St. Paddy’s Day (Chapter Twelve)

ST. PADDY’S DAY

by

The Major

To view the previous chapter, click here.

At the end of the day, Nurse Nancy called in to him.  “I’m leaving, Pat.  Do you need anything?”

“No thank you, Nancy.  I’ll be all right,” he assured her.  The afternoon of treating patients had made Dr. Pat feel infinitely better.  “I’ll see you in the morning.”

“No you won’t” she replied.  “Have you forgotten about that St. Paddy’s Day brunch with the Key Club at the Irish Center?  You might want to poke your head in there tomorrow around nine thirty.”

“But, my appointments?” he stammered.

“Cleared for a week now,” she retorted.  “And you’re taking the rest of the day off as well to clean that rat’s nest of a condo of yours.  I’m sure it needs it before your family comes in from India.”  She stopped and looked at him squarely in the eye.  Nancy Flynn was not a sentimental person by nature.  However, the poignancy of the moment was hard to mistake.  “Dr. Pat, I’m – we’re all – just so proud of you.”

The dark-skinned man looked at her.  He felt his own emotions welling up within.  “In that case, take the day off tomorrow, Mrs. F.”

“I though you’d never ask,” she said quickly reverting back to her usual flippant persona.  “As a matter of fact, there’s a place I need to be tomorrow at nine thirty.”  With that, she turned, picked up her umbrella and walked out the front door.

***

After finishing up his paperwork, Dr. Pat picked up his brief case, turned on the security system and walked out the back door.  Outside, he stopped, suddenly aghast.  His Volvo was gone.

It took him a moment to recall that he had parked it on the street in front.  As he had already set the alarms in the office, he walked through the alley that ran alongside his building.

It was dark and thoughts of appearing on the evening news (this time, not as a negligent driver, but as a victim of the notorious ‘rush hour mugger’) ran briefly through his head.  He quickened his step and emerged onto a sidewalk crowded with bustling commuters.

Although not a particularly large town, each day Coysville hosted a large number of employees from elsewhere who came into town to work in its banks, insurance agencies and blue collar trades.  Dr. Pat also noticed that the March rain promised on the news the night before had begun in earnest, and that he was the only one without an umbrella or hat.

He made his way through the crowd to his Volvo, only to discover a fat parking ticket in an obnoxious orange jacket pinned under his windshield wiper.  “The nerve,” he thought.  As his picked it up he noticed that the cheap envelope had bled orange all over the white hood of the Volvo.

“Excuse me,” said a man as he tapped Dr. Pat on the shoulder.  The doctor must have jumped a few inches into the air, because the man in the trench coat with the attaché case stepped back briskly.  “I’m sorry,” he said.  “I didn’t mean to frighten you.  Could you possibly point the way to the cross-town bus?  I’m just visiting here.”

“Pardon me,” replied Dr. Pat.  “I’m just a little unnerved this evening.  The stop you’re looking for is on the corner of North Main and Tindal, right over…”

Dr. Pat never felt the solid metal attaché case as it bashed him in the back of his head while he turned to point to the requested intersection.  The doctor crumpled to the ground.  The man calmly picked up Dr. Pat’s brief case and blended quickly into the sea of raincoats on North Main.

Coming soon in Chapter Thirteen: Dr. Pat experiences victimhood.

— The Major

©2001 The Major

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