Frank Atherton is the assistant director at a huge nursing facility in Ohio. He’s having a pretty bad week after a man named Ralph Penwarren arrives. The only good thing to happen all week is meeting Marka Ventimiglia, a new psychiatrist who’s just started working at the facility. They are immediately attracted. Below is their first meeting.
“Be right there!” he called. He dropped his plate in the kitchen sink and went to the door. “What’s he done now?” he asked automatically as he opened it.
It wasn’t Sue or one of the other staff members. An attractive brunette stood there.
“I’m sorry? Who did what?”
“Oh, no one you’d know. Frank Atherton. I just saw you on TV.” He held out his hand after wiping it on his T-shirt.
She smiled. “Marka Ventimiglia. Nice to meet you. I feel really stupid asking, but yours is the only room with a light on. I took a chance that someone was up.”
He invited her in. She hesitated a moment, then followed him inside.
“What can I do for you?”
“I’m embarrassed to ask. I’m staying in a guest room and I’m out of toilet paper.”
“Really? No spare?” he was puzzled by that. “The girls usually put it under the sink.”
He walked to his restroom. It was quite spacious, with a tub and a separate, walk-in shower. He opened the sink and didn’t find a spare paper under there. Checking all the cupboards, he came up empty.
“That’s weird. Gimme a second.” He dialed housekeeping but got no answer, so he dialed the front desk. “Sue, it’s Frank.”
“Hi, Frank. All’s quiet at the moment. Whatcha need?”
“Dr. Ventimiglia is with me and she hasn’t got a spare roll of toilet paper. Neither do I.”
“Oh, gosh. You want me to run some up there?”
“No, you don’t need to. Is Kathy around?”
“She should be. Shall I call her?”
“I just tried. I’ll call her again. Thanks.” He dialed the housekeeping office a second time. No one answered. Puzzled, he hung up.
“I’ll try later,” he told his guest. “Do you need some immediately?”
She looked slightly uncomfortable. “As a matter of fact….”
“Please, make yourself at home. There’s a nearly full roll.” He gestured to his restroom. “Want some coffee?”
“Love some. I’m a caffeine addict. I also drink a lot of water. Hence the urgency.” Marka closed the door behind her.
© Dellani Oakes 2015