Tuesday, April 21, 2020
The Best Medicine by Dellani Oakes – Part 30
"Oh, my girlfriend. Sorry, man. I totally forgot. You've been out of town so long, it slipped my mind."
"We always go canoeing on your birthday, idiot."
"Is it my birthday? Shit." He collapsed onto the bed, holding the phone against his ear. "Tanya's gonna kill me."
"Cause I didn't tell her."
"Okay, then let's start this conversation over, my friend. Tell me where you are?"
Morgan told him the address.
"Alright. Can I come over? Do you want me to? Is Tanya an ax murderess, who's likely to kill me?"
"No, she won't hurt you. Yeah, come on over. I'll meet you downstairs, she's sleeping."
"No, she isn't," Tanya said softly. "Who's that?"
"I'll tell you in a minute, babe. Yeah, come on over, Hal. I'll make coffee."
"On my way."
Morgan heard the car start. Hal drove a powerful sports car. The engine roared to life.
"Be there in a few. Bye."
"So, it's your birthday?" Tanya mumbled.
"Yeah." He rolled over to put on his pants.
"Happy Birthday. We'll have to celebrate."
"Didn't we already do that?" Morgan chuckled.
"Mm hm." She rolled over, snuggling under the covers.
It was not quite noon when Hal drove up to the house. Morgan had a pot of coffee brewing while Tanya took a shower. They had both worked the evening before, so it was still early morning to them. Hal tapped at the door and Morgan answered as Tanya came down the stairs.
The man at the door was about Morgan's height, brown hair cropped short, golden brown eyes and a boyish grin. He hugged Morgan enthusiastically.
"Hey, buddy! Good to see you!"
Morgan returned the hug just as enthusiastically. "You're choking me, Hal."
"Sorry." He laughed, turning to her. "This must be Tanya." He came forward, his hand extended. "I'm Hal. Been friends with this reprobate for just about thirty years. We were in kindergarten together."
"Amazing he's actually put up with me all these years."
"You look very familiar," Tanya said. "Have we met?"
"Probably at the hospital," Hal answered as he followed them to the kitchen. "I'm an orthopedic surgeon."
"Oh, yes! I knew I hadn't lost my mind."
"She hasn't been around me long enough. Give her a couple more months, it'll leave her."
Hal laughed. "The beauty of hanging out with Morgan's family is, even if you're completely insane, it doesn't matter. You fit right in. My family is very proper. My mom has written books on etiquette."
"Wow! Well, pardon my manners. I was raised with two brothers, and my mom finally gave up on me. I was a confirmed tomboy."
"Nice house you have here," Hal said. "Good location too. My apartment is great, but it's nearly a forty minute drive to work."
"This one is almost thirty."
"Not if you know the shortcuts," Hal smirked.
"Hal loves shortcuts," Morgan explained. "He spends hours looking, plotting them out. No matter how long it takes him, he figures out back roads and shortcuts everywhere he goes. Ask him directions to anywhere in the city, he can tell you, and give you an estimate of how long it will take to get you there."
"Morgan's jealous," Hal confided to Tanya. "He's really directionally impaired. He won't admit it, of course."
"Oh, of course not," Tanya giggled. "He finds his way to the most important places, don't you?"
"Yeah," Morgan grinned, putting his arm around her. "I can find my way to the bedroom with absolutely no wrong turns." He kissed her tenderly, his eyes glowing with happiness.
"Oh, hey," Hal changed the subject suddenly. "Before I forget, Caden said to tell you something."
"Yeah? What's that lawyer sell-out got to say for himself?"
"Cut the guy some slack, Morph," Hal's eyes looked slightly pained. "He found something that will help your lawsuit."
"How'd you find out about that? I don't remember telling you."
"Because my mom is friends with your step-mom. Mom and Julie talk all the time, so word got out. Were you planning to tell me?"
"Like I said, you've been out of town quite a while. It slipped my mind. Not like I could call you in Rwanda, or wherever the hell you were."
© 2020 Dellani Oakes
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