leaving. I headed for my office. I heard a voice from behind me call my name as I strode down the corridor.
"Doctor Conroy? Doctor Conroy, sir," she said. I turned toward the nurse and just looked at her waiting for her to say something meaningful. "Sir, doctor Jerry, I mean doctor Weston asked me to have you call him, sir," she said. I just turned away and continued toward my office. I had to get out of there, but I needed my papers, my passport. There were a few other things too, stuff tucked away in what had been my inner sanctum for so long, stuff I needed.
Hollie and I—done. I couldn't bring myself to think it, but the reality was there regardless; it was what it was. I packed everything of importance in my gym bag; it was kind of amazing how little there was that could be considered important when one's purpose in life had gone the way of all flesh—non sequiturs had their place I mused.
I changed out of the scrubs, that I was still in, and into my jeans and bomber jacket. Wherever I landed, I would buy what I needed. The major constant was the fact that I couldn't stay around Lincoln anymore. A place where every little thing would remind me of her—of us. I had to get out.
No plans, no trunks of clothes and possessions. She could have it all. She could give it all to Jerry, my used to be best friend. Best friend? Not anymore. Now—my worst enemy. My hatred for good 'ole Jerry would never die; that was gonna be another constant, the eternal constant. I took one last look around. I turned to close the door behind me. As I turned back to head out, I bumped into him.
"Charles, I just wanted to say how..." he started, but my fist in his mouth cut him off.
"Fuck you old bud," I said. He lay on the floor bleeding. Funny, but I didn't feel a bit good about it. I didn't feel bad either. I guess, when it came down to it, I didn't feel anything.
My life, my life was over in medicine, I'd decided. My life at Mercy General, was over. I was outta there for good.
I wondered how it would all play out the next day when I didn't show up for rounds. I'd call Sanders and let him know of course; he'd go nuts. Admin types always went nuts when things didn't go according to plan. I smiled in spite of myself; the scene I imagined playing out in my mind amused me. I was one of the best cardiac physicians in the state. Jerry was a fucking plastic surgeon, useless in any practical sense, I told myself.
Nurse Goodman stood still as a statue her mouth hanging wide open. She looked at the fallen asshole, and then at me. "It's okay Helen; he'll feel a lot better tomorrow whereas I won't," I said. I strode out and into the night.
I had a separate accounts from those of my wife. My ATM card would carry me until I could disappear and start over. I was still married of course, kind of a problem; but I figured, more of one for her than me. She was the one who wanted to be with someone else. I assumed she'd marry him, but to do that she'd have to divorce me. She could fucking well do the payin'.
I drove. Day and night I drove stopping only to piss, or to get gas and coffee. I hadn't slept for almost twenty-four hours. Finally, when I'd almost killed myself, just barely missing a concrete construction barrier, I pulled off the freeway and parked under an overpass; I had no idea where I was. The sun was my alarm clock. I felt stiff and sore all over. I rolled down the car windows. There was just something restorative about morning air. I took a deep breath. I didn't feel quite as bad as I had just a day earlier.
Looking around and assessing my current geography, I could see what looked like a restaurant maybe a quarter mile up the street. I pulled out an up to it. Parking, I got out, locked up, and made my way inside. It was a typical greasy spoon. But I was a hungry, and I needed coffee in the worst way.
A good looking and youngish waitress in a uniform, that I judged to be too small for her, stood looking at me waiting for me to say something.
"Coffee, black and soon," I said, "and dry toast and eggs."
"How do you want the eggs?" she said.
"Just scramble 'em," I said. She meandered her way between the tables and out of sight. I sagged back in the booth. Fuck-fuck-fuck! Now, I was feeling as bad as I was yesterday. I guess the effects of the fresh morning air had worn off.
A busboy passed and I called him over. "Where are we?" I said. "What is this town?"
"Bisbee," said the boy. "Bisbee, Arizona."
"Thanks," I said. Damn near fifteen hundred miles, I reckoned. I'd heard of Bisbee before, knew where it was on the map. Wyatt Earp and all of those guys had hung around here, or so the legends claimed; Tombstone was not too far away as I recalled. Never having been to Arizona I was intrigued. What the hell. It was better than bein' back in Lincoln.
The waitress appeared with my food. "Anyplace to sack out around here?" I said.
"Around the corner there's a motel," she said. "It's cheap enough if it matters." I nodded my thanks. I watched her as she made the rounds of the tables, a good looking wench for sure I determined.
I headed for the Round Up Motel and Bar and Grill.
She dabbed at his mouth with the dampened cloth, "I can't say as I blame him," he said. She nodded.
"Jerry, he hates us," she said, "I know it."
"Yeah, I guess he does," he said, taking the cloth from her hand.
"Doctor Weston, the officers are here, said the nurse. She'd had to push her way through the small crowd of rubbernecking medical staff to deliver her message. The group began to disperse with the arrival of the uniforms.
"Thanks, Helen," he said. "Send them in."
The interview was short. The men in blue didn't look too pleased, but the offense was too trivial for all of the paperwork it would have entailed, so maybe there was an upside to dealing with uncooperative victims.
"I'm glad you didn't press charges, Jerry," she said. "We've done enough to him. I just hope someday he'll get over it and we can all talk about it. You know—"she said, not finishing.
"And be friends? Not hardly. But, you're right about us having done enough to him.
"You still gonna try and see him tomorrow?" he said.
"Yes. He has to come in to get the rest of his stuff, and then there is all of the stuff at the house.
"I know he doesn't want to talk to me, but maybe I can think of something between now and then," she said.
"Hollie, he may not come back for his stuff, at least not soon. You didn't see the look on his face when he left. He wasn't angry exactly. It was something else, something worse," he said.
"What?" she said.
"Jesus! This is just wrong. It shouldn't have had to end this way. I—you—him: it's crazy. Just fucking crazy," she said.
"He loves you. He loves you like I do. There's no gainsaying that fact," he said. She leaned in and laid her head on his chest.
"I've got to make this right with him somehow, Jerry. If not now, then sometime in the future when he's had a chance to get used to the idea. I've just got to," she said.
"Yeah, I know. Me too," he said.
"How's your lips feel?" she said.
He started to laugh but a grimace short shanked that. "Not the best. He really nailed me. I think one of my teeth is loose too. I'll take care of it tomorrow," he said. She nodded.
"Come home with me tonight," he said.
"Okay. I don't want to be alone. So—okay," she said.
"You look good," he said. "Dark hair all fluffed out, dark middie skirt, matching blouse; you do indeed look good. May I ask, do your undies match the rest of the set?" She smiled.
"Maybe you'll just have to see for yourself," she said. He moved toward her and wrapped her in his arms.
"I love you Hollie. Tonight is for us," he said. His hands slid down the length of her arms. Her breasts barely touched his chest teasing him. "As much as I love what you're wearing, I think I'd really rather see you sans your clothes." He began loosening the button holding her skirt up; it slid to the floor.
Sinking to his knees, his face but inches from her mound, he gazed enraptured by the sight and smell of her special places. He kissed her mound and pulled back. He began slowly pulling her panties down. Her mound was bald.
He kissed her places again. He licked her and sucked her clit into his mouth and made her feel good. Her breath came in short staccato bursts. Standing once more, he gently marched her backwards toward the couch; her knees buckled when she came in contact with the cushions. He knelt between her legs and continued his oral ministrations.
Pulling her to her feet he turned her around. He urged her to her knees on the couch's cushions. She spread herself wide for him as she leaned forward resting her head on the back of the couch and waited for him to enter her. Butt towards him, she felt him press inside of her; a low-decibel grunt escaped her as he split her nether lips with his thickness. In and out, in and out—thrust—he buried his entire seven inch length inside of her.
He looked down on the woman submitting to his assault. He gently stroked her still blouse clad back before beginning to screw her.
She moaned and made unintelligible noises as he ploughed her femaleness. He could feel himself building to a climax just as she started the small jerky movements that told him she was experiencing the first of her orgasms. He sped up trying to match her completion with his own. He stiffened and washed her insides with his cum. Finished, he leaned forward over her back and enveloped her in his arms massaging her tits even as his cock shrank out of her.
He rolled off and splayed himself wide open next to her still kneeling form. She, for her part, sank onto the couch and lay her head down on his naked thigh. Turning her head, she licked at his cock and took it in her hands. Rising, she pulled him to his feet and led him by his cock into the bedroom down the hall. The rest of the night would not be restful, indeed, it would be athletic.
Thoughts of her husband were, for the moment, pushed to the back of her mind. They, her thoughts, would return and that with a vengeance, but not tonight, not with her new man in the bed with her. Tonight she was his as he would be in the nights and months and years to come.
I had money. But, I needed a job, any job if I was going to make this little burg my new place of residence; hell, and why not stay here, it really was as good as any other place. I wasn't feeling good, not good at all; but I had things I had to get done even before launching my hunt for a job. First order of business: I only had one change of clothes; I had some shopping to do; then, I'd go job hunting.
The Round Up was clean, and the little attached bar and grill was adequate to my purpose. I figured to be staying for a week or so at the least.
In town I had gotten what I needed, mainly clothes, by noon. Lunch was again at the greasy spoon. I began my job quest before I even got up from the table.
The waitress, her of the too tight uniform, studied me. "Well, we have a job open here if you're desperate," she said. She pointed to the help wanted sign in the window.
"Really," I said.
"Yeah, we need a waiter. Two guys quit last week. College boys. It's always that way. Seasonal kinda, if you know what I mean," she said.
"Yeah, I do." I said. I worked at a pizza place when I was—I hesitated—a kid." I didn't want to let anyone know I'd been to college. I don't know why I wanted to keep that a secret, but it seemed a good idea. I mean a cardiac surgeon waiting tables in a dead end town in Arizona? No, my private life, my history, was gonna be mine to know everyone else's to not know.
"I noticed your car when you drove up yesterday," she said. "An old one, right? It looks almost new though."
"Yeah, it was my dad's. It's a fifty-six Chevy. A collector's item really. Had it for years. I just take care of it, and it just keeps on keepin' on. They don't make 'em like that anymore." I sounded like a teenager braggin' to his girlfriend.
"Yeah I guess. Come on," she said. She led me into the back. She introduced me to the owner of the place. An older man, maybe sixty, balding, rugged looking.
Rob Johnson hired me on the spot: six bucks an hour and tips. Kind of a come down for me economically, but money wasn't my worry. Forgetting was my worry. I wondered if forgetting were even possible. I was betting not.
"Hey," I said to the waitress that had been my headhunter. "What's your name?" She smirked.
"Melissa, Melissa Compton. Yours?" she said.
I hesitated. I decided to use my real name. Too many possible complications otherwise. "Charles. Charles Conroy," I said. She nodded. I had a thought. I had to get a new driver's license; my old one identified me as a doctor. I'd be takin' care of that kind of stuff like fast in a hurry.
I looked at her for the first time as a person, a woman. Twenty-five, tall—maybe five-ten and slim. Short, dark, fluffy hair. Looked like she'd had it tough. I guessed I'd be finding out about that sooner or later if we were going to be working together.
I hadn't lied about working at a pizza place when I was a kid. I'd started as a freshman college student eighteen years before. The name of the place had been La Scala's—the owner had a thing for opera. I'd shoveled pizza for all four years of my undergrad. A year later, my first as a med-student, I met Hollie; we'd clicked and been together ever since. Happy too, until—until now.
Hollie was a looker. Five-nine, slim, short light brown hair in those days; her hair was long now and a little darker than in the old days. We'd fucked like bunnies from our second date. I couldn't get enough of her, and I was sure the feeling was mutual.
We moved in together in our second year in med school and gotten married as soon as we became residents: that, the marriage, was eleven years ago.
Supreme irony of ironies, my long time friend from high school days, Jerry Weston, ended up shadowing me through med school. He decided to go for the bucks and do the plastic surgeon thing; I went into cardiac. Hollie loved children; gynecology was a natural field for her. We were just at the point too, careers stable, where we had even been talking about having children ourselves, when, completely out of the blue, she'd dropped the bomb on me. I guess she decided to be having children with good 'ole Jerry.
At any rate, since beginning med school, the three of us had always been together: Jerry and his flavor of the month girlfriend and Hollie and I. Well, those days were all just memories now, and very bad memories at least for me. Odd how happy times can morph like that; I set my jaw; I'd survive this; I would goddamn it; I would!
She was not nervous exactly, but not comfortable.
"Well, Hollie, I guess you and Weston have cost me my top heart specialist," said Emile Sanders.
"Emile, it's personal. I'd rather not get into it if it's all the same to you," she said.
"I hear that Weston and your husband had a fight right in front of twenty people just down the hall; that makes it my business, Hollie," he said. "I run this place, and I can't be having my medical corps battling it out in front of the paying public!"
"I'm sorry about that. Jerry was trying to talk to him—well—I wasn't there, but I guess things kinda got out of control," she said.
"Yeah, right. Anyway, I've already talked to doctor Weston about it," he said, sagging back in his chair. "Charlie called me too." She started at that, alert for his next words. "He quit over the phone. He's not coming back..."
"Did he say where he was going?" said Hollie. She was literally sitting on the edge of her seat. He noticed.
"If you cared so much about where he'd be going maybe you should have thought a bit longer about having an affair, Hollie. But, to answer your question, he just said far away. He really isn't coming back. Your loss is my loss," he said.
"Fuck!" she said, wringing her hands.
"Yes, that about sums it up," he said. "I called you in here to tell you the same thing I told Jerry Weston: I do not expect to see a drop off in attitude or work load because of this. I hope I'm clear; losing Charlie is bad enough. This hospital is not going to become just another Peyton Place because Weston and you are getting it on."
"There won't be any problem, Emile. I promise you that," she said.
"Yes, well that does it then. Get on back to whatever you were doing," he said. He picked up some papers and shuffled them; the interview was over.
She rose slowly and left. He wasn't coming back; she felt sick.