I mentioned that my friend Gil had met someone and was taking her to see a Broadway show. Well, that didn’t quite happen. Betty, that’s her name, cancelled, claiming she was sick.
Gil was pretty upset. I mean he’d heard that song before. It looked like he was going to be dumped again. Well guess what. He decided it was time to find out why every woman he’d ever met did that kind of thing to him. He went and knocked on Betty’s front door!
Peter, that’s her little boy, opened it. Said his mom was sick. Now, Gil did not know what to do. Believe the boy or believe, as he thought most likely, that Betty had sent him out to lie for her. Gil is not that much of a cynic normally, but how was he to know? He asked if he could come in.
Asking a kid, that’s tricky, but he was determined. I have to give him credit. Well, turns out Betty was in bed with something like a flu. One of those things where your whole body hurts? You know how bad that kind of flu can make you feel.
Gil felt like a total jerk, but Betty didn’t mind about anything he was doing at that moment. Anything anybody was doing really.
What Gil did though, he stayed. He took care of her; and the boy too of course. He actually stayed the night, sleeping on the couch. Two nights. Then her mother came.
Gil said she’s a tiny little thing, but he doesn’t think he’d want to cross her. She took over, big time; told Gil she would sleep on the couch and his services were no longer needed. Gil wasn’t much pleased at that, but he overheard her telling Betty she was crazy for letting a strange man into the house when she was sick. That really upset him. He told me he thought about making a stink but figured Betty didn’t need that, feeling as she did. I said yeah he made the smart move doing that. Never get between a woman and her mother. My father told me that.
Anyway, home Gil went, feeling pretty low. And then the bug got him. Knocked him out, completely. So, there he was feeling down and sick as a dog on top of it. Two days alone he was and then the phone rang. It was Betty, feeling better, calling to apologize and thank him for taking care of her. He tried to play the casual man, but she heard it in his voice, how sick he was.
Twenty minutes later, she was at his door, about to turn the tables on him. Peter she left with his grandmother, so it was just Betty with him in the house. She was there two days, but didn’t stay the nights. Gil wished she had, but it didn’t really matter, given the way he was feeling. Well, he’s better now. Much better. Last night Betty made him a nice roast beef dinner.
THE DATE, by BB Roberts