Sandra knew that she had committed to pick up her ride at 2:30 P.M. today. Since her retirement 3 years ago she had immersed herself in community service. Today was a day she was taking her ride to her Doctors appointment up in Durham.
Today was going to be an especially hectic day. She wanted to spend an hour at the gym, a new year’s resolution she was still clinging to, an appointment to get a pedicure before she left for vacation to Japan with an old friend from New England. International travel was one of the things on her “budget list” to accomplish before she was six feet under. She had been to 13 different countries since her retirement. After finishing her role as driver she felt obligated to attend one of her “hen’s party” as her boyfriend called it. It seems like it started with Mary Kaye and now included Pampered Chef, Thirty One Party, even a Picture Frame party. It seemed to her that every two weeks she was attending one of these events or God forbid hosting one herself. She felt she was expected to buy something when she attended one and by golly her friends better buy something when she hosted her own party. She wondered why men did not have these types of parties. Perhaps because the best they could come up with would be a Bowling Shirt or Golf party. Or a “Big Ball” or “Little Ball” party. She smiled at the thought of her boyfriend hosting one of those ball parties.
She was able to get a 30 minute workout at her gym and a pedicure by 1:00 P.M. That left her about an hour to go home and fix a quick snack before heading out to pick up her ride. Shit! Less than that now that she realized she had to fill her gas tank up. This would set her back around $50. Her resentments were growing at an alarming rate. She hoped her ride appreciated all that she was going through to make sure she got to her Doctor’s appointment.
She plugged the address given her by her coordinator and the Garmin showed an arrival time of around of 2:35 P.M. Double Damn! This was cutting it close. This was her first time picking up this ride and her Garmin was a fickle piece of equipment. Even when she knew the way the Garmin would sometimes take her through every neighborhood to a destination she knew damn well there was a better and quicker way. And yes she did know how to program it to take either the shortest or quickest route thank you very much.
As she neared the address she saw it was going to be a trailer park. And not just your average trailer park but a very run down and extremely old one at that. The address was on Pink Acres. Great she thought. Who would admit they lived on a street called Pink Acres? Another small problem was that there were no numbers listed on the trailers. She was to pick up her ride at #7. Then a terrible noise shattered her thoughts as she hit a pot hole the size of Denver. God she hoped she had no broken a shock absorber of a strut or whatever they called them today. But the car recovered and she was creeping along at 5 miles per hour when she saw her ride right in front of her. A bald headed lady was waving her arms at her to come over to her.
“M s. Jennings?’ Sandra called.
“Are you my ride? questioned Ms. Jennings.
“Yes. If you are ready lets roll”
Sandra had been doing this long enough to be prepared either for a rider that said little or nothing, or one that told you every symptom they were having. Ms. Jennings was the latter. Sandra kept thinking this ride will only last twenty minutes, then 15 to 30 minutes for Ms. Jennings doctor appointment, and then the 20 minute drive back to her trailer. Tack on her time to return to her home will add another 20.
On the way to Ms. Jennings appointment Karen learned just about her whole life story and how she ended up in a run down trailer with so many cats she can’t remember how many much less their names. Although she did learn ones name was “Little One” because she was so tiny. When Ms. Jennings found out that the cat belonged to the “Mexicans” next door and its name was Juan. So it was still called “Little Juan”. Karen couldn’t help but chuckle at that. Maybe the ride would provide some entertainment after all.
Karen fiddled with her Ipad while she waited for Ms. Jennings to finish her doctor’s appointment. Playing around on Facebook and Twitter, checking emails. One good thing about this office is that it provided free Wi-Fi.
On the way back Karen found out that the government had a cure for every disease known to man but was keeping it secret so that they could all become rich.
Karen kept quiet hoping the ride would be over soon. Please let me catch all green lights on the way she prayed.
The ride home had tired Ms. Jennings and she had fallen asleep. Karen woke her and helped her into the house and to her couch in the living room. As she said goodbye Ms. Jennings just weakly waved to her.
Ms. Jennings quickly faded from her memory. She was going home, have a glass of white wine, and soak in a hot bath before going to her ladies party.
The party lasted longer than she thought and she had more wine than she cared to admit. When she unlocked the front door and headed for the upstairs bedroom she noticed the red flashing light on her answering machine. Screw who every left the message, it could wait until tomorrow morning.
She awoke late that morning. It was a Saturday after all! After her second cup of coffee and having finished the local paper she remembered the flashing light on her answering machine. She hit the little red triangle and a very professional voice said…”This is Doctor Rulney at McLaren hospital and we are trying to reach a “Karen” at this number. Your number was found and listed as a contact on a “Ms. Jennings” who was admitted early last night after being struck by a hit and run driver on Pink Acres Drive. Would you please return our call so we may………