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God fucking damn it. That was the last thing I needed. I stared at the letter from the Massachusetts RMV in disbelief. It was a notification that due to me having received three speeding tickets in the last twelve months, my license would be suspended for thirty days. I was pissed, as much at myself as at the RMV.
Now, I might not be the perfect driver, but I’ve only been in three serious accidents in almost three decades of driving, and none of them had been my fault. The first ticket listed in the letter had been eleven months ago, where I had overlooked a speed limit sign. The most recent one, two weeks ago, had been because I woke up late, and had to rush to get to work on time. I got busted going fifty in a thirty zone, and ate a massive 175 dollar fine.
Living outside the city, I needed my car to commute to St. John’s Hospital, where I work as a nurse. The loss of my driving privileges for thirty days was an absolute disaster. Money was extremely tight, especially just after the holidays, and I desperately needed to keep my job.
Tears flowed freely, and visions of losing my job, and getting kicked out of my apartment haunted my mind. Why had I been so stupid and reckless and driven too fast? I’d give just about anything to undo it. After the tears dried, I steeled myself. What’s done is done, and there was nothing I could do right away. I called my son.
“Hey, Mom. What’s up?”
“How’s college?” His tuition was my biggest expense, and the real reason money was so tight, but I wanted him to graduate at all costs. I’d just have to cut down on my own expenses even more. It didn’t matter, as long as he’d have the best possible future.
“It’s fine, why?”
“Oh, just wondering.”
“You called just to ask that?”
“No,” I sighed. “I got speeding ticket two weeks ago.”
“Seriously? Another one?”
“Don’t start. The RMV just informed me my license is suspended for thirty days.”
“What, for one ticket?”
“Nope. Three in a year.”
“No need to tell me.”
“What are you gonna do now?”
“Well…I was wondering if you could drive me to work.”
“What? For an entire month?”
“No, no,” I protested quickly, sensing he really didn’t like that idea. “Just for a couple of days or so, until I can find a carpool at work, or something.”
Julian just sighed on the other end.
“Please?” I begged.
“Sure. Of course. You know I wasn’t gonna say no, Mom.” He was like that. He hemmed and hawed at first, but he always came through when needed. I breathed a sigh of relief, anyway. That was one weight lifted off my shoulders, at least.
“Thank you, Julian.”
“So how is this gonna work?”
“I was thinking you could stay here for a few days, then we can drive into Boston together in the morning. You can do your college stuff, and then we drive home at the end of the day.”
“Alright, I guess that could work.”
“So, I’ll see you soon?”
“Yeah, I guess.”
We said goodbye, and I hung up, already feeling much better than I had fifteen minutes earlier. This wasn’t the end of the world, and it was definitely manageable, thanks to my son.
Twenty two years ago, I had an affair with a married man. It had been a mistake, since he never had any intention of leaving his wife, but I had been young, impetuous, and naive. He was just looking for some entertainment, when I was looking for something more. A few nights of fun turned into nine months of not-so-much-fun. Even after he found out I was pregnant, he wasn’t interested in a relationship, but he did at least agree to pay child support until Julian turned 18. That had been a big help, and I’m not sure how I could have raised him on my own without the financial support.
Other than that, Julian’s father was completely out of the picture. He had two children of his own with his wife, and never showed even the slightest interest in his other son. I wasn’t going to let Julian pay for my mistake, though, and made sure he wasn’t lacking anything in his life if I could help it, even if it was at my own expense. Sending him off to college had been one of my proudest moments as a single mother.
After about an hour, the doorbell rang. I pressed the buzzer, and opened the door. Julian came trudging up the steps with a travel bag over one shoulder, and a backpack over the other. It was amazing how much he looked his dad, which was a good thing for him. Unlike my blonde hair, his was almost pitch black, and kept short. He had also inherited his father’s strong jaw line, prominent nose, and thick brows. The only thing he got from me were his blue eyes.
I hugged him, and said, “Thank you so much for doing this.”
“Jeez, Mom, I’m not even in the door yet, and you’re already strangling me.”
I let him pass, and he dropped his bags on the living room floor. The apartment wasn’t big, and only had one bedroom, one bath, and a small combined kitchen and living room. When Julian was still living with me, we had been in a two bedroom apartment, but escort buca after he moved into the dorm, it was too expensive to keep. The complex was located about half an hour by car from St. John’s, but I did the math, and it was cheaper to pay for the extra gas than it was to live closer to the city, especially thanks to the recent drop in gas prices.
“You can sleep in the bed, if you want. I’ll take the couch,” I offered, since he was going out of his way to help me out.
“Nah, don’t worry, Mom. I’m okay sleeping out here. My back can take it.”
“And mine can’t? I’m not that old, you know,” I said, indignantly. Maybe at forty-four I was past my prime, but I absolutely did not feel old, yet.
Julian just rolled his eyes, and said, “Whatever. Anyway, all your clothes and stuff are in there.”
“Alright, alright. Are you hungry?”
“Yeah, I haven’t had the chance to eat, yet.”
“How does chicken casserole sound?”
“So, tell me, how are things at college?” I asked, getting the chicken out of the fridge. We haven’t really had a long conversation since the start of his semester.
“Good, but I’m actually in the middle of writing an important paper,” he replied, and pulled his laptop out of the backpack.
“Oh. Is it ok if I play some music?”
“Yeah, that’s fine, just not too loud.”
I was a little disappointed, but understanding. I prepared the dish to some mellow rock music, and when it was finished, Julian closed his laptop, and we ate. He told me about how he was doing at college, and what classes he had that semester. It worked wonders for taking my own mind off of my current situation, and I was glad he was there.
After dinner, he resumed working, and I did a few chores around the apartment, including getting fresh sheets and a blanket for the couch.
“I think I’m gonna head to bed,” I said to him, around ten.
“Ok, I’ll probably still be up for a bit. What time do we need to leave tomorrow?”
“I need to be at work at eight, and it takes about half an hour, usually.”
“Jeez, that’s early.”
“I’ll go to bed soon, then. Goodnight, Mom.”
I woke up at 6:33 a.m., long before my alarm rang. The toilet flushed, audible through the thin walls. Then I heard the sound of water pattering on tile, as Julian showered. I sighed, got up, sleepily stumbled into the kitchen, and turned on the coffee maker. Everything was still pitch black outside on that January morning.
While waiting for Julian to finish showering, I ate oatmeal, and drank my coffee. The water turned off, and shortly after, Julian stepped out of the bathroom, wearing just boxers.
“Good morning, Mom,” he said, cheerily.
“Morning,” I mumbled back, still not fully awake. I went into the bathroom, and stepped into the shower. The hot water finally woke me up, and I felt like a normal, functioning human being again. Well, almost. After the shower, I nearly left the bathroom stark naked, before remembering Julian was there. That would have been awkward.
When I exited the bathroom with a towel wrapped around me, Julian was in the process of eating breakfast. I went into my room, and got dressed. It didn’t really matter what I put on, since I’d be changing into scrubs anyway, so I just picked jeans, and a warm shirt and sweater.
“You ready to go?” Julian asked.
“Yup,” I replied, grabbed my purse, and put on a warm coat.
After walking down three flights of stairs, we stepped outside into the cold winter air.
“Which car do you want to drive?”
“Yours, of course,” he said with a grin. His car was an old, beaten down Ford that we bought used, for cheap. Since he was living on campus, he didn’t really need a car, except to visit me, or occasionally go out. My car was a lot nicer, since I commuted every day.
I handed him the keys, and got into the passenger seat. It felt weird not being the one to drive my own car, and I watched Julian like a hawk, to make sure he was doing everything right.
“Relax, Mom. I know how to drive,” he protested, sensing my anxiety.
“Sorry, I’m just not used to sitting on the passenger seat.”
“You have plenty time to get used to it over the next few weeks.” I sighed, knowing it was true.
We listened to the news on the drive, but apparently nothing interesting was going on, other than the usual political mudslinging that nobody in America really wanted to hear about anymore. The weather forecast just predicted more snow, and cold weather.
Ten minutes early, Julian dropped me off at St. John’s.
“Pick me up at six, ok?”
“I’ll call if anything changes, ok?”
“Got it, Mom.”
“Have a great day.”
“Thanks, you too.”
I watched him drive off, and turn the corner. At least I didn’t have to worry about finding a parking spot. In the locker room, I got a pair of scrubs out of the vending machine, and changed into my work clothing.
“Good morning, Alex,” said Nadya, a fellow nurse and buca escort bayan friend. She was an older Ukrainian woman, although she’s been living in the U.S. since she was five.
“Did I see that right, or did you get out of some hot guy’s car this morning? You never told me you were seeing anyone.”
I snorted, and replied, “No, that’s my son, Julian.”
“Oh. He’s cute,” she said, shamelessly.
“He’s like forty years younger than you!”
“So? He’s got a dick, doesn’t he?”
“I’m sure he does.”
“Why’s he driving you, anyway?”
I told her all about the letter, and Nadya commiserated with my bad luck. Unfortunately, she lived in the city and didn’t own a car, so I had to try my luck at carpooling somewhere else.
“You still going to that seminar you told me about tomorrow?” she asked.
Oh, fuck. I had completely forgotten about that. “Uh, yeah,” I muttered. I’d have to get Julian to drive me.
As part of our job, we were required by St. John’s to regularly attend seminars to further our education. That wasn’t really a bad part at all, and necessary in keeping up with newer trends in technology and health-care, but the problem was that St. John’s was too cheap to actually spring for the costs. That didn’t mean we wouldn’t have to do it, of course, just that we were expected to pay for it out of our own pockets.
This one had cost me a thousand bucks.
All the nurses knew it was bullshit. St. John’s probably knew it was bullshit, too, but there were no laws against it. We’ve been working towards a class action lawsuit, but those kinds of things move slowly, and in the meantime we had to observe hospital guidelines, or risk losing our jobs, and that’s one thing I definitely couldn’t afford.
A few weeks earlier, I had picked out a seminar from a big list, since it was the one that appealed the most to me: The Impact of Physical Exertions on Physiology, by Dr. Sorensen. Ever since the fact that football players are highly likely to develop chronic traumatic encephalopathy got a lot of national media attention recently, we’ve been working with a lot of young athletes to try and help them avoid injuries. The seminar sounded like it could teach me a thing or two about that.
The blurb accompanying it had mostly been a paraphrasing of the title, and not provided much more info about the seminar. It also said that Dr. Inge Sorensen was a renowned therapist from New York, with decades of experience in the field of human anatomy. It would actually help me in my job, and I figured I might as well get my money’s worth out of it, if the hospital was making us go.
Of course, when I had signed up for it, I signed up for one scheduled on a convenient Saturday. I didn’t know that my license would be suspended, and make it much less convenient. All day, I spent thinking about how to best break the news to Julian that he’d also have to play my chauffeur on a Saturday, but didn’t come up with anything than “deal with it.”
Five minutes past six, Julian drove up to the hospital employee parking lot.
“Hey, Mom,” he greeted me.
“Hey. How was your day?”
“Same as usual, really. Did you manage to find someone to carpool with?”
“No, not yet. Everyone I know either lives in the city, or on the opposite side of Boston.”
“Oh,” he said, sounding disappointed.
“I’ve got even more bad news.”
“Really? Did you get another ticket jaywalking, or something?” he asked, mocking.
“No, it’s not that. I’ve got a seminar tomorrow that I can’t miss. You’re gonna have to drive me.”
“Ugh, I’ll have to cancel my date.”
“You have a girlfriend?” I asked, surprised. He hadn’t mentioned anything at dinner the night before. Maybe he just didn’t want to talk about that part of his life with his mother, and it had slipped out. I suddenly regretted asking him, as if I intruded into something I shouldn’t have.
“No, it was supposed to have been a first date. I’ll just reschedule it, Mom. It’s not a big deal.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” I said, feeling bad and relieved at the same time.
It had always been like that between the two of us. We could talk about pretty much anything. School, work, didn’t matter. The only thing we didn’t talk about was dating. I just figured it was because I mostly kept my sexual exploits to myself while he was growing up. I didn’t think it was a good idea to introduce him to a new father figure every couple of months, since I never managed to date someone for a long time.
“It’s ok,” he assured me, again. I wanted to ask more questions, like who was she, what was her name, and was she pretty, but I restrained myself. “Where and when is it?” he asked.
“Tomorrow, at four. In Greenhill.”
“You’ve been there?”
“No, I’ve only driven through there. I don’t think there is anything to stop at.”
“Well, I didn’t pick the location.”
“Suppose not. How long is it?”
“Four hours, in total.”
“I know. I wouldn’t buca escort do it if I didn’t need to, to keep my job.”
Back in my apartment, Julian busied himself with the laptop all night again, and we ate leftover casserole.
“Is this the place?” Julian asked.
We pulled into an empty parking spot in front of a large, square building. It looked rather nondescript, and the only thing indicating we were at the right place was the sign “Greenhill Convention Center” in big letters above the entrance.
“Yeah, looks like it,” I answered. I was surprised by how many cars were in the parking lot. It had to be a few hundred, at least. Hard to imagine that many people crammed into the building.
“So, what’s the thing about anyway?”
“Oh, just some lecture on football injuries, I think.”
“Really? That sounds kind of interesting. I have a few friends on the football team.”
“I’m sure it’s not going to be nearly as exciting as you think,” I tried explaining. I’ve been to a number of these kinds of things now, and they’re never that interesting. The stuff that’s talked about is usually really important, but most speakers just read off of PowerPoint slides in a monotonous voice. Unfortunately being an expert in the field of medicine doesn’t instantly make you a good public speaker. “Don’t you have some work to do?”
“Yeah, got it right here,” Julian said, pulling out his laptop. He pressed a button, and cursed.
“You don’t have a spare one, or something?”
“No, Mom. I don’t have a ‘spare battery,'” he answered in a patronizing voice.
“Is there something else you can do in the meantime?”
“No, all my work’s on here,” he said, patting the computer. “And it’s not like there’s anything to do in this dump.”
“Why don’t I just come with you to the lecture? I kinda wanna hear about the football stuff,” he proposed.
“I don’t think that’s possible. We had to sign up for it a few weeks in advance, and it cost a thousand dollars.”
“The hell? A thousand bucks?”
“Yeah. St. John’s is making us go to these events. I could lose my job, if I don’t. We’re actually in the process of starting a class action lawsuit against them.”
“Can’t you sneak me in, or something?”
I felt really guilty about him having to sacrifice his Saturday just to drive me around already, and I didn’t want to have him suffer through four hours of boredom in the car on my account.
“Maybe.” I retrieved my purse from the backseat, and rummaged around for the letter from the Center for Lectures and Illness Therapy. “Ah, here it is.” I opened the envelope, and got out the little plastic name tag. It showed the organization’s logo, and my last name, Weaver, in all capital letters. Well, our last name. “Here, take this for now. I’m gonna go in first, and see if I can just walk in. If not, I’ll come back out, and we’ll have to think of something else. Otherwise, you can just follow me with the thing.”
“Alright,” he said, warily. “Won’t people be able to tell I don’t belong? I’m not exactly dressed for it.”
I glanced at his outfit. He wore a pair of dark slacks, and red sweater with some band’s logo on it. That would definitely raise some eyebrows.
“Are you wearing anything under that sweater?”
“Uh, just a t-shirt.”
“Any logos on it?”
“Nope, it’s just black.”
“Won’t that look weird too?”
“No, hold on.” I turned around, and grabbed my white doctor’s coat from the backseat. “Here, you can wear this. You’ll fit right in.”
“Alright, well, I’m gonna go in. I’ll call if everything’s ok, and you can follow.”
I stepped out of the car into the cold. Without the coat, I was severely underdressed for going outside. The navy blue business dress I had picked barely offered any warmth, and by the time I made it inside the building, my teeth were chattering. Fortunately the building was heated.
Inside the lobby, there were a few dozen people milling around, most of which sported similar white coats to the one I had given Julian. A pair of large doors led further in, flanked on each side by a tall security guard holding a clipboard. On the side, a table had been set up, with a few official-looking people sitting behind laptops.
Trying to look like nothing was wrong, I strode confidently in the direction of the large double doors. Everything seemed to be going well, until I put my hand on the handle.
“Miss? Excuse me,” said the guard to my right.
“Yeah?” I asked, hesitantly.
“Where’s your name tag?”
“Oh, I, uh, lost it.”
“Can’t let you in without ticking you off the list,” he explained, waving his clipboard. “Talk to the guys over there,” he said, pointing at the table, “they’ll get you a new one.”
“Ok, thanks,” I replied, and sidled over to the table.
“How can I help you?” asked one of the men.
“I lost my nametag.”
“One moment.” He started typing on his laptop. “Can I see some ID?”
“Yeah, one sec.” I pulled my St. John’s laminate out of my purse, and held it out.
He looked at it carefully, and finally said, “Alright, Ms. Weaver, looks like everything’s in order. That will just be five dollars for a replacement tag.”
Ben Esra telefonda seni bosaltmami ister misin?
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