CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and SIXTY-TWO
“Some people were mad, of course. And, I’m sure that there were people who thought it was demons or wasn’t happening or whatever. Certainly, mistrust of authority is nothing new.”
Tanesha fell silent for a moment.
“I guess. . . well, I don’t really know, but I felt like I wasn’t so important in all of it, you know?” Tanesha asked. “I mean, when I’m in the ER, it’s all about me. What am I doing to help? Patients blame me for their illness or worse. Their families want me to do something that I will not do — like those crazy meds they talk about on the Internet.”
“But this is just life,” Tanesha said. “Death and life and death. It is how we came to be, you know.”
Tanesha fell silent again. Jeraine poured their cups of tea and doctored them with a bit of cream and sugar.
“I do what I know to do,” Tanesha said. “In the 1500s or whenever, people did what they could do. It’s really about doing what you can and leaving the rest. This pandemic isn’t about me. It’s about life.”
“Everything living has a virus,” Jeraine said.
“Exactly what Hedone says,” Tanesha said.
“I’m sorry that it’s so hard,” Jeraine said.
“I just. . .” Tanesha shook her head and shrugged. “I mean, Hedone said that I never wanted to be an ER doctor. And, she’s right. I never wanted to be an ER doctor. I’m good at it.”
“I don’t really know, honestly, what I want to do with my career and my life,” Tanesha said. “After being so certain for such a long time, it’s pretty scary.”
“I bet,” Jeraine said.
“At least I know what I have to do today,” Tanesha said with a grin.
“What’s our assignment?” Jeraine asked.
“You are supposed to go over to Mr. Matchel’s and see what his garden needs,” Tanesha said. “Just check it out. If you can take care of it, that’s great. He likes you.”
“If I need more help?” Jeraine asked.
“As usual, Jake and Mike are competing,” Tanesha said.
“Of course they are,” Jeraine said.
“They’d love to help, you know, get more points,” Tanesha said.
“If you don’t want to deal with them, all those teenagers are back,” Tanesha said. “They’re roving around looking for ways to help. Mr. Matchel’s garden was grown from their seedlings.”
“What are you assigned to?” Jeraine asked.
“I need to change into scrubs,” Tanesha said. “Help out with the clinic. There are more people today, plus Ivan. They don’t want to bring him to the clinic so I’m going to help Nelson and LaTanya until Blane’s done evaluating and treating Ivan.”
Jeraine held out his arms and they held each other for a moment.
“Go change,” Jeraine said. “I need to finish getting ready and brush my teeth. We can at least walk out together.”
“Meet tonight for the barbecue?” Tanesha asked.
“Of course,” Jeraine said.
Tanesha changed into a clean pair of scrubs. They walked out of the house together. Across the street, the paparazzi screamed at them and Jeraine swooped Tanesha into his arms. He bent her backwards and kissed her. She laughed, and they went their separate ways.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
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