Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Hide and Seek (08/07/08)
TITLE: Dr. Jeckle was Mr. Hide
By Linda Germain
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When I answered the phone, my best friend, Mary Beth Zigenfauver, merely said that one word and I understood more would follow. We had accumulated tons of data on the subject and were thinking about writing a self-help book. Here’s how it started.
She was tired waiting for Mr. Right to show up on that white horse and save her from who-knows-what, so she put an ad in one of those lonely hearts places: Nice woman of independent means seeks sensitive professional man for a permanent relationship.
That means part could trigger an instant influx of worthless bums looking for a rich girl. She told me she didn’t want to sound helpless and needy. Oh, please!
I went with her when she met perspective mates. It was always the same coffee place. I had to sit in the booth behind her so I could intervene in case he turned out to have his picture plastered all over the post office wall–like I could tell. Both of us have naïve meters that register over in the dangerous level.
Anyway, Mary Beth had run through a plethora of prospective spouse material and was getting sick of the latte-double-mocha-goofy-sounding coffee menu. Besides, she didn’t seem to sleep much anymore.
She asked the same questions of every guy and had memorized her responses to almost anything he could ask…that is until her life intersected with Hector’s. He let her know she was going about this thing all wrong.
Hector was not one of her ad-answering men. She ran into him at the grocery store –literally. He was standing in the produce section when she came hurtling by, probably in over-drive by a caffeine buzz.
As the floor came up to meet his head and knock him senseless, his left hand made painful contact with the bag dispenser and broke two fingers. In trying to untangle the rolling weapon-of-man-destruction, she accidently backed it over his leg and fractured his ankle.
On the phone she sounded more scared than disgusted or discouraged, with her exclamation, “Men!”
“Okay, what’s happened now?”
“Kindra! I’ve nearly killed a man!”
It took me a second to understand her.
“What in the world are you talking about?”
“I ran right over him with my cart!”
I was horrified. “With your car?”
“No! My cart-t-t-t. You know, at the store.”
“Mary Beth, Where are you?”
I heard sniffling and a muffled, “In the emergency room.”
“They said if he presses charges I have to sign something. Do you think I need a lawyer?”
I, of course, had no clue.
She visited him in the hospital everyday and called me at night with a report.
“Listen, girl,” she giggled, “His name is Dr. Hector Jeckle. Isn’t that funny?”
It was–a little.
“What kind of doctor is he, MB?”
“I don’t know; the regular kind I guess. Apparently good men really are like hidden treasure. He sure has given me some great advice about finding Mr. Right."
“Well…are you gonna pass that secret on or what?”
She said he told her the best place to meet eligible males was at church and had invited her to come to a singles group. She dragged me along for moral support. After we signed in and got name tags she marched us right up to the first row of chairs.
The speaker hobbled in with one arm in a sling and the other clutching a crutch. Part of his head was shaved and you could see a row of stitches. The whole group began to applaud.
Dr. Jeckle spoke at length on praying for the spouse God wants us to have and the litmus test for compatibility.
“Pastor Hector,” a female behind us asked, “Can you fall in love at first sight?”
When Mary Beth realized what kind of doctor he was she turned a whiter shade of pale and tried to slide under her seat, but it was too late. He thought for a minute, and then turned in our direction.
“There was a time I would have said an emphatic NO,” he chuckled, “But unless you can find a good place to hide, you might just get bowled over when you least expect it.”
Now, here’s the good part…and I promise I’m not lying. This bruised and battered, single, man of God winked at Mary Beth. She blushed.
Happily Ever After seems trite, but that was twenty years ago and Mary Beth Jeckle is still blushing—and smiling.
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