Bryson Dart folded his T-shirt and tucked it into the bureau drawer then crossed the room to his desk, flipped on the lamp clamped to the edge and pulled out his journal from the desk drawer as he sat down. Smoothing out the pages he reached over and pulled a pen from the cup and started his entry. All he was able to write was the date: January 1, 1977 before he thumped the paper with the end of the pen, repetitiously, rhythmically.
Pausing, he looked up at the wall covered with an array of posters mostly of Farrah Fawcett along with a few that included the sex goddess with her Charlie’s Angels co-stars.
His pen moved across the page with a mind of its own and by the time his mother tapped on the door to announce “lights out” he looked to see he’d drawn another sketch of Farrah. With a yawn and a long armed stretch, he dropped the pen back in the cup, slipped the journal into the drawer and snapped off the light.
“What’s this?” His fiancÃ©, Sondra Peterson, asked her fingers playing across a composition book he distinctly recalled putting away earlier. He frowned as he stepped toward her, laying his hand over hers.
“It’s personal,” he said as he slid the book out from under her hand. She pulled back, somewhat surprised by his sudden change of mood.
“I thought we didn’t have any secrets,” she pouted.
“The thoughts I write down aren’t really secrets, Sondra,” he said stiffly. She looked at the book he held then decided to let it slide, especially since he used her name and not the pet name he oft liked to use.
“I’m sorry,” she said gently and turned away. Bryson looked down at the book he still held but didn’t offer her any explanation or acceptance of her apology. She left the room quietly closing the door behind her. He stood there a moment then looked for a place to hide the book.
Three days later Bryson asked Sondra for his ring back offering her no explanation as he walked out of the cafÃ© with the ring in his pocket.
Of course they’d call upon him at seven in the morning the first day of the New Year. That was just how it was being the new guy in the office. Bryson shrugged on his white jacket as he stepped up to the sink and washed his hands then after drying them, snapped on a pair of gloves.
“Let’s take a look at that tooth, shall we?” He smiled pleasantly at the young woman named Sarah seated in the exam chair as he reached up and pulled the light closer. He worked quickly on repairing the chip in the tooth and in less then a half-hour had her back out the door. Proud of his accomplishment, he cleaned up and drove out to his girlfriend, Angela’s apartment a bit earlier then they planned.
“Hi,” she greeted him with a bright white wide smile. He grinned back as he pushed her long frosted hair away from her neck and pulled her in for a heated kiss.
“Did you bring everything?” She asked excitedly.
“Right here,” he held up a black bag. “Are you wanting to start now even though I’m here earlier then planned?”
“Please?” Her eyes begged of him. He smiled warmly, his hand brushing the gentle curve of her face that reminded him of years gone by. He shook away those memories with a nod and followed her down the hall into the bedroom. She continued walking as her robe fell to the floor and she crawled across the top of the bed. With a look of approval, he moved into the room and deposited the bag on a nearby chair, rearranged a small table and set out a few items he brought.
“I’ll just go wash up and then we’ll get started,” he said from over his shoulder as he stepped into the bathroom and turned on the faucet. “Okay,” she called from the bed. He heard a slight rustle as he lathered his hands carefully.
He had turned off his pager, not wishing to be interrupted. He’d feign a dead battery if he happened to have missed a call, he already prepared the story as he had driven to her apartment. “Let Charlie get the rest of the day’s calls. After all, that scum gave me his root canal at 4:15 the Friday we were to leave for the mountains,” he had laughed to himself as he arrived at her place.
“Did you take the pill?” He asked her as he stepped back into the room. She nodded slightly, already dozing off. He smiled, moving towards the side of the bed, rolling up his sleeves.
The mid-day sun shone through the living room’s sliding glass door that led out to a small enclosed patio as Bryson sat down at the table in the dining area, reached into his bag and removed the composition book, pulling off the rubber band that held it together, preventing it from springing open. After rummaging around a bit in the bag, he pulled out a pen and began to write in the book, recounting the day’s events and smiling pleasurably as the fresh memories floated through his head as neatly as they unfolded throughout the hours just passed. A bit later, he returned the band on the book and dropped it back into the bag, leaving the pen on the table as he rose and whispered down the hallway to peek in on her.
Her eyes fluttered open as he drew near and she moaned faintly.
“There, there,” he cooed. “Rest. Do you need some water?”
She moved her mouth and a slight sound came out, but that was all. He took it to mean ‘yes” and reached over to the nightstand where a pitcher and cup were waiting and poured the water into the cup before he moved towards her and reached under her head to help lift it up off the pillow. Her head began to move back and forth as she tried to raise her hand.
“Whoa!” He said as he quickly moved the cup away to prevent it from being knocked about by her flailing limbs. “It’s okay. I’m sorry, I must have misunderstood. Did you need to go use the bathroom?” She managed a nod. He lifted her off the bed and carried her into the bath, setting her gently on the toilet.
“You okay?” He asked.
“Yes,” she croaked from her parched lips and gave him a more solid nod.
“Call if you need me. I’ll wait right out here,” he said and then moved away to afford her a bit of privacy.
Once he had settled her back in and had helped her drink some of the water, repositioning the pillows and turned on the television that was perched atop her dresser, leaving the remote within her reach; he returned to the kitchen and called out to have a pizza and a 2-liter bottle of soda delivered and then returned to the dining table to finish his journal entry.
“She seems to be fairing well from this last surgery. Her recovery from the previous surgeries has been remarkable and it would be fair for me to guess she’ll be able to undergo the next and final surgery by the end of the month if not before then. Once she recovers and heals from that, I shall ask her for her hand and expect us to be married by the beginning of the summer. My beautiful angel, sweet, delicate queen. How long I have dreamed for this moment! Soon Farrah will be all mine.”
Bryson returned the book to his bag and went off to shower and change into his pajamas before the pizza was delivered, completely unaware that in the back bedroom, Angela Renee Everwood was bleeding to death, complications from the surgery he had performed.
“I’m terribly sorry, ma’am,” the answering service attendant said into the phone. “I’m unable to raise Doctor Dart for you. Shall I have his associate, Dr. Charles Cavanaugh call you back at this number?”
“No, that won’t be necessary,” she replied. “Just leave a message for Dr. Dart, though, will you please?”
“Certainly. Go ahead.”
“Tell him that I was recommended to him by Sarah Anne Pearson, one of his patients and a close friend of mine. I fly out this Friday and won’t be returning until late March, so I’m hoping that he’ll be able to see me before I leave,” she replied.
The answering service attendant read her message back.
“That’s correct,” she said.
“Okay, Miss Fawcett, I’ll be sure to pass this message along. Have a good evening.”
“Please call me Farrah. You have a lovely evening too and happy New Year!” She said cheerfully.
(C) 2007 All Rights Reserved
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