Sitting in an emergency room is almost always entertaining. Right away I spot the homeless man resting quietly in the corner. ER’s are a great place to spend the day but an even better place to spend the night when there’s no where else to go… No one is asking questions in the waiting room because they’re way too freaked out with the situation at hand. He kinda looks new to the street, not as well worn as some of his comrades. Don’t take that the wrong way, there’s nothing wrong with being well worn on the street. He just hasn’t learned all the tricks of the trade yet. Like going into a fast-food joint and grabbing hot water from the coffee maker; then mixing in some ketchup and free crackers from the commons bar… Hobo tomato soup, at least until you’re kicked out by the manager…
Anyways, my name’s Thomas and it seems I’m always in here waiting on a certain someone I know to finish up with her appointment so we can go home. While waiting on her, I found myself sitting in-between a plus plus size woman that looked like a truck driving uncle I had growing up named Grits, and an old lady in a wheelchair, who for some reason held two purses. I thought it was odd, but you expect to see odd things when strolling into an ER to wait on a loved one.
A few minutes later, out of nowhere, she tells the guy sitting across from us that she is not crazy for carrying two purses. Her head leaned forward as she gazed upon him with doll eyes, blank from expression. He smiled and let her continue with her explanation. She said that the doctor told her to bring in all of the medications she was currently on, and then said, “I just grabbed this old purse and filled it up.” He glanced over to the large woman sitting next to me. You know the one that looked like Uncle Grits, hell lets just call her that for the story's sake… Now where were we? That’s right, so Grits gazed back at him with a look of, “What did that woman just say? Two purses… One for medication.”
Then all was interrupted by the charge nurse walking up to the woman in the chair. “Ma’am we’re ready to take you back now.” The woman with two purses replied, “You want-na change my diaper?” “Oh no ma’am. I said we have a room ready for you now.” The nurse then started to push the old woman away. Grits look over at the man again. “She ain’t short on words…” Then Grits started to chuckle making her fussy chin and thick neck dance in the most bizarre, yet amusing way.
Then a man called out to me from across the room. “Thomas.”
Looking up I replied. “Well, well, it’s been a long time hasn’t it?”
“Your wife is finally ready.”
“Well, where is she? I’ve been out here for what seems like an eternity."
The man smiled. “You’ve been out here for ten years to the day I first laid eyes on you. You told me you wouldn’t cross over without your Betty. Well, today’s the day you been waiting for..”
That’s when I saw her walk through the door, her eyes for the first time in years fell upon me, and she began to weep. I put my arms around her and amazingly I could feel her. Her skin was no longer wrinkled, it was smooth and soft. Her smile was now full of life.
“Honey, what’s happened, and who is that?”
“You’ve passed over and he’s The Hand Of Death, you know The Grim Reaper. He’s here to take us to the other side.”
“Wait a minute, that is so last century, we prefer the term, Assistant Assisting The Newly Deceased…”
“What? That’s a horrible name… I would stick with the old stuff if I were you… That just doesn’t sound like the right job title.”
With a groan, he replied, “Thomas, don’t give me any lip… It's time to go. I have to get back here to Assists The, just take your wife's hand and let's get on with this…” He said with another grumble.
So, with my hand intertwined with love of my life, I walked into the great hereafter…