Sitting in his car, Dr. Daniel Stein, recently forcibly retired from Kingsboro Mercy Hospital, thumbs through the Kingsboro Times.
He laid the paper down upon the passenger seat and glanced out the windshield at the bland rectangle that was the Company. He glanced at his watch—another twenty minutes to go.
He went over in his mind all that had happened in the last couple days. There had been the purchase of the hospital by an unknown billionaire—his thorough vexing of all hospital staff. The appearance of what would be called a freak, and his untimely termination or retirement.
(fix this) Untimely termination—
“Who terminates a 35-year veteran on an argument about treatment,” he said to himself as he stepped from the car.
He closed the car door and straightened his black tie. He buttoned his white Kingboro Mercy Hospital coat due to a brisk wind and began toward the building.
The Company had called him 24 hours after he was let go. They offered him a job at half the pay.
“Why would you take that?” He asks.
Dr. Stein thought about this for several minutes as continued to walk toward the building. The buildings exterior was gray painted bricks. Its roof was flat, for the most part. The aluminum slates that made up the roof were curled on each end.
He had no answer—Dr. Stein just seemed to resign to the pressure of working. He had always enjoyed just working. The money was just a bonus. The Company offered a bit of a challenge. Work in a research environment. Care for patients with unknown illnesses. Make a difference. These short sentences said it all. Especially the last one, make a difference. Dr. Stein had been trying to make a difference for years but he got caught up in all the politics entwined into the hospital system.
Nancy Smith, sat in the back of a dirty city bus. In front of her sat several other passengers going about their business of laughing, joking and whatnot. The temperature of the bus always seemed to reach ten or twenty degrees higher then the temperature outside. Today is was 82 degrees.
“It would be nice to have a steady job, a steady paycheck and a steady place to live,” she thought.
She received the e-mail several days ago.
Looking for a nurse to care for patients at a research center. Interested in individuals that enjoy a challenge, or want to make a difference in peoples lives. No background check. 1 to 2 years experience.
Nancy wanted to make a difference but it wasn’t what interested her. It was the no background check. She had a checkered past that seemed to follow her. She was never at a job for longer then 3 months, if she even got the job.
“Don’t think about that,” she warned herself sternly, “maybe this is the one.”
Hope filled some of her empty heart but the stern look on the judge’s face and the reluctant verdict fought to take any hopeful gains away from her.
“I wasn’t convicted of a crime,” she thought, “it wasn’t a crime. I did the right thing.”
The bus slowed then stopped with a jolt. The driver laughed loudly. His gleeful cackle bounced throughout the steel and glass walls of the bus. Nancy stood up quickly. She began toward the front of the bus to tell the driver what she thought of his joke when a woman step out into the aisle in front of her. Nancy stopped centimeters from the back of the woman’s head. The woman’s blond hair brushed her face as she turned to apologize. Nancy smiled and accepted her apology. She allowed the blond woman and the man she sat with to move into the aisle and move toward the front of the bus. Nancy followed them out of the bus. She was certain that she was going to say something but when she approached the driver she only scowled at him. The driver smiled, the center two teeth under his top lip were missing and he seemed to have a corneal ulcer in his right eye. The infection was caused by a bacterium and caused the eye to look cloudy. Nancy smiled back, she wanted to say something to the driver but she could not. She kept staring at his eye.
“Is there a problem?” The driver asked then looked forward through the front windshield.
“I’m sorry,” Nancy said, “I noticed your eye and wanted to recommend you get it treated.”
“Your so kind,” the driver said sharply, “I’m going to close the door are you getting out?” Nancy had offended him and she immediately felt awful. She turned and walked ashamed down the bus steps. She stepped upon the ground and the driver closed the door. The door slid closed with a thump that startled Nancy. “Was this how her day was going to start?” She asked herself concerned greatly that her day was going to snowball downhill from here.
Andrea Tomlinson sat quietly next to aisle in the dirty bus. An empty seat sat to the left of her. She sat near the center of the bus. She never liked sitting to close to the front or the back. She watched as the driver of the bus bounced up and down and left and right listening to tunes that bled into his ears from earphones. He seemed a little too happy to be driving a city bus in a depressed little town like Kingsboro.
Kingsboro was always a podunk little town stuck in the south central palm of Michigan. Jobs were moving out and economy was quickly getting worse. The residents fought over the reason. It was the president, it was the governor, it was killer bees from Mexico—Andrea really didn’t care why the town was falling apart she was only interested in finding a job.
Through the large bus windshield she watched as a young man, cute from a distance of 20 yards, stood at a bus stop. He had his hands in his pockets and watched as the bus approached. Andrea noticed his hair was trimmed short and he wore an ironed shirt and pants. They were not starched but neat.
“He looks like a recent military veteran,” she thought. That gave him extra cuteness points.
The bus stopped with a jolt, as the driver often did, and the front door opened. The man— the young veteran walked in and immediately smiled.
“Did he see something he liked?” She thought curiously then it hit her. She was staring at the man. He thought she like him. She looked down at her naked knees. She adjusted her short red skirt and shuffled her coordinated heels upon the dirty bus floor.
“How are you doing?” The man asked as Andrea pretended not to she him. “May I sit here?”
Andrea said nothing and just stared at her knees.
“Miss?” He asked.
He said “Miss”. She added a couple more points then looked up. He had a nice face, thin and sculpted. His eyes were young and blue and the hair, that he had, was brown.
“May I sit here?” He asked again.
“Yes, sure,” She said with a nervousness that was surely noticeable.
“Thanks,” he said and stepped over her knees and slid into the seat next to the window.
As soon as he sat down he began to ramble. Something about computers and processors and how difficult it was. The man’s points whittled away as he pronounced each three to four syllable word over and over. The man continued to babble until the bus jolted to a stop again. Andrea stood and stepped out into the aisle way. A woman she did not see almost ran into her from behind. Andrea apologized quickly and walked toward the front of the bus. The man followed close behind. She had hoped he would of stayed on the bus but what could she do. Another man unavoidably attracted to her and she would have to deal with it.

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